I am pleased as punch to say that I have Blu-Ray discs of the original and remake of Clash of the Titans to share with you in this DVD War format, which is sort of a review and sort of a comparison piece to help you on your merry home video shopping way in determining which, if any, of these films deserves your time.

By the way, who’s the asshole who had to do the research to determine the happiness value of punch? What if no research was done and it turns out that punch is bipolar and suicidal? It’s going to make liars out of some of us is what it’s going to do.

We have reviewed these films before. Mixed reviews, some tainted by nostalgia but whatever.

I am proud to have them both, so let’s see them have at each other. You may be surprised…


COMPARISON
#1

Keeping Up With The Zeuses:



vs.


Advantage: The Remake.

Lawrence Olivier is considered by many to be the Greatest Actor Ever. Guess what isn’t his best performance?

Liam Neeson is a very good actor who has in his career demanded the appropriation of a pink elephant, requested that Justine Bateman deliver satisfaction, and turned Tim Roth into Tim Roths. He also saved some Jews. Guess what isn’t his best performance?

In the original Zeus is a fancy man, pissed at man’s insolence and perfectly keen on playing with his action figures of Perseus and Calibos while his pissed and scheming God broads look on. In the remake Zeus inexplicably wears shiny armor that chafes his Godballs. Why one would need armor in their sky lair is beyond me. This Zeus enjoys chats with his armored fancies while gazing down at humanity like some sort of S&M Peter Molyneux. He’s also easily manipulated by Hades, but aren’t we all.

COMPARISON
#2


The Worst Shit Ever:



vs.


Advantage: The Original.

Maggie Smith pissing and moaning about shit in her bathrobe cannot hold a candle to the remake’s awful homopriest. He’s such a negative presence in the film, when he finally gets crushed by a giant piece of stone [if you think that’s a spoiler you need to go home and have sex with your mother in the bathtub] it’s great and the audience is wholly thrilled about the event but it’s not enough. Maybe it’s his look. Maybe it’s the way he so violently champions for the hot Alexa Davalos to be sacrificed to the Kraken for the second half of the movie. Maybe it’s the way he plays hacky sack on campus while collecting bongs.

Either way, he’s the worst. Worse than Bubo. Worse than bad 3-D. Worse than choking and dying.


COMPARISON #3
Perseus the Haired.


vs.


Advantage: Draw.

I was totally prepared to whip Sam Worthington’s ass with letters and spaces but upon visiting both films in succession, I find each incarnation of Perseus to be either passable, acceptably bland, or just benign enough to warrant neither love nor hate. They each have their merits. Sam looks able in combat. Harry look able chatting with the District Attorney over martinis. Harry looks like he feasibly could be Greek and of the time. Sam looks like he could watch the original movie on his Aussie iPad.


COMPARISON
#4

Horseplay.


vs.


Advantage: Draw.

Even though the Pegasus of the original film looks like he’s in between shifts as the Tri-Star logo, he’s still delightful. And Harryhausened. The new Pegasus is black [per the equestrian affirmative action mandate of 800 B.C.] and bigger than his buddies. He is also a very convincing blend of real horse and CGI. Nearly seamless, actually. He doesn’t have much to do expect tear ass away when Calibos (more on him in a second) shows up and then arrive on the scene later when all hope is lost to carry Perseus and his Medusa head luggage off to see the Kraken.

I love the idea of Pegasus. A flying horse. I think the concept is flawed, though.

If Pegasus were real he’d have to possess hollow bones. Imagine having your sky steed hit the scene when you needed it most only to jump on its back and shatter its spine and ribcage. Then you’re in a heap on the ground covered in feathers and horse tears while your enemies stab you with javelins until you are asleep.

Plus, if Pegasus were real it’d most likely sky shit. But they’re great in fictional movies!


COMPARISON #5
Calibos!


vs.


Advantage: The Original.

Calibos is the best thing in the original film. An ugly beast of a man who looks like everyone who owns a diner in New York, he has the best of both worlds. He gets to be animated by Ray Harryhausen and he gets to wear prosthetic appliances on his face to create a visage that freaks out boys, girls, and Navy SEALS.

Fun Fact: The first few years of my marriage were strained when every year at Christmas I’d sneak my Calibos action figure into Jesus’ spot in the Nativity manger on the table.

The new Calibos has a more interesting backstory and is much more proactive in scorpion creation (and he rips men in half), but his makeup design is garbage. And though I love Jason Flemyng, he doesn’t have the same swampy charisma of the original Calibos. No earrings. No laid-back blue tunic. No flickering tail and cloven hooves.

In short, a shadow of greatness.


COMPARISON #6
Harbingers!


vs.


Advantage:
The Remake.


Maggie Smith’s face in a statue is scarier than anyone else’s face in anyone else’s statue. I’ll give her that.

But Ralph Fiennes with his eyes open wide (I think that was his internal acting decision for this film, ‘OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE AND SCARY, RALPH!‘) emerging from a plume of acrid black smoke without an invitation blows Maggie Smith to smithereens. Plus, he’s got little sightless hobgoblins that fly out of his smoke. What does she have? Nothing. No smoke at all.

Ralph creeps around this film with a receding hairline and a pet Kraken he just can’t wait to unload. And therefore he wins.


COMPARISON #7

Any Witch Way You Can.





vs.





Advantage: Draw.

Witches are dumb.



COMPARISON #7

Snake Hissken.



vs.



Advantage: The Original.


The first of the two vital showstopping moments in both films is the Medusa scene. In the original, it was all about atmosphere and menace and the amazingly realized snake-head-bitch was a high point both of the film and geek lore. She’s simply amazing, and as a youth during the film’s heyday I was blown away by her. And the fact her head was in a bag and Calibos punctured it with a tiny trident and that the blood created scorpions.

Medusa’s first menstruation must have been a learning experience. Might be why they called her ‘Ol Arthropod Pants’ in high school.

In the remake Medusa is the adversary in a long action sequence. At times it’s pretty cool (thanks in much part to Mads Mikkelson), but it’s a heavily stylized action sequence where arrows fly, people explode, stalagtites become stalagdidnt’s, and I yawn because there’s no tension or scariness like the original. It’s fine, but the Medusa design sucks and they should have known better.


COMPARISON #7

Kraken a smile.



vs.



Advantage: Draw.

There is no argument which Kraken is cooler or more awesome. Harryhausen’s. There is no argument which Kraken is better in the grand scheme of things. Harryhausen’s.

That said, I had forgotten how neutered that dude is in the original film. He surfaces, checks some shit out, looks bewildered when Bubo flies around, and gets his shit rocked before he’s able to eat a woman whole. It’s great. It’s old school.

And it needed an update.

The new Kraken is massive. It seems to take up half the sea. Tentacles and limbs and sheaths and claws and a hateful little head that seems to be very into screaming. It smashes entire families, busts up pillars, and has designs on eating a woman with haste. It has more in common with what the Kraken of folklore represented. A force BEYOND US. Something that truly did not even comprehend humanity, like something out of H.P. Lovecraft’s daydreams.

This one is a world beater. The design is pretty cool, though we only see it in fragments. It’s well done and it gets to assault a lot of people before getting its shit rocked. But the staging of the scene doesn’t allow us to enjoy it enough. There’s a sort of annoying action scene involving Hades’ smokefart flying minions stealing Medusa’s head (which totally makes Perseus look like a little bitch) and him chasing them around town that diminishes the movie’s #1 villain and set piece, and it keeps us from enjoying the moment as much as we should have.

When Zeus utters his ‘Release the Kraken’ catchphrase the audience lost its ass in joy in the theater. I don’t think they were fully thrilled with the outcome.

Both Krakens don’t capitalize on their promise but they’re both cool enough for me to watch them over and over and want statues of them so I’ll take it. We can never have enough gigantic marauding monsters.


At the end of the day, these are both flawed films that I cannot help but support and find things to love about. The more the merrier I say!



WINNER:
YOU, if buy these.

BUY THE ORIGINAL FROM US!
 
BLU

RAY.

BUY THE REMAKE FROM US!
 
BLU

RAY.