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Clash of the Titans (2010) vs Clash of the Titans (1981)

I don’t know how to review this. So, let’s just have fun with it.

for simplicity we’ll just use the year.

BUBO
1981:
an annoying replacement for a lost helmet
2010: an inside joke
ADVANTAGE: 2010 (barely)
This was one of my biggest complaints about the original. Bubo is the Jar Jar of Clash of the Titans. The reason for the “barely” win is the “it might be on the cutting room floor” appearance of the metal fucktoid in the remake.

THE SCORPIONS
1981:
After Medusa is decapitated, her blood spills through Perseus’ cloak to create large scorpions the survivors must battle.
2010: In the remake, it’s Calibos’ blood that creates the scorpions which Perseus runs after to defeat, killing some of the team and raising the question of his loyalty to the team.
ADVANTAGE: TIE
I couldn’t decide. I loved how, after having defeated Medusa, she had one more trick up her sleeve when her blood creates the scorpions, but I loved how the battle played out in the remake. Had they followed the original’s story 2010 would have won. (Both my sons, aged 9 and 13, said the fight with the scorpions was their favorite part of the remake – I felt it was too early in the film, that it would have been better as placed in the original)

CALIBOS
1981:
Son of – Thetis, Calibos is destined to marry Andromeda. But he is cruel and kills all the flying horse except Pegasus. As punishment, Zeus makes him a hideous creature. No man can marry Andromeda without solving a riddle.
2010: Zeus impregnates the wife of a king (which results in the birth Perseus) and he (the king – in a flashback – revolts by tossing his wife and bastard child off a cliff to perish. This action is punished as Zeus shoots lighting from the heavens and fries the king (barely describing the lackluster makeup) who then goes into hiding in his destroyed kingdom under the new name Calibos. Hades appears to infuse Calibos with superpowers so he can find and kill Perseus so Hades can overthrow Zeus, whom Calibos hates for impregnating his wife.
ADVANTAGE: 1981
The remake was WAY confusing. Maybe having seen the original the gods know how many times allowed me to work out what was going on beyond the woo and the wow, but the remake was just weird and convoluted and (ironically) too easy. I missed the late night abductions that took Andromeda into the swamp to learn the new riddle. I missed the head of Maggie Smith falling down off the statue to decree the sacrifice of Andromeda to save Joppa/Argos. Besides, he was kind of an afterthought in the remake where in the original he was integral. Bad makeup, bad story and no “Love Is a Battlefield” connection.

THE KRAKEN
1981:
The destructo-minion of Poseidon released at Zeus’ wish.
2010: The destruct0-minon of Hades released at Zeus’ wish.
ADVANTAGE: 1981
A tough call. I had the Kraken action figure as a kid. With it’s (in the film) non-jointed bendy arms and bad water effects, the original is a bit wonky. However, blessed with the Anything-Is-Possible technology of today, the Kraken is a lot of show, without any presence. Plus, already knowing its fate made it tough to even care. The overblown religious freak who burns his hand made the build up that much more annoying.

THE GODS
1981:
The Love Boat on Mount Olympus, but you at least got to know something about them, but you really can’t get over the showboating.
2010: The Who’s Who in B-List Hollywood, and you really cant get over the showboating.
ADVANTAGE: TIE
As a kid, I hated the gods in the original, not understand what the fuck they were talking about and all the blahblahblah. As An adult, I appreciate it, but could do without it. As far as the remake, aside from the cool Earth centerpiece of their throne room, I still couldn’t give a crap and kept thinking of Dynasty whenever Zeus’ sparkly armor was onscreen.

AMMON/IO
1981:
Burgess Meredith serves as the mentor/explainer.
2010: Io is the hot guardian/love interest.
ADVTANGE: 2010
Pete Postlethwaite was as cloying as Burgess Meredith in the original, to the point I kept wondering if that was the role he would eventually play. And as annoying as the ever-present Io became, anything is better than Burgess Meredith. Sorry. (Burgess tainted what might have been an okay performance – though I thought Perseus’ mother had survived and this old man was doinking her). But at least Io was fun to look at, even though, in the remake, Perseus is basically fucking an old man. Think about that.

THE STORY
1981:
simple
2010: simple
ADVANTAGE: 1981
In 1981, a blah story was easily overshadowed by the wow of special effects. Nowadays, even retrofitted 3D and IMAX (which CotT wasn’t in IMAX) can’t help a dull script. Back then, the bastardization of mythology was okay. Now, the bastardization of a classic that bastardized mythology is criminal. It’s easy. Just like Friday the 13th, but they fucked that one up, too.

THE STYGIAN WITCHES
1981:
Three blinds who hold the secret of how to defeat the Kraken.
2010: Ditto.
ADVANTAGE: 1981
Though they were both very similar (and the presence of Bubo in the original and the charwood people in the remake cancel each other out), the remake was too similar, nothing new, nothing fresh, and the makeup sucked. It actually was annoying in the way the remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was annoying because this was one of the few places I kept thinking, “Oh that’s kinda like the original, but not quite and this is annoying.”

DIOSKILOS
1981:
The two-headed oversized dog-thing that guards Medusa’s temple.
2010: Um, not there.
ADVANTAGE: 1981
Duh. How can you ignore this scene? So awesome. Bad remake. Bad.

CHARON
1981:
A creepy skeleton in a creept bone boat with crunchy fingers which close around its payment coin.
2010: A seemingly non-sentient almost part of the dumb-looking boat that ferries the cast to the Isle of the Dead.
ADVANTAGE: 1981
The remake had a moment of “wow” when the two dead bodies rose to the surface of the water, pulling the boat on chains behind them. But, overall, Charon was scenery and not a character in the remake. And Io’s “training session” felt oddly Avatar-ish, though I’m not sure why. I keep seeing Zoe Saldana in that scene. It’s weird. At least there was no fireplace.

MEDUSA
And, to be fair, this was the one element that regardless of the rest of the film, would have one the whole banana
1981: a stiff-tailed, reptilian archer whose gaze turns its onlookers into stone.
2010: a CGI’d, reptilian archer whose gaze turns its onlookers into stone.
Any modern audience watching the original would probably laugh, but I, a reluctant embracer of CGI dismissed the even-faker-looking iteration in the remake. Plus, the laugh was no replacement for the kikikikikiki of the original’s tail rattle. Even the I’m-beautiful-until-you-look-at-me morph was lame when mixed with the Steve Miller Band-esque beams from her eyes. The whole scene sucked. Really. It did. I missed the rattle sound; I missed the tempura-blood-from-the-neck-after-scratching-the-column-death. It was dull, boring, rote, nothing new. CGI-fakeness vs. stop-motion-fakeness… Harryhausen wins because, while fake, his creation had a soul.
ADVANTAGE: 1981

WIN: 1981. Both were cheesy, fake and overwrought, but while the remake was shot anamorphically (a fetish of mine), the original had soul. I said it before: It’s not a tough thing to do, remaking such an easy film, but somehow they keep fucking it up.

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