I need to identify with the problem that the character is dealing with. Didn’t Colin Cheong talk about connecting with readers? If the movie presents a problem that the viewer can identify with, present it in an interesting manner, maybe by shocking the viewer (sex, violence), and making the viewer think (non-sequiturs), then the movie has done a good job. The movie has taken something important, a complexity, and given it a flesh and blood relevance. A problem is no longer abstract if a real person is dealing with it in the movie. On the other hand, if a movie wants to be mindless action, then it must compete on how well it can portray gore, and 300 managed to do that well.
I think its really cool how you can read stuff or innocuously bump into ideas on seemingly disparate things and then one day when you’re thinking about things, it all comes together when you try to explain something.