There are many reasons to see 300. Maybe you're a 14-year old with a love of violent entertainment. Or you're a classics professor who longs to get a splitting headache. Or possibly you're an experimental gay pornographer, and want to see the newest techniques in ab-oiling. Perhaps you're a special effects aficionado who's curious about the state-of-the-art in faux decapitations and digitized blood spray. Or you're a big fan of Frank Miller's work, and Sin City just didn't sate your appetite for writhing, speechless women, mutilated giants and two-dimensional tough guys. Speech pathologists may go to 300 to witness how the two-syllable word 'Sparta' can be quadrupled in length and extended even moreso with each bellowed repetition. Or, finally, maybe the phrase 'moving pictures' has always seemed a bit contradictory, and a movie that unfolds with the glacial pace of a series of oil paintings in a series of nearly-still images sounds soothing.

Whatever your reason for going into 300, I can't imagine leaving it very excited by what you get. I can imagine being excited by the prospect of leaving -- for me, the end credits of 300 rolled up on the screen with the comforting shock of a parole notice delivered in the middle of a prison riot. After leaving, I walked through a crowded downtown to the loudest bar possible in the hopes that an adult beverage would wash the taste of blood out of my mouth; even that level of all-encompassing sensory overload still felt like a fortnight in a Zen temple by comparison. 300 tells the classic tale of the Spartans at Thermopylae, where a small band of Spartan warriors (you should, at this point, have a general idea of how many) led by King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) held off thousands of Persian troops. They were few, but perilous terrain and Spartan valor held back the many. There have been multiple re-iteratons of this story onscreen and in print, and 300's source material is a graphic novel adaptation crafted by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley.