Do NOT see CLASH OF THE TITANS in 3D!

Posted by Peter Hall - April 2nd 2010 @ 1:44 am

Why am I writing about CLASH OF THE TITANS on a horror website?  Well, for starters, it’s my site and I can do whatever I want, but the real reason is this: I want no one to see CLASH in 3D.  I wish it didn’t exist in the format.

The word is spreading about how poor the post-production 3D on CLASH is, so you’ve probably already heard all of this elsewhere, but this is a particular case where I’m happy to just add to the din.  If even only one person reads this and avoids Warner Brothers’ pathetic cash grab, I’ll be happy. If you haven’t heard the cacophony of backlash yet, I’ll explain.

CLASH OF THE TITANS was never supposed to be in 3D.  Louis Leterrier designed the film with a 2D plane in mind; that’s how it was molded from the ground up by all of the artists involved.  When AVATAR made over $2 billion at the box office, however, the studio started to look at the idea of converting CLASH into 3D.  Either no one actually watched that test footage or the studio decided the fact that the movie now looked like complete shit was not nearly as big a deal as their increased profit potential should they release a film that people can pay an extra $5 to see.  So they went ahead and converted the entire film.

Guess what?  It looks like complete shit.  It’s downright disgraceful, actually.  I’m not on the anti-3D bandwagon, either.  I think when it’s used properly, it can indeed enhance the theater experience.  But for that to happen, a filmmaker must anticipate the medium; they must know they’re making a 3D film and craft accordingly.  Sadly Louis Leterrier was not afforded that luxury. 

I’m one of the few people who actually enjoyed CLASH OF THE TITANS, too, this despite the experience-ruining 3D.  It’s not great by any stretch, but it’s adequately entertaining thanks to great character/creature design, a lot of solid, well cut fantasy action (after a tepid 30-minutes of beating us over the head with Perseus wanting to be a man and not a Demigod), and a very impressive cast of supporting characters (Sam Worthington is still saddled with a charmless role that doesn’t allow him to show off even a fraction of the screen presence he had in ROGUE).  But three minutes into the press screening I was already wishing I was just watching the movie at home on Blu-ray.

And I wouldn’t be so pissed about it were CLASH not the first in a growing line of Warner Brothers films that are being converted to 3D in post-production.  When it releases this summer, do keep in mind that HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS was NOT shot with 3D in mind; it’s a price-hike convert.  Same is sadly going to be said of Zack Snyder’s SUCKER PUNCH and Martin Campbell’s GREEN LANTERN.  Basically, if Warner Brothers is putting out a film in 2010 that’s in 3D, it’s this bullshit, fake 3D.  And that really pisses me off to no end.

tl;dr: CLASH OF THE TITAN’s fake 3D robs it of its scope by adding fake depth.  DO NOT WANT.

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rss 11 comments
  1. April 2nd, 2010 | 6:55 am | #1

    As a huge fan of the original, I was really looking forward to this (remake or no remake). So disappointed to hear that the 3D is terrible. That’s basically the only thing I found which was redeeming about Avatar.

    I’ll opt for the 2D version. They ARE showing the film in 2D for theaters that don’t have 3D, right?

  2. April 2nd, 2010 | 6:59 am | #2

    I’ll do you one better. I won’t see that crap at all.

  3. April 2nd, 2010 | 1:45 pm | #3

    Cortez, yeah, it should also be available in 2D at most places.

    John, it’s definitely worth a rental for a lazy weekend watch. That’s about it, though.

  4. Tc
    April 3rd, 2010 | 12:43 am | #4

    Is the 3d version of this movie bad because they converted so quickly or does it have to be shot in 3D to be any good? I know Sucker Punch still has a year left before it’s released. Do you think they can make it a good 3D movie, given the amount of time they have to change it, or does it even matter?

  5. Jim
    April 3rd, 2010 | 3:20 am | #5

    I just saw CLASH today. All the way through the film I was distracted by the extremely b-grade 3D. I’m not a specialist in this area, however I think anybody can spot the pathetic attempt to ad depth to the film. What would otherwise gave been a reasonable remake was truly trashed. Given how expensive 3D movies are, movie goers should be given a guarantee that what they are watching is real 3D, not something that looks like it was chopped up and embossed in photoshop!

  6. April 3rd, 2010 | 9:40 am | #6

    TC, it was a quick and, relatively speaking, cheap conversion. They rushed to get it done by April after making the decision in January, which as far as the industry is concerned is a real 11th hour conversion.

    I think Sucker Punch will not be as weakened by the 3D conversion because I think Zack Snyder has earned a bit more clout with the studio and has a bit more final say in things. Plus it’ll be his second 3D feature of the year, so he’s worked with it before. But it’s still not being shot in 3D/shot for a 3D conversion, so even if they hire the best post-production studio and take their time, it’s still not going to be Avatar-level 3D, which is what I think most people expect these days.

  7. April 14th, 2010 | 7:40 pm | #7

    Hi. You are absolutly right. I watched Clash today with my wife. We both sat there with tose silly glasses on and the only 3D we saw was in the trailer that came on before the film.

    I wish I had seen this site before we paid the extra. However, Thanx for the heads up on upcoming Warner stuff… 3D will be off the cards for them as well.

    As far as the movie was conserned I thought it was ok but as fantasy films go, if Avatar rated 10, Clash would be around 7.

  8. Victor
    April 21st, 2010 | 5:54 pm | #8

    I saw it tonight and felt the same about the poor quality 3D. i came home and googled it to stumble on to this site and find the same.

    it does look like a photoshop job. the 3D looked layered like you find in a cartoon.

    At least i am wise now to future 3D releases.

  9. May 19th, 2010 | 1:39 pm | #9

    Since the original is so close to my heart, I had high hopes for this one. The 3D is a joke. Why did they even bother. Avoid at all costs. Go rent the 1982 original. Much better.

  10. Jim
    June 6th, 2010 | 9:43 pm | #10

    Pretty much agree with everything said about 3-D conversion. Still not crazy about 3-D in general. I liked Clash of the Titans and agree that, while not great, it’s an enjoyable romp. It’s worth it for Medusa and the Kraken, and mostly for Gemma Arterton for whatever character she was playing (forgot). I’m still not sure if she’s a good actress or not, but I don’t care. I’d see every 2-D “upgrade” to 3-D if she were in it. I’m very shallow but I’m also willing to sell-out. :)

  11. pingback

    […] But the 3-D frenzy has also sparked a backlash. The naysayers include critics who argue that the essence of cinema is two-dimensional — that its nature is bound up in its mural-like flatness, and that when you add another dimension, you turn it into something other than cinema (see Roger Ebert’s widely quoted Newsweek piece calling 3-D “a waste of a perfectly good dimension“). Directors also resent the pressure to turn every big film into an event that costs three to five extra dollars to see — either by shooting it in 3-D when they feel it isn’t necessary, or by retroactively processing a 2-D movie to create a shoddy-looking, faux-3-D effect (this was done to three-quarters of “Alice in Wonderland” and all of “Clash of the Titans“). […]

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