Friday, April 2, 2010

Clash of the Titans

Having waited with bated breath for the long awaited opening of the remake of "Clash of the Titans" I am pleased to announce that it is NOW IN THEATERS!

After pushing past throngs of people waiting for hours for their own first peak of the Grecian epic, we were seated in prime seats -not too close, in the middling for optimal sound quality, and front row of the section so there weren't any heads to bob around. A few talkers during the neverending Trailers threatened to cause discontent but they managed to keep their traps shut once the film began.

The opening sequence of the show was superfluous and it seemed the filmmakers thought so too. The conception and birth of wee Perseus was handled later in the story but the filmmakers thought for some bizarre reason they needed to show how loved and well-adjusted the future savior would be. In an odd moment that took up valuable screen time, the pre-teen Perseus sits on the ship with his adoptive parents (oh, his arrival into their lives was very Mosaic--- they pulled him right out of the waters of a bobbing casket- of course his dead mother was inside- ewww!- unlike the biblical myth) and glances troubledly at his adopted mum. His father, oh so moved by his son's discountenanced countenance, asks what is bothering him and sits amiably by his side as Perseus explains his feelings, his fear of being cast aside by his parents when the child his mother is carrying is born. "Not true, Perseus," his father denounces, "You'll always be our own true son... " or something to that effect. It wasn't really worth seeimg, let alone remembering so I could quote it accurately. If the four people who exited the film unceremoniously at the beginning of the film had left at that moment, I might have been tempted to follow them. But fortunately that was a short-lived touchy-feely moment.

Now on with the show!

Our hero's epic adventures begin because the rebellious sheeple decided  they didn't need the gods anymore (just like the Haitians). At this point, Hades, played by Ralph Fiennes (whom I love but does anyone else see the resemblance to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named?)...
sees an opening and gets Zeus (Liam Neeson) to let him unleash the hounds of hell, the Kraken, on the ungrateful wretches. I mean after all, Zeus created them so if he wanted to play fast and loose with their women and their lives, then that's his prerogative, right? And they should just live their miserable lives and be happy for it!

But I digress...

Gathering his Band of Brothers, a woman, (who adds the feminine touch and reminds me a bit of the female tokenism of Arwen in 'Lord of the Rings' movie) and a duet of hunters who will "kill anything" Perseus heads out into the wilds. Their purpose is no small one for they are on their way to save the King's daughter from being hung out to dry as an untimely virginal sacrifice to the Kraken.
Moving quickly through the time-space continuum  (who has time to waste when there are three blind hags to interrogate, Medusa to behead and the Kraken to kill? Not to mention Hades henchman who immediately tries to waylay them and winds up complicating things by sprinkling blood in the sand which turns into giant scorpions?) the group quickly finds themselves in trouble (and that's Trouble with a capital T).
Showing themselves to be broadminded ancients with a liberal bent (clearly future socialists!), the group even adds an interspecies member to their numbers that puts Star Trek to shame-- not just raised eyebrows or strange ears but actual Woodlike creatures who live in the dessert and quickly control the rampaging scorpions before they can eat our christ-figure for lunch AND then giving the journiers a ride on to their next destination. Nothing like hitching a ride on a giant over-sized scorpion to take the sting out of Mediterranean rush hour traffic jams!

The story moves along at a gallop (or with the wings of Pegasus if we're going to stick with the Grecian theme) which might leave a more complicated story in the wake of it's tail, but the original tale was fairly sparse on detail so the director could romp off from one action packed scene to another. The computer graphics were not too troublesome and I certainly didn't miss the 3D effect our neighbor's down the corridor might have been tortured with. As I  mentioned there were several obvious rip-offs from other films, not the least of which was a Star Wars-ish sword which had been given to Perseus from Zeus. Why the magical sword had to appear and disappear light sabre-style is beyond me and the Kraken looked like it might have escaped from New York after the filming of Cloverfield was over... but the out-of-syncrities didn't detract from the general enjoyability of the film. There were even some nice moments of homage to it's thirty-something predecessor. All in all a good time was had by all-- for the most part.

(And just for full disclosure- there weren't many people in the theater at all. We had our choice of seats!)

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