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Cine-Men: A landmark adventure

Jessep Caravella and Ben Staub, Staff Writers

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     To people born in the mid-2000’s, hearing, “Clash of the Titans” might make you think of the movie with Liam Neeson and his “Release the Kraken!” line. However, it’s not the “Clash of the Titans” we’re talking about here. The year 1981 gave us the original “Clash of the Titans” based on the ancient Greek myth of Perseus and his adventures.

     “Clash of the Titans” marked the ending of a glorious era in film making. It was the last movie to feature the talents of Ray Harryhausen, an innovative movie effects designer who used stop-motion animation to create classic works such as “Jason and the Argonauts.” His talents were essential to the evolution of film making, as it helped to create the technological transition necessary for the interactions between physical actors and the mythical forces that reside within our imaginations to finally play out on film.

     “Clash of the Titans” tells the story of Perseus, a son of the mythical god Zeus. After being taken from his home in Seriphos by a vengeful demi-god, he finds himself in the land of Joppa. There, he discovers that the princess, Andromeda, has been placed under a curse by the same demi-god. She cannot marry unless a worthy suitor is able to solve a riddle. If they are wrong, they must be executed. Perseus then goes on the quest to discover the answer to the riddle and to lift Princess Andromeda of the curse.

Our Take:

     Ben: When I started making videos back in middle school, I started with stop-motion. They were crappy videos where I used Legos as actors. I thought they were great. I feel as though if I had watched this movie back then, it would have cemented a drive to create more stop-motion and drive myself to work with one of the big stop-motion companies.

     The movie relies more on set design, costume, story and characters than its remake. Just like “2001,” this is one of those films you watch to see how filmmakers got around obvious technical “impossibilities” back before everything could be created on a soundstage in front of a single color.
Unlike other movies we’ve talked about in this column, this is a more serious film that you should watch for the story, effects and everything in between, not something to laugh at the whole time. I give it an 8/10.

     Jessep: I think Clash of the Titans serves as one of the prime examples of the fantasy adventure genre, with its grand setting, mythological beasts, legendary objects, and a story that manages to blend between a sense of wonder and tension.

     The cast has an assortment of characters with distinct personalities. It definitely has its corny moments, but they do not take away from the experience. They add to the charm. Then of course, there is the inclusion of stop-motion animation as well as the aforementioned dynamation, which allows for the actors and the stop-motion monsters to be able to interact with one another.

     It may look dated now, but I can respect how revolutionary it was for the time. Overall, I think I can give this movie an 8 or 9/10 for just about all situations.

 

Harry Hamlin stars as Greek hero Perseus in the 1981 “Clash of the Titans.”

 

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Cine-Men: A landmark adventure