Monday, April 5, 2010

Double Feature!

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out. Today is D and it's a double feature at the movies - I have two reviews for you!

Clash of the Titans
Here is yet another example of how Hollywood takes a good (albeit: corny) older film and updates with crazy, cool special effects. To be honest, I enjoyed the original film with the great stop-motion effects by Mr. Ray Harryhausen and although the film is dated (naturally), I really saw no need for a remake. However, once I saw the previews for the new COTT with the giant scorpions and massive Kraken, I had to check it out. My overall feeling after I left the theater....it was OK. The true problem with the movie is that the production team was so busy infusing the film with state-of-the-art effects that they forgot to put in the one ingredient that the original had in spades....heart. This movie has no heart or soul at all. The plot is designed to take you from one set piece to the next. I'm also starting to wonder about Sam Worthington. He seems to play the same character in his three latest films. He doesn't infuse the character of Perseus with any character or charisma. The effects are great, some of the action sequences are exciting but it all matters for naught because I just didn't care.

Up In The Air - I was curious to check out this Oscar contender. I really had no in-depth knowledge of what the film was about or the major plot points , so I watched the movie with no pre-conceived ideas. The movie tells the simple story of a man (George Clooney) who works for a firm that pays him to fly from city to city and serve as an axe man for companies that are too gutless to fire or lay off their employees. His way of life is threatened by a young up-and-comer (Anna Kendrick) with ideas of taking him out of the sky and landing him behind a desk. In the midst of this turmoil, he falls for the beautiful Vera Farminga who shares his jet-set lifestyle. The film is funny and sad, complex yet simple. It has many layers but the heart of the film is a sentimental story of love and disillusionment. On the downside, I have to say that I saw the ending coming a mile away. And if you are looking for a satisfying end to your date-night movie, I would look elsewhere. But all in all, I enjoyed "Up in the Air". The performances were rock solid and the film strikes a chord about the impersonal nature of love and business and how it can be so personal.

35 comments:

Grammy said...

Hey there, Alex!
I just read your reviews of the two movies. I haven't seen either of them. We never go to the movie theater (too costly for us), but the reviews sound interesting and are certainly well written. I'll be back. (new reader of your blog).
Best regards to you,
Ruby

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

I enjoyed your double feature.
Would you believe the last time I went to the cinema was 42 years ago.I was pregnant with my second child and saw a film which I honestly didn't like. I have seen films on the TV but the cinema is a no go for me. Now the theatre is a different tune altogether.
Do you go to the cinema often?
Looking forward to see what you come up with for "E"
Take care.
Yvonne.

DEZMOND said...

I'm also wondering if Sam can act or not. I do love him a lot as a presence and as someone who appeared straight from nowhere and started getting all the biggest roles in the biggest movies, but he really is extremely expressionless. I guess he's just a classic action star but without too many muscles. Hope he'll convince us otherwise.

Palindrome said...

Thanks for the reviews. I love the original Clash of the Titans so I'm sure I will be disappointed. Oh wells!

I have Up in the Air on my list already but it's good to have a review.

Will Burke said...

The "Blockbusters" can be pretty disheartening, eh? Of course, I was more impressed than I thought I would be with Ironman.

Mary McDonald said...

Great idea for a 'D' post. I remember Clash of the Titans when I was a teen. It was a fun movie to go see with a group. I hate when they do remakes of anything and either make a drama into a campy comedy, or do like they apparently did with CotT and make it look great, but forget the story.

Up in the Air sounds good though. Thanks for the thoughtful reviews.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for visiting, Ruby.

Yvonne, I go several times a month and watch a lot of NetFlix, too.

Dez, I am beginning to wonder. Even Arnie had personality.

This remake was such a letdown. I am looking forward to Ironman II, though.

Summer said...

I was happily blown away by Ironman and Batman Begins/The Dark Knight. It's good to know that sometimes they can get it right. Ironman II comes out on my birthday this year (just like Star Trek came out the day after my bday last year). Hollywood likes to give me good summer blockbusters as gifts...

Anyway, I've been hearing similar reviews on Clash of the Titans. I honestly don't know if I'm going to see it; the old version was a great part of my childhood.

Up in the Air is on my Netflix queue. Looking forward to seeing it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'll be reviewing Clash of the Titans later this week, but I felt the same way - the movie lacked heart.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love the line "Release the Kraken" from the trailers - but haven't seen the film yet because it looks like it's all effects and no story. That kind of thing drives me nuts.

Rae said...

It just goes to show how well written a movie review can be! Looking forward to E !!!

Melody said...

I wondered the same about Clash of the Titans... think I'll wait for it to come out on DVD.

I am glad you reviewed Up in the Air! My husband and I were just talking about whether or not to rent it... I think we will. For $1 at Redbox and an actual date night (even at home), I can deal with knowing endings from a mile away. Date night type movies are usually pretty predictable anyway!

Falen said...

i second your opinion on Clash. Saw it this weekend, kinda wish i hadn't.
Though that Kraken was crazy scary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Summer, glad Hollywood celebrates your birthday then!

Thank you, Rae.

Thanks for the confirmation, Fallen.

Fortunately, it's just forgetable enough it won't ruin my memory of the first one.

Glad so many of you will be checking out Up in the Air!

Jen said...

Wish I would have thought of that one!!!! Double feature... that's a great one!! Thanks for sharing!

Thought I'd stop by thanks to A-Z blogging!

Marvin D Wilson said...

Appreciate the candid reviews, as usual. :)

The Old Silly

Julie Dao said...

I did like "Up in the Air," but didn't feel like it deserved all those Oscar nods. Then again, I didn't feel like many movies deserved their Oscar nods this year.

kimberlyloomis said...

Thanks for the reviews! I've actually been contemplating adding "Up in the Air" to my netflix queue as well as seeing if "Clash" would be worth a babysitter. I'm thinking both can be on the queue based upon your review. ;)

Patricia Stoltey said...

We watched this movie at our house night before last and have to agree if you're looking for uplifting, this is not a good choice. The acting is good, though, and the story line interesting. And, yes, the ending a bit predictable. Overall, though, I liked it. What's not to like...Clooney's the star.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I'm probably going to see Clash of the Titans sometime next week. From your review, it seems to be what I expected from it - a "lets blind the audience with so much razzle dazzle they wont realise we forgot to include substance to the damn thing!"

I also have worries about Worthington. He's played a half human in the 3 movies I've seen him in, and feels kind of one dimensional. I only hope that Fiennes' and Neeson's performances make up for this.

Raquel Byrnes said...

You know, I was wondering about COTT - updated. I LOVED the original...especially the Medusa scenes. I was on the fence about shelling out cast just to see a CGI showcase...guess I'll wait for the DVD.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

You know, I had much the same reaction to Up In The Air....except that as a former frequent flyer, he made it look like fun and way easy. It's painful, even with the shortcuts FF status affords.

Best, Galen.

Wanda said...

Nice reviews. Hadn't seen any of those films.

Liza said...

Thanks for the reviews!

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks for the reviews, Alex. Mostly we wait for the DVD, so I keep a list handy.

B. Miller said...

Awesome, thanks for the info Alex! I've been hearing bad reviews about Clash of the Titans, mostly regarding the 3D. I have to admit it made my inner geek cry a little. Good to know Up in the Air is worth the watch... I'll have to check it out.

Great post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Jen!

Julie, there wasn't a definite contender for Best Picture this year.

Kimberly, stay with the NetFlix on both.

Jamie, you got it! I guess storyline was optional.

Raquel, if you loved the original, the new one will really disappoint.

Galen, thanks for telling it like it is!

Thanks, everyone!

Elana Johnson said...

Great reviews. I actually want to see Up In The Air now. (Had never heard of it before.)

Thanks!

Glynis said...

I ditto Elana, DH is intrigued as well. Thanks for review.

Creative Chronicler said...

Great reviews Alex.

One of the reasons I chose to leave the film industry is because of the lack of creativity. The big studios just want to remake what has been done before or saturate everything with CGI. I probably won't see the new Clash but I own a copy of the original and it will always be a classic, even if it has cheesy moments.

Lady Jayne said...

I was just a kid when the original COTT was released and it was so amazing to see all those wonderful stories brought to life! The medusa gave me nightmares for months afterwards and I'm really curious to see how that scene plays out in CGI, if it's as creepy as the original was for me.

Christine Danek said...

I loved the original version of Clash of the Titans. I was so wowwed by it when I was younger. I'm not sure how the new version is I haven't seen it yet. Same with up in the air. I don't get to the movies as much as I did before.

Carol Conway-Fleisher said...

I saw clash of the titans this weekend. I was seriously disappointed. I like the old one better. I haven't seen up in the air yet but I am going to.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carol and I have now warned you - if you like the original version of Clash of the Titans, just skip the remake!

CC, there's so many fresh ideas out there and they keep going back to what's already been done...

Jamie Gibbs said...

I'll post up my own review of Clash soon, but I have to say that I more or less agree with you on this one. I'm lucky that I decided not to see it in 3D (I'm getting pretty sick of it now).

Sam Worthington was the worst of the players in that film. Neeson and Fiennes are awesome (as expected) and for the first half I got that feeling of exploration and 'the journey' that made some of the older movies great. Then the whole thing went roller coaster on us and there wasn't much to it's core. Still a good movie in my opinion, but only superficially so.