This week’s movie releases

This week’s movie releases

FILM: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE
CAST: SULLIVAN STAPLETON, EVA GREEN, LENA HEADEY, HANS MATHESON, RODRIGO SANTORO, Callan Mulvey, Jack O’Connell
DIRECTOR: NOAM MURRO

“300: Rise of an Empire,” told in the visual style of the blockbuster ‘300’, is a new chapter of the epic saga, which takes the action to a new battlefield—the sea.
The story pits the Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) against the massive invading Persian forces, ruled by the mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and led by Artemisia (Eva Green), the vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
Knowing his only hope of defeating the overwhelming Persian armada will be to unite all of Greece, Themistokles ultimately leads the charge that will change the course of the war.

Inspired by the work of graphic novelist Frank Miller, ‘300’ became a global blockbuster. The film’s success naturally spawned talk of a sequel; however, as the first film’s director Zack Snyder points out, there was one clear obstacle. “You saw the end of that movie — almost  all the main characters were dead, so I just felt that it was done.”

There could not be a sequel in the traditional sense, but that did not mean there were no more stories to be told.
Snyder, who produced and co-wrote the screenplay for ‘300: Rise of an Empire’, recalls, “Frank Miller contacted me and said he was working on an idea about an Athenian general named Themistokles, who led the Greek Navy against the Persian Navy, which was commanded by this amazing woman named Artemisia. When he told me it took place during the same three days as Thermopylae, where Leonidas faced the Persians at the Hot Gates, and with an equally significant outcome, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s very intriguing.’ The next thing I knew, he sent me an outline and some drawings and I said, ‘Okay, we’re doing this.’”

Producer Deborah Snyder notes, “What Frank came up with enabled us to revisit the same time and place, while introducing new characters who are just as inspiring and fun and have great depth to them.
We wanted to up the ante from the first movie with a really enjoyable ride that offers another level of drama and, of course, tremendous action.”

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Aybrey-Plaza-in-'-The-To-DoFILM: The To Do List
CAST: Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, Alia Shawkat
FILM: Maggie Carey

Set in 1993, valedictorian Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) wants to shed her uptight image before college, so she assembles a to do list of all the “activities” she missed out on in high school. Quickly realizing that she’s way out of her depth, Brandy solicits her best friends (Alia Shawkat, Sarah Steele, Donald Glover, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Johnny Simmons), older sister (Rachel Bilson) and burnt-out boss (Bill Hader) for their help and advice.
If the group is going to complete the list by September they’ll need plenty of imagination and very open minds. But even with the guidance of those closest to her, Brandy can’t foresee that emotions are not easily kept to the margins.