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BOOK REVIEW: FTN reviews 300: Rise of an Empire: The Art of the Film by Peter Aperlo

March 5th, 2014 by Big Phil Comments

300: Rise of an Empire: The Art of the Film
Author: Peter Aperlo
ISBN: 9781781167830
Dimensions: 12 3/4” x 9 3/4“
Hardback: 160pp
Publication date: February 4 2014
Illustration detail: Colour photos throughout

The action adventure 300: Rise of an Empire is the highly anticipated follow-up to the 2007 international blockbuster 300. This lavish, oversized hardback companion book to the new movie features stunning production art, photography from the acclaimed Clay Enos (Watchmen Portraits) and input from producer Zack Snyder and director Noam Murro.

300: Rise of an Empire, the movie based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, is the sequel to 300 and returns the viewer (and in this case, the reader) to ancient Greece where Spartans, Athenians and fellow Greeks faced the onslaught of the Persian army.

Whilst the action of the first film firmly focused on the land battle, the sequel places the action on the roaring seas with one naval battle after the other. The movie tie-in book firmly captures the awaiting action, behind the scenes and the history, of sorts, of this battle.

This large coffee-table edition hard back book is full of glossy images of the characters, sets, props and costume designs that will feature in the movie. With a foreword by Director Noam Murro and an afterword by Zach Snyder, these are both welcome (and necessary) additions to the book’s narrative.

Sadly, that is really the only narrative in this book, other than a few descriptions and a few brief bios on some of the main cast. This is primarily a picture book and it’s full of page after page of the characters, peppered with a few storyboard and conceptual art pieces. The majority of the pictures of the characters sadly seem to be just promotional stills and, for a film which is based on the highly successful graphic novel, I would have expected direct comparisons and shot-by-shot analysis. There are virtually no behind the scenes shots, no bloopers or hi-jinks on the set, none even of the Director or Art Director mentioning graphic details of designs or set limitations.

Sadly, there is little more here than ‘eye candy’ for the die hard fan. This offering is for die-hard fans only as there literally is nothing to look at but the rippling six-packs on display on virtually every page.

This book is certainly one you would have a quick glance through but it would not be beckoning you for an in-depth look or even a second glance.

2 out of 5


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I arrived on Earth in 1977 and have virtually devoted my entire existence to cult films, television programmes and cartoons. I am a very big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek; I may struggle with foreign languages but I can order live Gagh in Klingon! I’m the Nerd that knows the trivia but I’m hopeless at sport!