Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans 1981

It’s no secret that I’m old. I’m so old, in fact, that I saw all the Star Wars movies, the entire summer of ‘82 and ’84, plus the original Clash of the Titans, RoboCop, and Total Recall in the theaters when they were released. No HBO needed for me to see a lot of these classics for the first time. The original Clash of the Titans is of particular note because, aside from some terrible Italian Steve Reeves movies and Jason and the Argonauts, it was the go-to film for the Enlgish teachers of my era to show us when studying Greek Mythology. Trust me, it made for a nice diversion from reading Edith Hamilton’s famous book about the subject. When I studied Greek Mythology in high school, our teacher showed us Clash of the Titans, which led to the inevitable questions of how this all fit together. How had we not heard of the badass that was Calibos? Did Perseus really fight the Kraken? Where the Hades did Bubo come from anyway? And that got me thinking again: how much of Clash of the Titans was accurate to Greek myths?

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silent running drones

If you’re going to see Despicable Me 2 this weekend, there’s a good chance it’s because either you or your children mostly want to see the Minions. Who cares about Gru and the human children let alone whatever the plot is this time around when those little yellow blobs are running around causing trouble? This is just a hurdle until the spin-off movie that’s centered just on the Minions comes out next year. Why do we love them so much? Movies.com writer Perri Nemiroff gave a few likeminded reasons earlier this week, comparing them to pets and plush toys come to life. She also notes that their gibberish is always “immensely more entertaining than any line of human dialogue.” The lack of intelligible dialogue is the reason I believe they’re so popular, combined with their slapstick antics. They’re Keystone henchmen, basically, characters that continue the tradition of silent comedy well into the era of sound cinema. In fact, they are cinema, almost purely visual treats (without their gibberish and occasional English word they would still be as funny). They’re reportedly modeled after the Jawas from Star Wars and the Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, while Steve Carrell (the voice of Gru) believes the Minions “are as close to a modern day version of the Marx Brothers as I’ve seen.” One of the Marx Brothers in particular, for me. Harpo was one of the earliest figures in film to maintain the tradition of the dumbshow pantomime once […]

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Louis Leterrier

While 3D films (and those viscous little post-converted jobs) seem old hat nowadays, it was only a few short years ago that 3D wasn’t the standard mode of presentation for cinema’s biggest blockbusters. After Avatar, 3D was suddenly hip again and, more importantly, one hell of a moneymaker, which was why director Louis Leterrier‘s Clash of the Titans was famously post-converted to 3D to even more famously terrible results. The director has moved on from the bashing that his Clash took, but while chatting about his latest film, the magicians-gone-wild feature Now You See Me, the director still had plenty to say about the “gimmick” of 3D. Basically, Leterrier hates it, hates the practice of it, and doesn’t want to do it his audiences ever again. Point to Leterrier. In an interview with Mike Ryan over at The Huffington Post, Leterrier was incredibly candid when it came time to chatting about Clash, telling the outlet: It was a very tough experience. I was literally thrown under the bus…but at one point it was like, ‘Yeah, Louis chose the 3D.’ And I was like, ‘No, guys, I didn’t choose the 3D. I actually told you it’s not working. I couldn’t control it. I said don’t do it.’” The filmmaker continued on: “It was famously rushed and famously horrible. It was absolutely horrible, the 3D. Nothing was working, it was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience. I’m a good boy and I rolled with the punches and everything, but it’s not my movie. Clash of the Titans is not my […]

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Remaking a movie is a tall order, and transitioning a story from another medium to film is even tougher. So it’s no surprise that details frequently get changed to accomodate a new era of filmmaker or the different “beats” associated with a feature-length movie. It becomes a problem, however, when one of the things cut to accomodate an extra action scene turns out to be vitally important to the plot, leaving the movie with a scene or detail that only makes sense if you’re familiar with the original. Things like…

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Drinking Games

There’s a handful of new DVD and Blu-ray releases this week, but who really wants a drinking game for the childish Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked or the morose 9/11 drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close? So in the interest of fun, we’re dipping into the DVD archives for an old-school movie that could use a drinking game: the original Clash of the Titans from 1981. If the 2010 remake left you cold, or if you’re eagerly anticipating this week’s release of Wrath of the Titans, now’s your chance to experience the original in its full, sweaty, stop-motion glory. Enhance the experience by getting your hands on some Kraken beer or Kraken rum so you can release your own titan of drunkenness.

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Here’s a fun way to release some movie news or marketing on a day when no one will care about it – drop a trailer onto Apple within the very hour that they premiere the first official trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. Death wish, right? Either that, or the team over at Warner Bros. wants to push stuff out before the holiday or (more likely), their brand-new Wrath of the Titans trailer was always slated to premiere today, but WB had to jump the gun when that horrific cell-phone video bootleg of the TDKR trailer hit the web and was spread across the Internet as if copyrights laws never existed. Whatever the reason is, now also have the first theatrical trailer for Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to Clash of the Titans or That Time Warner Bros. Launched a Truly Terrible Post-Production 3D Conversion Job and Everyone Still Went to Go See It. While we can’t judge the 3D from this trailer, one thing is for sure – this next entry into the ostensible …of the Titans franchise is super-wrathy. If you’ve already watched today’s trailer for The Dark Knight Rises enough, check out the trailer for Wrath of the Titans after the break.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like Lexus, it’s relentless in its pursuit of perfection. Unlike Lexus, it’s a movie news column. It also won’t cost you anything. Take that, Lexus. Pop quiz, hot shot. How many Clash of the Titans movies does this modern world need? One? No. Two? Not even close. How about three Clash of the Titans movies, ah-ha-ha. Yes, Warner Bros. is already prepping a third Clash of the Titans film, which will most likely come complete with a terribly muted, dark and blurry 3D post-conversion. You know, for the kids.

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Culture Warrior

Movies have a strange relationship with history, that’s for certain. On the one hand, they have the ability to bring to life, in spectacular detail, the intricate recreation of historical events. On the other hand, films can have a misleading and even potentially dangerous relationship with history, and can change the past for the benefit of storytelling or for political ends. And there’s always the option of using films to challenge traditional notions of history. Finally, many movies play with history through the benefit of cinema’s artifice. Arguably, it’s this last function that you see history function most often in relationship to mainstream Hollywood cinema. In playing with history, Hollywood rarely possesses a calculated political motive or a desire to recreate period detail. In seeking solely to entertain, Hollywood portrays the historical, but rarely history itself. Tom Shone of Slate has written an insightful piece about a unique presence of that historical mode all over the movies seeking to be this summer’s blockbusters. Citing X-Men: First Class, Super 8, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Cowboys & Aliens as examples, Shone argues that this is an unusual movie summer in terms of the prominence of movies set in the past. However, while such a dense cropping of past-set films is unusual for this season, these movies don’t seem to be all that concerned with “the past” at all – at least, not in the way that we think.

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The moment that Ricky Gervais secretly waits for every year is upon us. The nominations for the 31st Golden Raspberry Awards are in. The Razzies is a different kind of awards show, not one that heaps false praise on people that it doesn’t respect, but one that dishonors the worst work of the year. No, their nominees for Worst Picture aren’t quite as bad as the Golden Globe nominees for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, but it’s still generally considered an insult to earn Razzie recognition, and God forbid you actually win. Looking over this year’s nominees has left me in a confused emotional state. The only film I’ve seen that on here is The Expendables. Does that make me a bad film fan or a smart consumer?  Can one truly appreciate the good if he hasn’t waded through most of the bad? In 2011, I solemnly vow to see more bad movies.

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There are two reasons why looking at the best movie posters is fascinating. The first is the inherent interest that all advertising brings. It’s art that’s meant to sell something that can’t admit it’s trying to sell anything in order to succeed. The second is that rating the best of the best in the poster world has the most potential to showcase films that never end up on lists this time of year. This is a celebration of the beauty and effect that movie posters can have. It’s for the films released in 2010, and it’s the posters from the studios (or else Tyler Stout and Olly Moss would completely dominate). The awards are broken up into five categories in order to recognize the wide array of styles and concepts, and because there were a lot of great posters this year (among the absolutely terrible photoshop jobs that still haunt us). See if your favorite made the cut.

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It’s that time of the year again: that brief span of time in between Christmas and New Year’s when journalists, critics, and cultural commentators scramble to define an arbitrary block of time even before that block is over with. To speculate on what 2010 will be remembered for is purely that: speculation. But the lists, summaries, and editorials reflecting on the events, accomplishments, failures, and occurrences of 2010 no doubt shape future debate over what January 1-December 31, 2010 will be remembered for personally, nostalgically, and historically. How we refer to the present frames how it is represented in the future, even when contradictions arise over what events should be valued from a given year. In an effort to begin that framing process, what I offer here is not a critical list of great films, but one that points out dominant cultural conversations, shared trends, and intersecting topics (both implicit and explicit) that have occurred either between the films themselves or between films and other notable aspects of American social life in 2010. As this column attempts to establish week in and week out, movies never exist in a vacuum, but instead operate in active conversation with one another. Thus, a movie’s cultural context should never be ignored. So, without further adieu, here is my overview of the Top 10 topics, trends, and events of the year that have nothing to do with the 3D debate.

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If you were a fan of Clash of the Titans, then you saw it in 2D. Well played. This next go ’round, it looks like monster heads will be ripped off and people will accidentally make love with cows that are Gods in disguise after a healthy amount of post-production time to focus on making the CGI better. Wrath of the Titans will start filming in the Spring of 2011 for a March 2012 release, and it’s confirmed that Jonathan Liebesman will shoot in native 3D since there’s almost no reason not to do so. It seems like a no-brainer. Which is also the fighting move Perseus did to Medusa. Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are all back in the mix. All in all, those are the ingredients for at least a passable sequel. Fingers crossed. [Coming Soon]

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The race for the Oscar for Best Visual Effects is on, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has put it into full gear by releasing the list of films that will comprise the final 15 contenders. As you might remember from previous years, this only the first cut. Over the next few weeks, the Academy’s visual effects branch will narrow the list down to seven films, then watch 15-minute clip reels and bring it down to five nominees for a January 25th announcement. Which leaves us the never-difficult task of picking through the list and deciding two things: which films we think deserve the 5 nominations, and which five films will actually get the nominations. First, lets take a look at the list.

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Jonathan Liebesman‘s Battle: Los Angeles hasn’t hit theaters yet, but his career and talent seem to be growing. After a mediocre start with Darkness Falls, he delivered a solid entry into the Texas Chainsaw Massacre legacy, a halfway psychological paranoia-fest with The Killing Room, and now he’s set to take what he’s learned battling aliens alongside Aaron Eckhart to the ancient world of Clash of the Titans 2: Titans. Will. Clash. Again. What’s interesting about this is the maturation of a genre director beyond the boundaries of the schlock he delivered in the past. That used to be the way the business worked, and it’s interesting to see it in practice here. Maybe it’ll lead to an American Pink Film movement. Liebesman has shown an ability to grow talent, so this is a great choice – but where does it leave his “300 meets Taken” version of Odysseus being developed over at Warners? Maybe one trip to antiquity will spur on another.

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Drinking Games

Are you one of those people who complained about the 3D conversion in the release of Clash of the Titans in theaters? You know those problems… blurred vision, headaches, eye strain. Well, if you want another chance to see Clash of the Titans in beautiful high definition, now’s your chance on Blu-ray. And if you play this drinking game, you just might get blurred vision, headaches and eye strain from a different source.

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This Week in DVD

Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees only one major release in Clash Of the Titans alongside several lesser known titles like Artois the Goat, Ip Man, Operation: Endgame, The Snake, and more. See all of this week’s relevant DVD releases after the jump…

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Welcome to another week of The Reject Report, where we are anticipating strong showings by two new wide-release movies at the box office: KIck-Ass and Death at a Funeral.

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Date Night

We had a sense that this was going to be a very tight “Clash” at the top of the box office — and indeed, this weekend’s box office result turned out to be too close to call.

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Date Night

We are in for a fairly light weekend as far as new movies are concerned, but the actual box office race promises to be no less interesting, because Clash of the Titans faces a stiff challenge from Date Night.

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Clash of the Titans

The story of the weekend is that Clash of the Titans became the latest 3-D movie to finish on top of the box office.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
D+


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