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By Christopher Stipp

The Archives, Right Here

Check out my other column, This Week In Trailers, at SlashFilm.com and follow me on TWITTER under the name: Stipp

CLASH OF THE TITANS - Giveaway

clash-of-the-titans-dvdI didn’t a chance to see this movie when it came out theatrically months ago but I couldn’t be more eager to see what Louis Leterrier concocted. I am an unabashed fan of both The Transporter and The Incredible Hulk so it’s only right to be at least interested in knowing how the man created a 450 million dollar box office juggernaut.

I may have to get my own Blu-ray, if you’re gonna see the Kracken you’ve got to see the Kracken in high def, but I have a copy of the DVD to give to 2 lucky readers.

All you need to do to enter is to shoot me a message at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com and give me at least one actor who played in the original film that started it all. And, as an aside, I know people knock the original for whatever reason but that movie was a touchstone in my youth as it was the first Ray Harryhausen film I came into contact with. It’s a great fantasy epic and I hope that this new version captures that same level of adventure.

Good luck!

About the DVD/Blu-ray:

Jump into a mythological world of epic action and adventure when “Clash of the Titans” arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on July 27th from Warner Home Video.  “Clash of the Titans” propels audiences into the mythological realm of Perseus’ quest amidst a world where the gods are formidable and the creatures even more fearsome.

The Blu-ray disc includes an exciting never-before-seen alternate ending and the immersive Maximum Movie Mode, which includes walk-ons by Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Director Louis Leterrier, focus points, Picture-in-Picture commentary, and BD-Live connectivity.

As a war rages between men and kings and kings and gods, the battle amongst the gods is the one that could ultimately destroy the world.  Hope rests with one. Perseus, son of god, Zeus, yet raised a man, sets off on a hazardous journey deep into forbidden worlds to avenge the death of his family and defeat Hades, vengeful god of the underworld, before he can seize power from Zeus and unleash hell on earth.  Leading the charge, Perseus battles unholy demons and fearsome beasts, but will only survive if he can accept his power as a god, defy his fate and create his own destiny.

From director, Louis Leterrier (“The Transporter”, “The Incredible Hulk”) “Clash of the Titans” stars Sam Worthington (“Avatar”, “Terminator Salvation”), Liam Neeson (upcoming “The A-Team”, “Batman Begins”, “Gangs of New York”), Ralph Fiennes (upcoming “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” Parts I & II, “The Hurt Locker”, The Constant Gardner”) and Gemma Arterton (upcoming “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”, “Quantum of Solace”).

On July 27, “Clash of the Titans” theatrical version will also be available ON DEMAND through Digital Cable, Satellite TV, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game consoles. The Unrated Cut and theatrical version can be downloaded for rental or purchase on iTunes and Amazon Video On Demand.

SYNOPSIS

In “Clash of the Titans,” the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth.

Perseus sets off on a perilous journey deep into forbidden worlds, leading a daring band of warriors, including Draco (Mads Mikkelsen), an experienced soldier who encourages the defiant Perseus to make use of his god-given abilities. Battling unholy demons and fearsome beasts, they will only survive if Perseus can accept his power as a god, defy his fate and create his own destiny.

DVD ELEMENTS

The “Clash of the Titans” DVD Single Disc the following special features:

o        Deleted Scenes

The “Clash of the Titans” Blu-ray Disc contains the following special features:

o        Sam Worthington: An Action Hero for the Ages

o        Deleted Scenes

o        Alternate Ending

o        Maximum Movie Mode: Join Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Director Louis Leterrier on an incredible journey all while you watch the movie.

Featurette Focus Points

o       Sam Worthington is Perseus

o       Harnessing the Gods

o       Zeus: Father of Gods and Men

o       Enter the World of Hades

o       Calibos: The Man Behind the Monster

o       Tenerife: A Continent on an Island

o       Scorpioch

o       Actors and Their Stunts

o       Wales : A Beautiful Scarred Landscape

o       Bringing Medusa to Life

o       Prepare for the Kraken!

o        More than forty minutes of picture in picture (PiP) commentary

o        BD-Live

o       Clash of the Titans: International Special

o        DVD Combo Disc

o       Feature film in standard definition

o       Digital Copy (Windows Media and iTunes)

RAMONA AND BEEZUS - Review

ramona-and-beezus-posterTo review this film with the usual sets of criteria usually reserved for any other movie would be unfair.

The film, a sticky, saccharine sweet yarn about a young girl’s journey though pre-tween issues isn’t very resonant. It’s not that director Elizabeth Allen’s last theatrical effort, 2006’s Aquamarine, made a bad movie but it’s just not very interesting if you’re not a girl between the ages of 5 and 12 or a woman who can identify with what it was like to be that age.

More suitable for the Disney Channel than it is a movie theater Ramona and Beezus is a movie made for the kind of parents who find a PG rating too racy or scripted television too daring. The plot does tempt with mature themes as Ramona’s (Joey King) father, played by John Corbett, is laid off from work and the family is put into a tizzy as everyone tries to figure out how to move forward in a house that is on the verge of being sold, how to deal with Ramona’s increasingly troubled behavior, and a multitude of other minor troubles that are completely germane to films like this.

Never mind debating whether the movie is representative of any kind of progressive idea or is the springboard for a budding director who is showing great promise but save for a few animated moments within the film there is nothing terribly exciting or noteworthy for a completely forgettable piece of art. However forgettable it might be, though, the movie does manage to satisfy the needs for any female child looking for a film that has enough sterile slapstick and generic goofiness which will all but avoid any kind of editing once it does make it on television.

To see how Ramona evolves as a character isn’t very satisfying as we’re essentially right where we are when we began this movie, and the only evolution any of the other supporting players has is all but obvious at the outset, and I don’t think the point for this movie to exist isn’t to push the boundaries of any narrative storytelling. Yet, it exists solely to showcase characters from a book series that, itself, doesn’t dare to be anything else other than light reading. On that account alone it succeeds in being a syllogistic representation that faithfully adheres to the characters and situations of the novels. In other words, young girls will dig this.

TERRIBLY HAPPY - DVD Review

terribly_happy_posterYou must, must check this film out. If you only make enough to buy 1 DVD, and Lord knows that is the least of your problems if you’re on that tight of a budget, make this one you get this month as this movie has still stayed with me months after seeing it. It’s available now from Oscilloscope Laboratories so do what you can to witness one of the brightest spots of the spring movie season.

Because I really am a fan of this film here is my theatrical review of the film and I hope at least one of you investigate a great movie you probably never heard of:

You have to look at a performance by Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds in order to fully comprehend why Jakob Cedergren, who plays town cop Robert Hansen in Terribly Happy, deserves his own spot on the world stage.

Cedergren takes a character, an urban police offer who is exiled into a rural, remote village town after having a nervous breakdown, and twists it into a complex individual who has no predictability, no hints about what he’s going to do next. He’s thrilling to watch on screen as he is tasked with what ought to be a simple enough assignment: watch over a sleepy hollow where no one seems to even want official law enforcement. The town has its own rule of law, its own way of handling things, and Cedergren disturbs the natural order with his presence. He’s a cop who seems to engender not an ounce of intimidation or respect from the townsfolk but he does find a kindred spirit in a local woman who isn’t from around here, either, a woman with her own secrets.

The pastoral themes abound in a town that wants to keep its close knit community closed off from interlopers looking to change things and Cedergren is absolutely dynamic in a role that showcases his range, not only in ability, but in the way his character vacillates throughout the film. When we meet him he’s Superman, a hero who is absolute in his convictions and black and white-ness, but, by the end of the movie, as the town’s secrets slowly give up its dead, it’s Batman that takes over. By the third act moral ambiguity becomes the predominant theme, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong blurs in ways that haven’t been seen in modern cinema in some time.

Sure, to those who wonder whether director Henrik Ruben Genz’s film that deals with such ambiguity smacks of Cohen or Lynch-ian type of filmmaking would be right in postulating as such but that would be a disservice to a filmmaker who demonstrates his ability to craft a noir tale that does not relent. More importantly, Genz’s film is its own creation, living and breathing within this hermetically sealed world where oddity is subjective. For example, when we meet who is ostensibly the femme fatale of this thriller, Ingerlise (played by Lene Maria Christensen), she leans on Cedergren to help her escape her abusive husband Jørgen (Kim Bodnia). The outcome of what will be a face off between these two men will not only surprise you in its originality but will satisfy any filmgoer’s expectation to be entertained along with being jolted. The dark comedy that simmers below this film’s bleak palette is there but it exists only insofar in its subtlety. It won’t smack you or be ostentatious in order for you to recognize it but that’s the draw with filmmakers of this type. It makes you work for it but there is a payoff in the form of the movie’s themes.

Such a theme, like subjugation, looms large when you consider the movie deals a lot with the idea of drowning a town’s dark secrets in its bogs. Literally. Bogs play a symbolic role but, again, its use is done with intelligence, not obviousness.

The movie transcends its linguistic cadence that does take some getting used to but, once you give into how it is telling its story, the story is enveloping to the point of amazement. Amazement that this movie has flown underneath so many people’s radars because it offers so much sustenance to those hungry for a good story about a man who has to trade in some of his altruistic character in order to maintain some sense of normalcy in a town where absolutely nothing is normal.

PERSONAL SHOUT OUT

jane-doeNot that many of you would care but after 9 months of gestation I am utterly delighted and tickled to introduce my newest daughter Nina Elizabeth.

Weighing in at a whopping 8 lbs. 10 oz. this little cannonball is the reason that I was not able to make it to this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Believe me, she’ll hear about it for the rest of her natural born life but here’s to hoping it’s a long one…I’ve got a lot of guilt to sling her way.  As Will Smith said in Independence Day: Welcome to Erf.

Comments:

One Response to “Trailer Park: CLASH OF THE TITANS, TERRIBLY HAPPY, RAMONA AND BEEZUS”

  1. Ray Schillaci Says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! Hear I was all set to slam you on your girly review of the new Selena Gomez movie and you took the wind right out of my sail. You are a gentleman and a scholar, Mr. Stipp and a very, very fine father.

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