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APRIL 2010

CLASH OF THE TITANS

 

 

Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Pete Postlethwaite, Danny Huston, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Jason Flemyng, Polly Walker, Nicholas Hoult, Mads Mikkelsen, Izabella Miko (Directed by Louis Leterrier; Written by Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay; Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

Since the beginning of time, there have been good guys and bad guys, and good girls and bad girls, in this universe of ours. The same could be said of kings and perhaps even gods. At least, that seems to be the point of this remake of the embarrassing 1981 myth-take made by Laurence Olivier, Claire Bloom and Maggie Smith (even venerated British thespians have to make a buck).

Perseus, a role played by America’s own Harry Hamlin in the first flick, is played here by “Avatar’s” own Sam Worthington. As you may already know, Perseus leads a kind of double life. The son of Zeus, the Olympian god, poor Perseus is downgraded to mere mortal status and suffers a multitude of natural and supernatural indignities before demonstrating that he is indeed a god for all seasons. Zeus, acted by Olivier in the original, is portrayed on this occasion by Liam Neeson. Undoubtedly having more fun than either Neeson or Worthington is Ralph Fiennes, cast as Hades, the hottest hellraiser in the whole world!

Peter Bart, writing in Variety, calls this 3-D epic a low-end conversion from 2-D, and a wannabe box-office threat to  “Alice in Wonderland” and “How To Train Your Dragon.” Bart also reports that Hollywood wiseguys have taken to calling the film “Trash of the Titans.” --Guy Flatley Now Playing

 

HARRY BROWN

 

Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Charlie Creed-Miles, Ben Drew, Liam Cunningham, Iain Glen, David Bradley, Marky Hathaway (Directed by Daniel Barber; Written by Gary Young; The Samuel Goldwyn Company)

In his youth, Harry Brown was a proud, rugged Royal Marine. No longer young, he is now a beaten-down, seemingly powerless figure standing at the bedside of his wife as she draws her last breath in a shabby London hospital.

Lucky for the new widower, he can count on Leonard Attwell, a long-time friend, for comfort and companionship. But he can’t count on Leonard for long, because the hot-tempered senior has made the fatal mistake of trying to defend himself while being assaulted by a vicious punk in his slum neighborhood. So now Harry has lost both a loving wife and a loyal buddy.

If you are familiar with the lethally vengeful rascals played by Charles Bronson in “Death Wish” and Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino,” however, you know that Harry Brown, played by the invariably masterful Michael Caine, will soon regain his stalking spirit and emerge as dangerous as any two-legged beast prowling the mean streets of London.

Assisting Harry, in one way or another, on his bloody mission are Emily Mortimer as a valiant detective and Charlie Creed-Miles as her relentlessly unsentimental partner in the pursuit of criminals. --Guy Flatley Opens 4/30