Clash of the Titans

In this reel of COL Movies, it’s a veritable Titan-fest, when the boys review both the 1981 and 2010 versions of “Clash of the Titans”. Of course, this leads them to the current follow-up to the 2010 movie, “Wrath of the Titans”. Are these “epic” tales even…um…epic? In trailer-world, they review the historical “mash up” novel come to life in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, slated for a June release. Finally, in news, the boys break down the best movie-related April Fools jokes they found. All this and we’re only 1 episode away from our historical 100th episode!! It’s the 99th reel of COL Movies…”A Titan Against A Titan!!”

News:

The Past: Clash of the Titans (1981)
Rotten Tomatoes: 65% Fresh, 69% Audience

Clash of the Titans (Keep Case Packaging)

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Director: Desmond Davis

Starring: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom

Trivia:

  • This big budget 1981 release became the last feature film for which Ray Harryhausen created the special effects. It was also the only one in which he had assistants.
  • According to mythology there was Cerberus, the THREE-headed dog but no Dioskilos with two. They asked Ray Harryhausen why he didn’t use a three-headed dog, and he said it takes too much time to animate the extra head.
  • Ironically, none of the Titans from Greek mythology appear in Clash of the Titans. In the movie the Titans are the Norse Kraken (who never appeared in Greek mythology at all) and Medusa (who was never considered a Titan by the Greeks).
  • The character Calibos, son of Thetis, does not appear in Greek mythology.
  • Bubo, the mechanical owl, was introduced to capitalize on the popularity of R2-D2 from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The name “Bubo” is a scientific term for the genus of eagle owls and horned owls, which is interesting because the robot Bubo is modeled on a barn owl, which is the genus Tyto, and not a Bubo at all.

Trailer

The Past: Clash of the Titans (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes: 28% Rotten, 48% Audience

Clash of the Titans

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Director: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Trivia:

  • Director Louis Leterrier frequently requested that Ray Harryhausen, co-producer and visual effects creator of Clash of the Titans, be involved in the film. However, Harryhausen had retired in 1981 and would not be drawn back.
  • The mechanical owl Bubo from Clash of the Titans has a cameo as the toy Perseus picks up before he leaves on his quest. According to the filmmakers, the cameo was widely debated as to whether to keep it in the film or not. It was eventually decided to keep it in the film to please the fans of the original film.
  • While the film is primarily based on Greco-Roman mythology, aspects of it are drawn from other cultures. The Kraken comes from Norse mythology, and the Djinn originated in the Arabian/Oriental regions, while Cepheus’s snipe about Perseus being a missionary might hint at the coming Christianity (Christians often served as missionaries).
  • In Greek mythology, Io is Perseus’ great great great great great great great grandmother, and an old flame of his father Zeus.
  • This film begins with a set of constellations portraying history’s events. Clash of the Titans ended with a set of constellations portraying history’s events (though not the same constellations).
  • Sam Worthington’s sandals are Nike trainers with toes painted on them; he didn’t wear sandals because he needed shoes to perform the stunts well.
  • A replica of the owl Bubo used in Clash of the Titans was used for this film. Sam Worthington hated it and threatened to destroy it when director Louis Leterrier wasn’t looking. According to Leterrier, “Worthington would say: ‘This is ridiculous! This is a ridiculous thing to have in the movie! You’re going to ruin my career with that owl!’
  • Louis Leterrier originally wanted to make the film in 3D but Warner Brothers nixed the idea as it was too expensive. After the success of Avatar, the studio reconsidered. At this stage, however, most of the filming had been done so the 3D conversion was a retrofit.
  • The 3D conversion cost $10 million
  • Louis Leterrier donned a green suit for the green screen sequences so that he could act out the part of the Kraken.
  • The Stygian Witches were actually played by men.
  • Luke Evans plays Apollo, a son of Zeus. He went on to play Zeus himself a year later in Immortals.
  • According to the director, the movie was meant to end with Perseus and Andromeda ending up together (as in all previous tellings of the Perseus story) with Perseus and Io’s relationship being purely platonic. However the studio disliked this idea and the movie was re-shot to have Perseus and Io end up together.

Trailer

Talking Points:

  • Story Differences

What We’ve Learned:

  • Throwing your unwed daughter and grandson into the sea is a perfectly acceptable solution to the teen pregnancy problem in greece
  • 100 good deeds cannot atone for one murder
  • The moon affects the brain
  • Divine gifts should be accepted without question
  • Don’t fuck with the gods….literally

Recommendations:
Jeff: In all honesty, I think I like the 1981 Story better. I would have loved to see what it would have been like with the 2010 technology. The Owl may have been a bit silly and might have been some consessions to remove it for a 2010 version, but still, would have liked it better if they stayed true to the original. In either way I think both movies are enjoyable and watchable. Rentals for sure, wish Netflix had them on streaming.
Ray: I will always pick the 1981 version over the 2010. For me the 1981 version is at it’s heart an old fashioned adventure epic. The 2010 version just felt like a revenge film… with no sense of adventure. Skip seeing 2010 clash in 3D (blu-ray), I watched 90% of it with my glasses off.
Steve: 1981 version blows the 2010 version away! OK…1981 doesn’t hold up as far as the technology, but it was totally epic when it came out. It also comes off much more slowly paced, but that helps in the build up of the big fights and you actually feel for the characters. 2010 just seems like it wanted to update the film and it didn’t have the same feeling. It was just a film about mythology that was fun to watch – in 2D.

The Present: Wrath of the Titans
Rotten Tomatoes: 24% Rotten; 52% Audience

Directors: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike

Trivia:

  • Javier Bardem was considered for the role of Ares, and James Franco was considered to play Agenor. Ultimately Édgar Ramírez and Toby Kebbell were cast.
  • The role of Andromeda was recast in this movie, and contenders were Hayley Atwell, Georgina Haig, Janet Montgomery, Dominique McElligott and Clémence Poésy. She was previously portrayed by Alexa Davalos.
  • Alexa Davalos is the only surviving cast member not to return, citing she was ‘unavailable’ for the sequel. Rosamund Pike was then cast as Andromeda.
  • Gemma Arterton was originally supposed to return, but scheduling conflicts with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters prevented the actress from taking the role.
  • The title in Spanish for the first movie (and the old one) is “Furia de Titanes”, Which in English means Wrath of the Titans, the name of this sequel.
  • Hephaestus is seen conversing with Bubo, the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans.

Talking Points:

  • The story of father and son.
  • Forced “epic” nature
  • Mythology and plot holes

What We Learned:

  • There are no good gods
  • There are many useless demigods
  • When a god dies it isn’t death, just absence
  • Its perfectly acceptable to use the plural form of the word Titan in the title of your movie when in fact there maybe only ONE or maybe even NO Titans is your film.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: This movie was very enjoyable to me. It did feel epic at time but the hooks
Ray: I enjoyed this much more than the Clash remake, I think they would have been better off skipping clash and just made this the first time. Critics are calling this “Bland” although I’m not sure why exactly. It’s not great, but it was entertaining and they could have done worse. 3D was used to much better effect in this one and actually got a flinch outta me. And god damn it STOP TEASING ME WITH THE OWL!
Steve: My biggest problem with this movie was that it felt like it was trying to convince me it was this “epic” that really didn’t reach that pinnacle. There were definitely some plot holes that annoyed me and some big liberties taken with the mythology. I thought it was better than the 2010 Clash, but just for the pure entertainment value.

The Future: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Release: 6-22-2012

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper

Summary:

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them. President Lincoln’s mother was killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.

Talking Points

  • Tom Hardy was approached for the title role of Lincoln, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with The Dark Knight Rises. Later, Eric Bana, Timothy Olyphant, Adrien Brody, Josh Lucas, James D’Arcy and Oliver Jackson-Cohen were considered to play the role before Benjamin Walker was cast.
  • Joaquin Phoenix was the first choice for the role of Henry Sturgess, but turned it down.
  • Is said that the film will mix numerous historical parts of the American Civil War with the book’s rich “vampire hunter” imagery.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was originally scheduled to be released in 2D and 3D on October 28, 2011, but was later pushed back to June 22, 2012.
  • What do you think about the mix of a historical real life person being portrayed in this way?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: I’ve wanted to see this kind of movie since I heard about the book. The trailer didn’t impress me much besides show me the tone of the movie. I’d love to go see this.
Ray: Wait you mean this isn’t a comedy? WTF. I’m excited that Timur is directing, that’s about it.
Steve: Personally, it looks very Sherlock Holmes, but I am excited about seeing what comes of it. Looks like it was very well shot and it will have an interesting storyline.

The Past:

Days of Thunder

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The Present:

The Future:

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The Past: For Your Eyes Only

The Present: Skyfall

The Future: World War Z

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