Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Stupidest Film Ever Written

So yesterday I rented the new Clash of the Titans film.

I skipped it in the theater, and had actually put off renting it, simply because A) I don't rent as many flicks as I used to and B) it was kind of low down on the priority list. But I wanted to see it, simply because I really like and appreciate the original film (I should say, "have discovered a newfound appreciation for" having re-watched it 2 or 3 times in the last year...for many, many reasons). I had been told it was dumb by my friend Steve-O which , considering some of his cinematic likes is really saying something, but I figured it can't be that bad. I mean, Avatar was no great shakes as "high art," but it was entertaining, especially if one went into it with fairly low expectations (and really, the whole "alien-druid" thing didn't bother me nearly as much as some folks). So maybe I would be pleasantly surprised? Plus, as I (should) have mentioned before, I have been into Greek mythology since I was a very young child, reading about Theseus and Bellerophon and watching Heracles in dubbed English in sunday morning sand & sandal flicks. wife had found a Blockbuster gift card when she was cleaning out my wallet the other day, so I thought I'd pick it up with that rather than spend money on it.

Wow. This movie is fucking retarded.

Pardon my French, but this film is FUCKING RETARDED. Oh...did I already say that? Sorry, but it deserves to be said more than once.

The acting was fine for a film of this type...Hollywood was the direction, I guess. It was hard to pay to close attention when I was so totally aghast at the "story" spewing forth on the screen.

The original Clash of the Titans film was a mix of many myths, and certainly took liberties with how those myths interrelated with each other. It didn't bend them over and sodomize them, though. It didn't throw history under the bus and piss on its corpse.

I mean, I wasn't looking for a 1-for-1 remake of a liberal pastiche like CotT. And yet, when I watched the film 300 I didn't expect the Spartans to somehow win the Battle of Thermopylae. When I watched the Clive Owen King Arthur film, I didn't expect Arthur to suddenly side-up with the Saxons and rampage over England. And while Kevin Costner's Robin Hood introduced some Moorish character into the mythos, at least the dude wasn't some sort of wooden alien sorcerer. And, of course, Costner doesn't spit in the face of King Richard and tell the people of England to throw off the yoke of feudalism and the monarchy.

But maybe I shouldn't judge too harshly...after all, I didn't actually get through the whole thing. Try as we might, the wife and I both fell asleep sometime before the hero actually got to his confrontation with Medusa.

And I do plan on finishing the film. I mean, sure, it looks like it's headed for complete travesty (with some sort of "to-the-death" showdown with Hades, silly as that it sounds), but...well even if it does end in complete travesty, I'm curious as to just how bad it can get. Because, in watching the first half of the film, at least three or four times I found myself saying, "well, it can't get any stupider than this," just to be proven wrong again and again.

[by the way, folks, sorry I haven't finished the AP report from's been a pretty good weekend and that means a lot of family time. I'll finish it up tomorrow at the latest...]


  1. In all fairness, the Moorish companion was introduced in the TV series Robin of Sherwood, but your point remains.

  2. Yep, this movie really did suck. I haven't watched the original in years, but I used to LOVE it. I don't know what the heck they were aiming for with this movie. With all the acting talent, you would really expect a better movie. I'm pretty sure that is what lured me...

  3. I remember precisely one good thing about that shipwreck of a film (the portrayal of Medusa, which recalls the later myth where she is cursed by Athena), and so much that was complete suck. Note to movie makers: A sudden left turn away from the one line of character building you have repeated a dozen times throughout the film? That is not a character arc!

    Then there's the merely inexplicable - like the pair of monster hunters that insist on joining Perseus & co. who seemed to have wandered in from another draft, or perhaps another movie altogether.

    I'm not even going to go in to the deus ex machinations needed for the happy ending. It's just moronic (and tacked-on.)

  4. I was never a fan of the first movie except for Ray Harryhausen critters. The only thing I liked in the most recent movie is when Bubo the mechanical owl was thrown in the trash barrel. I cannot tell you how much I hated that little guy in the first movie. And I don't know if its just my age, but the first medusa was cool as hell, best part of the movie, the whole set and action sequence. The recent movie with medusa was very forgettable.

  5. I read an article this Spring, I think, breaking down how it got a massive re-write and bad edit in postproduction. The original sounded pretty decent, actually. Ah! Found the article:

  6. I went to see it with low expectations and found the movie has everything a D&D adventure has. And I liked it. Maybe if I weren't into D&D I wouldn't have. ;-)


  7. Yes, it is stupid. But there are vastly stupider movies out there. And I watched it as the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, with my father and a couple of beers and cheese-fries, so I had a good time when I watched, even if it made no damned sense.

  8. @ Shimrod: Mmm...after reading the article, it still looks like crap to me. Whenever you turn Io into some sort of kick-ass action hero with a vorpal bola, the film goes in the "garbage" pile. Oh, and the addition of "wooden" sorcerers (that is SO "Greek myth!"), don't forget them!

    @ Gabriel: You play a very different type of D&D from me, I guess.

    @ Grumpy: I've watched terrible films, campy films, films with poor acting and directing, and films I just plain didn't like...but there's very few films I've walked out of the theater when watching. In fact, I can only think of one: Highlander 2. If I had seen Clash of the Titans in the theater, I would have walked out. It's one thing to take liberties with a story, or history, or established genre/mythos...but this was a complete and silly travesty.

    1. What, you don't like Highlander 2? I find it to easily land in the "so godawful it's actually awesome" sector. Though, to be honest, I can't remember if I've even seen the original version or just some later recut.

      But, then again, I also like stuff like Conan the Destroyer, Hawk the Slayer and the second D&D film from 2005... unlike normal people, I suppose. :)

    2. @ Tipi:

      I’ve seen Conan the Destroyer. It’s not good, and much worse than its predecessor, but it’s fine for schlock 80s fantasy. Grace Jones is always good, and there’s a lot of genuine “D&Disms” in the film (love the thief, for example).

      The first D&D film wasn’t nearly as good and far too forced. I’m 90% sure I saw the second (isn’t there a gnome who gets teleported into a stone block? That part was nifty), but it was made for TV and generally awful.

      Highlander 2 was…bad. Irredeemably bad. So bad that future entries in the franchise ignored it. Whoever came up with the idea had a brain hemorrhage or something. Not awesome, just awful.

      There are films I enjoyed in my youth that…when rewatched…I found had aged poorly. Other films I found that…with maturing tastes…they simply failed to enthrall me as once they had.

      But there are a couple films that have been so awful…and so OBVIOUSLY awful, even to a young, immature mind…that I’ve never even been tempted to watch them ever, EVER again. For any reason.

      Highlander 2 is one of those; the re-booted Clash of the Titans is another.