Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Clash of the Titans (1981)

CLASH OF THE TITANS is an epic adventure that lives up to its title, and is a marvelous feat in Fantasy and Greek mythology. The Greeks incur the wrath of the gods when Perceus, son of Zeus, is cast to a watery grave. Zeus spares his life so that he may prove himself by completing a series of death-defying tasks in order to fulfill his destiny! TITANS is best known as being the last film to feature Ray Harryhausen's incredible art design, but it is also remembered for displaying many of his most iconic creations. The special FX are purely imaginative, combining breathtaking models and miniatures with elaborate set designs and immaculate stop-motion animation imposed over convincing green-screened environments. Many of the effects may seem dated by today's standards, but for the time, they reached the height of claymation's capabilities in creating believable characters and monsters. CLASH OF THE TITANS couldn't have been a more appropriate title considering the all-star cast, with Laurence Olivier starring as the great Zeus himself, along with film greats Maggie Smith, Claire Bloom, Burgess Meredith, and others. Harry Hamlin captures Perceus' brave but impetuous nature perfectly, in turn creating one of the most memorable Fantasy heroes in of all time. Each of the moments of action and suspense are heightened by Rosenthal's triumphant score that imbues the picture with a lasting sense of excitement and danger. Even with its lengthy exposition, CLASH OF THE TITANS maintains a high level of interest thanks to the many fast-paced action sequences that are spread evenly throughout the script. It represents some of the finest filmmaking from a bygone era of film that has since been replaced by computerized imaging.

Rating: 10/10.
Number of views: 4.

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  1. hell yes! and hell yes... on the check out:

  2. I actually just picked this up this of those re-releases to cash in on the remake. First time I've seen it since I was a kid. Some of the effects don't work, and DVD especially makes them stand out. But it gets better as it goes. The Medusa portion of the film is all kinds of awesome.

  3. This is one of my favorite movies. Love it. It's MILES AWAY better than the remake. The only thing I found strange about it was why did Harryhausen animate the Calibos character in some scenes and not in others? They should have just left it as the actor under make up. He was convincing in that way. I'll have to go through that chapter again in his book and see if there's info about that. I got the score for this one, too. A shame soundtrack collector isn't around anymore.

  4. I heard the new BluRay is atrocious for making the FX look terrible, but the version I watched on Netflix looked pretty good even if many of the FX are dated. As for Calibos I dont mind the transitions, as obvious as they are. I think composing him in the claymation was a bold and ambitious attempt, but I have to agree the makeup work did a great job as well and if they would have removed the tail they could have gotten away with removing the stop motion. Then again, hes like 10' tall, no?

  5. I'm not sure, Carl. I assumed he was about normal size from what I remember. I'll dig out my Harryhausen book and see. All I remember was him talking about the proposed follow up to CLASH that never got as far as the drawing stage and it looked like a winner, too.

  6. Calibos was slightly larger than Perceus, but not really much taller. Slightly more beefy and sort of hunched over a bit.

    The only effect that really took me out of the film are the wide shots where Poseidon is opening the gate that holds the Kraken. The DVD really reveals the awful green-screening. But other than that the effects pretty much still hold up.

  7. A classic Saturday afternoon movie from my childhood. The real star of the show is of course Ray Harryhausen (which is possibly the reason why most of the films he worked on had such bland leading actors). It has a charm and innocence lacking in the artificiality of CGI...and at least the effects look as though they were created by human beings, and not a computer programme. Up there with JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS as Harryhausen's best film.

  8. I agree with you and everyone else...a true classic. This is defining film from my childhood, and I'll always love it.


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