Movie Review : 300 – Rise of an Empire

 

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Way back in 2006, the world was treated to a modern re-telling of the ancient Greek tale of the Battle of Thermopylae. It is a story of such heroism that their names echo down through time. We had CGI enhanced men…..lots and lots of men….abs crunched to eye watering perfection …. little leather outfits hanging from swaggering hips….lots of blood and swords and yelling and………..oh my! And at the helm, their  Scottish Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler).

Having defeated the Spartans, the Persian forces head towards the city of Athens. Aussie Greek general Themistocles (Stapleton), after trying in vain to unite the Greek states, leads the Greek forces in a naval battle against the King/God Xerxes (Santoro) and the fantastically evil and ruthless Artemisia (Green).

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Movie Review: What to Expect When You Are Expecting [M]

~~ Warning! This review contains a ‘Joe Manganiello Pause for Perve’ moment.

If you are offended, please move along now. Thank you. ~~~~

Director : Kirk Jones

Starring : Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Chris Rock, Chase Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Dennis Quaid, Rodrigo Santoro, Joe Manganiello, Rebel Wilson

Running Time : 110 minutes

Release Date :   31 May 2012

Inspired by Heidi Murkoff’s baby bible of the same name, this movie follows 5 very different couples as they navigate their way through impending parenthood. Jules (Diaz) is a TV fitness trainer/TV show host and her new boyfriend Evan (Morrison) was her dance partner on a reality show. She expects her pregnancy will simply fit in with her hectic celebrity lifestyle. Holly (Lopez) and Alex (Santoro) are adopting from a third world country. Holly is sure it’s the right thing, Alex not so sure. All Wendy (Banks) wants is the glow, the pregnancy glow promised by the books, magazines and TV show. Her hormones have other ideas. Wendy’s  step mother-in-law Skylar (Decker) is breezing through her pregnancy, with twins no less) and still wearing 6 inch heels at 8 months along. Yeah I know….

 

From the opening credits, showing the finale of a TV Dancing with the Stars type of reality competition, you know this film is going to be an over the top chick flick. These scenes are so full of real life celebrity cameos you inwardly roll your eyes and hope this movie is not going to take itself too seriously. And it doesn’t. At least, I didn’t think it did.

This movie tracks our couples for the better part of a year as they deal with falling pregnant, not falling pregnant, raging hormones, job worries, family issues, baby joy, baby sadness and most of all love. The 5 couples have very different situations to deal with. Some are humorous and played for laughs, other are more serious and make you pause and think. Some are a combination of both.

 

The focus is on the women but their partners receive lots of attention as well. The relationship between Gary (Falcone) and his father Ramsey (Quaid) is ridiculously combative but hilarious. Ramsey’s gorgeous but genuinely warm-hearted trophy wife Skylar intercedes a lot of the time defending ‘her son’, much to the chagrin of Gary who is actually older than her. It worked for me, I loved the storyline.

Then there are ‘the dudes’. This group of fathers meet every Saturday, pushing their strollers with a dazzling array of accessories and giving out advice to father-to-be Alex. Led by the irrepressible Vic (Rock), the dudes are a suburban daddy fight club. The first rule is you don’t tell the wives anything. Their wisdom runs between sage and sane to ridiculous and misleading. These men love being fathers but if there is one thing they want to be more than anything…..they want to be Davis (Manganiello).

 

Davis. Joe Manganiello. Please, let us pause for just a few moments and revel in the glory that is Mr Joe Manganiello. True Blood’s Alcide Herveaux. The soon to be released Magic Mike’s Big Dick Richie. This is the real reason my friend Miss L & I went and saw this movie. We had heard he was in it for just a few minutes but we didn’t care. We waited and waited and *gasp* there he was in all his cinema size glory. Audible sighs and a few groans were heard as the delicious Davis ran onto the screen. Then he did pull ups. With one arm. Every fertile female in the cinema spontaneously ovulated and self-impregnated.

Later in the movie when Davis’ character announced an unexpected Australian connection, Miss L and I looked at each other and mentally high fived in that smug and just a little scary/sad way that adoring fangurls the world over will understand. From now until proven wrong, we know he fancies the pants off Aussie women and he can fancy the pants off us anytime he likes. Too much? Whatever……you read the warning before the review!

Now where was I. Oh yes….the movie.

I have seen criticisms that this movie doesn’t know what it wants to be, a comedy or a drama. But so what? Why does it have to be on or the other. I certainly didn’t think I was going to see a cinematic masterpiece with Oscar buzz surrounding it. It’s a chick flick with lots of attractive but not too threatening actresses in it. A funny and quirky plot. Some drama. Some laughs. The odd tear. Cute babies. Funny guys. Handsome guys. Joe Manganiello.

Australia’s own Rebel Wilson is a stand out as the quirky and funny Janice. She is better in this movie than she was in Bridesmaids. She has much more screen time too. Go Rebel!

I liked this movie. It’s just an average chick flick with some solid acting and funny moments. If you go in expecting just that, you won’t be disappointed.

And there is always Joe……