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Sunday, April 04, 2010  

Clash of the Titans

So I've been doing this thing for a while where I save up the movies I've seen for three months and then do a capsule review of all of them at the end of the quarter. Well, I've belatedly realized that's stupid. It was one thing when I was seeing three or four movies a year and wrapping them up at the end of December, but it just doesn't make sense any more. Dammit, why didn't anyone tell me?

So last week I IMed Chao and told him we were seeing Clash of the Titans. Chao's love of the original is matched only by his hatred for CGI. "Sounds good, even though I'm going to super hate it," he responded. "So am I," I said. "That's why we're going together."

While I don't fully share Chao's feelings about the original, I do have a soft spot for it as the first movie I ever saw in the theater, and on video, and on HBO (now that I think if it, it might also be the last). And if there was going to be a cameo in this new version from someone who was in the 1981 release, I would have preferred anyone or anything to the stupid owl-droid.

Although I guess I should be grateful that unlike everything else, it wasn't jacked up to eleven for the update. In a remake where the gods dress like Sir Liberace of the Round Table; the Kraken looks like it could happily swallow the Cloverfield beastie whole; and Calibos is not only more deformed, more powerful, and more evil, but also bleeds Insta-Gro giant scorpions; we're lucky the owl-droid wasn't re-imagined as a hulking mechanical horror with eyes that shoot laser beams and the ability to hack into the most heavily encrypted scrolls and stone tablets.

Pretty much the only thing that was toned down is the Perseus. Sam Worthington just makes me go "meh." And what kind of leading man ends up with his narrator? That's like marrying your sister.

This is not to say there isn't some stuff I dug. The Mount Olympus set is quite clever, as is Charon's ferry, an overturned shipwreck whose poop deck is the shattered keel. And I appreciated the humanistic themes, even if they did end up as muddled as Zeus's motivations for working against the plan he'd signed on for. And I would have appreciated a little more departure plotwise in the second and third act, rather than sitting there thinking, "Okay, now they're going to do X, and then they'll have to travel to Y and get Z." Which they do indeed do, only with a lot more CGI. But then remakes are a no-win proposition anyway. Either everyone complains because it's too different from the original, or because it's too similar, or in my case both, and at the end all you have to show for it is millions of dollars in box office receipts because of all the people who pay to go see it so they can complain.

Speaking of which, one of the previews was for Robin Hood Are we really due for another one of those already?

So I ended up being a little disappointed in not hating it more. As Chao said, it wasn't as much infuriating as annoying. Damn, maybe he should be writing this review.

posted by M. Giant 4:15 PM 2 comments


Apparently, the movie they originally filmed made a lot more sense: http://chud.com/articles/articles/23299/1/BY-ZEUS-THE-VERSION-OF-CLASH-OF-THE-TITANS-YOU-DIDN039T-SEE/Page1.html .

By Blogger Mertseger, at April 9, 2010 at 7:44 AM  

You said poop deck. Yes, I'm 12.

By Blogger Chao, at April 21, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

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