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I know, I know…I’m late to the Moana party. The girl has been trying to get me to watch it for YEARS, but it just hadn’t worked out until I scheduled a special ‘Movie Luau’ with her. The boy is at Band Camp and the husband is closing all week, so I set up several Movie Nights for the two of us. First up, Moana and Hawaiian Chicken.

Above all else, the songs are the best part of Moana. I mean, Lin-Manuel Miranda – how could they not be the best? ‘How Far I’ll Go’ and ‘You’re Welcome’ are obvious favorites, but I’ve actually had ‘Shiny’ stuck in my head the most. Is it because of my recent fascination with Jemaine Clement? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a catchy tune, sung by a crab. Oh! I told the girl about the Decorator Crab we used to have – she didn’t know they were a real thing! See – Moana is educational, too.

Please put The Rock in every movie I watch, thank you. Also, I demand a rap breakdown in all of The Rock’s future movies.

I very much appreciated the conscious departure from yet another Disney Princess looking for her Prince story. Maui even pokes fun at the trope by repeatedly calling Moana a princess, which she vehemently denies. Thank you Disney for confirming that not every adventure needs a romance!

I enjoyed Moana very much and want Lin-Manuel Miranda to take over writing all Disney songs this instant!

Next up for Movie Night, From Dusk Til Dawn and Taco Tuesday!

Wrath of the Titans

As a fan of Greek mythology, I found Wrath of the Titans to be even more annoying than Clash of the Titans. The writers were plagued by the same problem that annoyed me about that Hercules TV show – Demigods get 1 or 2 myths and that’s it…so how do you make multiple movies about Perseus, who really only had one story?

Hollywood’s answer to that question is to have Perseus standing in for Theseus and fighting a Minotaur. Let’s add a Chimera, just for shits and giggles. And how about having Perseus playing Odysseus and fighting a bunch of Cyclopses? (I don’t think that’s a word – is the plural of Cyclops…Cyclopi?) The one positive thing about this film is solving the Io/Andromeda problem from the first movie within the first five minutes. But that caused even more problems with the plot. Queen Andromeda is now this bad-ass warrior queen, killing a bunch of random folks. Apparently, that’s what gives Perseus a chubby, because he spends the rest of the movie making goofy eyes at her. Whatever…too little, too late.

Perseus’ actions seemed to be driven by more by a mid-life crisis, than any real desire to save the world. Several times, I expected a Danny Glover-style, “I’m too old for this shit!” He seemed vaguely interested in the welfare of his son, but even when his son’s life was in danger, he seemed to be dragging his feet. What a fucking dick.

The special effects were pretty neat, especially the M.C. Escher version of Tartarus. See, at least I had one positive thing to say about this turd.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Isn’t it sad that I enjoyed Percy Jackson more than Clash of the Titans?

Yeah, Percy Jackson was a silly, glossy film for kids, while Clash was a serious action/adventure film, but at least Percy Jackson wasn’t completely joyless. Sam Worthington didn’t look like he was enjoying his epic adventure AT ALL, while Logan Lerman seemed to be having a fucking blast…maybe because he got to eat lotus flowers and trip balls in a casino? What teenager wouldn’t love that?

In the same vein as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson is a popular series of young adult fiction. There are thematic similarities to Harry Potter – Percy has issues in the “real” world that are conveyed into strengths in the “mythical” world. His ADHD translates into fighting skills, while his Dyslexia enables him to read Ancient Greek. I can see how kids like that…all I had to read in Middle School was Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High, is it any wonder I turned to Stephen King the summer after 6th grade? Kids are not likely to find the escapism they desire reading about perfect size 6 twins in a Fiat Spyder…however, I’m not so sure I’m on the “everybody’s special” bandwagon either, because face it – we’re NOT all special. To be continued…

It’s rated PG, so we let the kids watch it. I should have know that something in this film would make my six year old son totally lose his shit, but I was utterly surprised at what it was. Care to hazard a guess? It wasn’t the Harpies. It wasn’t the Minotaur or the Hydra. It wasn’t Cerberus or even the mild child abuse depicted. It was Medusa! He screamed at the TV every time Uma Thurman and her snake hair made an appearance. I admit, partially CGI Medusa Uma was much more fearsome than the entirely CGI Medusa in Clash of the Titans. He begged us to turn it off, but we believe in tough love, baby. He was fine after Percy cut her head off (please don’t tell me that’s a spoiler), although he did make unhappy noises every time her head made another appearance. For the record, no nightmares have been reported, so I don’t think he is permanently damaged.

A sequel is coming in 2012, so I’m guessing we’ll see it on cable sometime in 2013?


Clash of the Titans (2010)

I was nervous as the film started to play…am I about to see a gritty, exciting update to one of my favorite childhood films? Or is my childhood about to be shit all over? Ultimately, the answer wasn’t clear. There were things I loved AND things I hated about the remake.

What did I LOVE about the remake? I LOVED Liam Neeson as Zeus. I LOVED Neeson and Ralph Fiennes playing brothers, because I used to get them confused back in the 90s. I LOVED Beebo’s cameo – it was lame, but still cool. I LOVED Black Pegasus. Black Pegasus should get his own spin-off.

What did I HATE about the remake? I HATED how far the film strayed from traditional Greek Mythology. True, the original Clash of the Titans played fast and loose with the Perseus story – the Kraken was totally stolen from Norse mythology and what was up with Calibos? Even so, the remake hardly made any sense at all. [Spoiler Warning] I HATED the ending. Why didn’t Perseus end up living happily ever after with Andromeda? Wasn’t Perseus a descendant of Io? It’s Kate and Leopold all over again…gross! I HATED Medusa. The CGI implementation was weak at best. I HATED Perseus’ hair. Why did he have closely cropped hair, while EVERY single other male in the film looked like Jesus? How did he shave every day? I HATED…oh Hell, I guess I did HATE this movie more than I LOVED it.

So there’s a sequel coming out called Wrath of the Titans. I don’t know what it’s about, something totally made up probably – I can’t wait to see it!