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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #523 (Vol. 11, No. 14). This edition is for the week of March 29--April 4, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Clash of the Titans"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats


MOVIE REVIEW
"Clash of the Titans"  by Mike Smith
RETRORAMA
Sounds of Terror: Dracula vs. Frankenstein Soundtrack  by ED Tucker
FANGRRL
The Top 30 Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Actresses, #3  by Lisa Scherer
THE ASIAN APERTURE
The Dark Side of Fandom  by Jason Fetters
LAMPIN' @ THE 6TH BOROUGH
Good Riddance, Hollywood Video  by John Miller
MIKE'S RANT
Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Warner Brothers     
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 58 mins


Where have you gone, Harry Hamlin? In 1981 the film “Clash of the Titans” gave film fans not only the future Michael Kuzak but the incredible special effects work of the great Ray Harryhausen. Three decades later the new version just gave me….well, I’ll tell you later.

Greece. For reasons I can only begin to fathom, the ungrateful human race is beginning to anger the gods that created them. The only one doing any kind of business is Hades (Fiennes), who oversees the underworld. Amongst all of this chaos a small box appears magically from beneath the sea. A passing fisherman (Pete Postlewaite) pulls it from the drink, opens it and finds not only a crying baby but his hot mother. No need to throw the nets out today. Years later, the baby now a young man named Perseus (Worthington) and his family observe a group of angry soldiers destroying a statue of Zeus, the King of the Gods. Up on Mount Olympus, Zeus (Neeson) is getting pretty upset at the people he created. When Hades shows up to suggest tormenting the people so they begin to pray to the gods again he agrees. But should that torment have included the audience?

A loud and incoherent movie, “Clash of the Titans” is actually hurt, not helped, by the last minute decision to present the film in 3D. Like many films that are “retrofit” to 3D, the process does not seem to work. After the screening a colleague of mine compared the effect here to that of a pop up book….one image standing out against a flat background. And she was absolutely right. And the attempted 3D does nothing to enhance the various action scenes like it should have. When Medusa is slinking around trying her best to turn people into stone, the effect should have had her moving out among the audience. Instead she’s almost confined to the rear of the screen, which can’t be comfortable when you have a head full of snakes.

Part of the problem is the cast, who seem to think they are all performing Shakespeare. The original film featured such stellar actors as Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith and Burgess Meredith and you could tell they were performing their roles tongue in cheek. Neeson and Fiennes are so serious here you would have thought they were auditioning for a “Schindler’s List” sequel. Worthington is credible but I still haven’t figured out what kind of actor he is. The only thing I’ve seen him in have been special effects laden epics (“Terminator Salvation” and “Avatar”) so I have no idea how he handles a long dramatic scene with a human being. The rest of the actors portraying gods are no better, sitting around Mt. Olympus as if they were guests on a talk show.

The special effects are well done, though I would have liked to have seen the producers honor Harryhausen by using his stop-motion style. And fans of the original will enjoy a quick cameo by Bubo the Owl, whose short time on screen could possibly be the highlight of the film.

So what did the new “Clash of the Titans” give me? Let’s begin with a sore butt!

On a scale of zero to four stars I give the new “Clash of the Titans”

 


This week's movie review of "Clash of the Titans" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.