Fantastical

Harry Hamlin in Greek garb as Perseus.

* * 1/2

The 1981 original of Clash of the Titans itself is a small-medium sized blockbuster (the 2010 remake was bigger but not better) and the writer Beverly Cross follows the Greek myth closely, apparently with producers Charles H. Sheener and Ray Harryhausen in the background. Based on the Greek mythological story, the god Zeus (Laurence Olivier), the head of the pantheon of gods on Mount Olympus, bestows to his very human son, Perseus (Harry Hamlin), armoury and weapons worthy of a knight about to go into battle.

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Nice

With a little help from my friends.

* * *

It is no surprise that the original Lord of the Rings film lies somewhere in the shadow of Peter Jackson’s visionary works of The Lord of the Rings.

The original from 1978 has obvious differences to Jackson’s threesome and most noticeably it was animated, but is quite comparable in its approach to some scenes, voices (Gollum’s), and other characteristics.

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Unlikely

Would you trust these guys?

* * 1/2

The 1980 Little Miss Marker a remake of the Shirley Temple comedy from 1934 was watched, dissected, thought about, and enjoyed. Not so much by ill fortune but by design, it is a very humanist worldview about a good-at-heart guy who is taking illegal bets (a role played by Walter Matthau) but is shown compassion (by Julie Andrews character) that can make him want to change for the better.

Julie Andrews plays Matthau’s lady interest Amanda, who has a boyfriend, the shady Blackie, a charismatic gambler (played by Tony Curtis). Amanda is on hand to see through the other man in her life, the grumpy one. And she is there to adore the girl he is looking after as security for an unpaid debt.

The eight-year-old girl, the “marker” or collateral (Hence Little Miss Marker), played by Sara Stimson, stays around longer than he expects, but this heart of gold character, with an edgy bedside manner, is always thinking about how to get her a life, or is that out of his life?

Deep

* * * * *

I expected 12 Years a Slave (2013) to be handsomely mounted and richly literate, reminiscent of films in the 1980s. But now that I’ve seen it I realize it’s already a classic.

For much of two hours, it shows the painful plight of African American slaves in a few white-owned plantations in the South before the American Civil War and the success of the abolition movement.

The film starts by telling us this is a true story. 

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