Friday, April 9, 2010

Dear Hollywood,

It's your old friend, Noël, here. Remember when we used to bond over action and adventure flicks? When you gave me corny-yet-lovable movies like The Rock and Lethal Weapon? Remember Mad Max 2 and Total Recall? Those were good times.
But we need to talk. I'm concerned that you're no longer content with remaking and rebooting every movie I've ever loved. You seem now to be in some sort of sado-masochistic self-destruct pattern. It's almost as if you're trying to destroy my beloved memories of these films, revelling in your own failure, and you enjoy watching me squirm while I try to endure it. And Clash of the Titans has made me realize that this relationship just isn't working for me anymore.
For one thing, $16 for a movie ticket is larcenous, plastic glasses or no. For another, how could you remake a movie- loved simply because it was so campy and bad- and somehow make something so much worse?
You could have kept the story, reworked the dialogue, and cast anyone else but Liam Neeson to fill Sir Laurence Olivier's shoes. We all like Liam, but he's no Sir Laurence. We know he tries, but that's just it. He tries too damned hard. He's never met a line he couldn't deliver just a little too seriously. There's a reason "Release the Kraken!" became an instant catch phrase once the trailer premiered. It was like Samuel L. Jackson's "I've had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!" yet, it lacked the winking self-awareness.
Clash of the Titans was all over the place. It went through a lot of trouble explaining certain plot points and left us to wonder about others. The pacing was awful. Slow, then fast, then slow, then fast again, like it had no middle gears to shift to.
Character development? What's that? Clearly you don't know anymore.
The acting was terrible. There were two solid performances: Ralph Fiennes as Hades, who was the only one who seemed to get the tone of the movie, and the witches, who were very Guillermo Del Toro (who should have directed this movie) and successful because they seemed to be from another, better, movie. Everyone else was painful to watch.
The dialogue was hacknied. Characters asking each other loaded questions in an unnatural manner, and the other characters responding in a cringingly pre-scripted way.
I thought after G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, that remakes couldn't be any worse. But you impressed me with your ability to fail, Hollywood. Rise of Cobra was at least unintentionally funny, but I don't think even MST3K could extract a chuckle from Clash. And releasing such an awful movie while 300 so fresh in my memory, shame on you.
The effects were good, but in a few years they'll look dated and coarse.
The stop-motion of the original has a more enduring quality. Sure, it's obviously fake, but they made those creatures with their bare hands and love.
You should sell shirts that say "I survived Clash of the Titans." So that we, the shocked victims who took in this travesty, can find comfort in knowing we're not alone. It's clear we're all in an abusive relationship with you and we keep going back because we remember the good old days.
So, Hollywood, I'm ending this friendship. You'll get one chance to win me back with TRON Legacy. God help you if you mess that one up, too.
Sincerely -- Noel
Sent from my T-Mobile Sidekick


Ben said...

I would absolutely have seen a Guillermo del Toro 'Clash of the Titans' on day one.

Michelle said...

I couldn't agree more, this movie was TERRIBLE!

Noel said...

@Ben- right? I mean, I know he has about a bazillion projects going on, but I'm really left missing what might have been. It never would have crossed my mind if the witches hadn't suddenly reminded me about him.