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Friday movie roundup: Improbable history

First Published      Last Updated Mar 07 2014 01:13 pm

Two new movies this week, with one thing in common: Ancient Greeks in leather skirts.

One is "300: Rise of an Empire," a sequel/prequel to the 2006 action epic "300" — which shows what the Athenians and other Greeks were doing on the water while those 300 Spartans were facing off against the Persians. Director Noam Murro tries to recreate Zack Snyder's stylistic flourishes, of sepia-toned battles and spurting blood — but the results in the movie's massive naval battles are more chaotic than artistic. Stealing the movie is Eva Green, ruthless as the Persians' naval commander Artemisia.

On the other hand, the Trojan War gets a mention in "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," a fun and frisky update of the classic '60s cartoon (part of the great "Rocky & Bullwinkle" line-up). Super-smart dog Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) and his adopted boy Sherman (voiced by Max Charles) bounce through history — from ancient Egypt to the Renaissance to ancient Greece. The movie will delight young audiences, and make us oldsters (who remember the original) smile knowingly.

This week at the Broadway, the Salt Lake Film Society is celebrating the installation of its digital projectors with four acclaimed movies: "From Here to Eternity," "Lawrence of Arabia," "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Samsara."