Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Clash of the Titans—new and improved?

Last Friday, Clash of the Titans opened in theaters. With 3-D special effects and a cast headed up by actors Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, the movie is being set up as the next great remake. Early reviews from the critics are mixed, but if you like fantasy, especially fantasy based on mythology, you might want to check it out.

Many of you might remember the 1981 original Clash of the Titans film, which by today’s standards is pretty crude as far as special effects are concerned. The jerky stop-action sequences with its monsters will make younger moviegoers chuckle today; however, the movie did have the one-and-only Sir Lawrence Olivier as Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. And Ursula Andress—“the original Bond Girl”—starred as Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The movie tells the story of Perseus, who is sent on a quest to destroy the evil Medusa, a snake-headed creature able to turn men to stone with her horrifying gaze. Along the way he tames Pegasus, the beautiful winged horse, and he must rescue his love, Andromeda, from the horrible fate of having to marry a monster. If you saw the original film, it’s not hard to imagine why someone would want to remake it, although the original is a lot of fun to watch, and it’s safe to have your kids watch, too. Here’s an image of the original movie poster:

Greek mythology is rich with good stories and demons, quests and valiant heroes. It’s true that the story of Perseus isn’t as well known as the story of Hercules or even Jason, but it’s equally as interesting.

The flashy 2010 film version of this story promises to be a visual spectacle, complete with CGI script animation and all the bells and whistles. Sam Worthington from Avatar is now Perseus in this modern version. The trailers sure look impressive! We’re always game for a great fantasy film!

Here’s the bigger question—was a remake necessary? It’s like having one of your favorite high school or college tunes be remade by a modern band. Yes, the words are the same, and yes, the equipment used to produce the song is probably far superior, but somehow the magic of the original has been lost. When we checked IMDb to see how people rated the film, we noticed that men over 45 gave it the lowest marks. Not a surprise, given that it’s those folks who probably have a sentimental spot in their hearts for the original.

Then again, the remake could be fantastic! If you do go to see it, enjoy it. And if you still have a place in your heart for the original, then watch this remake with the same open mind you had when you saw the original. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Until next time…

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