A blog about movies and filmmaking.

Titans. Will. Clash…Sorta

In action on March 31, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Okay, just to explain where the new movie CLASH OF THE TITANS is coming from, in the end credits the first person to get the “lightning striking through the name” effect is Richard Zanuck – producer extraordinaire that brought the world JAWS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and yes, Tim Burton’s PLANET OF THE APES. What does that say about this movie, though? Well, that what you’re watching wasn’t necessarily a product that was made for it’s artistic value. It was made to make money, and something that will help it along it’s way – like Poseidon turning the seas in your favor – is 3-D.

Unfortunately, I have to warn anyone that reads this; going to see this movie in 3-D is a waste of your money. In the screening that I saw, I have to admit, the 3-D was not bad (surprisingly, after the number of reviews that I’d already seen decrying it as being awful), it just adds nothing to the movie. It’s real use is in adding depth of field – much like how it’s used in AVATAR – only it’s not impressive and a lot of the cutting/shooting of the movie makes it hard to really get stabilized. But, I felt more like it was the same as going to see Pixar’s UP in 3-d; it was fine for what it was, but I was kind of upset that I paid extra and had to wear stupid glasses for that. So, save that extra couple – or ten – bucks and watch it in 2-D. And yes, this will probably be the only review to mention UP in the same breath as CLASH OF THE TITANS…but, wait, there’s more.

Now as for the movie itself. Somehow, I believe I’ll be in the minority on this one too; in that I actually kind of liked it. Granted it’s pretty forgettable – I had to forego going out after my screening because I was already forgetting a lot of what I thought was worth highlighting. (oh, who am I kiddding? I wasn’t going to go out…but the rest of the story is true.) There’s a fun nod towards the original movie, that for fans (like myself) who were upset that there would be no Bubo in the remake – will probably enjoy and moan an “aww”. I imagine that the action will look pretty great – from the fight with the giant scorpions, to Medusa’s lair – when not wearing special glasses. In 3-D though, that is probably one of the biggest detractors. A lot of the action is too blurry and you never get a good look at certain things – like the harpies for example.

Visually my biggest complaint about the movie is probably the Gods. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes (two actors whose work I adore) look like bums; one in a shiny metal armor suit and the other wearing smokey blankets. But, their hair is unruly, unkempt and well, just ungodly. Not to say I needed the Grecian curls of the original movie; but having the God’s keep a similar hair-style of some of the cooler looking characters (Mads Mikkelsen’s Draco, for instance), might have done some good. And why did they all need that friggin’ glowing armor? It looked ridiculous. Sure Ares, I can understand, but Apollo?? He just needed some Nike’s and a toga. (Get it, Nike…Nevermind.)

Anyway, the rest of the movie is meh. The casting, other than the hooplah around Sam Worthington (I’m really afraid that he’s just going to have the same buzz-cut no matter what movie, time period, or role he plays.), is fairly good. It was Mads that made me want to see the movie in the first place – and he was fantastic. His character is asked if he ever smiles and he replies, “when I spit in the eye of the Gods, then I will smile.” Badass.

Gemma Arterton, who will later this year be playing another role in an epic movie (as the kinda-sorta love interest there too, I guess), in PRINCE OF PERSIA; here though, she looks good. (Yeah, that’s all I got for her, which is apparently more than I have to say about Andromeda, played by Alexa Davalos; not because she was bad, but because there wasn’t anything interesting about her character.) Io (Arterton) has a cool scene where she tries to train Jake Sully…er, I mean Perseus (Worthington), how to beat Medusa – which turns into one of those “substitutes for sex” scene. Jason Flemyng as Calibos – my favorite character from the original movie – gets to go back to his role as Mr. Hyde (yes, I’m referencing LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, probably another “only here” item), and rip people apart and nothing else really. Neeson is minimally effective; Fiennes plays Voldemort but with a nose (almost literally the same…oh and a beard); Danny Huston, who plays Poseidon, has one line. Were there more people in the movie than that? Yeah. Were any of them more than ciphers or “trying to be funny” one-liner producers? Not really. The next most interesting character is the unintelligble, and totally cool looking Djinn that hangs around for a while.

Overall, and to cut this off because I could be middle of the road about this movie all day; I thought that it was a fun 2 hours. Could there be better ways of spending your time or money? Of course, watching HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON or even HOT TUB TIME MACHINE might be a couple (I haven’t seen either, but have heard enough praise about both to assume, that it’s a better bet.). But, if you need to see something that tries to be epic, and ancient Greek, then this might do you for a bit.


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