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Flashback: 'Clash of the Titans' lost best picture to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' … at the Saturn Awards

April 2, 2010 | 11:47 am

"Clash of the Titans" is in a fierce clash with film critics, who are thrusting their pens like swords, gleefully, at the 3-D remake. Why? "There's nothing worse than a boring behemoth," fumes USA Today.

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"It's doubtful that records are kept about this sort of thing, but consider the possibility that 'Clash of the Titans' is the first film to actually be made worse by being in 3-D," says Kenneth Turan in the L.A. Times. It's getting a few decent reviews from Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly and Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times, but otherwise the consensus opinion seems to be reflected by Brian Lowry's view in Variety: "This 'Titans' reboot merely demonstrates that building a more elaborate mousetrap doesn't necessarily produce a more entertaining one."

But "Titans" fans have permission to pooh-pooh all that. The original 1981 production got widely skewered too — even by Variety, which called it "an unbearable bore that will probably put to sleep the few adults stuck taking kids to it. This mythical tale of Perseus, son of Zeus, and his quest for the 'fair' Andromedia, is mired in a slew of corny dialog and an endless array of flat, outdated special effects."

But lots of kids and adults did attend. It earned $41 million at the box office, making it the 11th-biggest grossing film of 1981. And it quickly became a cult classic — in a camp kind of way. It's absolutely hilarious today to watch Larry Olivier, Maggie Smith, Claire Bloom and Harry Hamlin uttering that corny dialogue while wrapped in sheets like stiff, unhappy prisoners at John Belushi's toga party in "Animal House."

Here's a dialogue sample. Zeus (Olivier) boasting about a battle victory by his son Perseus (Hamlin): "Fortune is ally to the brave!"

Thetis (Smith): "What a dangerous precedent! What if there more heroes like him? What if courage and imagination became everyday mortal qualities? What will become of us?"

The Oscars and Golden Globes snubbed the original "Clash of the Titans," but it got nominated for six Saturn Awards, including best picture (which it lost to "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and best supporting actor (Burgess Meredith as Ammon, a playwright pal of Perseus -- he beat Ralph Richardson in "Dragonslayer," Paul Freeman in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and Craig Warnock in "Time Bandits").

Photo: MGM

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The comments to this entry are closed.


Too right. The special effects in the original Clash were outdated, I even thought this as a child thinking it must've been made in the 60's around the time of Jason and the Argonaughts. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of Ray Harryhausen but next to Industrial Light and Magic (George Lucas's effects company Star Wars/Raiders) nothing stood a chance.

Raiders of the Lost Ark remains a masterpiece.

I actually thought that the remake was pretty good on it's own. However, Andromeda had a surprisingly small role in this movie. I was kind of disappointed that Medusa 2010 was quite "hot" minus the snake hair and body when she is supposed to be a hideous creature. The dark and frightening scene in the catacombs of the 1982 film was made into a fast paced 3-D adventure through her lair. I thought that Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson played their roles perfectly and the twist on Calibos' character was quite clever. Overall I would give the movie a 7/10.

I just saw clash of the titans and I thought it was really good. Was it great, no, but I wasn't expecting it to be great for the original wasn't great either. What I paid for and what I received was an adventurous escape from reality for two hours and that is all I wanted. I have no idea why the critics have banded together to bash this movie. I honestly believe that the real reason for the backlash is because of the last second addition of 3D, rather than the actual quality of the movie. I have never been in bigger disagreement with the critics than this movie and I am starting to see more movies rated by them off of personal bias, agendas and feelings than the actual quality of movie. Critics are people and just like any other person they have their favorite types of genre whether they want to admit it or not. Yet we continue to rely on these critics for their opinions when obviously have something against certain types of movies.



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