… because of this:
Compare that design to its neon-powered predecessor:
That’s Laurence Olivier in the original Clash of the Titans, and I think we can tell which Zeus would win in a thunder-off. I take Liam Neeson and his shiny shinguards.
The first Clash rocked my socks during my middle school years. It’s unreal how much I loved this movie (second perhaps only to the awful, truly awful, yet still so spectacularly awesome Flash Gordon — man, that’s a subject for a whole ‘nother post.) Not all of the old Clash movie holds up today — but oh, those jerky Ray Harryhausen special effects are still riveting. Remember this guy?
And the clockwork owl who looked like the lovechild of C3PO and R2D2? Bubo was steampunk before there was steampunk — he was mythpunk, man!
Plus Burgess Meredith!
What was it about those herky-jerky action sequences that is so enthralling even today? From the original King Kong to that kraken bearing down on Perseus, stop-motion monster work is as timeless as a Laurel and Hardy skit. Ray Harryhausen had the original sauce.
If you’re old enough to remember that this is how special effects used to be done, you can re-create the sensation of sitting in a dark theater and getting that man-on-the-moon feeling. Can we really do this? How is this even possible? Truly the modern age is wondrous! The movements of a Harryhausen creature are so singular, you can’t forget them, whether you’re agog at a fight between a man and a giant scorpion or a kraken and a coastline. It’s history in motion.
But when Star Wars uses computers to smooth out of the edges of a thousand thousand aliens and droids, it somehow feels less real. It’s all effect with no special.
So, the Clash of the Titans remake has big shoes to fill as far as I’m concerned, with great potential to make bland what the original made memorable. But that Entertainment Weekly pic of Liam Neeson suiting up is a very promising start. A very promising start indeed.