The Czar hath returned from the Muscovy Odioplex, having taken the Цесаревич to see Clash of the Titans. The film is getting an odd mix of positive and negative reviews but the little guy really liked the 1981 original and was eager to see if the monsters were cooler.
They were. Big time.
But do not be hesitant that this is a simple retread of the original movie: it isnt. They varied considerably from the original films plot. And, by the way, they varied even more so than the original myth. Zeus brother Hades is an obvious villain now (and the Czar never realized that Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades could easily pass brothers; heck, even third brother Poseidon looks a lot like them, too), and Ionot the now marginalized Andromedais imported from another myth to become a companion and romantic interest for Perseus. A lot of kids unfamiliar with the original tales will wonder why the constellations in the sky no longer match the plot.
However, to be fair, this 2010 version comes much closer in some respects by returning Perseus to his roots as a fisherman, Cepheus is the king, and the emphasis on what a Titan actually is turns up in the first seconds of the film. In fact, this movie actually gets into the politics of Titans, gods, and demigods pretty handily.
But Czar: two questions!
One: How badly Hollywooded up is this mess, when you suddenly have Arabic-speaking djinn showing up in a Greek myth? And ridiculous chase scenes? And why is Pegasus black? Technically, those are three questions. But let us be fair: djinn are just as easily part of Greek mythology as the Norwegian kraken was in the 1981 film. And Pegasus was not part of the original myth, either: he was a Renaissance contribution. The point is that this myth has always been changing since its earliest days, and adding in a couple of really cool fight scenes and aerial chases through Argos wind up working quite well. The Greeks would have loved it, and although some parts of this movie totally play like an executive producer would pull up in a limousine, lower the window, and say We need a timely rescue from a character we forgot about, and keep thinking sequel, the inescapable fact is that the original story is equally filled with plot holes and ridiculous contrivances as well. When you bear all this in mind, some of the dumber elements of the movie are not that dumb at all but follow a weird logic perfectly suited to mythology.
Two: 2D or 3D? This is, without question, a two-dimensional movie. Save the extra five bucks a head the 3D version will cost you. The movie is awash in colors that 3D washes out. And while some scenes would definitely be great in 3D, the movies direction and camera setups are very much intended for two-dimensional viewing for about 90% of the picture. 3D in this movie would be a ridiculous contrivance that would offer very little bang for the buck.
Three: Czar, we gotta ask one more question… good for kids? Fair enough. And yes, this movie is better than the original for kid friendliness. You may remember a lot more T&A in the first picture: there is none here. And the violence is very much simulated: there are no closeups of limbs being hacked off, no slow shots of blood spraying, or bones bursting through skin. Instead, violence is more suggestedrapid cuts away before impact, swords slicing through air but not seen making contact, and so on. The monsters might be frightening for the under five crowd, but no worse than the original. The battle with the giant scorpions could also be a little intense for the very young, but if you have consistently desensitized your young brood as we recommend here, they will have no problem. Six and up, definitely, will like this one. Plus, you get to see a flying horse kick a little ass in this picture.
And yeah, the damn owl makes a bizarre but incredibly brief cameo here that will leave a lot of first-timers asking What the hell was that?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.