Friday, April 9, 2010

Clash Of The Tight Ones


End of the Easter hols. Rainy, cold day. Caught up with some of the writing. Done just about all the Kid Wrangling I can handle over the last two weeks. (Remember: Natalie was in Canberra all last week. And much of this week, we had Nat's sister and her toddler in the place. Complete with vomit.)

I caved. I took the kids to see the new Clash Of The Titans.

Actually, to be more accurate I took 'em in to see How To Train Your Dragon, but that didn't work out. The info on the cinema website was screwed up, and there was no 1340 session of HTTYD. But there was a showing of COTT. And so, with some minor trepidation, I took my nine-year-old son, my seven-year-old son, and my four-year-old daughter to see this M-rated sword-and-sandal monsterfest.

Very minor trepidation, mind you. Since the Mau-mau is still dead keen on Godzilla, I really didn't think there'd be a lot to disturb her. And I was right. She thought the gigantic Kraken thing was -- and I quote -- 'really cool!'. Nor did any of the other beasties and critters distress her in the slightest, judging by the way she spent most of the movie leaning forward eagerly in her seat. Giant scorpions? Snaky medusa-women? Cool!

And what did I think?

Well - I think it was a remake of a B movie. I'm astonished they got people like Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes in to play Zeus and Hades. I was tickled to see Alexander Siddig of longtime Star Trekkie stuff fame suit up as Hermes. And I was quite pleased by Gemma Arterton in the role of Io. She's not hard to look at.

Anyway, it pretty much stuck to the B-movie traditions. Oh, they gave Sam Worthington more of a character arc than Harry Hamlin got. And the FX were extra shiny, yeah. But hey: I always loved Harryhausen's stuff, and without that wonderfully odd-looking stop-motion animation, it was... well, big and shiny. Yeah.

I can see why the kids went for it. Lots of swords and monsters. Not much in the way of thinky material. Shiny armour on the Gods... whee.

The one thing that irked me? The lack of random nudity. Seriously. Back in the day, when they were making films like this routinely, Gemma Arterton would have had at least one mandatory waterfall-bathing scene during the Journey To The Stygian Witches, no question about it. And when Andromeda went into the drink at the end, if that cheesecloth tunic of hers managed to stay on, it would at least have had the decency to go see-through.

Don't get me wrong, here. I notice that none of the male players got particularly undressed either, and while that's not my particular swing, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, no? So, you know -- I'm prepared to stand by anyone who wants to whinge about the lack of XY exposure too. But personally, I really think this New Puritanism has gone far enough. When we can't even rely on cheesy sword-and-sandal flicks to provide some eye candy on the way through the brain (and right out the other side) I think our culture has truly lost something.

I'm not sure what it was, but it's definitely lost.