Screen Junkies » 300 Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:13:53 +0000 en hourly 1 Honest Trailers – 300 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:00:55 +0000 Lyndsey Saul THIS IS...HONEST TRAILERS!

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It’s our 50th Honest Trailer!! To celebrate, we revisit Zack Snyder’s “300,” the shoutiest movie about ancient Greece ever!

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7 Badass Action Movies Based On Historical Events Tue, 24 Jul 2012 14:14:52 +0000 Penn Collins Sometimes history is awesome. Rarely, but sometimes.

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If you’re reading this website, chances are you don’t go to see most movies to learn something about history. But if a historical event can be the impetus for a great film, then the movie carries with it a resonance that it didn’t have before. Sometimes, that resonance can be very, very boring (see also: period pieces), and sometimes, when applied to action films, it can be pretty damn great. Let’s forget about the former and, in honor of the Blu-rayTM and DVD release of Hatfields & McCoys, focus on the latter as we evaluate seven of the best historical action films of all time.


If you thought that Matthew Broderick couldn’t spearhead a badass action film, then you haven’t seen 1989’s Glory, a film inspired by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first army unit entirely comprised of African American soldiers.

It’s a moving story in its own right, but it also features a whole mess of action, and, as Hatfields & McCoys demonstrates, the warfare during this era was…messy to say the least. Rather than morphine shots, this era boasted whiskey, leg amputations, and cannonballs taking out whatever was in the their path. Yikes.

Also worth checking out for an up-and-coming Denzel Washington giving a killer performance.


Careful: Some of these historical action adventure films can be kind of educational, despite their best efforts. Apocalypto is one such film that traces the decline of the Mayan empire in the Mexican Yucatan peninsula.

Following director Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, audiences braced themselves for gore, but not on the level that they got. I don’t know if you consider cutting out still-beating hearts and beheadings “action,” but I do, so these Mayans make the list.

While there is some controversy regarding the film’s depiction, by and large it is based on historical context, which makes the violence all the tougher to stomach.


Perhaps the best revenge film on this list, Munich follows the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympics in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered and the Mossad extracts revenge by taking out 11 targets. The premise is badass, and made even more so by the fact that it’s very real and very accurate.

The hits take place across the world, and they are carried out by some of the hardest men you’ll ever see depicted in film. Don’t mess with the Israelis. Don’t mess with anyone, actually. It’s crappy behavior. And you’re better than that.


It doesn’t get much more historical than the Battle of Thermopylae, when 300 Spartans went head to head with thousands more Persians. It also doesn’t get more action-y, as the entire film is pretty much sensationalized hand-to-hand combat between some hard-ass motherfathers. While this was based on historical events, it’s a copy of a copy, true to graphic novelist Frank Miller’s interpretation of events.

Lots of people die. Unlike some of the other entries on this list, you’re probably not going to learn a single historical fact by watching this film, but learning is pretty overrated.

Ben Hur

They’re not all contemporary films, as this chariot-racing, Charlton Heston-starring film can attest. Ben Hur was an overblown blockbuster before it was cool to make overblown blockbusters. In a time before CGI, the chariot races were shot using actual horses and chariots. Not too shabby.

Of course, Ben Hur is a fictionalization of the plight of many, but by 1959 standards, the adherence to fact throughout the film has it standing as a testament to historical action films well before such a premium was placed on accuracy by critics and the Academy alike.

Hatfields & McCoys (Available on Blu-rayTM and DVD July 31st)

When a feud lasts as long as this one did, a movie won’t suffice, so you have to bring out the big guns: a three-part mini-series that begins following the Civil War, then evolves as the two rural families continually rub each other the wrong way, complete with murders, executions, forbidden love, and MUTTONCHOPS, MUTTONCHOPS, MUTTONCHOPS!!!

The story is most definitely a saga, but one that will keep you engaged as these hillbilly Montagues and Capulets get after it. They set the standard for family feuds.

Sorry, Steve Harvey.


The historical accuracy of Braveheart has been a point of contention (read: Almost all historical scholars call bullshit), but it’s based on a real guy doing some real stuff, namely liberating Scotland from the tyranny of the English monarchy.

They didn’t wear those plaid outfits until the 16th century, but that doesn’t mean the film isn’t based on historical events. Gibson acknowledges that he made the decision to go with less historically accurate interpretations for the sake of good cinema.

But relax, he’s not a historian, he’s a filmmaker. And he made a pretty damn good historical action-drama with Braveheart.

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Noam Murro Chosen To Enter Sparta To Direct ’300′ Spin-Off Sat, 16 Jul 2011 17:51:49 +0000 Joseph Gibson Wait, why would the guy who did 'Smart People' be directing a spin-off of '300'?

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“This is madness!” Noam Murro was heard to shout before being kicked into the giant Warner Brothers pit by a muscular studio executive. “This! Is! 300: Battle of Artemisia!” Said the studio executive.

Artemisia, which is based on the upcoming comic by Frank Miller, author of the original 300 (and a bunch of other cool stuff, like Ronin and The Dark Knight Returns), and will focus on the character of Xerxes (in fact, the movie used to be titled Xerxes), a villain from the first movie. He won’t be a villain in this one, though:

“He’s a man in search of godhood after the death of his father, battling an Athenian warlord named Themistocles. The story takes place over the course of several years, but the focal point is the battle of Artemisium, which occured in 480 BC.”

4 photos'Immortals' Is Looking Pretty, Pretty '300'-y

And good news for all the Zack Snyder fans out there – while he won’t be directing this, he did work on the script. So, expect a lot of slow-motion in the dialogue. And Murro, who previously directed the indie drama Smart People (aka “The Exact Opposite of 300“), is said to be directing Artemisia in the same visual style that Snyder used for the first movie. Tonight we dine in Hell, etc. (The Hollywood Reporter)

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Zack Snyder Won’t Be Directing ‘Xerxes’. Thanks Anyway, Though. Wed, 06 Apr 2011 12:51:07 +0000 Wookie Johnson Nobody wants to drink the Zack Snyder Kool-Aid anymore.

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Nobody wants to drink the Zack Snyder Kool-Aid anymore. After Sucker Punch‘s defeat at the hands of a Wimpy Kid, it looks like Snyder is beginning to have a tough time in Hollywood. And much like the deformed Spartan outcast Ephialtes, Snyder is now being shunned by his own countrymen. Politely, of course.

ComingSoon caught up with Mark Canton and asked him about the 300 prequel, Xerxes, only to find that maybe Zack Snyder is no longer the man for the job.

“I can’t say. I mean, he’s got Superman. He’s busy. We’re busy. I don’t think we’re going to wait two years. But we’ll work together with him and figure out who the filmmaker should be if he doesn’t direct it.”

Then Canton tearfully returned Snyder’s class ring, saying, “My ride is leaving. I’d better go.” He got into his dad’s idling Cutlass Ciera, loaded down with the heft of his personal belongings, and headed off toward Vassar and a world of new opportunity.

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11 Classic Deformed Movie Characters Thu, 03 Mar 2011 20:05:59 +0000 Jame Gumb Beastly is basically the retelling of Beauty and the Beast, except the beast in question is just a bald dude with a bunch of facial tattoos. I'm not sure that really qualifies as beastly. People pay to have that sh*t done.

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The main character in Beastly is a handsome young man who is deformed by a witch’s curse. It’s basically the retelling of Beauty and the Beast, except the beast in question is just a bald dude with a bunch of facial tattoos. I’m not sure that really qualifies as beastly. People pay to have that shit done. If the producers of the film had done their homework, they could used anyone of these classic deformed characters as inspiration.

Sloth – Goonies

Sloth is a heavily deformed member of the Fratelli family, a group of fugitives hiding out in the Pacific Northwest. Due to his ghoulish appearance and mental problems, Sloth is treated as an outcast by his family, who chain him in front of a television set in a secluded room. But as Chunk, a member of the Goonies, finds out, beneath Sloth’s outward appearance is a kind-hearted hero. Kind hearted or not, Chunk probably shouldn’t have agreed to let Sloth live with him at the end of the film. It’s only a matter of time until one of them ends up dead. My money’s on Chunk.

Pluto – The Hills Have Eyes

Figuratively speaking, family vacations are usually a horrific struggle for survival. But in The Hills Have Eyes, that is literally the case. When a group of travelers become lost in the Nevada desert, they find themselves being hunted by a pack of cannibal mutants. Pluto, one of the mutants in question, was played by actor Michael John Berryman, who was born with 26 birth defects as the result of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a condition that left him unable to grow hair or fingernails. His unique appearance was a perfect fit for the film.

Freakshow – Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle

What can you say about Freakshow? He’s kind, helpful, and he loves Jesus. Also, he’s very accommodating, so much so that you’re probably more than welcome to bang his ridiculously hot wife. Just don’t make comments about his hideous boils. He can hear everything you’re saying.

Rocky – Mask

EMBED-Inappropriate Laugh Track – Mask – Watch more free videos

In Mask, the main character (Rocky) suffers from craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a bone disorder that causes a buildup of calcium resulting in sever facial disfigurements and early death. But as the clip above demonstrates, that didn’t stop old Rocky from having some laughs. Ugh, I’m going to hell.

Justin Mcleod – The Man Without a Face

In The Man Without a Face, Mel Gibson plays a teacher who was badly disfigured in a tragic car accident. At the time, the film received favorable reviews. However, looking back and knowing what we know now, Gibson’s story is probably just a metaphor for Jews controlling the financial industry.

Quasimode – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

If you’re looking for famous cinematic deformities, you can’t do much better than Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In case the title wasn’t clear, it’s about a hunchback who lives at the famous French cathedral. Charles Laughton plays the titular character in the classic 1939 version of the film. The role was also performed by Lon Chaney in an even early rendition.

John Merrick – The Elephant Man

This David Lynch film tells the story of an Englishman named John Merrick (a.k.a. The Elephant Man) who suffered from horrifying deformities. As a result, he was forced to join a freak show as a means to support himself. Eventually, he ended up living out his days at a hospital under the care of a sympathetic doctor. And in case you were wondering, he was not an animal.

Ephialtes – 300

If you had the misfortune of being born with a deformity in ancient Sparta, chances are you you weren’t going to last very long. The Spartans had a nasty habit of killing babies that were born with physical defects. Ephialtes wasn’t killed at birth, but was an outcast none the less. Out of resentment, he betrayed the Spartan people by giving secret information to the hated Persians. And in the film 300, he did it all in super-cool slow motion.

Dawn O’Keefe – Teeth

Outwardly, Dawn O’Keefe doesn’t seem to have any deformities. But as the old saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside the counts. Specifically, the inside of her vagina.

Erik, The Phantom – The Phantom of the Opera

Lon Chaney stars in this cinematic retelling of Gaston Leroux classic novel about facially deformed creature who lives in the shadows of a Parisian Opera House. All and all, he’s not a bad guy. Just don’t take off his mask, or things will get ugly.

The Whole Damn Cast – Freaks

As the title suggests, Freaks is a film about freaks, and it stars honest to goodness freaks. If you’re looking for deformities, this film has the mother-load.

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