Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Dir: Desmond Davis (Ordeal by Innocence)
Cast: Harry Hamlin, Judy Bowker, Burgess Meredith, Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Claire Bloom, Ursula Andress, Neil McCarthy, Jack Gwillim, Susan Fleetwood
Seen: Originally back in the 80's, Revisited January 4, 2010
Reason to Watch & Review: For the Sword & Sandal Marathon*
I've always had fond memories of the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans, even though I'd openly admit it's not a great film. But it certainly is a fun film, one that I considered including in last Octobers It Used to Scare Me Tuesdays because it did used to scare me - there is a fair share of not only frightening scenes and imagery but more so in the ideas and situations the characters are involved in. Considering we are dealing with powerful Greek Gods & Goddesses, Titans, Gorgons and creatures there is no shortage of fantastical and epic events!
It's interesting as when I look back at the film from memory, I really remember specific key moments but not the overall story. Seeing it again, it's clear that it's a hero story following the character Perseus played by Harry Hamlin. I do enjoy the story of the film, but more so how the story is told especially when it's from the perspective of the Gods and in the transitions from the Gods to the mortal world. I also love that there are lots of Goddesses in the film as well. I was surprized at the vengefulness behind so much of the action, but that allows for ample opportunity for drama and conflict although they rarely go into the whole good vs evil discussion.
The acting at times almost feels like it's a kids movie, as it can be very clear and obvious especially Harry Hamlin as Perseus but upon this viewing I could see he's going for a naiveté angle which fits his characters story but is quite a usual choice for a hero. Other notable performances include not surprizingly Laurence Olivier, who looks like he is having a hell of a lot of fun playing the all & powerful Zeus - it's subtle, but it's there. Also wonderful to watch is Maggie Smith as the cautiously vengeful Goddess Thetis.
After the characters, the big real treat of the film is the mythical creatures of the world and the visual effects overall. It's wild to see how many of the pivotal characters are in fact creatures of some sort. With the exception of the blue screen effects (which can be truly laughable), the remaining effects really hold strong given how much time has passed since the films release. The animation effects in particular are fun and feel very nostalgic. My favourite of the effects, and one of the reasons the film still holds strong, is when it is the creative use of effects tells the story or to show different ways of seeing things. That creativity in storytelling intertwines all aspects of the film into one vision, which is the true highlight of the film as it brings the mythic tale to life.
Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
Ill watch it again
I'd recommend it as a fun fantasy/adventure film
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
* The Sword & Sandal Marathon is a 13 week marathon exploring sword & sandal films in anticipation of the 2010 release of Clash of the Titans (2010)
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012