Alexander and the Very, Very, Very, Very Long Title is based on a 32 page picture book by Judith Viorst about a young boy who feels trampled by the world and feels that his personal misfortunes are neither recognised nor understood by his family. In a moment of sly retribution, he wishes the worst possible day on his parents and siblings in a desperate attempt to have them understand his plight. Read more >>

 



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Clash Of The Titans

Loosely based on the 1981 film by Desmond Davis which was in turn loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus, this incarnation of Clash Of The Titans bears little semblance to the original legend bar the perfunctory plot points of Perseus slaying Medusa to kill the Kraken to save Andromeda (though even that synopsis departs from legend). That Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief sticks closer to the original tale is an indictment of just how far this story has strayed from authenticity. In this new film the source material is given a vacuous treatment, sacrificing logical narrative cohesion and historical accuracy in order to get to the next monster fight in as few turns as possible. The result of all this narrative jiggery pokery is the apparentness that the modern Hollywood script doctor has nothing on their Ancient Greece counterpart.


The film represents much of what we find reprehensible about modern American cinema - a gratuitous reliance on CGI cobbled to a vapid script. While the 1981 film had its faults, there was a charm, simplicity and innocence in that film which, despite Harry ‘The Ham’ Hamlin's timbered performance, is completely lacking here. Davis' film also showcased the pinnacle of Ray Harryhausen's stop motion technique, in what would be the last film to feature the work of the great animator (though the 90 year old isn't dead yet…)

I saw the 2D incarnation of this movie but have also seen sections of the 3D version and can advise that the latter is a mere cash-in best avoided. The film is not shot in a manner that exploits the third dimension and the 3D effects look awfully planar. The latter is a direct result of the film being shot in 2D with faux depth applied in post-production - the same problem which plagued Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, only worse! The result being that characters look like cardboard cut-outs or they're strangely attached to inanimate background objects in a most disconcerting fashion, often both. It is projects like this that will give digital 3D a bad name and kill the technology's present run of success.

Performances are strictly of the ‘phone-in’ variety even from such thespian stalwarts as Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. Sam Worthington will need to tread very carefully with his future career lest he become the Jason Statham of fantasy sci-fi.

Clash Of The Titans is a titanic disappointment that deserves to hit an iceberg and sink without a trace like its sea-faring namesake. Sadly it just may drag that magnificent 3D technology with it.
Stuart Jamieson
www.clash-of-the-titans.warnerbros.com


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