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Clash of the Titans (2010)

April 3rd, 2010 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

Is it my imagination or have there been some major advancements in the art of special effects since we last caught up with Perseus in 1981? I’m no expert on such matters but from what I can tell there has been a particular surge in the area of crafting giant scorpions. I know, I know, there’s nothing quite like the sublime beauty of RAY HARRYHAUSEN’s stop motion animation but let’s be frank, by today’s standards it’s looking a bit, how do I say this politely…crude. Pelt me with whatever you like, you were thinking the same thing.

Since my cards are on the table I’ll add that even as a thirteen year-old watching the original CLASH OF THE TITANS, I thought the effects were pretty unconvincing. Still, that never stopped them from commanding my full attention. In fact, I was well aware that the entire movie was shoddy but that just made me hold it that much tighter to my chest. C.O.T.T. is fucking sweeter than a crayon drawn Valentine. It’s a cynicism free, hokey, golly-gee hayride that, like all bright-eyed innocents, was spat upon and jeered on arrival. It may not be good but as I’ve said before, good movies can bite me.

My big fear in taking in the 2010 CLASH remake was that our story would be flared with cool dude, pseudo-butch crap and phony baloney Dark Knight posturing. Hey look how modern I am because I’m dingy and I’m all growed up now because I’m a nihilist! Ptooey and ptooey and further more ack!

I’m happy to say that the new CLASH is just as dorky craptastic as its source material and even though there are more than a few missed opportunities (how about a bit more time getting to know Pegasus people?) it’s a fun, giddy Saturday afternoon, dumdum adventure that didn’t make me wish I’d bought a hoagie instead. Some beloved characters do get shafted big time but I can’t really complain as several others were given much more due. The rag-tag gang that joins Perseus on his adventure may all be red shirts, but at least they are mourned and acknowledged. I’m not sure who or what the rock-faced, magical djinn are but I do know that if I was still 13 that they would be first on my must-buy action figure list. Of course it would have been even ballsier to include Bubo the maligned, mechanical owl in on the Monster Mash, but baby steps people, baby steps. I have to give praise for any small ember of corniness still allowed to glow in a modern fantasy adventure and CLASH, although no great success, is at least amiable enough to bow hard on that ember.

So yeah, you’re going to hear that this is crap and your reply should be, “Good, when’s the next showing?” If you are so far gone and removed from your younger self that you can’t get spooked out by the hideous witches, awed by the stomp on CLOVERFIELD Kraken, glory in a horse with wings, thrill at a snake lady like Medusa, or even just note the hilarity that this is LIAM NEISON and RALPH (pronounced Rafe because he’s not a Cretin) FIENNES’ second clash following SCHINDLER’S LIST, well I can’t help you. Get the to the comic shop and lighten the Hades up.

NOTE: I should also add that I really like the hurt, injured and mostly quiet Perseus as performed by SAM WORTHINGTON. I dug that he wasn’t the standard dickweed narcissist we usually have to put up with in adventure movies. My favorite moment in the whole movie may be when his dad Zeus opens up his wallet and gives him some spending cash (a gold coin) to take on his ski trip.

Also, yes, Perseus! Ethereal tomboy Lo (GEMMA ARTERTON) is a keeper, who needs Andromeda? Now you two lovebirds go off into the sunset but if you leave behind Bubo again, I’ll never forgive you.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 magiredNo Gravatar // Apr 4, 2010 at 6:50 am

    cool looking monsters,a flying horse and sam worthington in a skirt! i’m there! lol

  • 2 gilligNo Gravatar // Apr 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

    You are mostly dead on with this assessment but even as a kid I rated the first C.O.T.T. as crap and it was almost solely because of the Disneyesque amusing and goofy animal sidekick Bubo the owl.  The update’s brief acknowledgment of that piece of bad judgment made me chuckle.

  • 3 theverysmallarrayNo Gravatar // Apr 4, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    You got it eggsactly right. I commented the other day about Worthington, and the bit he plays in the (now)  three major films he’s been in.  It’s so refreshing to see someone play a heroic role as a “finding” rather than “having” proposition. In fact, the Greeks were big on that. It’s easy to side with an actor who conveys difficulty and effort, without being histrionic or stoic. I think that’s why L.o.t.R. left me cold. Mel Gibson had that, as did Harrison Ford, ages ago. 

  • 4 SteampunkNo Gravatar // Apr 5, 2010 at 10:43 am

    And I was beginning to think I was the only person who appreciated this movie.
    Obviously, Harryhausen is awesome. His work means a lot to us all. But anyone in Hollywood today seriously proposing to make a fantasy movie in which stop-motion effects are the primary creature-effect would be insane. No studio would back it; today, it’s gotta be CG. That’s a fact (though I dream of Aardman ‘growing up’ and doing the effects for an adult fantasy, sci-fi or horror movie. I wonder if it could be done).
    So, considering that, I reckon COTT 2010 does an effective job of presenting an enjoyable slice of cheese, more or less in the same manner as the Harryhausen films of yore.

  • 5 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Apr 5, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I’m glad this movie kept things FUN rather than trying to be all sophisticated. I love the rag tag team facing impossible odds scenario. It’s more in spirit with the original Star Wars than the over bloated, less entertaining modern editions. Critics have always been harsh on these types of films. It’s easy to make fun of something like 1980’s Flash Gordon for example but the truth is, it’s just fun as hell and it’s sad that “modernizing” a franchise usually means stripping it of it’s light heartedness and making it “darker”.  I also think that this movie is going to play even better at home. I for one look forward to watching it multiple times.I mean is there anything cooler than Medusa?

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