Monday, February 5, 2018

Dojo Classics - Clash Of The Titans!

Clash of the Titans is far from my favorite Ray Harryhausen movie. This last epic by Harryhausen features some neat set pieces, especially the sequence of Perseus battling the Gorgon. I have to give the taming of Pegasus a good grade too, but that's mostly because at the time seeing a flying horse was very cool. Nowadays that sequence creaks a bit, but that's unfair criticism on my part really. But otherwise the movie is a bit of a snooze.

It's not really the special effects that fail though even now, it's the other elements of the story that bore me mostly. Bubo is cute, but gets tired fast. Harry Hamlin is handsome enough but seems pretty empty in the role, especially when he's confronted with Burgess Meredith who acts rings around him. Judi Bowker is lovely but lacks the exotic touch I expect for such a princess, she's a bit too cornbread for the role.

All that said, I'm perfectly content to let Harryhausen's epic be my "Clash" for now. The remake is getting mixed reviews and I can certainly wait until it shows up on TV to catch it myself in a year or so. Like its predecessor it seems to be a nice enough movie, but based on the promos I've seen lacks the spark to make yearn to see it. Too bad really.

Harryhausen's final movie did generate some pretty good posters though. The Hildebrant brothers did a pretty nice one (though there is for sure a hint of Star Wars in it) and the other is very dynamic, the Kraken is way more interesting and vital on the poster.

UPDATE: Watched this flick again a few days ago and my analysis pretty much sticks. Clash of the Titans is the least of the Harryhausen movies for a simple reason, it's sort of boring. Despite lots of nifty monsters (Medusa and Kraken) the story just sort of tumbles along and the characters never ever seem all that desperate. It's mediocre acting for certain, a lackluster directing job perhaps, but one thing which annoyed me mightily on this viewing was the absolute irritating music. The score is very lush but never elevates above elevator music level. There's at once too much music and not enough to add to the proceedings. Sound and music is often something in a movie you don't miss until you do and that's sure the case with this one. By the way I've seen the remakes of this story and love them, they're better than the original, at least in terms of acting and such pedestrian aspects even if they don't have the Harryhausen magic.

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  1. Always had a soft spot for this movie as I got to see some advance footage at a convention in 1980 and was lucky enough to meet the great Mr Harryhausen in person.
    He made some fun films but most were forerunners of the effects driven films of today, complete with the same weaknesses of plot, character and acting.

    1. There's no doubt the Harryhausen bits are the best parts of this movie by far. If it had been surrounded by a more compelling yarn it would've been better still.

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