Review: Clash Of The Titans 3D by Jamie

Well, it’s been a while since I last updated the blog, the reason being that I’ve been uber-busy with drinking, poker games and then I got ill for a week or so, so that was fun. Still, I am returned and with me comes a review of a film that I saw this past Saturday, the remake of 1981’s ‘Clash Of The Titans’ which was also named ‘Clash Of The Titans’.

Before we get into the review, I just wanted to mention the trailers that played before the film. There was on for ‘Toy Story 3’ which looks like it should be good though I can’t help but think they’re just doing the crazy Buzz thing all over again and they pretty much acknowledge it with the ‘return of the astro-nut’ line. Then there was a fucking confusing trailer for a film I’d never heard of before called ‘Legend Of The Guardians’ which only served to confuse me. It’s all about owls wearing helmets. I don’t know who could have forged these helmets as there don’t seem to be any humans or even apes around and owls certainly have a disadvantage when it comes to forging due to their complete lack of hands. I was even more confused when I found out it’s directed by Zack Snyder. Yeah, that Zack Snyder, the one who directed the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake, ‘300’ and ‘Watchmen’. What the shit is going on?

But the trailer I really wanted to mention was the one for ‘Piranha 3D’. Is Piranha 3D going to be a bad film? I think it’s reasonable to say that it’s going to be a fucking awful film but it’s going to be fucking awful in that way that I love. It’s got killer fish, fish that kill people and fish with murderous intentions! What’s not to love? This may even be the film that turns me around on the whole 3D experience. Hmm, I may have shown my hand a tad here.

Anyway onto the main event. Now that night we had intended to go and see ‘Kick Ass’ but due to a comical series of misunderstandings and misadventures we ended up with tickets to Clash Of The Titans instead. The weird thing was that I had actually watched the original that morning. Hadn’t seen it since I was a kid and so I had decided to buy it and watch it before seeing the remake. I just didn’t intend on watching both on the same day.

And boy, did my enjoyment of the remake suffer for it. I couldn’t help but compare the two in my mind as I watched and the remake certainly did not come out as the favoured choice. Now there could be some light spoilers here, though if you’ve seen the original I don’t you can really consider them as such.

How best to describe this film? Well, you know those Junior Novelisation books? The ones that are produced for children featuring massively simplified versions of a movies plot? Well, that’s what watching this movie felt like. Many of the elements from the original were there but they were just rushed through in an effort to get to the next special effects extravaganza.

For example in the original film, Calibos is Andromeda’s lover who is deformed by Zeus for all but on of his sacred herd of flying horses. He wants kill Perseus because he chopped off his hand and solved the riddle that would allow him to marry Andromeda. In this film Calibos used to be Acrisius, Perseus grandfather who Zeus punished with deformity for casting Perseus and his mother into the see. He wants to kill Perseus because Hades asked him too. The herd of flying horses seems to be fully alive and Pegasus himself no a browny black flying horse that the other ones seem to be afraid of. Perseues doesn’t capture and tame him in this film as he does in the original, he just sort of shows up and helps him at the end after meeting him once.

Perseus himself seems to have been struck with Anakin-syndrome, spending the entire film whining and moaning. Whereas as Anakin, however, was whining about how he wasn’t allowed to develop his powers to their fullest extent, Perseus spends the entire film whining about how he doesn’t wish to use the powers granted him by his Demi-God status because he wishes to carry out this quest as ‘A Man!’

Perseus is like Supersanta. He Is A Man!

The problem is that Sam Worthington isn’t a bad actor, especially for someone who is primarily an action star. He was certainly the best thing about ‘Terminator: Salvation’. In this though he just sort of rasps his way through his lines, sounding for all the world like some kind of Jason Statham with an Australian accent. One of the few times he does actually sound excited is when he turns to his men before entering Medusa’s lair and exclaiming “Don’t look that bitch in the eye!” and it seems so completely out of place within the context of the rest of the film that you just can’t help but laugh out loud.

Speaking of Medusa, she had a confusingly attractively human face. Confusing because any discussion about her before had been very insistent on explaining just how hideous she had become now. There’s also absolutely no sense of suspense or terror involved in the heroes battle with her. It’s all a bit of a Transformers-esque action scene which is a bit of a shame. Her backstory had also changed. In the original film she willingly fucked Poseidon in Athena’s temple, causing Athena to curse Medusa. In this film, Poseidon rapes Medusa in Athena’s temple. Athena punishes her anyway. So… what? Am I supposed to have sympathy for Medusa now? Am I supposed to hate Athena?

Not that it’d matter anyway because Athena doesn’t really appear in this film. Nope, this is strictly Zeus’ and Hades’ show. Oh sure, Poseidon makes an appearance in order to utter a line and some of the other Gods appear in their council chamber but I don’t think any of the others are even named. The reason for this is sadly clear. The filmmakers have decided that they don’t want people to think too much so they are only going to include the Gods that they know for sure the majority of people have heard of and that basically comes down to Zeus, Hades and maybe Poseidon. Hades wasn’t even in the goddamn film only further to serve my suspicion that he was included here purely for that reason.

The original film was much more about the Gods and the feuds going on between them and the unfortunate way that humans just happened to get tangled up between them. This film is more about a kind of war between man and the gods, with some infighting between Zeus and Hades, though it’s fairly unimportant as a whole. And I don’t know exactly what the fuck Ralph Fiennes is doing as Hades here. He stalks about and whispers his line, mispronouncing the word Kraken. It’s all very bizarre and not as creepy as I’m sure it was intended to be.

On to the Kraken then. Well, it’s essentially a big incomprehensible CGI mess which thrashes about for five minutes or so before Perseus turns it too stone with Medusa‘s disembodied head. Which is kind of exactly what happens in the original. It has absolutely none of the character that the Kraken had in the original film, even if he did look like a plastic, four-armed monkey fish.

Ooh, before I go I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the scene with Bubo, the robotic owl from the original film. Whilst getting ready to go on their quest, Perseus pulls the creature from a chest. It blinks, flaps it’s wings and makes that weird Clangers noise that it makes for a bit. Perseus asks another person what it is and he simply replies that he should just leave it there. The message is clear ‘This isn’t your father’s Clash Of The Titans!’ or rather ‘That’s right we’re literally pissing on the original now!’

So was there anything good about this film? Well, some of the action scenes weren’t bad though, as I say, they did occasionally slip into Transformers levels of incomprehension. And the actors in the film are pretty much all good actors, they just didn’t really do much for me in this. Polly Walker, the MILF who played Atia in HBO’s awesome series ‘Rome’ is here essentially playing the same character which was great until she was killed off ten minutes later. As for the 3D, well, you can really tell it was a film that wasn’t originally intended to have been made that way. Nothing really jumps out at you (3D humour there, ladies and gentlemen) and you can’t help but wonder why they bothered with the conversion process after the fact.

Overall I’m sure I’ve been harsher on it that this film deserves and I honestly believe that that’s only because I did watch the original that very same day. Overall, I’m gonna give it two pints out of five. And now for all you potential heroes out there thinking of crossing the river Styx and giving Charon, the Ferryman of the Dead, some coinage in order to do so, here’s some advice from Mister Chris De Burgh. Laterz.

Audio Review: Watchmen by Jamie

Yes, just me reading out my review that I wrote for the Watchmen. Was just gonna leave this on YouTube but fuck it, might as well post it here as well.

Review: Watchmen by Jamie

Read a review once: Man goes to movie. Movie is Batman and Robin. Makes him depressed. Makes life seem harsh and cruel. Makes him feel alone in neon world where what lies ahead is bat-nipples and ice puns. Reviewer said “Treatment is simple. Great film Watchmen is in town tonight. Go and see it. That should pick you up.” Man looks confused. Says “But, reviewer… Who watches the Watchmen?” Bad joke. Everybody boo. Throw fruit on stage. Curtains.

I went into this film ready to hate it. I went there ready to be pissed off that there was no squid, pissed off that it wasn’t exactly like the graphic novel. So did I hate it? Was I pissed off? Well, the answer is no. In fact, I really, really enjoyed it. Is it as good as the graphic novel? Of course not. You’re talking about adapting something that could be around 6 hours long and making it palatable for an average movie going audience. I mean seriously, what film is better than the book that proceeded it? Jaws? Well, yeah, OK Jaws. But still most of the time the books are always better than the films, so why is it that the Watchmen film is getting such harsh treatment from film critics and embittered fan-boys alike? As far as adaptations go, this is one of the more faithful ones I’ve ever seen. Hell, Jaws was less faithful to it’s source material and did people complain about that? No, because Jaws can do no wrong! Hmmm, seem to keep getting sidetracked here.

My point is you have to learn to separate the artistic formats. One is a film, destined for mass production and produced by a mass of people. The other is a comic, also made for mass production but there’s a smaller number of people involved in it’s creation, in this case just four, writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, colourist John Higgins and editor Len Wein, though it could be argued that when it comes down to it this is really Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons baby. Anyway back to my point, a comic book can afford to be long. It can afford to explore certain things that a movie cannot because there’s no real restriction for how long it can last and, especially in the case of the Watchmen, there’s a much smaller creative team in charge of everything. A contained creative environment like this in which only a few people have to keep track of exactly what is going on can branch out into ways that a large production like a movie, with any changes having to be run by everyone, simply can’t afford to. Sacrifices have to be made. And in this case the sacrifices which didn’t seem to hurt the film at all. Sure, some people will say “Well then, if it couldn’t have been perfect the film shouldn’t have been made at all!” And you know what, person who says that, you’re a dick. The film has been made and you’re going to let your dogged loyalty to an item which is in no way effected by this movies existence blind you to the fact that it’s an entertaining film? Well, bully for you.

Now, is this film for everyone? Probably not. For the action seeker, there are some scenes of hyper-violent brawls but for the most part it’s a murder mystery that centres around the heroes thoughts and feelings rather than their ability to kick ass. I will say this though, I felt that the fighting scenes are among the weaker things in this film. The martial arts employed do look good and certainly wouldn’t be out of place in something like the Dark Knight but in a film about superheroes who are retired, for the most part, it just doesn’t seem right, especially from Night Owl II and The Comedian. It also seemed to me that it could give the impression that these people have super strength. It’d be understandable that they could be stronger than your average person but some of the stunts they pull here are perhaps just a bit too much.

So what about the characters? Are they well represented here? Well for the most part, I thought that the actors did a pretty good job. I’ve heard some complaints about Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II but I can’t really comment without seeing the film again. I guess that means her performance just kinda breezed by me which, I suppose, says something. Someone whose performance didn’t just breeze by me, however, was that of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian. He manages the difficult task of bringing a despicable character who you just can’t quite hate to the screen. When it comes to stealing the show, however, it’s Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach who really shines. He was my favourite character in the book and I’m glad that Haley really seemed to get him down. Even his voice was pretty much how I had heard Rorschach’s voice in my head when reading it. The fact that he was the only actor who’d read it before being cast probably really helped.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in terms of main characters was Dr. Manhattan, played by Billy Crudup. Not only do you have to create a glowing, blue god in image but you also have to give the impression that the character can see the past, present and future all at once and you have to convey the impression that he’s losing his touch with humanity. Overall, I don’t think I can fault Crudup’s performance. I think he managed to give Manhattan just the right amount of detachment without severing the link fully with his human past as was required. If I had to complain about anything with Dr. Manhattan, it’d be the effects used to bring him to life. There are times when the character touches another person, such as when shaking hands, that something about it just seems a little off, a little shaky. The same can be said when Manhattan is talking. There’s just something about the movement of his lips which just took me out of the movie a little. Then there is the issue of the good Doctor’s cock. Yes, I couldn’t go the whole review without mentioning it, so let’s just get it over with. The fact that Manhattan walks around so… freely, as it were, is just another way of showing his further detachment from human societal norms. However, I did feel that it was a little over used and sometimes just a little too lovingly animated. I didn’t really have a major problem with it but once more, it’s just something that can take you out of the movie a little.

Another thing which seems to have divided people about Watchmen is the choice of music. Now, I loved it, but then again I seemed to love every damn song that’s in that movie, even ‘99 Luftballons’, so I may be just a little biased. Still whatever you feel about the music in this film, you must admit that the opening with Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ and the funeral scene with Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sounds of Silence’ are awesome.

So that’s it for now. Hope to maybe do a group review of this in the pub at some point where we’ll go over a few more of the topics raised in criticism and praise of this film in a little more detail with a lot more booze. Until then, I’ll leave you with this: This movie could have been made by Fox. Have you seen the pictures of Deadpool from that Wolverine movie? Have you? What the fuck Fox?!? What the fuck have you done to my precious Merc With a Mouth?!? I curse and renounce you Fox and everything you stand for! Fuck you Fox! Fuck You! Ahem. Sorry about that. Laterz.

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