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.


  1. Have it on reasonable authority that the Dragon fillum is a good 'un. Says my 25 yr old bro and our 64 yr old dad. May not in fact be the most representative target audience, on reflection.

  2. Yeah, I wanna see Dragon and missed Alice and cannot believe it, being a mega Johhny Depp fan..he's such a great character actor and seems a fine person in real time as well.
    I can't do action bang bang thrill movies. If there's not something to think about, I just get annoyed and bored. But yeah, I would imagine the kids woulda been wowed. Nudity is good if done tastefully...then it's wonderful but tantalizing and not always as good if you're single and missin it in real life.

    So I say.

  3. I managed to catch How to train your dragon with the Weapon. Fun flick, enjoyed it almost as much as Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

    I knew we were in good hands when the kiddies behind picked up the special edition popcorn box before the movie started and yelled "cool, there are Vikings'. So dragons and Vikings thats a potent mix.

    We are off to COTT for a family film night next Weekend but I made the mistake of showing the eighties film to the weapon previously. (I also plan to get him to watch the old dinseny Tron film before I take him to Tron Legacy). Unfortunately he found the special effects 'a bit I could do a better medesua....' and wanted to know what was wrong with Perseus hair'

    On a bit of a greek myth kick at the moment reading the Percy Jackson books so its keeping with the theme.

    Have your team seen Tron yet?

  4. The Dragon film looks pretty cool, i'll have to sneak it in here, cause when i put UP on last week The Wife rolled her eyes at watching a kids film, before crying at the end anyway. Kick Ass this week though...

  5. Been wondering if this was gonna rule or blow. Loved the original....back when it came out that is. Impossible to watch now without laughing.

    Heard if I did go see it, I should see it in 2D rather than 3D as it was shot in the former and converted to the latter in post production. Heard it looks a bit like ass because of it. No?

  6. Mr Barnes.

    We come to the Curse of Memory once more. When Tron came out, I was just old enough to appreciate the difference between a good film, and a piece of cinematic eye candy. My memories of Tron do NOT suggest it's a good film. And... I really don't care to revisit cutting-edge eye-candy from prehistory.

    So: no. No Tron around here yet. I might give it a try, if I can find a cheap-ass copy that I can show the kids while I do something useful in another room.

    Heidi -- I saw it in 2D. Can't really see that the 3D schtick would have helped it much. And if it's bad 3D...