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CLASH OF THE TITANS

Studio: Warner Bros.

Rated: PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton and Alexa Davalos

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

What it’s about: In this remake of the 1981 Ray Harryhausen classic, we travel to ancient Greece where demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) seeks to fulfill his destiny by defeating the Kraken before it destroys Argos. He must battle giant scorpions, the Gorgon Medusa, post-production 3D conversion and other mythological creatures along the way..

What I liked: I was nine when the original Clash of the Titans came out in 1981, and while some out there still hang onto the fanboy nostalgia of that film, I realize it was a big cheesy mess. Yet I still loved it. In this sense, I found a lot to enjoy in the new Clash of the Titans even if the tone is darker and more serious.

It’s not a great script, and the effects definitely overshadow the characters and plot. But I’m okay with that. Why? Because it’s the first big event film of 2010, hitting the screens in April. It beats the pants off of last year’s same-weekend winner Fast & Furious, and in spite of some deteriorating CGI, I thought the action sequences were pretty kick-ass.

And yes, I was fine with the 3D. It’s not the best, and I think that many of us have been spoiled by Avatar, but it’s not awful. Trust me, retrofitted 3D conversion is still way better than that red-blue anaglyph crap from yesteryear (as analyzed so brilliantly in Brian Salisbury’s editorial on April 1).

Finally, this film has the best cameo so far in 2010… that of Bubo, the golden owl from the original movie.

What I didn’t: Let’s face it, the plot isn’t much to write home about. It’s been simplified a bit from its 80s counterpart, trimming away some storylines of the Gods and offering Perseus a new love interest. Here is not where the strength of the film lies.

And yes, even though I enjoyed the 3D experience and am a strong supporter of 3D in most forms, I will be the first to agree that these effects were not top of the line for this film. Retrofitted conversion 3D looks particularly goofy, especially in non-action dialogue scenes. While the 3D works better with the CGI centerpieces, it’s not a perfect experience by any stretch of the imagination.

Still, if you don’t like conversion 3D, or you don’t like 3D at all, go see it in 2D and stop your whining.

Who is gonna like this movie: People who want to enjoy the flawed but fun first event film of 2010.

Grade: B

THE LAST SONG

Studio: Touchstone

Rated: PG for thematic material, some violence, sensuality and mild language

Starring: Miley Cyrus, Bobby Coleman, Liam Hemsworth, Hallock Beals and Nick Lashaway

Directed by: Julie Anne Robinson

What it’s about: Ronnie is a troubled teenage girl who moves to Georgia to live with her father over the summer. During the summer, she learns to come to terms with her parents’ divorce, her bitterness towards her father and a budding relationship with a local rich kid.

What I liked: This kind of movie is not my cup of tea at all, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t recognize its worth to its target audience.

The Last Song is actually a brilliant move for Cyrus, who grows up a bit in this movie but remains in safe PG territory. She’s actually doesn’t do a bad job in this movie, considering she has really done nothing more but ham it up on Hannah Montana for the past several years. Still, it’s Greg Kinnear who steals the show in the acting department.

If you like the emotional roller coaster that Nicholas Sparks usually delivers, then you’ll like this movie.

What I didn’t: I happen to be bored with the emotional roller coaster that Nicholas Sparks presents. The film adaptations of his books follow a pretty routine formula, to the point that you can actually take bets on which characters will fall victim to the elements of said formula.

Because all of Sparks’ stories take place in the Savannah area, the set locations seem to be rehashed from Dear John and The Notebook, and the story has some really random elements that haven’t been worked into the script properly.

Who is gonna like this movie: Teenage girls who were about ten years old when Miley Cyrus first became Hannah Montana.

Grade: B-

WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?

Studio: Lionsgate

Rated: PG-13 for thematic material including sexuality, language, drug references and some domestic violence

Starring: Michael Jai White, Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson, Tasha Smith and Louis Gossett Jr.

Directed by: Tyler Perry

What it’s about: The four couples from the 2007 hit Why Did I Get Married? return for another trip through dysfunctional relationships. They head out for another vacation – this time in the Bahamas rather than a ski resort in Colorado – to celebrate their marriages. Unfortunately, this trip comes with some new revelations and more suspicions about one another. It’s Tyler Perry melodrama without the fat suit and the dress.

What I liked: I am by no means a fan of Tyler Perry’s films, but I do enjoy some of his more raucous comedy elements. These scenes are present in Why Did I Get Married Too? though to a much lesser degree than his films featuring Madea.

I didn’t hate the first Why Did I Get Married?, but I saw its worth, especially for its audience. For the most part, Why Did I Get Married Too? has that same worth for the folks out there stuck in the Grey’s Anatomy rut… loving to watch attractive people with bigger problems than their own.

What I didn’t: I really wish Tyler Perry would just put on a fat suit for all of his movies. The loss of Madea in this film and its predecessor makes the movie suffer. Ultimately, Tyler Perry’s ego has grown bigger than his fat suit with his scripts bloating to epic proportions and featuring way too much extraneous chit-chat and sloppy character development.

This film goes way darker than the previous one, becoming overly grim and depressing. Plus, the characters are all, in a sense, assholes. I just couldn’t root for any of them.

Finally, we come to the third act, and I promise this review will remain spoiler-free, but the ending of this movie was so ridonkulous that it just pissed me off.

Who is gonna like this movie: Tyler Perry fans.

Grade: C-

Want to see what Kevin had to say about these films on TV? Check out his interview on FOX…


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