In both decades, actors worked out. So there’s that.
It’s almost perfect. The first 15 seconds of both trailers are exactly opposite. In 1981, the trailer is frontloaded with exposition. It’s all dialogue and no music. The camera literally zooms into the objects being named. A helmet (zoom)! The shield (zoom)! The sword (zoom)! Then Harry Hamlin uses them all at once and swings the sword to the sound of “sword-swinging-sound-effect.”
Meanwhile in 2010 not a word is spoken until :16 seconds in. It’s flashes of deserts and mummy soldiers and snakes in ruins to dramatic music. We don’t even see an actors face until :15 seconds in.
Next in 1981′s trailer are what I can only assume were the “effects bragging” montage of their time. I have a feeling I’m supposed to be VERY impressed by that claymation flying horse. Which of course, I am not.
In the 2010 trailer we have a call-to-action montage where someone tells someone to take a stand and do what’s right and blah, blah, blah. Which I am also not impressed by. It is interesting, however, to point out that in the 1981 trailer we have a dramatic shot of a head falling off a statue of a woman when Argos is being destroyed. In the 2010 trailer we have a similar statue that falls off a cliff into the ocean in its entirety. How times have changed. It’s not good enough to just decapitate someone anymore, you have to push them a cliff and drown into the ocean for my to be interested. How true. Although in the 1981 version we cut to the head on the ground and it opens up its human eyes. It’s very creepy. And I am glad we as a people are past creepy human eyes on inanimate objects. It was a horrible time period for us.
Both trailers take this time to introduce the characters. One does it to orchestral choir music with an announcer explaining which role they play, “The evil. The danger. The daring.” While one does it to loud, guitar-solo based rock with no voice over, just quick flashes of sex and violence and CGI. Can you guess which is which? If you can’t you’re an idiot and need to close this tvgasm.com page and open up a high school equivalency diploma one.
This is where I run into a problem, however. You know that rockin’ sex and violence and CGI montage in the 2010 trailer? That pretty much just plays out until the end. And that 1981 version has about 40 more seconds to go. So, this competition gets a little unfair at this point. But, I will try to forge on anyway.
This 1981 trailer has a real hard-on for saying “The (something). Over and over again. The combat….The courage…The slender….The shut-the-hell-up-already-I-get-it! The most ironic part is the visuals that go along with “The spectacle” are some of the worst special effects in the film. It had to have been bad even for 1981′s crappy standards. There is a big rush of water cresting over the town square and just as it is about to hit a statue, it fades to a shot where the water is past the statue. That’s not special effects, that’s cheating!! Oh 1981, you suck,
Meanwhile, in the 2010 trailer…ummm…it’s over. It’s just a black screen. Boring! You suck too, 2010!
Back to 1981. Time to list the actor’s names! People love to watch text graphics of names, right? Oh man, I hate you 1981!!! Somehow, with the actor names, it’s almost like they had the foresight to know who would stay famous and who wouldn’t. The credits go back and forth between actors that are still sort of recognizable and ones that have faded away. Harry Hamlin. Yup! Judy Bowker. Who? Burgess Meredith. Sure! Maggie Smith. I have no idea. Ursula Andress. Okay. Claire Bloom. Nope. Sian Phillips. Ummm….no. Flora Robson…you’ve lost me. And Laurence Olivier as Zeus. Yeah, I’m back in!
Meanwhile, in 2010 YouTube thinks I should continue watching either “Clash of the Titans” Trailer 2 or “Lady Gaga Bad Romance, Clash of the Titans, and more on TWIYT #71.”
Let’s finish with the taglines. In 1981 the tagline was “Before History, Beyond Imagination — Clash of the Titans.” Cool. I honestly like it. You’ve kind of redeemed yourself, 1981. And maybe you weren’t such a bad movie.
In 2010. “Titans will Clash — Clash of the Titans.” Boooo!!! Rearranging words do not a slogan make. Who do you think you are, Yoda? That’s just lazy. Reeallll lazy.
So who wins? Well, it might have been possible that 1981 “Clash of The Titans” came out as the winner. Because in 1981 it might have been an actual good movie. Until I looked up that “Raiders of the Lost Ark” also came out in 1981 as well and compared to Raiders this film SUUUUUCKS!!!
Lucky for 2010 “Clash” most movies suck nowadays. So as long as it does better than “Avatar” it wins. Oops, that ain’t gonna happen. Good luck 2010 “Clash”. I have a feeling you’re going to go the way of 1981 “Clash”: something to be mocked in the year 2039. I just hope this trailer review stands the test of time. I’m sure it will. Go Justin Bieber! The best pop star EVER!!!!!!
Mike Betette (aka 4theluvofham and Berry of Fran and Berry) is a writer/improviser/actor living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. He has performed improv across the country with Mission Improvable and on a cruise ship around the world with The Second City. Mike has written for Blackbookmag.com, Superdeluxe.com, CurrentTV's Supernews! and has co-produced two improv game show pilots for CBS starring Craig Ferguson. Mike will also be appearing in the independent, improvised film, "Hitting The Nuts: The True Story of the 2009 Scott County Series of Poker" due out this summer.