Monday, September 21, 2009

Clash of the Gods vs. Clash of the Titans: Give us Back the Eye!

I've been a bit preoccupied elsewhere to post regularly, but I'm gonna try, gaddumit...might as well start on the night of the season premier of Heroes. Only, I haven't watched it yet...the last season was a letdown, so I'm not in a rush. I'll catch up. In the meantime, I've been mildly enjoying The History Channel's Clash of the Gods. Each episode features a different character from Greek mythology; so far, we seen episodes on gods, heroes, and monsters such as Zeus, Hades, Hercules, Theseus, Medusa, and currently, the two-parter on Odysseus. (Odysseus was more a trickster than a full-blown hero, which reminds me, I'm supposed to write something about tricksters. I think Landon might beat me to it...).

The show is entertaining, and I am a big mythology buff, so this is like candy for me. (Speaking of eyes, the eyes of the gods in this series are freaky looking, in a very cool way. And Theseus was pretty sexy.) But I'm wondering about the timing; I don't see a lot of attention paid nowadays to Greek mythology generally, but I'm wondering if were on the edge of a resurgence? That's my hope, based on news of a remake of one of my favorite movies of all time, Clash of the Titans.

On the one hand, I'm psyched! On the other, I'm pissed! WHY? WHY??? To me, that movie is a classic. First of all, I love the soundtrack (still unreleased, gadummit). I've heard some complaints that the original Harryhausen version is dated and cheesy (passes the evil eye at Landon...:P). I've seen some favorites from childhood with adult eyes and have had that reaction, but not with Clash of the Titans. C'mon...Lawrence Olivier as Zeus...Calibos...the giant Maggie Smith head...Medusa...the Kraken...Pegasus...the Stygian Witches ("Give us back the eye!)...even Bubo the owl is not the Jar-Jar Binks some people make him out to be. I think it stands up surprisingly well, thank you very much. My hope is that the remake can retain that same sense of fun, and not pull a Batman Begins: great effects, uber-realistic, sophisticated...and NO FUN. Please, PLEASE, keep the heroism intact! The original actors brought just the right mix of over-the-top acting, which worked well with the subject matter. We'll see if Ralph Fiennes can do the same...(he was Voldemort, after all...).

But in the event that the remake desicrates the original, the gods have rewarded my loyalty to the classic with the endowment of a used copy of the novelization, written by Alan Dean Foster. I stumbled across this in a used bookstore in West Philly, and recognized it as the boon for which it is.

Now, if I can prove myself worthy for my own constellation...