Tuesday, November 15, 2011

300 LIGHT OR SUPERMAN SCREEN TEST? IMMORTALS Visually Stunning Though Dramatically Generic (Minor Spoilers)

To say Sin City and 300 were visual game changers in film would be a major understatement. Their CGI was specifically tailored to reflect the films' comic book (yes, "comic book", not "graphic novel") origins, giving them an otherworldly feel that is somewhat divorced from reality. Film is an escapist medium and that pioneering CGI did much to reinforce that state of unreality.  Immortals, directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell), follows that trend.  It is visually stunning and perhaps one of the better representations of motion art in recent memory. Many scenes are shot as though they were paintings come to life.  Rich tones of luminescent gold and vibrant crimson red dominate the film, with darkest marble and dark blue hues supplied in contrast, especially to show the difference between the divine (the Greek Gods) and the secular (humanity). However, this approach works both for and against the film. Instead of a war of gods, we are presented with a superhero comic book film dressed in mythological attire. 

Evil Hyperion (a somewhat out of place Mickey Rourke), a ruler with a grudge against the Green Pantheon, seeks the Epirus Bow, a mythical weapon powerful enough to free their nemesi the Titans from the bowels of Mount Tartarus in order to bring about the Gods' destruction. The Gods are forbidden to interfere (though it is never explained why) unless and until the Titans are freed, so Zeus (Luke Evans), in mortal guise (John Hurt, doing his best Obi-Wan impression), prepares Theseus (Henry Cavill) to lead the world of men for the upcoming battle. With the aid of virgin Oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and thief Starvos (Stephen Dorff), Theseus races to obtain the bow before Hyperion.

The film moves along at a furious pace with little by way of dead spots or unnecessary exposition. While this makes for flowing narrative it unfortunately sacrifices character development. Any emotional attachment seems cursory, the closest semblance to same comes in Theseus relationship with his mother (Anne-Day Jones), but it is in short supply. Even the requisite love scene between Theseus and Phaedra comes off as perfunctory. The score by Trevor Morris helps move the story along but the only thing it seems to inspire is foreboding, even in the quiet scenes. However, it is virtually indistinguishable from any other generic score, almost sounding like a Tyler Bates riff.

But then, this isn't an Ivory Merchant film production. What it sacrifices in emotional heft it makes up for in stunning visuals, combining CGI and actual set pieces. I've often said that slow motion bullet time is overused and overrated as a device, but at least here Singh uses it creatively by juxtaposing the fighting styles of the Gods/Titans with those of the human forces. The mortal fight scenes are gritty brutality whereas the Gods/Titans battles are stylized, CGI ballets. Kudos go to the fight choreographer as well as the sound master. The viewer is made to feel every blow viscerally with or without 3D (the version I saw was without) and there are very few films in recent memory that invoke that response.

Unfortunately, the Gods give us no reason to root for their survival. The Greek Pantheon were never presented as saints in literature so arguably they run true to form here. And according to Hyperion's  backstory he is justified in his actions against them to a degree. Perhaps if Singh had chosen to make the Gods more sympathetic by explaining why their proverbial hands were tied in human matters or at least show remorse for their inability to prevent tragedies the story would be more satisfying. However, it is a missed opportunity. If it weren't for the fact that Hyperion is a thoroughly unlikable character, they sympathies could have gone either way.  Also, it doesn't help that the entire Panthenon (and the majority of humanity in the film for that matter) look as though they've just come out of a session at LA Fitness or Bally's. Yes, they are Gods and the humans live in a brutal landscape that would engender various degrees of fitness. Yes, if one was Immortal and had the power to do so their desire for physical perfection would be a foregone conclusion.  Oddly, the actors do not project that feeling. They don't have the comfortable ease or ambivilance at their physical perfection. Instead, they strut and pose; especially the Gods, who don't quite carry of the fantastical garments that adorn them (Poseidon's "Princess Leia" helmet being the most humorously egregious).

Currently, Cavill is "Clark Kent/Superman" in the currently shooting Superman: The Man of Steel which is set for release in 2013. While it may be a tad inappropriate, it cannot be helped to consider Immortals as a hint of what Cavill will bring to the role. With his square jaw and being clad in a cloak worn in similar fashion as the Man of Steel, Cavill brings an old fashioned heroic earnestness to his portrayal. However, given the subject matter there is very little in the way of humor to his performance. He shows promise, but at times his performance here is one note rage; something which may be attributed to the direction. A speech that should have been rousing falls somewhat short, for example. Cavill tries with the material at hand but is inconsistent in terms of his success.

As Hyperion, Mickey Rourke seems lost half the time while on the other half he is appropriately menacing. But on the whole he seems bored with the whole thing. There is no real character here; just Rourke doing his patented tough guy shtick transplanted in a mythological setting. The only time he truly comes alive is when he is engaged with Theseus. He may be there for just for the paycheck, but when it really matters he delivers the goods and earns every penny.

In the end, Immortals is pretty to look at but it takes itself way too seriously. Even the recent remake of Clash of the Titans had moments of humor to offset what passed for the drama. If you're into a celebration of carnage with copious amounts of throat slitting and blood letting in better than technicolor, then this movie should satisfy. In terms of gripping drama and character development, you might be better off waiting for The Muppets.

61 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot very much for the high quality and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse your blog post to anybody who wants and needs support about this area.vintage clothing stores near me

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful work!! Excellent blog posts to read maintain it up as well as keep taking place through this.Mavic Air Singapore

    ReplyDelete
  3. On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care. At the same time, in some poor countries, cultural models and social norms of behaviour persist which hinder the process of development.vintage clothing shops near me

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great information, really loved to read this blog post. Find latest version of clone hero from this site: clone hero live

    ReplyDelete
  5. What you need to do is to browse through the pages of different websites and accumulate health insurance quotes; after this you can buy a cheap health insurance policy and that too online. funwirks.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.things to do in Split

    ReplyDelete
  7. An interesting share, one that is expressive as well as providing a founding statement. We found it interesting above all else. zlavy.sk

    ReplyDelete
  8. A quality shop for all high-quality POE players - POECurrency.com
    We are an online shop operated by a professional team on the Path of Exile. The purpose is to provide a safe, reliable, fast and convenient trading place for each POE player. When you trade-in our shop, you do n’t have to worry about any security issues. The game-related products of Path of Exile, you are welcome to visit our shop if necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. This site 192.168.l.l is very helpful for people to find 192.168.1.1

    ReplyDelete

  10. This IP address is one of its kind as this can be used multiple times. This IP address comes under the 24-bit block of the private IP address.

    192.168.0.1

    192.168.l.1

    ReplyDelete

  11. This is default IP address that is used by most of the router companies like the PTCL, TP-Link, D-Link, in order to access the admin page of the router

    192.168.10.1

    ReplyDelete

  12. This configuration can also be used for devices like Router, Modem etc. and they are all having the initial IP address

    192.168.10.1

    192.168.1.254

    192.168.0.1

    ReplyDelete
  13. I simply want to tell you that I am just beginner to blogs and certainly enjoyed you’re web page.80s fashion

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't any word to appreciate this post.....Really I am impressed by this post..babysitting Peoria

    ReplyDelete
  15. the person who create this post was a great human..thanks for sharing this with us.golf video lesson

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the blog very nice keep going.what is encaustic cement tile

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is exciting, nevertheless it is vital for you to visit this specific urlsoirée casino

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!atlanta airport transportation

    ReplyDelete
  19. Here you will learn what is important, it gives you a link to an interesting web page:fly bait station

    ReplyDelete
  20. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! pest control alexandria va

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Thank you for your clear information.tucson pest control

    ReplyDelete
  22. I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information.San Antonio Pest Control

    ReplyDelete
  23. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! termite control

    ReplyDelete
  24. We can find number of our favorite things from this grocery store.boat hire forster

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a wonderfull blog.full of information and i have understoon alot of things from this blog. Very excellent pitch. 1950 fashion womens

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just now you can branch out from your daily understanding. Don’t give up your morals for anything 1940s men fashion

    ReplyDelete
  27. The most popular Online betting sites 24 hours a day, no holidays. mens vintage leather jackets uk

    ReplyDelete
  28. Easy to play, concise, short, get the idea, making you waste less time, not stretching, don't have to worry about any time at all. 70s clothing

    ReplyDelete
  29. However, it can be difficult to find the exact emoji you need in the dozens or even hundreds that are available in today's smartphone keyboard.emergency tree removal

    ReplyDelete
  30. This article will teach you how to search or filter all emojis then copy them for use anywhere.landscaping

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.outside forced air wood furnace

    ReplyDelete
  32. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.outside wood boiler

    ReplyDelete
  33. This website is actually a walk-through it really is the information you desired relating to this and didn’t know who ought to. dog shirts wholesale

    ReplyDelete
  34. It's late finding this act. At least, it's a thing to be familiar with that there are such events exist.wholesale pet products

    ReplyDelete
  35. I agree with your Blog and I will be back to inspect it more in the future so please keep up your act.aquariums wholesale and pet supply

    ReplyDelete
  36. A collection of popular casino games around the world. Guaranteed fun and complete service pet supply wholesale canada

    ReplyDelete
  37. A collection of popular casino games around the world. Guaranteed fun and complete service microsoft exchange conference room scheduling

    ReplyDelete
  38. I propose merely very good along with reputable data, consequently visualize it: conference room management system

    ReplyDelete
  39. i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples.signage desk

    ReplyDelete
  40. It is especially decent, though look into the tips during this home address.outlook appointment booking system

    ReplyDelete
  41. The website has many beautiful items for US and Europe citizens to buy premium cosmetics at the best prices.desk booking system

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been deficient to do for a during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really serviceable!route planning software

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks very much for posting this useful data with us all.ticketing systems

    ReplyDelete
  44. I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people. Außendienstmitarbeiter-Management-Software

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been deficient to do for a during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really serviceable!Mitarbeiter Schichtplan excel

    ReplyDelete
  46. looking around some webs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using.Teambildung

    ReplyDelete
  47. This is an old fashion trend which people follow to send an invitation to marriage. I saw this type of template in my college library that's why I know much about it and it is ok if someone using it right now.appointment scheduling software

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is very useful, although it will be important to help simply click that web page link:hotel buchungssoftware

    ReplyDelete
  49. Such a great informative site this i am glad to be part of this community. And i have bookmarked it to share with more.conference booking software

    ReplyDelete
  50. Such great quality content you have shared with us I have bookmarked it to share with more peoples for their help to understand about it.event space booking software

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.meeting room

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am glad to know that the article is really very good. Some people visited here and the blog review is very good. Thanks for sharing the information.meeting room software outlook

    ReplyDelete
  53. This is important, though it's necessary to help you head over to it weblink:desk design software

    ReplyDelete
  54. The best fit, allowing perfect mobility in various sizes, keeps in mind while developing the sports bra. The bra will prove to be a hassle-free experience where you do not have to worry about mobility.workplace management software

    ReplyDelete