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RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
The Making of 305 featurette
The Lost Interviews
On the Road With the 305
Cutting Room Floor
Visual Effects featurette
Just in case Meet the Spartans wasn’t enough for you.
Tim Larson, Brandon Tyra, David Schultz, Ed Portillo, Sunny Peabody, Heaven Peabody.
In this mockumentary, we get to know five of the not-quite-so-Spartan Spartan warriors as they embark on a journey to save one of their own from a group of Persians who are more inept than they are.
On the level that relative newcomer directors / writers / producers David and Daniel Holecheck did this movie on a shoestring budget, completely on green screen and premiered it at the Fargo Film Festival earlier this year in true Indie style, I applaud them. That’s an accomplishment worthy of note. Unfortunately, that’s the last positive comment I can lay down. 305 is awful. Bloody awful. Even taking into account that most mockumentaries are supposed to be just dumb fun, I can’t even qualify the film in that regard. The acting is terrible, the plot laborious and much of the humor trite and obvious once you get a feel for the characters, which doesn’t take very long.
The story centers around the other five Spartans: Claudius, the beer-bellied, mug-holding leader; Darryl, the sexually nebulous loser; Testicleese, the reluctant, alcoholic hero; Shazaam, a Persian who is a Spartan merely due to zoning laws; and Demetrius, recently blinded due to a battle / work related incident. They’re tasked with guarding the goat path on the other side of Thermopylae. Of course they fail at that and they’re stringed up in the press once Leonidas and the 300 are ultimately slain making their heroic stand. So the five part ways and go into semi-hiding to escape their shame. Cut to two years later and Claudius opens up a restaurant, Spartie’s, and has Shazaam working in the kitchen. Darryl has become a novelist trying to cash in on the Thermopylae experience who gives book readings to disinterested, single-digit audiences. Testicleese becomes the local drunk in a bar, the same bar which Demetrius has become the piano player; only Testicleese was too wasted most of the time to realize it.
The leader of a Persian garrison, who is looking to get on Xerxes’ good side by attacking Sparta, needs a key to the city’s gates that the Spartans have, so he has Claudius kidnapped and tortured for it. Strangely enough, Claudius likes the torture and bonds with his fellow inmates and captors during his incarceration. Meanwhile, Aurillia, a childhood flame of Testicleese’s pulls him out of his drunken stupor and the remaining Spartans regroup and set off to rescue Claudius before he’s executed. From there, it’s a typical flawed odyssey of self-discovery and bonding for them before reaching the garrison and mounting a heroic – at least accidentally heroic – rescue of Claudius and defeat of the Persians.
I give a pass on the look of the film, which is not bad, although consistently about as good as that fateful Edward Burns street scene process shot in A Sound of Thunder. But other than that, the film is simply a chore to get through with almost nothing worthy of a laugh, even a stupid laugh that one might expect. The jokes and plot make Meet The Spartans look like Airplane! or Naked Gun and that’s probably not going to be a good thing at the end of the day.
Despite the film itself, this disc is surprisingly loaded; starting off with two commentaries, one by the directors and the other by the cast. There’s also the original five-minute short which inspired the film and four minutes of deleted scenes. The Making of 305 is an eight-minute behind-the-scenes and The Lost Interviews are five minutes of deleted mockumentary interviews with the protagonists. On the Road With the 305 is a five-minute piece showing the cast and crew traveling to various film festivals to promote the movie. Cutting Room Floor is seven minutes of more outtakes and deleted scenes without special effects, set against the green screen. Finally, the Visual Effects featurette runs about 12 minutes and gives you pretty cool tutorial about how the film got its look via computer graphics and CGI. They actually show some of the effects being rendered on a computer screen as they talk you through it. The special features offering here is rather impressive. I just wish I felt the same about the movie.
4.8 out of 10