Friday, March 30, 2012

Film Friday: Clash(es) of the Titans (1981) & (2010)

The 1981 version of Clash of the Titans really was an inspired movie. Clash 2010 wasn’t. In fact, it stank. And what better way to explain why it stank than to compare the two?

** spoiler alert **

Clash 2010 has better production values. Its costumes are more realistic. It has better scenery and thus feels more real than Clash 1981. The supporting actors are better too. Mads Mikkelsen is excellent as Draco, as are Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes as Zeus and Hades. After that, however, things gets sketchy. . .

Surprisingly, the effects in Clash 1981 are better, not in the technical sense, but in the sense of enjoyability. The effects in Clash 1981, done by legendary special effects man Ray Harryhausen, feel more lively and maintain the spirit of mythology which surrounds Ancient Greece. You know these characters when you see them in Clash 1981. By comparison, the effects in Clash 2010 are dreary and nondescript -- you’ve seen them in a dozen other recent films and wouldn’t spot them as Ancient Greek creatures. If you were asked to draw or describe the creatures in each movie, you could easily describe the creatures in Clash 1981, but those in Clash 2010 would end up just as blurs. And that makes a huge difference in how memorable these films are.

The lead actors in Clash 1981 are better as well. Harry Hamlin portrayed the heroic young Perseus perfectly. He had enthusiasm, brashness, and was clearly captivated by Andromeda, whose life he must save. He also let the character be just naive enough that we could discover the world with him, which pulls the audience in, without making him stupid. Judi Bowker similarly gave Andromeda a regal dignity and a flirtiness in her interactions with Perseus, which made her worth saving.

By comparison, the lead actors in Clash 2010 are crap. Sam Worthington gives his usual lifeless effort. He’s dull and dumb and stiffer than a board. He whines. Even worse, his character is impossible to like. He lacks initiative. He’s not clever. He doesn’t want to be the hero, as he keeps telling us, yet for some reason he just keeps moving right along with the plot. It’s like he just had nothing better to do. He also cares so little about Princess Andromeda that you wonder why he’s bothering to save her.

Andromeda is just as bad. She’s played by Alexa Davalos, who you might remember as Olivia Wilde or Emily Blunt or Megan Fox. She’s as lifeless as Worthington and basically just mopes and occupies space. We are given no reason to like her other than her being smarter than the hillbillies around her. Frankly, by the time the mob gets her, it’s really hard to care. Heck, she doesn’t even seem to care.

But where Clash 2010 really falls apart, compared to Clash 1981, is in the substance. Clash 1981 may not have been authentic Greek mythology, but it gave you the sense that it was. The characters, the creatures and the gods all acted correctly according to what we know about them from mythology. Clash 2010 is too modern to make that claim. Consider the gods. Greek gods were flawed because they had (near)absolute power combined with the worst of human traits. They were petty, vengeful, jealous, vain, deceitful, etc. They were narcissists of the highest order, and Greek mythology crawls with their misdeeds.

Clash 1981 captured this as the story revolves around a series of characters who get caught up in the petty quarrels and sexual trysts of the gods. Indeed, the primary story involves vengeance on the people of Joppa for offending the vanity of the goddess Thetis. These gods lie and cheat and abuse their power to get their way, which is how Greek mythology paints their gods. By comparison, the gods in Clash 2010 are a reserved lot. They are mostly caring and largely passive until they are forced to act -- except Hades who has a grudge against Zeus. Indeed, they only punish the city of Argos because the people of Argos declared war on the gods first. In effect, Clash 2010 has Christianized the gods, and rather than being a gang of ultra-powerful but petty thugs, Zeus in Clash 2010 is more like the Christian God of the Old Testament and Hades is like Satan. In fact, Zeus is so caring that the thrust of his story is Zeus trying to reconcile with his bastard son Perseus. Huh?

Along similar lines, the people of Argos don’t make any sense either, and this leads to a larger point. They have declared war against the gods, but for no apparent purpose. There is no indication what they hope to achieve, nor is it ever clear if this is a philosophical issue or something else? In other words, is this a declaration of atheism or do they just want to be rid of these gods? At times the story seems to be crawling with atheistic messages, but it always undercuts itself. For example, Perseus whines repeatedly that he has no need of the gods and he’s his own man. Only. . . he’s not. In almost every scene he’s helped by the gods while the writer pretends Perseus “does it himself.” He gets magical gifts. Zeus gives him tokens he will need. The gods send an advisor/guardian angel who tells him everything he needs to know. His strength and fighting skill come from the gods. He is even told that it is his destiny to free man from the gods? Think about the ludicrousness of that statement – the mythical force of destiny has chosen Perseus to free man from mythical forces? So is this film about atheism? Who knows? The film sure doesn’t.

The problem here is that the writers never bothered to fundamentally understand the nature of the characters. Are these gods or just foreign tyrants? Are the people of Argos declaring atheism or just swapping gods? And if they’re just swapping gods, what are they seeking instead? There’s a big underwear-Gnome-class hole there. Is Perseus a hero or not? Everyone treats him like a hero, yet he achieves nothing on his own -- he is always relying on others to win his fights or tell him the way to go. Etc.

Even the mythical creatures don’t make sense in Clash 2010. Pegasus, the winged-horse which cannot be tamed, simply comes to Perseus like any other horse -- he doesn’t have to find it or tame it (nor does he really need it). Calibos, the man Zeus twisted into a wretch for killing all the winged-horses except Pegasus and who pines for Andromeda, is now little more than an animal who attacks Perseus because Hades tells him to. The deceptive and cryptic witches are neither deceptive nor cryptic. And Medusa is little more than a tall snake.

Moreover, the writers keep undercutting the story. Perseus needs to save Andromeda because. . . well? He doesn’t live in Argos and he can leave any time. He doesn’t love Andromeda either -- halfway through the film it is imply he kind of digs the girl the gods sent him (Io). So why is he trying to save Andromeda? And she doesn’t really want to be saved either. So why should we care? In Clash 1981, Perseus loved Andromeda and she really seemed to want to live. That made sense. In Clash 2010, that’s gone.

They keep undercutting the tension too. For example, Clash 2010 tells us Perseus is a poor “everyman” -- a fisherman who’s never even held a sword (what Greek male never held a sword?). But then we’re told he’s the bastard son of Zeus, and he has special powers. And when he picks up a sword for the first time, he proves to be the ultimate swordsman. . . so much for our everyman. Think about what this does to the rest of the film. With Hamlin’s Perseus, you never knew how he would do in any fight. He got gifts from the gods to help him, but he had no extraordinary skills with which to use them. Perseus 2010 does, thus with Worthington, there’s no suspense. He will win every sword fight. Yawn. Similarly, in Clash 1981, Perseus needed to figure out the puzzles himself. In Clash 2010, Perseus is given advisors directly from the gods to make sure he figures it out. Yawn. We’re even told it’s Perseus’s destiny to win the movie. Yawn.

Clash 2010 is the perfect example of what happens when you take all the “things” out of a movie but none of the substance, and then remake the movie using those things. What you get is a truly forgettable, generic film.

67 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

In Clash 1981, Lawrence Olivier was Zeus. I just couldn't get behind Neeson.

Tennessee Jed said...

I love the notion of your methodically comparing the two versions even though I have not seen either one. I have a question and a comment. The question is "do you think a person's ability to be wowed by special effects rests largely on the extent to which they haven't seen the effects before?" Let me give you an example. In the 1959 production of Ben Hur, I was stunned by the effects used in the naval battles. Looking at them today, they are nothing special, but were truly state of the art at the time.

I'm not surprised by Hill School grad Harry Hamlin doing a nice job. I've always thought he was a fine actor although his defining career role was in a t.v. series. (Had to get in a plug for my son's alma mater, natch.)

Tennessee Jed said...

I suppose the fact I was stunned by Ben-Hur;s special effects was to a certain extent impacted by the fact I was eleven when I saw them on a huge 70mm downtown Philly theater screen.

T-Rav said...

Someone please remind me, why is Sam Worthington a star?!

Tennessee Jed said...

Rav - you will understand after he stars in: "T-Rav, the movie" :)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I thought Neeson was good. I like Neeson a lot and I thought he did a good job here. I think the problem was he had weak material and little to work with, however.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I liked Hamlin a lot in this, but I don't know him from much else actually.

On your question... that's a good question. I think there are two factors at play. The first is whether or not, at the time you see the film, the effects strike you as real enough. In other words, if the effects look like what you want them to look like and they are real enough to get you to suspend your disbelief, then they are good effects.

That's the key difference between these two films. All of the creatures in the 1981 film looked like you would expect and they were real enough that your mind could do the rest. By comparison the effects in 2010 all looked like digital blobs. They were nondescript and could have been anything. So they failed this part of the test.

The second part is the challenge of time. If others come along with better BUT ALSO REAL effects, then the old effects begin to look dated and I think that hurts the long term believability of the effects.

Had the effects in 2010 really hit the nail on the head, I suspect the effects in 1981 would suddenly look quaint. But they didn't, so the 1981 effects still reign supreme. By comparison, something like ships at sea, we've seen such great effects now in modern films that the naval battles in older films now look cheesy.

So I think it's a two-part test: do they look believable at the time and does anyone come along to make them look outdated by being at least as believable.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I have no earthly idea. He has yet to show he can do anything more than occupy space?

I suspect that he comes across like a low-rent Russell Crowe to a lot of people so they assume he will be good.

But as Jed says, we'll see once how he does in "T-Rav the Movie"!

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I remember BH had an article about Hollywood trying to cut costs by, among other things, hiring mediocre unknowns as their leads to keep the salary figures down. Worthington's picture immediately followed.

"Russell Crowe" is definitely not what comes to my mind, though.

Kelly said...

Excellent breakdown Andrew. I think you're right that they kept undercutting the story and the characters. It seemed like every time they set something up, they either dropped it or they said something to contradict it -- like how Perseus is this everyman figure. That lasted two minutes, then suddenly he's this invincible man.

I also agree there was never a challenge here. If he needed something, someone gave it to him. If he needed to know something, someone told it to him. He could not fail.

T-Rav said...

Jed, given that my life has not involved Terminators, blue aliens, Greek gods, or bad delivery of lines--okay, maybe a bad delivery of lines--I fail to see the connection here.

Kelly said...

Also, this may be a minor point, but Worthington's Australian accept was horrible and his crew cut didn't fit with the other Greeks who all looked like Ancient Greeks. Worthington looked like an actor brought in to play the role at the last minute.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Kelly, They did keep undercutting everything. They developed storylines that went nowhere, they established character traits that were never used, and then they would wipe all of those things out carelessly in the next scene. Even the whole Zeus v. Hades thing which set up the whole movie ended up going nowhere.

And yes, that is exactly right -- our "hero" did NOTHING. This is unfortunately becoming common in modern films, the hero ends up doing nothing more than being the plot vehicle for those around him to solve the issues.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, One of the things I've noticed over the years is that when you get a successful actor/actress, they always go grab a cheap look-a-like and start throwing them into films. I think Worthington is probably the Russell Crowe knock-off.

In any event, he's HORRIBLE! He has zero acting ability. He just stands there and looks like he's trying to pretend he understands what is going on around him, then mumbles a few lines, and then waits for the CGI fight scene. In movie after movie he's done this.

I can't understand why they keep hiring him?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Just wait until CommentaramaFilm's fantasy division gets done spiffing up your biography, you'd be surprised how many global crises you've solved! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, It's not really a minor point at all. I think they did the hair thing intentionally to make him stand out more because he really didn't stand out. It's like putting your hero in a different color uniform.

The accept thing was atrocious and I agree that it interfered with "his performance," crappy though it already was.

I think the bigger problem with Worthington is that he has one "look" -- monotone. He can't do anything other than this sort of quiet growl, he always looks like he can't understand what is going around him, and he seems indifferent to the other actors.

DUQ said...

The first film was truly excellent, the second was a waste of time. But the second film did what they wanted it to do, it made a fortune. I guess there's a sequel coming out now. I wonder how that will do?

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, It made something like $450 million, so yeah, it made them a fortune. And that is why film won't be getting any better any time soon -- because Hollywood keeps making money making this garbage.

It will be interesting to see what the sequel does business-wise to see if the first film wore out the willingness of the audience to spend money or if people really are suckers.

tryanmax said...

The new Clash is a perfect example of how present-day Hollywood has conspired to murder standard storytelling archetypes. The reluctant hero is replaced by a whiny priss who complains through the story instead of manning-up. The damsel is un-P.C., so she must be "empowered"--or in Hollywood terms, an aloof bitch. The villain is a mere sadist. The mentor spouts meaningless nonsense. Even the monsters are depressingly generic.

When I think of the original Clash the first thing that comes to mind is the Medusa scene, not for the effects, but for the unbelievable tension it raised. Compare that to the remake and it was just another fight scene. And, unless I’m mistaken, I think Worthington looked right at Medusa more than once, proving that he was made of stone before the two met. (Badda bing!)

As to the Christianization of the Greek gods, Christians have been Hellenizing Jehovah, Jesus, and Lucifer for centuries (Holy Ghost? What’s that?), so it was only a matter of time before it started going the other way.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Extremely well said! :)

I think you are absolutely right about what they've done to the characters here:

1. There is nothing heroic about the hero, he just whines his way through the story. They think making him "the reluctant hero" gives him street-cred or something, but they do it wrong. He just seems like he's pissy and doesn't want to be here. Moreover, he actually does nothing -- everyone else does it for him!

2. The damsel is an aloof bitch (excellent description). She's "soooo much smarter" than her family or the idiot people, that only she knows the right way to behave. Even her "noble" moment where she basically decides to let herself be killed to save the people feels snotty, like she's just doing it to prove to everyone how much better she is than everyone else.

3. Everything his mentors say is gibberish. It sounds deep and it sounds relevant, but if you put it all together, you would find ZERO life lessons or valuable information.

4. You are absolutely right about the monsters. That's my point above about them being forgettable blobs. I even thought of putting together a montage like you have, but I just didn't.... too lazy. :( Thanks for the image though!


He does look right at Medusa at least twice. In fact, he's staring right at her when his two buddies get turned to stone. I think they've decided that as long as you don't look her in the eyes, you are cool -- but that pretty much wipes out the challenge doesn't it? And you're right, the tension in the original is very strong, here there is none.

On the gods, it really struck me when I watched this that the gods were entirely wrong.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Andrew... good call on the Christianizing mistake the writers made. We found out what people who read Milton do -- Christian God is not a good character in literature because no one wants to see "perfect" -- where's the fun/conflict in that? Satan is always the more interesting character study. Part of the genius of Mel Gibson's Passion was that he finally made an interesting Jesus movie that stuck to the orthodox narrative.

The whole fun of Greek mythology is that their gods are humans on steroids to the nth order of magnitude -- so they do a LOT of damage. I appreciated the Percy Jackson story for that... the gods there are pernicious, vengeful, etc. -- and Uma Thurman made a good Medusa (the movie had its flaws to be sure).

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, for those who don't know, tryanmax has done several comparisons at his own film site:

Attack of the Remake

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Thanks! And you are absolutely right. The reason we are fascinating with the Greek gods is because of their flaws. Their stories are packed with conflicts and twists and turns and all the things we love about storytelling. They are compelling for that very reason.

By trying to turn Zeus into a flawed, passive, regretful and largely benevolent being (the liberal view of God) and making Hades into Satan, they really sucked the fun out of those characters. It also confused everything else because without the gods to explain their conduct, nothing the Greeks did made all that much sense in this film.

I agree with you about Percy Jackson. I didn't care for the movie, BUT their version of the Greek gods was much better than Clash because they kept all the bad traits. And yeah, Uma Thurman was a pretty good Medusa. So you at least ended up with a fun film, which you didn't have in Clash, which ended up just being tedious.

Doc Whoa said...

Nice analysis. I know something was wrong with this film when I watched it, but I didn't actually put together what the problem was. It just seemed flat.

I wonder i Hollywood can't figure this out or doesn't care? Maybe it's too hard to do it the right way?

Doc Whoa said...

"I wonder iF..." :)

Floyd R. Turbo said...

The other problem with Worthington over Hamlin -- Worthington looks ready to rumble. Hamlin looked like the reluctant hero -- in addition to acting it. The real Perseus (and the Hamlin version) Perseus has a Roger Thornhill quality to him -- the Hitchcockian "I'm a normal guy out of his element" feel to it that makes him both heroic and an object of empathy.

I also agree that Worthington sucks big time. Maybe he could excel as a Terminator in T5, but it's amazing that movie producers always forget that the biggest stars often are just playing themselves and that charisma and personality -- likeability -- matter. When we stop liking actors (Cruise, Hanks perhaps) they stop being stars -- or as big anyway.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I honestly don't know. On the one hand, this seems fairly obvious and is easy to fix. You would think a decent writer wouldn't make these kinds of mistakes. BUT that assumed the world is full of decent writers. Even a cursory glance at what is being written these days tells us that's not true. So it would well be that Hollywood really just doesn't have very good writers.

On the other hand, if you go for the generic, then you know that no one will be offended. In other words, Clash 2010 may not be any good, but no one is going to get upset and rock the boat. And with $200 million at stake, safety is probably the biggest priority.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, That's true. Hamlin brought a very real everyman quality to the role. He knew nothing about the gods or the mythical creatures or even how to wield a sword when he started. He was just some guy. And that made him interesting because we got to discover his world through his eyes and we could put ourselves into his shoes because we knew we would be in the exact same predicament. So when he rose above everything and pulled it off, it felt like our victory because he was us.

Worthington, however, looks like he lives in a gym. They told us right away he was the son of a god and had all kinds of super skills. We have none of that, so we can't relate. So we were just watching Worthington rather than feeling like we were part of him.

And yeah, he stinks. He projects no personality onto the screen. Part of being a star is to have something people like about you and Worthington offers nothing in that regard, he's just a big pile of mumbling muscle who seems like a jerk in real life.

rlaWTX said...

OK, I did not, do not, like the original Clash. I saw it for the first time in 6th grade (World History) (as a reward for the class) which was 1983-84. I thought it was goofy then. I saw it again later, by which time Hamlin was famous for LA Law - which my parents liked and I hated for no real reason as only a high school girl can, and it was still goofy. I saw pieces right before the new Clash came out - still goofy. And I still don't care for Hamlin.

But, I agree that the new Clash was flat. Parts were interesting. I liked Neeson as Zeus - not necessarily the story, but the casting. The big scorpions were kinda cool - seeing that that's about all I remember.
Popcorn, fight, boom; go home.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, one thing that strikes me about the monsters/aliens from most films anymore is that apparently noses are absolutely unnecessary for supernatural/extraterrestrial life. Also, aliens have been gray-green since movies went to color. It's time to broaden the palette.

Thanks for the nod on Attack of the Remake. Of course, now I need to write some more reviews. Suggestions are welcome!

Backthrow said...

Great comparison article. So true about the generic beasts in modern films. They all seem to be black-eyed fleshy gray rocks with fangs, with optional beetle armor.

I saw the original CLASH in first-run back in '81, and ate it up, even though I had seen JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS at a drive-in reissue a few years before and considered it superior to CLASH in most respects. I haven't bothered with the new CLASH (nor WRATH), but I suspect it has another failing common to most modern popcorn fare: a completely generic, 'wallpaper' music score.

I haven't seen the original CLASH for a few years (though I own it on DVD), but that film's score helped greatly to propel you through the story and the fantasy. I can hear the sweeping main score in my head as I type this, as well as the creepy motif in Medusa's lair, featuring a harpsichord.

Anything so distinctive in the remake, or anything to differentiate one major set-piece in it from another? I doubt it.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Not everyone likes the same movies, so I can respect your dislike for the first Clash. :)

I think you're right about the second one. I like the casting of Neeson and the scorpions were cool. Beyond that it was entirely forgettable.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree about the aliens. Now that they have the power to make anything they want with CGI, they are for whatever reason creating nothing but these greyish blob creatures. Every single movie monster I can think of in the past couple years has been a greyish-blog creature. You would think that someone want to standout. But apparently the don't. I don't get that?

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I agree. The score was generic. There isn't a single moment in it that stands out. When I think back on the great scores of the past, they each had something truly unique that let you recognize them immediately. But the big movies today all seem to be recycling the exact same generic music. Again, I'm not sure why. What not try something cool and original? It's like they are pathologically opposed to anything that isn't generic -- generic music, generic stories, generic characters and generic images. I don't get it? Don't any of them want to make something memorable? Or do they not get that what they are creating looks, sounds and feels like everything else?

I agree about the monsters too - greyish rock blobs with fangs. That describes everything that's been on film in the past five years.

I also agree about Jason and the Argonauts being superior. I love that movie. And the skeleton-warriors effects to me have never been surpassed.

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry about that Doc, my brain is short circuiting today... long morning.

That is a good question. We always assume they are good writers who just do bad work for whatever reason. Maybe the assumption that they are good writers is a bad assumption?

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, My comment vanished too. LOL! That's ok, you answered it. :D

ScyFyterry said...

Excellent review. I "kind of" enjoyed the new Clash in the sense that I didn't hate it. I didn't remember it once the credits started rolling and I'm glad I didn't pay for it, but I didn't hate it. I guess that's worth something?

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I don't know what happened, it's not in the spam filter.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, I didn't "hate it" either, I just found it very boring and there wasn't much to like... it just was.

ScyFyterry said...

Andrew, Isn't it sad that we've come to the point that the best we get out of Hollywood is "I didn't hate it"?

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, Yep. But that's what modern Hollywood has come to, and it is a sad world indeed. I really miss the days of truly enjoying films and certainly miss the days of feeling blown away by great films. That hasn't happened in a decade now (or more).

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: As I said a few days back, I hated the new version, loved the old version. But it was nice to have you lay out all the reasons for both opinions. As for the CGI effects in the new version, I stick by my original thought that mostly it looked like flying dirt.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, thanks for the "enhancement" of my biography. You know, I'm a simple man, really; but I'll feel proud at the end of my life when I can look back and say that this was the time when the world began to heal, and the oceans began to recede, and we overcame our differences. Oh, and make sure you mention that I personally killed bin Laden, among other things.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, "flying dirt" is a good way to put it. Everything was brown/grey, cloudy and formless. Perhaps all their special effects guys have glaucoma? ;)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! Gotcha. I'll add "humblest man on earth" to the list of enhancements! :)

BevfromNYC said...

This just in ****Keith Olbermann has been fired from Curent TV and replaced by Eliot Spitzer (or as I call him - Ex Luv Guv Client #9)who of course was let go from CNN****

Now back to your regular (de)programming...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Sort of a Clash of the ex-Titans. :)

Luv Guv No. 9... isn't that a song?

EricP said...

Great compare/contrast, Andrew! I still can't for the life of me figure out how Clash 2010 made enough bank to merit a sequel.

Still, with that said, I thoroughly enjoyed Wrath of the Titans, in which not only is the action pretty non-stop, but Worthington actually possesses some of the brash and enthusiastic qualities you described above about Hamlin (did you give SW some notes?).

Not just saying this because I'm typing on a Warner Bros. studio computer, either.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, If you're typing on a Warner Bros. computer... that great American company... tell them to buy my script (when I write it). ;)

Seriously, thanks! Clash 2010 did make a ton of money and I think it was pretty much just good marketing plus a great concept which is guaranteed to get people to turn out all around the world. I don't think the film has any real staying power though.

I haven't seen Wrath yet, but I will because I am a sucker and I always hope these things turn out to be good. :(

Ed said...

Excellent comparison! It's strikes me that if they've just done a straight remake, this would have been a better film but it still wouldn't have been as good as the original because I think the effects were a waste.

Ed said...

Ha ha on Olberman. I hope it turns uglier before it ends. Maybe Orpah can hire him to replace Rosie? LOL!

T-Rav said...

Olbermann is out, Spitzer is in?

Excuse me.

(shuts door)

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

(opens door)

Very interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I had a similar reaction. LOL!

Backthrow said...

Bill Paxton in ALIENS: "Game Olber, Mann! GAME OLBER!!!"

X^D

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Straight up remakes are trouble, so I have no problem with them tinkering. But they tinkered with the wrong things.

AndrewPrice said...

Game Olber! LOL!

It couldn't have happened to a bigger jerk, that's for sure. I love the statement too of how they have these great values... but those values no longer describe their relationship. Ha! It sounds like Old Keith did his usual best to be a real jerk.

ellenB said...

Excellent article. You make some great points and I wonder why Hollywood doesn't understand this? It seems so obvious.

Koshcat said...

I was 11 when the first one came out. Both my wife and I loved that movie. Even if some of it seems silly now, it was fun. So when the new one came out we were excited and spent real money to see it. Like you said. YAWN! What a disappointment. That was the last movie I have seen in the theater. I would rather see a bad movie on Netflix at home.

AndrewPrice said...

ellen, I don't know. I think part of it is a desire to stay generic so no one will be offended. But I suspect a bigger part is that they just aren't good writers. I think they just go scene by scene and never really think of the story itself.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I agree. I hoped this would be a fun movie if nothing else. After all, when you steal from good material, it's usually pretty easy to turn out at least a decent film. But this one was just dull. I never once felt any tension or anything that made me think, "wow, that's interesting."

Individualist said...

Andrew

I first noticed this archetypal fighting effect in the Watchmen movie. In this movie there seemed to be no effort needed by the victor to overcome the loser.

The prisoners lost to Rorcheck cause they were supposed to, the other characters lost to the fast guy cause he was just better and smarter and supposed to win. The blue god beat everyone but understood the smart fast guy and Rotrchek just died cause vigilante conservatives are not needed in a liberal utopia.

This seems to be a common theme with liberals. A hierachy to fights where a character wins or loses based on who they are and what archetypal concept they represent. You get no sense that the outcome of the fight is uncertain and after a while the scenes are boring.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I've noticed that too. In so many modern films now, characters win or lose fights simply because they are supposed to. There's never any sense to how or why they win, they just do -- basically they shoot at each other, punch each other or swing swords at each other for some requisite amount of time until someone suddenly wins. There's no flow, there's no tension, and there's no logic to it. Indeed, it's not the fastest or strongest or smartest or even the best trained who wins, nor is it the character who should have the advantage who wins. It all seems to depend on the needs of the plot and some unspoken hierarchy.

There are also a lot more characters these days who do things they wouldn't do in real life just because it serves the plot. I'm particularly amazed how many characters sacrifice themselves needlessly.

This makes all these films feels very manipulated and phony and indifferent.

Commander Max said...

I didn't bother to see Clash 2010. The original is good enough, why try to do it over again. It just shows a profound lack of creativity.

But then I'm stating the obvious.

Why bother watching the redo's, when they are making such fools of themselves. That's entertainment enough.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, I actually have nothing against remakes provided they have something to say, i.e. if they have some different take on the material. But this was done just for money, that's pretty obvious.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, Big Hollywood has put up another of my Politics of Trek articles if anyone is interested: LINK

Commander Max said...

Andrew I do agree with you. But sadly it seems money is all they are after these days. Which is why I refer to that process as entertainment. Not the final product.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Yep. Sad isn't it? I always thought of films as an artistic pursuit -- someone with a vision and story to tell. But it's not really. It's a business with a product.

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