Wrath of the Low Expectations

I just have to establish myself really quickly, because things seems to be in sort of a disarray. Let just start with a general truth: 2010’s Clash of the Titans was an awful motion picture. Was there ever any question about that? The general critic consensus according to rotten tomatoes (28 percent rotten) coincides with this point. People didn’t respond well to or like the film at all really. So why is the online film community excited about this:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/53777

http://www.slashfilm.com/wrath-titans-trailer/

http://www.firstshowing.net/2012/watch-second-official-trailer-for-liebesmans-wrath-of-the-titans/

http://collider.com/wrath-of-the-titans-trailer/147528/

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-new-trailers-for-wrath-of-the-titans-the-raid-will-get-your-heart-rate-up/022312

http://movies.ign.com/articles/121/1219319p1.html

I can hardly believe it but people are actually looking forward to this film. I have to wonder why because generally if the first film is a poorly written, lazily directed, by numbers sci-fi action travesty, not even worthy to be mentioned in the same sentence as one of those campy Saturday morning sci-fi schlock fest television programs ( like Stargate SG-1) any follow up would generally not be encouraged. Apparently poor scripting, acting and directing can be fixed if you throw enough monsters on the screen.

As Nordling, contributor to AICN explains; “This is more like it.  A ton of monsters, and a story that isn’t beholden to the original 1981 movie, and the result looks bat**** insane.”

Contributor Russ Ficher of Slashfilm.com echo’s his sentiments: “most of what this new look offers is monsters, monsters, monsters. Which is a big part of what we really need from a movie like this, after all.”

Now this is just conjecture, but perhaps, what would be a little better appreciated than more monsters would be a solidly written script, a capable director, maybe actors with a little bit of gravitas and computer generated imagery that doesn’t looks like it was done on Adobe 1. I think this would be more of an improvement than throwing a dozen more monsters up there on the screen. You could have 1,000 monsters in the movie but if  the movie is a stinker then it wont really matter anyway. Even if they are the most imaginative creatures this side of Winston and Baker their reputation will ultimately just be that of a pretty diversion in a bad film. Marred by Reputation.

Haven’t these bloggers noticed who is behind this film. If they took their eyes away from the shiny and pretty monthers and payed attention to the talent behind the scenes maybe they would be more reserved in their anticipation, for at the helm of this ship is none other than Johnathan Liebsman, director of such films as “Darkness Falls”, “Battle Los Angeles” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”. From the writing pool we draw from the talents of people who have written such modern works as the 2011 adaptation of “Red Riding Hood”, and  “Green Lantern”. So With all of this in mind; the awfulness the first film, and the pedigree of talent behind the second, I have to ask all the film bloggers why there is any reason whatsoever to devote any time, excitement, words, web space or fleeting thoughts to “Wrath of the Titans.” Are our expectation that low that we can only look forward to a couple of cheap creature thrills? Try raising your standards a little bit. Your readers deserve better than reading about your lowered expectations, and deteriorating tastes. You are hopefully better than this.

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About celluloidhumanoid

Celluloid Prophet

Posted on February 23, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. @” So With all of this in mind; the awfulness the first film, and the pedigree of talent behind the second, I have to ask all the film bloggers why there is any reason whatsoever to devote any time, excitement, words, web space or fleeting thoughts to “Wrath of the Titans.” Are our expectation that low that we can only look forward to a couple of cheap creature thrills? ”

    B/c not everybody holds the same feelings towards the first film. You may call it an “general truth” the first was bad, but it’s nothing more than your opinion.

  2. Creature thrills? Monsters? Who cares? Rosamund Pike with a short skirt and sharp sword. How could it get better?

  3. So the point being made is once the first movie is bad then the second isn’t worth giving a chance? The trailer looks awesome and good enough to compete with blockbusters like that of the Avengers

    • Partly. Why make a sequel to an awful movie? A fair question. One that should be answered like this: “well we got a great director and writer to work on it”. Well they didn’t get either of those so this is looking more like a throw away special effects cash grab.

      • Well, I for one am pleased with the trailer..I think it’s gonna be an improvement and its worth the shot! Who knows, you may end up giving it a good review when it’s released

  4. “B/C not everybody holds the same fellings towards the first film. You may call it a “general truth” the first was bad, but it is nothing more than your opinion.”

    Well firstly thanks for commenting. I understand that there are people out there that enjoyed clash of the titans. But excuse me if I find your response to my post lacking. I think everybody out there who has a blog that takes a certain point of view on something knows that there are people out there that would disagree with them. Just stating the fact that what I say is an opinion isn’t really detrimental to my argument. It may just be an opinion but opinions are powerful things. Be it the opinion of a professional film critic writing for a major paper or politician governing a country. Yes we all have a opinions but its what they mean, how we use our opinions to express ourselves and learn from each other and grow. In a discussion of anything involving the arts, its usually the most lazy and inarticulate person who will use the “just an opinion” line as a point of contention in a discussion. An opinion is just the medium. Saying, “oh well, its just your opinion”, is like saying all papers written with a pencil are basically the same cause they were written in pencil. Pencil being the common denominator. Or is it. You see one guy can pick up a pencil and write Shakespeare. Another guy the great american novel. Yet another guy the script to Clash of the Titans. The pencil like an opinion is just he medium. What is done with the medium is the distinguishing factor. This is the difference between the well trusted film critic and the imdb message board grief speech-er. Are all films the same because they are made on kodak film. No. The film like the opinion and pencil is the medium. What is done with the medium is what matters.

    As far as my opinion goes, I was basing it off of what I perceived to be the general critical consensus regarding the quality of clash of the titans. That is why I brought up the rottentomato score. The non critical consensus is also below 50 percent as well. I was using this information to make the point that such sup-par films do not deserve a sequel, and especially one with such abysmal talent behind it. I also wanted to bring to light the low expectations most of the film community seems to have in light of seeing how excited they get over more monsters while ignoring the lack of a competent director and screenwriter.

    Now let me ask you. What is your opinion of clash of the titans?

    And Mark, I don’t see why its worth a studio paying hundreds of millions of dollars and you paying 12 bucks to see something you can see online.

  5. Well, I for one am pleased with the trailer..I think it’s gonna be an improvement and its worth the shot! Who knows, you may end up giving it a good review when it’s released

    Greg, I understand what you are saying. You know what, it would be great if Wrath of the Titans was a good movie. Lord knows we could use more good movies in general. I was just surprised how the film bloggers were reacting to the trailers. The whole more monsters equals better movie seemed like such a hollow thing to base your hope for a good film in. Especially with the director and writer they hired. First get a good director and script then talk all you want to about monsters.

    I hope for the best from the film, but regardless of a slick trailer, the people behind the scenes haven’t given me much justification for hoping at all.

    • I have noticed a disturbing trend when it comes to movies that deal with mythology or religion. Hear me out on this. When you take a movie based on Christianity or something involving something from modern religion, chances are that movie is going to be hailed famously and even get an oscar nod, (Passion of the Christ, The DaVinchi Code, etc.), all because, I honestly believe, it is easier to make a “dramatic” film out of christianity and catholocism than it would be for Greek mythology.

      My reasoning behind this is because people STILL believe in Jesus Christ and Catholocism. You can’t have fun with it. I mean sure there are horrible b-movies out there like “Jesus Christ: Vampire Slayer” but the thing is Christianity and Catholocism is not EPIC. It isn’t fun. The stories to explain the origins of everything are, for a lack of a better term, boring.

      The issue with Greek mythology movies is that, from a literrary standpoint, they are more fun. They are more exciting and tend to lean more towards fantastical stories that are meant to entertain instead of make one think. Granted, I think anyone who looks at the Bible and thinks “educational tool” in this day and age needs their head checked, but I digress.

      In our modern times we view Greek mythology as a slew of movies that lend themselves to action films more than dramatic ones. “Immortals” tried to be too “300”ish, but the action was damn good. The gods were a bit silly, and the cinematography hurt the eyes a bit (bland grey everywhere then Gods come in bright as hell. I get hte point but oy, it hurt to watch sometimes), but all in all it was a decent stab at a more “visceral” Greeky mythos flick.

      It is very, very hard to get a “decent” Greek Mythos movie out there. I take movies like “Clash” and “Percy Jackson” at face value. They are there to entertain, not to be deep and philosophical. The truth is people cannot handle or think that a Greek mythology movie can be deep. Not in a world dominated by Christianity and Catholocism. It is a sad truth.

      • Well thank you Cody H. for coming to my site in the first place. Also thank you for your well written and thought provoking response. Ever thought of having your own film blog?

        You gave me a lot to chew on. Lets go through your response a little at a time, so I can better address and understand it. Starting out you wrote:

        “I have noticed a disturbing trend when it comes to movies that deal with mythology or religion. Hear me out on this. When you take a movie based on Christianity or something involving something from modern religion, chances are that movie is going to be hailed famously and even get an oscar nod, (Passion of the Christ, The DaVinchi Code, etc.), all because, I honestly believe, it is easier to make a “dramatic” film out of christianity and catholocism than it would be for Greek mythology.”

        You make a good point. Although I don’t think that every movie that has come out recently concerning religion has been hailed famously. I think of movies like “The Nativity Story” and “One Night With The King”, not to mention “Courageous, that dealt with explicitly christian or biblical themes that didn’t even register as a tiny fart that is the large anus of the film industry. And there wasn’t even the faint whisper of Oscar concerning any of these films.. Even something like Kevin Smith’s “Red State”, a movie bred specifically to induce passionate response, didn’t make a single wave. Going on you continued to write:

        “My reasoning behind this is because people STILL believe in Jesus Christ and Catholocism. You can’t have fun with it. I mean sure there are horrible b-movies out there like “Jesus Christ: Vampire Slayer” but the thing is Christianity and Catholocism is not EPIC. It isn’t fun. The stories to explain the origins of everything are, for a lack of a better term, boring.”

        I will admit that often there can be an air of seriousness that accompanies a movie that deals with religion, even if it is only part of the plot in in a small way. Regardless of this stigma there have always been movies that have taken a lighter (if not any less controversial) approach toward the christian and catholic religion. This includes movies like “Life of Brian”, “Hamlet 2”, “Bruce Almighty”, “Dogma”, “Little Nicky”, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, “Oh God”, plus many many more. Also remember that in movies like “Passion of the Christ” and “The Da Vinci Code”, they are dealing with material that doesn’t easily lend itself to farce. You wouldn’t walk into the Passion of the Christ expecting a rip roaring fun time, in the same way you wouldn’t walk into a screening of Schindler’s List looking for laughs. I will alo have to argue against the “Christianity and Catholicism is not epic” statement you made. Are you kidding man, the bible has some of the most compelling story lines, awe inspiring battles, blinding displays of pure supernatural power, complex characterizations, and even romance that has ever appeared in a book. Why do you think its still a number one seller. Even non-Christians and scholars will admit the bible is a dang fine book. More specifically concerning movies with christian themes or based around biblical themes and concepts, there just happen to be tons of epic flicks. “The Ten Commandments”, “The Passion of the Christ”, “Ben Hur”, “The Robe”, “The Matrix”, “The Chronicles of Narnia” “The Mission”, “Robocop”(not kidding).All very interesting epic flicks concerning Christianity both directly and indirectly that are well worth your time.

        “The issue with Greek mythology movies is that, from a literrary standpoint, they are more fun. They are more exciting and tend to lean more towards fantastical stories that are meant to entertain instead of make one think. Granted, I think anyone who looks at the Bible and thinks “educational tool” in this day and age needs their head checked, but I digress.”

        Preaching to the Choir. If all they taught in school was Greek Mythology, every student would be very. Its as if Stan Lee went back in time and wrote awesome stories just to give kids some good times in history class. I do think that the perspective narratives of Greek Mythology and Biblical History are both worthy of inspiring great fun but also great moral and societal lessons and discussions. I guess what kind of slows down Christianity on the fun front is often boring preachers slogging through otherwise exciting parables and stories. Plus people often read the bible with such a serious or condescending demeanor that they miss out on its brilliant prose. On the other hand I would caution anyone who takes Greek Mythology too lightly to take a slightly closer look at the its famous stories, for great lessons are to be found in Greek mythology concerning the nature of power and the complexities of human struggle.

        “In our modern times we view Greek mythology as a slew of movies that lend themselves to action films more than dramatic ones. “Immortals” tried to be too “300″ish, but the action was damn good. The gods were a bit silly, and the cinematography hurt the eyes a bit (bland grey everywhere then Gods come in bright as hell. I get hte point but oy, it hurt to watch sometimes), but all in all it was a decent stab at a more “visceral” Greeky mythos flick”.

        You are so right about how Greek Mythology is viewed through modern eyes. The problem is they’ve taken the Shakespeare out of it and as a result its lost its weight, and depth. In exchange, modern Greek mythology gets filtered through the modern Hollywood machine leaving a once great narrative burdened with awful action movie conceits and stereotypes.
        Haven’t seen immortals yet. I’ll have to check it out…..with sunglasses.

        “It is very, very hard to get a “decent” Greek Mythos movie out there. I take movies like “Clash” and “Percy Jackson” at face value. They are there to entertain, not to be deep and philosophical. The truth is people cannot handle or think that a Greek mythology movie can be deep. Not in a world dominated by Christianity and Catholocism. It is a sad truth”

        I hear you man. In reality though, its tough to get a good movie made nowadays period. Greek Mythology, even with its own historical and cultural value, is not exempt from the ravages of the modern Hollywood machine. Nonetheless, I want to caution you not to settle. You said you take movies like “Clash” and “Percy Jackson” at face value. Why, I ask, do you take these awful movies at any value? Why do you take them anywhere at all? Even in today’s barren film landscape there are still movies worth taking to time to seek out. Movies that can handle complex storytelling, while managing to be entertaining to the masses. Don’t settle for garbage. You are important man. If the last few people out there who really care about movies start giving into the crap then the studios give us, then they will keep getting the message that crap is all we want. Look for the good stuff. Its still out there. It may not even come from the U.S.A. but its still out there. Seek and ye shall find. Read that in a book once.

  6. I guess I should have also prefaced my statement with the fact that I, myself, have never taken a single movie study course at all, though, right now I am in one I guess but the class is so…basic I don’t even need to read the damn material to know what I’m talking about.

    Regardless, I shall continue the format set forth:

    “You make a good point. Although I don’t think that every movie that has come out recently concerning religion has been hailed famously. I think of movies like “The Nativity Story” and “One Night With The King”, not to mention “Courageous, that dealt with explicitly christian or biblical themes that didn’t even register as a tiny fart that is the large anus of the film industry. And there wasn’t even the faint whisper of Oscar concerning any of these films.. Even something like Kevin Smith’s “Red State”, a movie bred specifically to induce passionate response, didn’t make a single wave.”

    To be honest Courageous has been advertised on several sites and apparently so has it’s predecessor “Fireproof”. The biggest problem I have with most movies based on modern religion is how preachy it is. Whenever I see a movie about Christianity it just beats it into my head how it’s all about one person’s “rejoining” faith in God and how his life ends up in shambles before he finds the good lord or Christ again.

    There is not one Christianity movie out there that spurs the fact that any other way of life can be rewarding. I think a lot of people now, in the present, are starting to realize this and it is probably why we didn’t see anything more from Dan Brown being made into a film.

    I think also that is why “The Davinci Code” was actually so popular, the bad guys weren’t the ones trying usurp Christianity or Catholicism from power, it was people trying to figure out the truth and the hardcore society were the ones trying to keep it bottled up. The second movie, if I recall, shifted it so that the Christians were the good guys, and I don’t think that held up as well, but I could be wrong.

    “I will admit that often there can be an air of seriousness that accompanies a movie that deals with religion, even if it is only part of the plot in in a small way. Regardless of this stigma there have always been movies that have taken a lighter (if not any less controversial) approach toward the christian and catholic religion. This includes movies like “Life of Brian”, “Hamlet 2″, “Bruce Almighty”, “Dogma”, “Little Nicky”, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, “Oh God”, plus many many more…

    …“The Chronicles of Narnia” “The Mission”, “Robocop”(not kidding).All very interesting epic flicks concerning Christianity both directly and indirectly that are well worth your time.”

    This entire paragraph is spot on. Though honestly I want to say that most of the “lighthearted” movies listed are more satirical of Christianity instead of trying to promote it. Such in the case of “Dogma” where the biggest plot point there was that if God was proven wrong, that everything would be wiped out of existence, which is a satirical take on the fact that Christian’s believe Christ and God can do absolutely no wrong.

    I have seen “The Chronicles of Narnia” and while I know about the subtle christian undertones, they were just that, subtle. Not in your face. Robocop…yeah I’ll have to rewatch that one to get any idea of what you’re talking about lol.

    “Preaching to the Choir. If all they taught in school was Greek Mythology, every student would be very. Its as if Stan Lee went back in time and wrote awesome stories just to give kids some good times in history class. I do think that the perspective narratives of Greek Mythology and Biblical History are both worthy of inspiring great fun but also great moral and societal lessons and discussions. I guess what kind of slows down Christianity on the fun front is often boring preachers slogging through otherwise exciting parables and stories. Plus people often read the bible with such a serious or condescending demeanor that they miss out on its brilliant prose. On the other hand I would caution anyone who takes Greek Mythology too lightly to take a slightly closer look at the its famous stories, for great lessons are to be found in Greek mythology concerning the nature of power and the complexities of human struggle.”

    There is one thing that I respect most about Greek Mythology. They were CONSISTANT. They didn’t have multiple books spanning howmany odd years. The stories were the same, the beliefs were the same, and they did not praise their God’s as being merciful and yet at the same time dealing with the fact that these “merciful” gods would beat the unholy hell out of them for not worshiping them enough.

    Christianity and Catholocism I think have two big ones. The old and the new. Naturally none of them, that I am aware, follow the old book because, I guess, it painted God in a negative light, and we can’t have that.

    To this day I firmly believe, and wish, that Greek and Roman mythology would have seen the success Christianity has. I truly do.

    “I hear you man. In reality though, its tough to get a good movie made nowadays period. Greek Mythology, even with its own historical and cultural value, is not exempt from the ravages of the modern Hollywood machine. Nonetheless, I want to caution you not to settle. You said you take movies like “Clash” and “Percy Jackson” at face value. Why, I ask, do you take these awful movies at any value? Why do you take them anywhere at all? Even in today’s barren film landscape there are still movies worth taking to time to seek out. Movies that can handle complex storytelling, while managing to be entertaining to the masses. Don’t settle for garbage. You are important man. If the last few people out there who really care about movies start giving into the crap then the studios give us, then they will keep getting the message that crap is all we want. Look for the good stuff. Its still out there. It may not even come from the U.S.A. but its still out there. Seek and ye shall find. Read that in a book once.”

    I don’t necessarily think that I find myself “settling” for much. For “Clash” and “Percy Jackson” I liked the attempt that they made with each movie. “Clash” does kind of fall short, but I also believe that the material they were going after was not the best. Sure, the Ray Harryhousin (sp?) Clash of the Titans was considered epic, but you have to remember people found that movie epic because of the stop-motion animation of the monsters throughout the film. I believe you had some heavy hitting actors in that as well, wasn’t Laurence Olivier in that film?

    As far as Percy goes I know most liked the book more, and I’m sure I would as well if I did ever read it (shame on me I know), but they got the important stuff right. The Hydra, the gods themselves, the monsters. They didn’t screw up the fundamentals of the mythology. That is what is important to me.

    For “Wrath”? Oh…trust me…I am not too entirely pleased with how they modeled the Chimera or Kronos. Not pleased at all.

    When I think Kronos I think something a bit more cosmic. Not fire and lava. That does irk me a lot.

  7. Well, Cody H. thanks once again for responding. Don’t worry about not having taken film courses because not many directors have either and look where they are at.

    I’m gonna put a link down to slashfilm.com

    http://www.slashfilm.com/blue-jazz-trailer-sxswbound-coming-age-tale-wrestles-faith/

    This article is about a new movie coming out with christian themes. The blogger had some of the reservations about christian entertainment that you do. I tried my best to respond in the comment section. My comment is listed up under the name raymond woods.

    Hopefully this is a sufficient response to most of your comments.

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