Clash Of The Movies
As a child growing up I found myself bounced around from home to home, as my mother moved around quite a bit. Changing neighborhoods and schools isn’t easy. You must meet new friends, get to know your new teachers, and find the quickest routes home… the new kid always gets beat up the first few weeks of school.
Because I moved around so often (my mother moved around more then a nomad being chased by the hun horde), and required some form of stability, I started reading and getting lost in books at a fairly early age… well early for back then. Thanks to technology today, we have zygotes reading in-utero. These brainiacs are born with masters degrees in Thermal Dynamics and speak five languages… but I digress. By “back then” I mean the 70’s and 80’s. I didn’t really like Dick and Jane books, and Everybody Poops wasn’t around. The Cat in the Hat was ok for a night time thriller (Thing 1 and Thing 2 were scary mother fu… I’m talking about Cat, can you dig it?), but for me what made me fall in love was when I picked up my mother’s “Greek Mythology” text book.
Now “THESE” were stories! Screw the little engine that could, and give me some incestuous Gods of Olympus who were the epitome of a dysfunctional family! I would imagine that I was Odysseus sailing for the golden fleece, or Perseus fighting the minotaur in the labyrinth. By nine I could comprehend most of the stories in The Odyssey, but I admit I had to gloss over sexual references because that part of my brain just didn’t fully appreciate the lengths a guy would go to for a hot babe. They say that Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships, but what they should have said was how Paris forced the war because she had some “good shit”. (This kiddies is best left for another story were we delve into the dark side of the male psyche).
So suffice it to say that by the time I reached my teens, I was a reader, with my favorite books being the Greek stories. In 1980 I was shipped off to live with my father, and didn’t have access to my mother’s school books any more. This saddened me, so I started to read what ever was laying around the house.
That’s when I found Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, although entertaining, was a bit too sappy for my taste. Why someone would kill themselves over a girl was lost on me at age twelve, but I did enjoy the fights between the Capulets and Montagues. There’s nothing like a fight to the death for an adolescent. My favorite story of Shakespeare’s was Midsummer’s Night Dream, because of the fantastical element, and well, I just have a thing for The Puck. He is my all-time favorite literary character and hero.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s some interesting movies came out, and due to my reading hobbits, they called to me.
- Star Wars. Yes, it’s a cult classic today, but back then many kids my age were lost trying to follow the story. They loved the action and effects, but the plot was hidden behind metallic men and 7’ rugs that could rip your arms off and beat you with them.
- Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (well hell, any Sinbad movie). Sinbad introduced me to the special effects of Ray Harryhausen, the elite animatronics animationist of his time.
- Clash of the Titans. Greek mythology. My passion as a kid. To see on screen what I read in a book… well almost what I read in a book.
A few things happened during that time when I discovered movies. I fell in love with special effects, I started reading more “after” seeing a movie, and I became a jaded movie cynic at an early age.
While seeing Clash of the Titans, I would shake my head or mumble that the movie was wrong. I didn’t have an understanding of “artistic vision”, and I was upset when the story on the screen didn’t fit the story from the books. I would reread the stories afterward and then criticize the movie for not holding true to the original myth, but what else is an over read 12 year old to do with his time?
So it’s been over twenty years since Clash of the Titans hit the screen… and over 30 years since I’ve read the Greek myths. Clash of the Titans has become a cult classic with people laughing and groaning over the acting, and yet it keeps drawing in the viewers with it’s fantastical sense of wonder.
Now, Warner Brothers studios are remaking Clash of the Titans. Like most of the movies that come out of Hollywood they are taking an old story and remaking it. I’ve seen the trailers, and it looks action packed and full of CGI goodness. But one must wonder if they’ve bastardized the original story once more in the name of CGI adventure, or if they’ve gone back to the true story of Perseus and Andromeda. Will they depict the son of Zeus and Danae in the heroic manner that Homer did? Or will the movie studio make him an action hero befitting a Jackie Chan movie?
I guess I’ll have to wait and see, and I’m crossing my fingers that no one tries to remake Midsummer’s Night Dream, with Robin Goodfellow as a muscle flexing ninja with cyborg implants… wait, I think I saw that on the Syfy channel the other night.
I leave you now with “Clash of the Titans 2010”