Friday, April 23, 2010

Clash of the Titans

In Taipei for the weekend, what better way to sample the local culture than to spend half an hour playing geriatric arcade games, then watching Sam Worthington in Clash of the Titans, in 3D?

It's a long time since I watched the original, and it's a shame that they replaced the stop-motion animation with occasionally-hard-to-figure-out-what-the-hell-is-going-on CGI. And the ancient Greeks were clearly a motley lot, including Le Chiffre from Casino Royale, Gemma Atherton and an Australian Terminator.

There's further distraction from them filming part of it in Thetford Forest (nothing says epic battleground to me like a pine forest in Norfolk, but that's probably due to too many hours of endurance racing on a bicycle with no gears) and then swiftly changing to a pile of ancient ruins on a desert mountaintop. Surely if Clash of the Titans is set in ancient times, shouldn't the ancient temples look, well, a bit fresher?

Anyway, there's lots of banging and crashing, but the whole thing just doesn't feel that epic in scale. Perseus blunders around through CGI set piece after CGI set piece and eventually slays a big monstrous thing in a harbour, saving the people of Argos.

Who happen to be either some violent beardy iconoclasts who brought all this on themselves via hubris and knocking over giant statues (making them appear a bunch of taliban-alikes similar to the ones who enjoyed blowing up giant buddhas a while back), or a bunch of violent religious nutters who stick their hands in fires and sacrifice women to CGI octo-scorpion-monster thingies. Either way, these seem a rum lot to name a discount catalogue store after.

Although anybody who's been to the Argos in Bromley might suggest it's an appropriate name, given the employees and the clientele.

We left, got a taxi back to the hotel with a regulation Taiwanese Gandalf-a-like - long hair, long fingernails, but thankfully (unlike Christmas Day 2009) this one wasn't watching Scary Movie 3 as he drove, and he put us right outside our hotel in a trice. Thanks, Taiwanese Gandalf-a-like man!


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