Davis: 300 back for more
As far as filmmakers go, Frank Miller is not a household name. He is best described as the Spielberg, Kubrick or Scorsese of the comic book industry as he is responsible for re-imagining characters like Daredevil, Wolverine, Batman and even Superman into the characters that we know in movies today.
He is also known for creating the character of Elektra as well as the graphic novels Sin City and 300.
When Sin City was turned into a movie in 2005 by Robert Rodriguez, Miller was credited as co-director as his graphic novel was so closely followed. It was mainly filmed on what is called a “digital backlot,” meaning it was mostly shot in front of a green screen with most of the backgrounds and some of the foreground created with computers to help give it the feel of the graphic novel.
Two years later, the adaptation of 300 used similar techniques, using a digital backlot to help recreate the imagery of the graphic novel and even using it for storyboards and Miller serving as executive producer and consultant.
Based upon the Battle of Thermopylae during the Persian Wars, 300 was a worldwide hit and a sequel was inevitable. Miller was brought back as writer and producer on 300: Rise of an Empire, using his unpublished follow-up to the original graphic novel for the story.
Set prior to, during and after the events of the original film, 300: Rise of an Empire sees Greek general Themistokles attempting to unite all of Greece by leading the charge against the invading Persian army led by the mortal-turned-god Xerxes.
After the surprise success of The Lego Movie, it will be interesting to see how both kids and adults respond to the next big animated offering, Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
It is getting almost as good reviews as Lego, but the characters, which had their own segment in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show in the 1960s, are not nearly as familiar to the current generation of children.
It does have some pretty good talent behind it as it is from DreamWorks Animation (Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon), it is directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) and features the voices of Ty Burrell, Leslie Mann and Stephen Colbert. The story has Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, and his mischievous boy Sherman, use their time machine to go on outrageous adventures. But when Sherman takes the time machine for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they accidentally rip a hole in the universe by wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history.