Updates on FC’s Top Ten Most Anticipated 2010 Flix: Part 1

I wrote this top ten list of most anticipated movies back in October, and lots of stuff have changed since then. Either I no longer anticipate a given flick, or simply the release date has been pushed back to next year, etc. So here are updates on the first five on my list.

1. Clash of the Titans (April 2, 2010)

This one turns out to be quite a disappointment, glad I didn’t pay the 3D fare! Read the full review.

2. Immortals (TBD 2011 – see updated news)

The most notable update is the title has been changed to Immortals, changed from Dawn of War/War of Gods. The main lead actor to play Theseus remains to be Henry Cavill, but this flick has since expanded the cast: Mickey Rourke (as the villain), John Hurt, Stephen Dorff, Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), and Luke Evans (Apollo in Clash of the Titans), among others.

Luke Evans has been cast as Zeus

This FirstShowing article reveals a very promising small details of that, courtesy of British actor Evans who’ll play Zeus in this movie (quite an upgrade from playing Apollo, eh?).

[Immortals] really plays on the human side of the battle, whereas there are so many monsters in Clash of the Titans. This film really is very strongly based on Earth, I would say, and it is about the human battle. The gods have a very strong presence [in it] and it’s a much bigger action film; this is way more action. Whereas the gods in Clash do very little but stay in Mount Olympus, in [Immortals] they are hands-on — especially Zeus. I’ve had training in every weapon you could imagine a god using.”

He’s also got this to say about the Indian director Tarsem: “What’s great about Tarsem is you only have to spend 10 minutes in his company to know the man is a visionary and a genius. If you know his work, you know how beautiful and visually stunning it can be. Tarsem sets an amazing scene and allows the actors to feel completely immersed in the world — we’ve walked on to the sets and they’re superb. The details of these sets are spectacular, and you know Tarsem has had a hand in every decision.”

With that said, this will also end up in my inevitable Most Anticipated 2011 Flicks blog post 🙂

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3. Inception (July 16th, 2010)

You bet this is still one of my most anticipated flicks, in fact, this has risen to the top of the list! Five things I’ve learned so far:

  • According to Leonardo DiCaprio, the plot didn’t even make sense to the actors when they did the film. “We had to do a lot of detective work (laughing) to figure out what the movie was about.”
  • Nolan originally wrote this as a heist movie, realizing that “… traditionally [they] are very deliberately superficial in emotional terms”, but later realize he needed to “raise the emotional stakes
  • DiCaprio was integral in Cobb’s character development. “I’ve incorporated a huge number of his ideas. Leo’s very analytical, particularly from character point of view but also how the entire story is going to function and relate to his character… I think it’s improved the project enormously. The emotional life of the character now drives the story more than it did before.” [LA Times Blog]
  • This is the thinking-person’s Bond movie: “I grew up watching James Bond films and loving those and watching spy movies with their globetrotting sensibility…. We get to do that here, not just geographically but also in time and dimensions of reality as well. We get to make a movie that’s expansive, I suppose you’d say, in four dimensions.”
  • Inception is Nolan’s biggest challenge yet: “This is the biggest challenge I’ve taken on to this point… We’re trying to tell a story on a massive scale, a true blockbuster scale – the biggest I’ve ever been involved with. We tried to make a very large-scale film with The Dark Knight and with this one we wanted to push that even further.”

    [the last two bullets are courtesy of LA Times Hero Complex Blog]


Here’s the enigmatic second trailer. If there’s a flick that’ll blow Avatar out of the water, this’ll be it. Surely this is by far the best trailer of the year!

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4. Toy Story 3 (June 18th, 2010)

A decade an a half after the first one came out in 1995, this time it’ll be in 3D! I’m a huge fan of the first two, and as if having Woody, Buzz and the gang back isn’t enough to anticipate this, they throw in a new toy voiced by none other than Timothy Dalton!! The Ken/Barbie thing looks pretty funny too, I seriously doubt I’ll be disappointed with this one.

All fourteen characters of Toy Story 3

Screenrant also have a handy guide to all fourteen new characters in Toy Story 3.
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5. Iron Man 2 (May 7th, 2010)

The first one was sooo much fun and judging from the trailer, the sequel definitely ups the ante with plenty more action. I’m not totally stoked with Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard, nothing against Cheadle — granted he’s a great actor — but I just think Howard suits the Rhodes role better, and he’s got a nice rapport with Robert Downey Jr.  RDJ himself is still as mischievous and fun-loving as ever, this role is tailor-made for him as much as the suit is to Tony Stark. Oh speaking of the suit, who doesn’t dig the awesome briefcase suit?

This featurette centers specifically of Stark and his assistant Pepper Pots … it’s a testament to how great RDJ is because he even makes Gwyneth Paltrow looks so darn likable!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “New Behind-the-Scenes Featurette and …“, posted with vodpod

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Look for Part 2 sometime next week. Now, any one of this is on your anticipated list?

FlixChatter Review: Clash of the Titans

Critics be darned once again! Clash of the Titans defied the dismal review (31% Tomatometer) to soar past $60 million to capture the number 1 box office spot (it’s already earned over 100 mil worldwide). WOW, it surely is kraken-ka-ching for honchos at Warner Bros, as it’ll make up its $125 million production cost quicker than you can say “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!”

My buddies and I saw this in 2D on Saturday afternoon, and glad we only paid 6 bucks for it as it definitely wasn’t worth even a penny more! This is quite disappointing as I’ve been pretty excited about this flick for about a year now, frequently blogging about it, even put it on my Top Ten Most Anticipated 2010 Flicks. Of course I wasn’t expecting an Oscar-caliber flick and knew full well this was going to be a lightweight flick with plenty of action, but still, I was hoping it won’t be THAT vapid and humdrum.

All those visual thrills, loud and bombastic action sequences left me empty, aching for someone, something to actually give a hoot about, but all we get is a reluctant – lackluster is more like it – hero with only two expressions to choose from: anger and despondent, practically nothing in between. Sam Worthington’s performance as Perseus made his Jake Sully character in Avatar look like a worthy Oscar contender! The biggest problem of the movie is definitely the script, so perhaps it’s the fault of the screenwriter to paint such an unsympathetic hero. I mean, if he didn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about fighting the gods (nor saving mankind) in the first place, then why should we?? The only sequence I thought was pretty cool was the Medusa chase and how seamless the special effects was in creating the beautiful but hair-raising (literally!) monster.

If anything though, it certainly sparked a good discussion with my hubby afterwards, we even watched some of the clips of the original on Youtube. So the full review below is courtesy of Ivan, a.k.a Mr. Maramis! 🙂

When it comes to a movie remake – which happens a lot these days with Hollywood’s lack of creativity – you can become a harsher critic, especially when you were quite fond of the original version, no matter how cheesy that movie is (or was). That’s what I experienced when I watched the 2010 Clash of the Titans this past weekend.

I’m not going to elaborate the plot here (that’s what Google is for), but essentially the story centers around Perseus, half man, half god–son of Zeus. The gods have conflict among themselves (that’s what happen when you have more than 1 God), meanwhile human rebels against the gods. Zeus got antsy and eventually decided to RELEASE THE KRAKEN (essentially a humongous godzilla from underwater). Human have the option to either sacrifice Andromeda (a beautiful princess), or kill the Kraken. That’s when Perseus comes in (to kill the Kraken, not to sacrifice Andromeda… just to be clear).

I remember watching the original version as a kid, in awe of the visual effects of all the creatures, Perseus adventure, the occasional humor, and all the action that kept you at the edge of your seat throughout the movie (kid doesn’t really understand storyline, so…). Keep in mind this was all created before CGI era (1981).

Fast forward to 2010. When I saw the trailer, I was so excited. I really had high expectation. After all, with all the technology we have today, fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings can actually be considered as high quality production with excellent story line. Right? And then I saw the movie. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes later… meh. An hour later, I’m getting even antsier than Zeus is. From there on, I was just staring at the screen hoping for some occasional cool CGI, which is not that spectacular anyway.

So by now you know I’m not too crazy about this remake. And maybe I would’ve had a different experience if I had not ever watched the original version. But even when you compare movie like this to the Lord of the Rings series, Chronicles of Narnia or Gladiator, I still feel this movie falls short. I never got attached to any of the characters and the acting were just flat and even felt lazy. Maybe the only character who I could feel empathy for is Perseus’ earth father. And he was only there for 5 minutes (sorry, spoiler).

Zeus to Perseus: I’m your father!

I mean, c’mon… when Perseus finally found out that he was the son of Zeus, he looked somewhat surprised for like 2 seconds. But then after that, he just looks the same, expressionless throughout the movie. There was this scene before he entered the lair of Medusa (a creature whose hair is made up of snakes, and can turn you into stone if you stare at her eyes), where he supposedly gives a speech of encouragement to a half dozen people who’ve been following him faithfully. And the pep talk didn’t really make you want to root for to good guys even more. Maybe because I didn’t believe the characters relationships are that genuine.

Using Lord of the Rings again as a benchmark: I believed Frodo & Sam friendship is genuine, but not on this one. I believed that the willpower of Sam, Aragorn, and all the people who stand behind Frodo to make sure he fulfills his mission is genuine–but in Clash of the Titans, I feel like the majority of the good guys are just there, waiting for their time to die.

The gods convene in Olympus

Now switching focus to the superior beings–the gods: Heck the clearly-CGI-ed lion in Narnia looks much more charismatic and omnipotent than Liam Neeson’s Zeus, who looks just like a really confused guy w/ bad makeup and botox, wearing something made out of aluminum paper in high-school science project. Again, in the LOTR, when you first see Rivendell (where the superior race Elves live), you believe that superior beings live there. But Olympus, where Zeus and the other gods hang out, looks like a cheap white gazebo with lots of reflective materials, and a really bad miniature of earth in the middle of it. Seriously, Zeus lives here?

Perseus then and now

The story of the remake is quite different than that of the original version. Which is fine by me. Obviously the technology used is much better today than the stop-motion technique used back then. When I watch back the original version in YouTube today, I laugh & cringe because of the production quality, Harry Hamlin’s big 80s hairdo, and the inferior editing technology of the old days. But at least I was still curious enough to sit through and follow Perseus’ perilous journey and the dialog – as cheesy as it was  – actually had a plot. It was still entertaining to watch, more than ‘just for old time’s sake’. As for the 2010 version? Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t pay for the 3D admission fee. I would’ve been even happier if I just waited until it came out in DVD… maybe even in YouTube one day.

1 out of 5 reels