Gandalf vs. Darth Vader

08-Dec-12 11:10 AM by
Filed under Potpourri, Star Wars; Comments Off on Gandalf vs. Darth Vader

It's less than a week to The Hobbit's premiere, wherein we see the One Ring fall into the hands of the unlikeliest person, setting into motion the last battle to come from the War of the Ring. These many evils were perpetuated by Sauron, the power-hungry lord of the rings who was defeated only through the combined forces of the good races of Middle-Earth, many of them led by the wizard Gandalf.

But what if Sauron was not the greatest foe Gandalf ever faced? Surely there is no more powerful evil on Middle-Earth — but what if we were to look to the stars? What if the Dark Lord that Gandalf the Grey faced was not Sauron — but Darth Vader?

The battle's outcome was decided by a popular vote, though I can't say I agree with the result. I feel we've witnessed more powerful users of the Force in the Star Wars universe, and even they were defeated. Of course, leaving Darth Vader as the ringbearer presents a far more interesting scenario: what now?

This video is, surprisingly, not from the same team that brought us Batman vs. Captain America. It seems celebrity superhero mashups are all the rage on YouTube. Which two powers do you want to see clash next?

A Gentleman's War

15-Apr-07 12:21 PM by
Filed under Reviews; 2 comments.

The second film I saw this year was 300 — and I could've done without it.

We all know by now that 300 is a film of the Spartans' stand against the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in the year 480 BC. But it's unfortunate that many people believe this film to be a direct retelling of that historical event, when it is in fact adapted from Frank Miller's 1998 graphic novel of the same name, which itself is based on the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, which is based on Herodotus' recording of the events. Being so removed from a faithful and accurate recording, and not knowing enough to separate truth from tale, I applied the same skepticism when watching this film that I did when reading The Da Vinci Code (another snorer) and safely accepted nothing as canon.

Fortunately, there wasn't much of substance I needed to filter out. The film's plot is contained wholly within its title; there is nothing surprising or original beyond the fifteen score of soldiers. Sure, there is some diplomatic bureacracy, and the requisite betrayal, but 300 is almost entirely an action flick — and not a very good one. How many different slow-motion thrusts, impalements, and beheadings can we experience in just two hours? That is the only question 300 seeks to resolve. I am not a prude, and I do not fault this film for being too bloody; it wasn't even that. It was simply a two-hour heated battle that left me cold.

But it did give me one thought worth mulling.


300: Truth or Tale?

25-Mar-07 9:54 AM by
Filed under Films; 3 comments.

Hiphopguy23 recently saw the movie 300 on the big screen, and he means BIG screen: the fancy IMAX theater. Hiphopguy23 was pleasantly surprised by the style and visuals of the movie, but he left the theater wondering how much was fact and how much was fiction. Hiphopguy23 could probably look on the Internet to find the answers, but that involves work. So instead, Hiphopguy23 will make educated guesses based on his own understanding of the era and will be corrected in the forums.

1) The Spartans sent only 300 soldiers into combat.

TRUTH — The rest of the army was banned from combat due to a religious celebration.

2) The Persian army consisted of millions of soldiers.

TALE — Hiphopguy23 believes the numbers were closer to 450,000.

3) The 300 Spartan warriors killed the Persians at a rate of 10-1.

TRUTH — The Spartans' superior position and superior battle knowledge allowed them to devastate the Persian army.

4) The 300 Spartan warriors trained from the age of 7 to be soldiers.

TRUTH — Those Spartans were a tough breed. Men were raised to be soldiers, and women were raised to birth soldiers.

5) The Spartan warriors fought without armor to show off their abs.


6) King Xerxes attempted to negotiate with the Spartans in person.

TALE — King Xerxes would have appeared nowhere near the front of the battle lines. Also, King Xerxes was not 10 feet tall.

7) King Xerxes brought rhinos and elephants into battle.

TALE — Elephants were generally not used in combat except in Northern Africa. (Only a handful of Hannibal's famous elephants survived after crossing the Alps.)

8) When King Leonidas was ordered to lay down his arms, he snarled, "Come and get them."

TRUTH — This historical battle is the first recorded utterance of this phrase, which is now a staple in every action movie.

9) Dilios lost his eye and was sent away from battle by the king in order to narrate the brave events.


10) Dilios later led an army to defeat the Persians.

TALE — Though Dilios did not lead the army, the Grecian states did unify a year later and to push the Persians back.

See also: A Gentleman's War