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FOCUS GROUP: Will '300' be the magic number?

We've assembled representatives of some of Hollywood's key demographics. Each week, our group weighs in on the coming weekend's releases, letting us know whether all the script fixes, the re-shoots and the product tie-in campaigns have added up to a movie they are likely to see.

"300," the movie based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name is the only film opening wide this week so we encouraged our group of Hollywood outsiders to sound off a little longer than usual. We also made sure that each of them watched a trailer of the film before speaking with us, because with this movie it's all about the visuals. Also, note our pastor's struggle with his love of action and his refusal to see R rated films. He's all torn up!

THE CHARACTERS:

Courtesy Keenan RobertsThe Christian
Keenan Roberts: Senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Northglenn, Colo., as well as director of the ministries of the Hell House Outreach.

Courtesy GLCThe Rapper
GLC: An artist on Kanye West's label. Originally from Chicago, he now lives in Los Angeles where he is at work on his album.

Courtesy Justin ScharfThe Teens
Justin Scharf: 18, freshman at Georgia State University. He is 6-foot-3, listens to a lot of music, and works at Starbucks.


Courtesy Elena RoyeElena Roye: 13, a seventh-grader at a middle school in Westchester County, N.Y.


Courtesy Carol CreightonThe City Girl
Carol Creighton: 30, lives in Manhattan. She is a solutions manager at a consulting firm and lives with her best friend Mindy.


THE MOVIES:


"300"

Another adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel in the vein of "Sin City," although this one recounts the ancient Battle of Thermopylae.


Pastor Keenan: "My teenage son has been lobbying for our attendance at this on opening night for several weeks. I had no idea what it was rated, and hadn't cared before now. Then today I told him from everything I've seen it's rated R, and he said, 'Who cares?' So this is a dilemma. He said either we go together and see it or I'll just have to sneak out and go see it anyway. If I told him he wasn't going he wouldn't do that, but he just really really wants to see it. It's a very interesting and intriguing question. On one hand I know he wants to see it and I want him to be able to see it. The truth is all that action and energy--I would eat it up. What really bothers me about the Rs is the sex and nudity. If there is sex and nudity you can absolutely forget it, no negotiation. But because of our family, we know our kids and we know what kind of family we are all about, language is not a problem. We are not going to go out cussing tomorrow. But I'm also thinking why have standards if you are not going to uphold them? And he knows how we feel about standards. I really don't know. I really want to seek out a way for him to get to see it. So, this may have to be part one of this story for us …stay tuned to see what happens in the Roberts' household."

GLC: "I want to see that because in 'Sin City' Jessica Alba looked real good in and Rosie O'Dawson [sic] looked good too. I liked the cinematography alone from the commercials and it makes me feel like I will be strong as [stuff] when I walk out of the theater. I want to see it so I can feel like a warrior! I'm interested in the color and the way it pops. That's cold, the way they go from color to black and white, it's like the transformation of Michael Jackson--how he was once in color and now he is white."

Justin: "I've seen the trailer a couple of times. I'm very interested in it actually. This guy I work with is a wrestler and he's been talking about it forever. He's going to see it at the IMAX theater, but I think that is kind of goofy. I saw an article in The New York Times about it, how it is a metaphor for George Bush. I'm going to say that is pretty much retarded. There is no reading into what Frank Miller does. It is stylized violence and that's exactly what the trailer looks like. If you are reading into it, you have too much time on your hands. I'm going to see this when it comes out. This should be good one."

Elena: "I want to see it. I mean I would see it. It seems a little too like maybe scary-ish, but it seems like a well made movie, like really well made, and it seemed kind of educational because it is really serious and stuff. It looked cool, but I don't know if I'm going to see that movie with my friends."

Carol: "Looks really really neat, but bloody, so I doubt I'll see it."
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