06 April 2010

Guessed Impressions: Clash of the Tittans

I didn't see this movie. I probably won't see this movie. But dammit, I feel like talking about a few things, most notably my confidence in writing a thorough Impressions post without a viewing of the actual film, only an absorption of Clash of the Tittans' (2010) effect on our current culture and zeitgeist. Let's list a few bullet important questions to start this off, here we go:

1) Is Sam Worthington an action star?

Yo what the fuck is up with this guy? I've hardly ever seen an actor like this who was suddenly handed a career. He's generally a terribly stiff actor who gains some credence based solely on gravitas and charisma (the amount he exudes is admittedly impressive). He seems to excel at playing grunts or otherwise grim reluctant heroes. His current career to me seems like a Gerard Butler or Christian Bale career that skipped all the warm-up and going straight for leading man without ever really earning it. Where was this dude's Reign of Fire (2002)?! I'm not sure who declared him an action hero, but he hasn't proven it yet. He's got the crew cut defiance down pretty well, but being the only interesting part of Terminator: Suckvation (2009) and about three minutes of total live action screen time in AVABAR (2009) isn't enough to sell me that the next decade is going to focus on this guy. The fact that producers and not really audiences have anointed him this huge star without proving it is also irritating (see also: Colin Farrell).

2) 3-D and Unrelenting Grittiness: Capitalizing on Profitable Zeitgeist or Providing Lasting Memories?

Before you think you should obviously assume the former. Clash of the Tittans was shot with 2-D cameras. It was always intended to premiere on 2-D screens. Then, some shit happened in late 2009 / early 2010, namely, AVABAR came out in 3-D and made more dinero than Scrooge McDuck spends on a London prostitute. There's been some other massive successes in 3-D recently, so its a no-brainer that a big action film like Clash of the Tittans would jump on the bandwagon. It's important to note a few things - first that AVABAR's total tickets sold are more akin (apparently the debate is still out?) to the numbers for Return of the King (2003) or Spider-Man 2 (2004) but 3-D and IMAX pushed it over the edge. What surely aided Clash of the Tittan's record-breaking Easter was also the recent large inflation of 3-D prices (about $3 over one week if you didn't hear). The whole point of this rant is a double-standard against AVABAR and Clash of the Tittans. AVABAR was made with 3-D in mind and utilized the technology to advance the story and enhance the immersive experience of watching the grossly emotional film. Clash of the Tittans had 3-D tacked on last minute to boost its cash haul. And blimey did it work.

I'll also mention some of the grittiness here. Clash is a grim film. It's all dirty and brutal and unrelenting. It's obviously much in the spirit of The Dark Knight (2008) and some other very intense action films. Die Hard (1988) was a pretty brutal movie but its sometime lighthearted and always cocksure and sarcastic tone and protagonist bent action films in a new direction with much success. Action movies of the current decade spare no light emotion, seeming to feed of our own economic depression and troubled times (wait - like the 80's weren't?). The grittiness was amped up after TDK's success in order to leap on the grim tale money train. All this shit is temporary, the gritty 3-D will forever be a mark of the start of this decade, but while films like AVABAR and TDK pioneered the styles to acclaim, Clash ends up merely a facsimile, not an innovator. Holla.

3) Are Krakens just he Biggest Badass Bitch or what?

The sweet thing about Clash looks like the effects. It's got some big bad effects that center around the Big Bitch, the Ultimate MoFo of all time - The Kraken. You see a lot more of this sucker than you do in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), but clearly this thing is the ultimate Beastie. Summoned to destroy cities or towns or boats or whatever, it's like the Devil's Atom Bomb. Go and destroy. It seems to be both more effective and bigger, although inherently less mysterious and alluring than the Pirates 2 Squiddie which is exactly as good and bad as it sounds.

They've both got a ton of teeth, though, which is pretty neat. I feel like Davy Jones' great Kraken-release poem (highlighted for your convenience) is cooler than Zeus just spouting "RELEASE THAT BITCH!" but the simplicity may be more effective in the end. At any rate, these two clearly need a Monster-Mash type dance contest to settle this once and for all.

4) Any Last Thoughts?

Yeah- what's up with this shit and God of War III (2010) coming out at the same time? We've got this weird idea all of a sudden that Greek Mythology is cool, but it's not really Greek Mythology at all, it's just the same Video Game shit applied to a slightly different genre. It's like how Star Wars (1977) is a Western and no one really notices. All this shit are still just shitty Video Game adaptations with different skins.

Anyway, I still haven't seen Clash of the Tittans, but I assume it blows. G'nite everybody!

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