Escape to the Movies: Clash of the Titans

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LordVyreth:

hurricanejbb:
... Where the hell does a giant scorpion fit into ancient Greek lore? I understand the giant crab that attacked Hercules, but never ran across a mention of any scorpions?

I'd assume they came from Medusa. In a lot of the myths (or at least the original Clash,) her blood would spawn scorpions.

In actual mythology Medusa's blood gave birth to vipers in the Sahara. For some reason the original Clash of the Titans decided to make it scorpions.

The original Clash diverged a lot from actual mythology (as Bob notes), and I am sure this one does to. I am willing to bet the scorpion scene is really just paying homage to the original since it was one of the more memorable scenes.

I actually just finished writing an article for my school newsletter about Greek mythology and cinema, and you touched upon some interesting points. Mainly, that modern filmmakers don't really seem to understand the dynamic between humans and the gods. The Greeks were, for the most part, a humanist culture, and their gods, with their human drama, flaws, and such, reflected that. Sure, the gods controlled the fates of men, but it was a relaxed and fundamentally intimate relationship, for the sole reason that the Greek gods could be comprehended to a degree.

As opposed to the obtuse, vague, and distant motivation behind saving a dude and the animals in a big boat, completely destroying a regular, faithful guy's life, commanding a chap to ritually sacrifice his own son, smiting a bloke for coitus interruptus, and sentencing your own son to unimaginable torture, humiliation, anguish, and death for the sake of a somewhat mediocre species.

Hollywood shouldn't try to resist and/or reinvent the dynamic, they should be embracing and re-exploring it.

Was confused of which movie to see this weekend....This, or 'How to Train Your Dragon'. Would love to know what Bob thinks of 'Dragon, but according to reviews elsewhere it's quite good.
So, I guess it's the 'kiddy' movie over the monster movie. I'd likely enjoy both, but don't have that kind of money, and I'm more of a sucker for good story. :P

The main problem with this movie from the start?

No CGI, not even Pixar, could match Harryhausen's incredible skill. EVEN Pixar, though I love their work. It'd be like re-making the Muppet Show/Sesame Street as CGI. Just can't be done.

Resin213:
I like his old timer voice. good review.
pretty much what I thought it would be, really wish it were better.

His old-timer voice sounds to me like a smokey old hag/hack from Boston. Which makes sense, as Boston/MA/RI locals tend to be the epitome of opinionated and 'stuck in their ways'. Not intended to insult, just what I know from having lived here for too long. :P

Great review Bob

havent seen it yet but Im betting the first one is much better

Don't see this movie guys, in my opinion it's very poor. Clash is essentially an over-budgeted, special effects driven mythological wreck with a predictable story and anti-climactic ending.

I was already planning on seeing this but didn't know whether to pony up for the 3D or not. I'll probably end up seeing in 2D now and save some money. Great Review.

wildcard9:
I was expecting a comparison to God of War, but I digress.

As for your views on Greek Drama, Bob, I have to disagree. Destiny is always a nice stand-in for the Gods or God when a man is not controlled by his own will. After all, Hamlet spent half the play debating whether it was his place to enact vengeance or God's, and if he really had any free will in the matter. The Star Wars series has a very strong destiny theme running and if Georgie would've worked it well, Revenge of the Sith would've been a compelling look at how destiny can also work for evil.

It's not so much that the idea of one man's will being subject to a higher power CAN'T work in modern-day cinema, it's just all in how you work it.

I agree, my impressions of this movie are essentially "God of War 2, the movie". Which, ironically enough, borrowed heavily from Clash of the Titans

I also agree that it is not directly the fault of the material (in some cases), and that it is the Director's problems handling thematic Greek issues in modern society.

However, I agree with Bob in that a large majority of these Greek stories are fairly dry, one-dimensional, and ridiculously convenient in a "Will of the Force" kind of way (see what I did there? ha!). They were written as morality plays, designed explain something that happens, or reinforce why things are done certain ways on certain days (or whatever). While individually they may be excellent short stories, they really don't translate well into feature-length movies; there just isn't enough there.

RebelRising:
I actually just finished writing an article for my school newsletter about Greek mythology and cinema, and you touched upon some interesting points. Mainly, that modern filmmakers don't really seem to understand the dynamic between humans and the gods. The Greeks were, for the most part, a humanist culture, and their gods, with their human drama, flaws, and such, reflected that. Sure, the gods controlled the fates of men, but it was a relaxed and fundamentally intimate relationship, for the sole reason that the Greek gods could be comprehended to a degree.

As opposed to the obtuse, vague, and distant motivation behind saving a dude and the animals in a big boat, completely destroying a regular, faithful guy's life, commanding a chap to ritually sacrifice his own son, smiting a bloke for coitus interruptus, and sentencing your own son to unimaginable torture, humiliation, anguish, and death for the sake of a somewhat mediocre species.

Hollywood shouldn't try to resist and/or reinvent the dynamic, they should be embracing and re-exploring it.

Wow, that is the most simplistic breakdown of the stories in the Bible that I have ever read. I am not the biggest fan of the Judeo-Christian Bible, but you really missed the point.

I could break down Greek Mythology into much worse.

I saw it yesterday and would like to say whoever though of sticking the 3D element in the movie was an idiot. The movie was perfectly entertaining without the the 3D and if anything, it made everything in the movie a darker shade.

Everything else was excellent. Good action, good effects and good times. See it in 2D and I guarantee a better experience

meh...I find myself shunning the Hollywood movies of today more and more... maybe it is because of the massive wave of remakes???

First off let me just say MovieBob, I love the fact you even mentioned other Harryhausen films and yes Jason and the Argonauts and the Seventh Voyage of Sinbad are his best!

I first watch the original Clash of the Titans in the 90s and still love it so the 80s nostalgia argument doesn't hold up against my view personally.

I have yet to see this remake and regardless of the sad mindset I've picked up after browing Rotten Tomatoes, I'll probably still go see it.

I thought it was pretty good action movie. Though my main problem is that I actually study greek mythology so I noticed every inaccuracy, I don't even think hollywood was trying to go for accuracy. So as long as you don't know greek myth that well and your looking for lots of action, it's not that bad of a movie.

I loved the original even in all its cheesiness and wish they didn't remake it :(

Why are they making everything in 3D suddenly? 3D have been around for years and now in 2010 they start to use it? Almost all new movies are in 3D now and Nvidia makes a 3D graphic card? (batman arkham asylum GOTY are also in 3D right?)

I just got back from it. It's alright, C+ is certainly a fitting score. It definitely needed to be longer. It feels really rushed. If this was a 2.5-3hrs movie and was allowed to develop more and have some longer action, it would be really good. I never knew the Perseus story to well and the original was a long way back for me, so the inconsistencies didn't bother me much. Its mainly suffers from being short. I imagine a directors cut DVD will come out eventually and it will be much better than the theatrical release, which is quite sad.

Good review! I've been looking forward to seeing this movie. I am glad you generally liked it. Glad I'm not missing much if I don't watch it in 3D. The 3D hurts my eyes after 20 minutes or so, same with my friend. So Yea Good Review and definitely going to see this movie.

I'd completely forgotten this movie came out today. It's nice to know that they did an good enough job at remaking the movie. As much as I'm looking forward to it, I will wait until Sunday or Monday to go see it, so as to avoid big, loud and annoying crowds.

scott91575:

RebelRising:
I actually just finished writing an article for my school newsletter about Greek mythology and cinema, and you touched upon some interesting points. Mainly, that modern filmmakers don't really seem to understand the dynamic between humans and the gods. The Greeks were, for the most part, a humanist culture, and their gods, with their human drama, flaws, and such, reflected that. Sure, the gods controlled the fates of men, but it was a relaxed and fundamentally intimate relationship, for the sole reason that the Greek gods could be comprehended to a degree.

As opposed to the obtuse, vague, and distant motivation behind saving a dude and the animals in a big boat, completely destroying a regular, faithful guy's life, commanding a chap to ritually sacrifice his own son, smiting a bloke for coitus interruptus, and sentencing your own son to unimaginable torture, humiliation, anguish, and death for the sake of a somewhat mediocre species.

Hollywood shouldn't try to resist and/or reinvent the dynamic, they should be embracing and re-exploring it.

Wow, that is the most simplistic breakdown of the stories in the Bible that I have ever read. I am not the biggest fan of the Judeo-Christian Bible, but you really missed the point.

I could break down Greek Mythology into much worse.

The Greek gods do things because they are feeling angry or jealous or spiteful, or on the other side of the coin because they're in love, or happy, or entranced. Human motives, in other words. The Judeo-Christian god is pretty hard to understand. If he's acting on human emotions and impulses, like the Greek gods, then by all accounts he' kind of a jerk. If he's not acting on such impulses, then he's harder to understand, alien somehow. That's what happens when you say your god is all-loving and that every disaster is just him being kind

I may have a chance to see it while I'm on vacation for the weekend but since it's a C+ movie It'll really be a last resort choice if nothing else is good. I'm sure next weeks review will be about Kick Ass and if that's true then I'm definitely looking forward to the review a movie both my wife and I definitely want to see.

Delock:
You can't really say that he's THE illegitimate son of Zues, since Zues' police was basically to impregnate just about anything that moved (more often than not, looking something other than himself).
Also, I didn't actually expect this to be good from the trailers (to me it looked like it was going to be 90% action and 10% weak story), but it looks like it could actually serve as a popcorn flick.

Zeus.

And he did have... like... one child from his marriage? Others were heroes, but with mortal women.

OT: I was wary of this movie, since it seemed like another "yaaawn 3D...", but if it has a lot of action, cool monsters and action with cool monsters and more action, I might as well see it.

Personally I lost all intereset in it after I found out they weren't using stop motion. I mean seriously WTF is wrong with them?

Saw it earlier today. Horrible acting, but the Kraken looked incredible. It was a decent movie.

I may end up going to see it later actually, as some of my friends are going.

Just a little tid bit about the movie: a guy I work with said that it's good that they remade this film, because the "CGI in the original was so weak!"
I didn't know if I should laugh, cry, or strike him down!

addeB:
Why are they making everything in 3D suddenly? 3D have been around for years and now in 2010 they start to use it? Almost all new movies are in 3D now and Nvidia makes a 3D graphic card? (batman arkham asylum GOTY are also in 3D right?)

Because it's a functional excuse to charge more for a ticket, and because it makes it harder to pirate the movie since without the glasses 3D just looks fuzzy.

looks like a decent action film nothing more nothing less.

I know this may seem like semantics, but it does create some of the ignorance in this debate.

It would make no sense to be an atheist in the Clash of the Titans world. There are gods all around directly involved in human affairs. To not believe in them would be silly, they're real, they can summon Krakens. To defy the gods and kill them is anti-theism, and there is a big difference.

Atheist is to theist as someone who does not collect stamps is to stamp collector. All it means is you don't collect stamps, it states nothing as to your feeling about stamp collecting. To be "militant" about not stamp collecting would be silly. The only issue would be if you were forced to collect stamps, and desiring to not to be compelled to do something is just exercising a basic right.

On the film, looks like a rental someday.

I fucking knew it. I'm a Harryhausen fan through and through, and I wouldn't be seen dead in a remake of one of his movies. I'm delighted that this review confirms all my prejudices. If you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch Jason and the Argonauts.

Im going to see it on tuesday.

Really looking forward to it.

The Judeo-Christian god is pretty hard to understand. If he's acting on human emotions and impulses, like the Greek gods, then by all accounts he' kind of a jerk. If he's not acting on such impulses, then he's harder to understand, alien somehow. That's what happens when you say your god is all-loving and that every disaster is just him being kind.

Saw the movie, and this one managed to forgive Zeus. Mainly by showing how readily humans would follow EVIL Hades if given the chance. How exactly do you think an advanced being should deal with primitive beings, anyway? (What does the Prime Directive in Star Trek mean?)

Just to prove an example of the type of things God has to deal with is this post:

Just a little tid bit about the movie: a guy I work with said that it's good that they remade this film, because the "CGI in the original was so weak!"
I didn't know if I should laugh, cry, or strike him down!

Amen, fellow demigod. How do you deal with such willful foolishness among the masses anyway?

shirin238:
I was wondering about the scorpions as well, but that is already answered :)
However, I never quite got what the kraken is doing in greece. Isn't he supposed to be stalking vikings in Norse myth?

Naw, after appearing in the Pirates of the Carribean films, the Kraken has become quite the sellout. Joins any mythology or setting just to see himself on the screen.
We Norwegians are all embarrased about him.

That wasn't D&D. That was HeroQuest.

Personally, I'm done with two things: 3-D and remakes. Neither of these things will get any notice from me anymore.

3D is a worthless gimmick they brought out in the 50's and 80's to try to pump up flagging theater ticket sales and it's no different today. Why not let home video kill theaters already?

Remakes are just bloody stupid. For every John Carpenter's The Thing and... uh... whatever another good one was, there are a million bajillion bad or mediocre remakes. This is just like the Wii store where they sell you back Christmas 1988 again, only it's not the old thing you remember and brings nothing worthwhile to the table.

Unless they remake Zardoz. That's a remake I'd like to see.

corporate_gamer:
I work at a cinema and saw a staff screening of this last night, I thought it was terrible, i wouldn't of been surprised if the manager had come out and said 'April fool'. the only enjoyment i got, as all British people will, was the city of Argos unfortunately sharing its name with a high-street shop. i got some giggles from "I am king of Argos" etc.

Yeah same here I definately tittered at the King of Argos Line. Also i thought Jason Flemying was really good as Calibros although Sam Worthington has all the charisma of sack of gravel in a hat

Good review but I think I'm going to disagree with you on a C+. I just got home from it and no, just no. If anyone is thinking about going to see it DO NOT go to see it in 3D. The movie wasn't made for 3D and it actually destroys the "pretty factor" making it unwatchable.

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