is going to be a great year for movies. I’m confident of this. Since
we’re in this ride together I figured we’d get ready for the year in a
fun and exciting new way. First, over the course of the next fifteen
weekdays we’re going to highlight one mainstream film a day. Some of
them are slam dunks, some of them have a cloud of trouble floating
above them, but all represent a great way to spend a Friday night at
the movie theater even if it results in you ripping its ass thereafter.

of the things this site is built on is a love of movies. Some folks
think we’ve let some of that go by the wayside. I disagree, but
regardless, I want 2010 to be a year where this site restores some of
that wonder. Though the glass can never truly be half-full in a
business so driven by rehashes and hollow entertainment, we’re going to
have fun with it and prepare you guys with as many tools as possible to
make the moviegoing experience worth it. Especially as the internet
gets more and more bogged down with people who have no right serving as
an authority of film blabbering all over blogs and Twitter and beyond.

There’s a reason you come here.

Day Six

Clash of the Titans
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Danny Huston, Izabella Miko, Gemma Arterton
Written by Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Based on the 80’s masterpiece, which was based on Greek Mythology

Full Disclosure

I had nothing to do with this movie. I wish I did!

The Gist
Clash of the Titans is simultaneously a great movie from my childhood and a rather dull movie from my childhood kept afloat in my heart by visions of Harryhausen dumplings dancing in my head. I love it to death, but today’s technology isn’t the worst thing for an idea about gods and monsters and loincloths and sea villains. Granted, a brand new story would have sufficed but this is a business…

Gone is Bubo the owl [save a cameo or in-joke of some sort] and gone is the Robert Parrish version of Calibos. Gone is the chiseled face of Harry Hamlin and in his place an inexplicably buzzcut Avatar driver.

But we have Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades, an absolutely humongous Cloverfield Kraken. We have scorpions who shit bigger than the scorpions from the original. We have a Medusa with adorable CGI tits. We have a Pegasus that looks more convincing than the Tri-Star Pictures mascot.

We have a director who has no problem having dumb fun. Damn the Gods indeed.

Participants to Watch
Sam Worthington is the star of what will be the highest grossing film in the universe and he still can’t shake the wooden board comparisons. This won’t cure that but he’s starting to prove his hype as an anchor for big films despite people’s criticisms. Without the gigantic Avatar and James Cameron or the Terminator franchise hovering above, what’s he made of?

Mads Mikkelsen gets some thankless role of the sidekick character, but he’s too good of an actor and too compelling a screen presence not to blow Sam Worthington off the screen. This flick may have serious possibilities for him to earn a role that doesn’t involve him scowling at the hero of the flick. At worst, it’ll get six or seven people to rent a Pusher flick.

Louis Leterrier gets no love for The Incredible Hulk, but I love what he did with it. The Hulk kicked Tim Roth across a field into a tree. His Transporter flick’s the best. The guy is a ball of fun and though he may be out of his depth here I’d love to see a new go-to guy on the tentpole flick scene.

The Buzz
There’s a negativity tinging the buzz for the film but I wonder what the criteria may be. Does it need to be a masterpiece? It needs to not be Van Helsing. It needs to find ways to improve on the inadequacies of the original but still maintain its playful sense of wonder and straight-faced innocence. I tend to think I have special expectations for this. Monster action, a few good kills, and an appreciation for Greek Mythology. Anything else is a bonus.

Best Case
It’s a decent early hit for 2010. They’re marketing it well and they’re showing a lot of big moments (I for one like the editing of the rock n’ roll trailer). It’s not going to strain the brains of anyone, which is a wise thing in this day and age. Still, there’s no way it’s going to be a massive.

Worst Case
It hurts the chances for other fun old school romps that we so desperately need.

CHUD’s Prognosis
It’s going to do very solid business.

Useful links
Official Site
The Monsters of Clash of the Titans

Not So Useful Lynx

Discuss this column here.

Monday: Veins & Explosions.