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Pretty, but completely incoherent

I still have hives. I finished my prednisone on Saturday, and they weren't too bad that day, but they've been coming back since. Right now, it's arms, feet, and ankles. Other than the itching, the bottoms of my feet are sore, kind of like I've been walking around in heels for several hours. Except that I haven't. I've contacted my doctor and that's about all I can do at this point. As icky as I feel, I'm going to try to go to work tomorrow and just deal with it, since obviously laying around for the last week hasn't done fuck all.

I was actually intending to go in today, but that didn't quite work out. Kat came up for Arkham Horror yesterday, and we discovered last night that the battery in her car has spontaneously died in the short time she was parked outside my house. Of course, we found this out after it was dark and most places where we could buy a new battery had already closed. So Kat spent the night and this morning we set about acquiring a new battery for the car.

This is the really sad thing - I really did try to take care of it myself. Except my socket wrench set has gone mysteriously missing, and of all the wrenches that I own (which seems to be two sets, there are so many of) none of them were the right size to deal with the bolts holding her battery in. We finally just got in my car and headed over to the Super Walmart by my house, since they've got an automotive center. They told us that if we got the car over there, they'd put the battery in for free as long as we bought the new one from them. So I ended up just springing for a set of jumper cables (which I should really own anyway) and we jump started the car and got it over to Walmart.

The jumper cables, by the way, are very strange. (these ones) For some bizarre reason, if you follow the directions on the cables, you put the clips on the positive and negative of the good battery, and then the other clips on the positive of the bad battery and the engine frame. I have no idea why you would do this. And when we faithfully tried to follow the directions, it didn't actually work. We couldn't get Kat's car started until I had the clips on both poles of the bad battery. So these jumper cables are apparently both funny looking, and giant liars.

Anyway, the automotive center had several other appointments before they could get to the battery, which meant we had a couple of hours to waste. So we decided to see the new Clash of the Titans since it looks pretty. And it was the cheap show.

I'm glad we went to the cheap show. I wouldn't have wanted to pay more than $6 to see that movie. And also, the only other people in the theater were a small family that were sitting a decent distance away, which meant we could whisper to each other when the movie made no sense. Which was often.

I'm not going to claim that the original Clash of the Titans was a work of great cinema. I wouldn't even accuse it of being well written. But the one thing it did have was a story that made reasonable sense. Zeus slept with Perseus' mom, because he was Zeus and that's the sort of thing he did. The gods were bickering, and using humans to mess with each other. Perseus was cocky and thought Andromeda was hot, so wanted to save her from getting eaten by the Kraken.

In comparison, well... let me give you my synopsis of the new movie:


For no apparent reason, a bunch of Greeks have decided that they don't like the gods any more. They never bother to tell us why. King I-Can't-Be-Bothered-To-Remember-His-Name lays siege to Olympus (no, really). Zeus retaliates, as one might expect from the mighty God of Thunder, by fucking the King's wife. No, really. And then when the King gets pissed off and throws her in to the sea because she's pregnant, Zeus finally gets around to zotting the guy with (gee) lightning. Which doesn't actually kill him, for some reason. Instead it just sort of melts half his face, at which point the King decides to go live in the sewers and starts calling himself Calebos. I suppose we should feel lucky he didn't build a pipe organ and start composing opera. At some point later, by the way, Hades pops up to see Calebos and infuses him with super powers via the Beam of Fiery Stenchy Breath and reveals that this is all just so he (Hades) can try to screw over Zeus.

A fisherman finds baby Perseus and raises him. The fisherman spends a lot of time bitching about how much the gods suck. They're sailing around one day and come across a super awesome statue of Zeus overlooking the sea, just in time to see a bunch of soldiers from Argos knock it over in to the water. For no apparent reason Hades shows up, kills all the soldiers, and then blows up the fishing boat for good measure, just because he's in a bad mood. This causes Perseus to spend the rest of the movie brooding and snarling about how a god killed his family, so all the gods can fuck off as far as he's concerned. I'm guessing one of the abilities of being a demigod is to be incredibly unimpressed when confronted by an actual god. And also to be the only man in Argos with a crew cut as opposed to an Ancient Greek Mullet, but that's a different topic.

Hades, who needs both hair plugs and some Vick's Vapor Rub, goes to Olympus and tells Shiny Liam Neeson that the humans are saying mean things about the gods, and that Hades would be happy to scare the hell out of them so they start praying properly again. All of the other gods stand around and look shiny and sound vaguely British. Zeus sends Hades off to do whatever he wants, then hangs out with his bald eagle, because apparently Olympus is in the western United States. Just so you know.

A few remaining soldiers, all of them wearing breastplates with the most stupid fake musculature EVER, find Perseus and take him back to Argos, where people are partying because the gods can suck it. Or something. Cassiopaea starts up about how her daughter is hotter than all the gods, even after Andromeda tells her to stuff it. Hades manifests as a giant Hell Blender and grinds up all the soldiers, then kills Cassiopaea and tells the few people left alive that he's going to sic the Kraken on them if they don't sacrifice Andromeda to it.

Perseus, in keeping with the acting abilities of Sam Worthington, says some growly shit about how much the gods suck but woodenly insists that he can't do anything about it, and thus gets thrown in jail, because for no discernible reason everyone can suddenly tell that he's Zeus' kid. A hot chick with nice hair shows up and introduces herself as Io and kind of explains things to him but not really.

Perseus suddenly decides that he's going to try to help out Argos. I'm guessing it's because he thinks the gods suck, but honestly I couldn't tell you. He gets some ridiculous looking armor of his own and sets out with some soldiers and a couple of comic relief characters. There is dialog and some action and a half-naked holy man and frankly none of it makes sense. Perseus does some typical male bonding stuff with the soldiers, so it becomes apparent that they are all destined to die in ways that will make him strike poses both stoic and steely-eyed. The soldier in charge (who has both a mullet and facial scars) tries to point out to Perseus that he's got some better-than-human abilities because he's a demigod. Perseus insists that he hates gods, doesn't want to be like them, and is going to be just a man, thank you very much. Io is also following along this entire time, looking like she's just stepped out of a salon.

At some point during this testosterone fest, there's a scene where Hades lets Zeus know that Perseus is around. This is apparently a surprise to Zeus, which was something of a surprise to me. And Zeus' reaction is then to be butt-hurt, because Perseus never sent him a card on father's day. Be that as it may, Zeus sends a magical sword to Perseus - which Perseus immediately refuses to use because HAVE I MENTIONED I HATE GODS AND AM BITTER? - and shows off his pegasus herd.

Rather than let us enjoy the pretty horsies, Calebos pops up out of nowhere and starts killing the soldiers. There's some very confused fighting, and then Calebos gets his hand cut off. His blood turns in to the giant scorpions, which then leads to a surprisingly boring fight scene where the soldiers try to kill the computer generated scorpions. The only enjoyable part of the fight is when Io saves Perseus, then gets pitched down a hill for her trouble and we find out that her hair actually isn't a solid block and that she can look slightly grimy. The fight sequence ends with the brave soldiers surrounded by giant scorpions, and it looks vaguely worrying.

And then a Djinn shows up. No, you didn't misread that. The Djinn are all magical and tame the scorpions. Or something. And apparently decide that they like Perseus, because even Djinn think that the gods suck. Overnight, they build some lovely houses on top of the scorpions, and they all set off together across what appears to be the Sahara, to get to the mountains where the witches live. The grizzled old soldier at this point tells Perseus to stop being a petulant douchebag and actually try to reach his demi-god potential, because by not doing so he's been letting the nameless and uninteresting soldiers get picked off like flies. As you might suspect, Perseus' reaction to this is to be even more petulant and douchey.

The scene with the witches actually runs about like the original movie, except the witches are much creepier looking. And at the end, they make a big prophecy about how Perseus is Going To Die, which considering that he's not actually immortal probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Apparently this is a dealbreaker for all but one of the Djinn, though, and they run off with their scorpions. Perseus takes a little walk by himself, meets up with Zeus and is petulant at him, then Zeus gives him a coin for the ferryman. Which is probably the most fatherly thing Zeus has ever done; I certainly remember my days in college (the first time around) when I looked pathetic enough that my parents couldn't resist slipping me twenties before I headed back to my dorm.

So the merry little band goes to the river Styx, and the Djinn is the only one smart enough to figure out how to call for Charon. Or something. I don't really know what that was all about. Everyone hangs out on the boat, and Perseus and Io (who is once again perfectly groomed) have a moment so devoid of chemistry that I was forced to wonder if it had been written by Stephanie Meyer. They all get to Medusa's lair; Io stays outside and lets all the boys go merrily to their deaths.

Now, I will say that I liked the Medusa's lair sequence. I think they did a good job with Medusa, and I really liked all the eerie giggling that she did. Medusa also proceeds to kill everyone but Perseus, and I was hard-pressed to care. Perseus chops off her head, and goes outside to Io, who then gets stabbed through the back by Calebos. Io's stabbing is apparently the motivation Perseus needs to stop being a whiny craphead about being a demigod; he grabs the magic sword and slices the crap out of Calebos. The magical sword then sucks all the evil out of Calebos, briefly transforming him back in to King Whatever-His-Name-Was, who dies after telling Perseus "Don't become like them."

Uh... whatever, asshole who just stabbed the well-groomed lady.

Perseus and Io have another moment, which is - though this should be impossible according to the laws of physics - even more devoid of chemistry than the last. Then Io turns in to pretty lights and disappears. And Pegasus, knowing a deus ex machina when he sees one, shows up to carry Perseus back to Argos, covering the distance that apparently took 10 days to travel in something like five minutes. That's what I call horsepower. (Har har.)

Oh, and at some point, Shiny Liam Neeson says, "Release the Kraken!" That's kind of cool.

The Kraken shows up. Andromeda gets hung by her wrists from some sort of wooden sacrificial structure and looks vaguely annoyed by the inconvenience, but otherwise unbothered. In a long and incredibly confusing sequence that lacks any sort of tension, Perseus does a lot of flying around on Pegasus, chasing after a little Hades minion that grabbed Medusa's head when I blinked. He gets the head back, the Kraken gets turned in to stone, and then Andromeda gets dropped in the ocean. Hades shows up, Perseus whips out the magical sword, it gets zotted by lightning, and the uses it to knock Hades back in to the underworld.

Then he gets around to jumping in to the water and rescuing Andromeda, who has very impressive lung capacity. Andromeda asks Perseus to be king of Argos. Perseus says no, and then fucks off on Pegasus, who takes him back to where Hades killed Perseus' family. Zeus shows up, and there's some very nonsensical dialog about how people are going to worship Perseus like a god, and Perseus should try to treat them better than the gods apparently did. Then Io appears, and I suppose it's happily every after, but I just stopped caring.


...and that's it. Maybe it was because I was starting to get really hungry by the end of the movie, but the big climactic action sequence was both confusing and boring. Nothing that any of the characters did made any sense. None of the random shit that the characters said about the relationship between men and gods made any sense. Perseus had no character arc beyond scowling a lot and jumping around in a teeny leather skirt; in the end, we're left to wonder if he was supposed to accept or reject his partially divine heritage, and if we can really be bothered to give a shit about it in the first place.

Give me the old Clash of the Titans any day, thanks. Maybe the special effects were crap, but at least I could buy Perseus going through all the dirt and mess because he wanted to get in to Andromeda's pants. Making it in to a revenge fantasy where Perseus really just wants to stick it to the gods might make it more butch than the old movie, but I find CG scorpions and a bombastic theatrical score a poor substitute for the old exuberance.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
stoic_rose
Apr. 20th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
Your snarky movie review has made me smile and laugh. I thank you and agree with all you have said. Being a mythology geek this new Clash of the Titans made me want to hit someone for taking Greek mythology and putting it in a blender and then making it throw up all over itself.
katsudon
Apr. 20th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
Kat called it "bad Greek mythology fanfic." Man, it was awful...
roseargent
Apr. 20th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
I know this is going to sound kind of crazy, but could it be something like chicken pox? I know it's super-super rare to get it again if you've already had it or been vaccinated, but between the fever, the rash that doesn't seem to have been caused by any allergen you can figure out, and the rash being on your feet... well, I just wondered.
dubhradh
Apr. 20th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
You know, my mom once mentioned that even after getting chicken pox you could get the shingles and that they were somehow related, not sure if it could be anything like that.

*sending lots of sympathy, sounds like you've had a crappy couple weeks*
katsudon
Apr. 20th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
The rash has been identified as hives by a couple of doctors now, so I don't think it's chicken pox. Thank goodness.
melindrha
Apr. 20th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
Thank you for helping to determine that I'll just wait til it's at the dollar theatre.
gookachu
Apr. 20th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
oh man, i think i shall kill someone.

i, for one, love the old harryhausen effects in the old movie. and, it had burgess meredith, so where could you go wrong?

i won't see lightening thief for the same reason, even though roger's crushing badly for pierce brosnan. the writer based his stories off _appolodorus_, for fuck's sake. if you can't even take the time to do a little research, and get at least some of it right, then don't do it at all *grr*
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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