Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Inappropriate Hump Day Hotness: 300, Gay Panic and Rodrigo Santoro

Those of you who loved 300 (now out on DVD) are like the depicted Persian army: legion. As someone who (nearly) hated the movie, I'm placed in the odd position of well... being on the audience favored side: a member of the miniscule Spartan army. Like those weirdly glorified losers I find myself martyred for a cause. Well, mine is more of a belief really.

That belief: this movie is stoopid.

I saw 300 a few weeks after it exploded with audiences because I was waiting to catch it on iMax. [I'll readily admit that this delay in viewing is problematic --ever noticed how movies everyone loves are usually greeted a month or two later with a rash of "it ain't all that!" pontificating... are these sincere reactions or very human balance corrective responses --overemphatic objection? Perhaps we should discuss in another post -ed. ] I spent most of the movie trying not to laugh. To this movie lover it played like self parody only without jokes. Unless you count that recurrrent gay panic gag but that got old fast: repeated scenes of drooling muscle worship mixed with demonization of the stereotypically feminine in men. The movie reminded me of those M4M personal ads that used to irk me and my activist friends in college: "straight acting: no femmes!"

So as a surprise counterattack to all that 'all-man!' fetishizing that's going on in Zach Snyder's strange movie, I thought I should drool on the demonized drag queen Xerxes also known as Rodrigo Santoro instead of the other one, King Leonidas played by Gerard Butler. (Last time I tried to make him a hottie, it didn't go so well).

Anyway... this movie bugs. 300 wants you to lick Butler's bulging muscles but it wants you to be grossed out knowing that Xerxes wants Butler to lick his.

Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto...


Both Butler and Santoro are exceedingly attractive men in real life and in their reel lives here. Look, you can put Rodrigo Santoro under several pounds of flamboyant jewelry and makeup. You can press on the false lashes and nails but he's still Rodrigo Santoro.

And Rodrigo Santoro looks like this...


Of course that's a shot from Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle rather than 300 but the former movie is more fun ... or at least it's more honest about how badly it wants Rodrigo Santoro. It even gives you the type of cheesysleazy camera work usually reserved for ogling actress goodies...


If this same shot were used on Scarlett Johansson, it might win its DP an Oscar nod.

I don't watch Lost but I understand that today's sex object has blessed that television serial with his hotness too. Apart from RS's strange willingness to do questionably negative drag roles (see also Carandiru --which I haven't: thus the word questionably) I generally like him. I dig the way he ignores Cameron Diaz' crude innuendo in Charlies Angels (c'mon Cameron, wise up! He's too pretty to understand words). I liked the way he ran sweaty and frantic through Behind the Sun.

But you know what makes me love him most? The Lovely Laura Linney's reaction to snogging him in the romantic comedy Love, Actually.


If you make Laura Linney that giddy, you're all right by me.
*

19 comments:

Marius said...

I love Brazilian men!

beecher said...

He's hot. He was also in the Chanel commercial that Nicole Kidman was in. The one directed by Baz Luhrmann.

viennarain said...

Mmmm, Rodrigo. Good choice.

par3182 said...

drooling muscle worship

rodrigo santoro

the lovely laura linney


i'm beginning to suspect this post is a coded M4M personal directed right at me

(it's ok, you can admit it; i'm quite fond of you too)

Kurtis11 said...

"300" was bulls**t. I can't remember the last time I was so (sorry, I can't get 'overemphatic objection' out of my head - wonderful!) thoroughly displeased with something that was so unanimously loved. I found it ludicrous. Visually stunning? Yes, I suppose, but ludicrous. I'd sooner buy just the trailer on DVD. All style, no substance. By the end, I didn't give a crap who won (even though I knew). And don't even get me started on the silly lines. "Tonight, we dine in HELL?!?" What does that even mean? It's like, throw a military leader in front of an army in an epic period piece and have him scream something - anything. They should have had him say, "Tonight we dine at Grandma's." At least then it would have been INTENTIONALLY funny.

Steven said...

Gah, Rodrigo is so hot.
Definitely one of my favorite things about Love Actually. Of course, it's also one of the sadder things in the movie since he and Laura Linney never really go at it! Gosh! If anyone deserves a hot guy, it's Laura Linney and/or her character. I love her reaction in those pictures, though.

~Steven

Anonymous said...

"300" was awesome. I can't wait to get the DVD this weekend.

And Rodrigo's stint on "Lost" was routinely panned and thought of as useless. Most thought that his character (and "girlfriend") were a waste of time, and the writers realized their error and disposed of them in a unique way (and gave us one of the season's best episodes in the process).

Aaron said...

I laughed out loud more times than I can count at 300. It was awful.

The drag in Carandiru is questionable only because, well, he's just such a hot man and when you give him breasts he's less hot (at least to me.)

amir_uk said...

FITT. And what a scene in Love, Actually. Thanks for reminding me of it.

JA said...

Hrm. I really dug 300, but I can't argue with anybody that it wasn't straight up retarded. But that was, for me, part of the fun. I didn't think it took itself seriously. Like, it did, but it wasn't. For me. But I get people not making that extra leap. I can't argue with anyone's critique of the film, because I think all the reasoning against the film is solid. Yet... it all built into such a crescendo of ridiculousness that I loved every second of it. It took all the elements of these sorts of rah-rah war movies - the conservatism, the male-bonding, the blood-thirst, the encoded homophobia - and made every single usually buried trope so in your face and over-the-top and just totally obvious that I thought it was really kind of wonderful.

But yes, in the end, bullshit justifications aside, I liked the hot guys half-naked too. Sue me!

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

You can glorify bulging biceps and queens and homophobes and Hollywood hypocrisy and Charlie's Angels and Laura Linney (especially Laura Linney), but do not! bring up Shite, Actually

Anonymous said...

Well, I enjoyed 300, and I can't wait to see it again. It's a film that shouldn't be taken that seriously content-wise. The techs were great in this, and Gerard Butler was a magnetic screen presence. The good far outweighed any flaws for me.

knicksgrl0917 said...

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The Kettle said...

glad you correctly attributed the laura linney reaction to bagging him.

on a side note, some friends and i are trying to figure out who has played a hooker the most times in a movie. Jennifer Jason Leigh is an early leader. Would love anyone's feedback.

thepotandthekettle.blogspot.com

etslee said...

Ok, I'll admit it. The only reason I watched Charlie's Angels was for Santoro's beach scenes. Yum.

SusanP said...

I can totally relate to Laura Linney in that moment. She nails the giddyness one feels when snogging a hottie. While You Can Count on Me is still my favorite performance of hers, this scene is in that league.

Kamila said...

Nathaniel, as a brazilian, I am very happy to see you talking about Rodrigo Santoro.

Everyone here is very proud of him because he is doing really well in Hollywood and, hopefully, opening up the doors for other brazilian actors and actresses and we have a lot of great talent!

Congratulations on the post!

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, I am a brazilian too, and I am very happy to see you talking about Santoro either.
He's handsome and very talented...
Course he's not Fernanda Montenegero, but still a lovely talented Young Piece-of-heaven.
Love you and Your site
Daniel

Anderson said...

Your reference to "The Dictionary of Jack" video was priceless! LET'S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF!

And 300 is really lame, totally agree with you.