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Titanic Flop

Feel the "Wrath" of Liam Neeson’s Hair in this clunker.

I’ve alluded to this before, but 2012 is shaping up to be the hairiest year ever on the silver screen.

Wrath of the Titans, with the main characters’ long manes and Orthodox-length beards, even outshags , which I proclaimed “an early candidate for the most Hirsute Film of 2012.” Is there a barber strike in Los Angeles or something? Any enterprising hairdresser could make a fortune by setting up a salon at Hollywood and Vine.

Meanwhile, this same trend also puts the /Joliet/Plainfield area at the cutting edge of popular culture. These days we’re best known for mustaches and male use of hairspray, as exemplified by the incarcerated and his arch-nemesis, our finely coiffed and muscle T-wearing Will County State’s Attorney James “Jimmy the Hairdo” Glasgow.

Don’t believe me? Count the goatees next time you’re out at Jameson’s or on the Metra. You’ll find yourself instinctively fishing imaginary errant hair out of your entrée or off the screen of your mobile device.

On to the screen. Wrath of the Titans, in which the brooding half Greek god/half human Perseus (Sam Worthington) rescues his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), from the underworld, might seem dazzling to some, with its violent, CGI-generated* special effects and mythical creatures.

But to someone not impressed with geeky filmmakers’ computer-programming chops, the overall experience is just very heavy-handed. Too much happens here: Nasty beasts, violent fighting, apocalyptic explosions and an overly male storyline combine to make this film sink like an ADD-addled rock in the Aegean Sea.

I found myself wondering, how would this movie have happened in the days before computer animation? Filmmakers would have resorted to actors wearing beastly costumes, which would have added a Sid and Marty Krofft element to the proceedings here, which would have been welcomed.

A final thought: Cinemark management left the lights on in theater number 12 until after two previews had screened this week, and I was blown away at the diversity of the audience watching Wrath of the Titans. The crowd Sunday morning was 30 times more multicultural than the lilywhite cast of this movie. Thumbs up Joliet, thumbs down Warner Bros.

*Computer-generated imagery. In a former life, my colleagues and I referred to CGI multimedia applications as CGIcandy.

Quotable moments

When not overshadowed by strangely violent beasts and half-naked swordplay, the dialogue here crackled. It was hard to single out a couple quotes, because the script was very well-written, but here goes:

“The son of Zeus cannot hide from his destiny forever” — Zeus to Perseus.

“You’re the great god Zeus. You don’t need my help” — Perseus to Zeus.

“Without prayer, we gods lose our power” — Zeus.

“Just fix my body and leave my soul to me” — Perseus to a nurse, who was performing the greatest onscreen stitches-administering sequence since Slap Shot.

“When a god dies, it’s just absence. It’s oblivion” — Zeus.

“You look 10,000 years younger” — Hades to Zeus.

“Use your power wisely, Perseus” — Zeus.

Other Observations at the Moviehouse

  • A guy sitting near me in my perch in the corner of the last row (where I can freely take notes on my mobile device) downed two giant tubs of popcorn during this flick. Meanwhile, the guy in front of me inadvertently dumped half a tub down the stairs. That’s $15 worth of popcorn consumed and/or spilled. And it was probably all left over from the night before.
  • I like it when the studios change up the previews a little bit from week to week. This week shock-rocker-turned-golfer Alice Cooper popped up in the trailer for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, which features Johnny Depp time-travelling to 1972. Outstanding.
  • The preview for Men in Black 3 literally shook the seats at the Cinemark this week. But despite a ‘60s soundtrack featuring Jimi Hendrix’s take on “All Along the Watchtower,” MIB3 looks like a clunker, even with Tommy Lee Jones channeling Andy Warhol.
  • The Cabin in the Woods, an upcoming horror flick, seems to toss every hackneyed scary movie cliché into one awful experience. Lost family, scary woods, zombies (I think) and a weirdo local motel owner make this one look like every single fright-inducer we’ve seen in the last 30 years. How about another , gang?
  • From my notes: Hair + Beards + Swords = The Hobbit. 2012 will be the hairiest year ever.
Brian April 03, 2012 at 02:30 PM
One would think that with all the sharp weapons lying around, someone would have a revelation on how to keep soup out of their beard.
Flora Dora April 03, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Hirsute is cute. But grooming is important!

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