He was discussing the Snow White movies which I only vaguely heard was happening. But I didn't realize that there are actually two coming out. One called Snow White and the Huntsman and the other called Mirror Mirror. Two drastically different takes on the story of Snow White.
He mentioned that Mirror Mirror is being directed by Tarsem Singh. I've never really cared enough to pay attention to directors of movies, but then he went on to say that he directed another movie that he thought I would really like. The Fall. I've seen that! And I love it. And I knew whoever directed The Fall also directed The Cell which is another movie I really love. There is a small element of surrealism in the films that really draw me in. I love surrealism and any movie that seems to play on it or have this twisted dream-like element to it, I'm there! It's why I love the movie Mirror Mask so much.
So chatting about this lead to him mentioning another movie of Tarsem Singh, Immortals. Which I honestly hadn't heard of so he played a trailer for me. It reminded me a lot of the movie 300 which I enjoy because of it's cinematography and story telling. Plus it looked like gods are involved and I love anything with gods and deities.
I went out and watched it today.
My Thoughts on Immortals - Talk about a mind trip, but not really in a good way. I clearly missed the fact that Immortals involves Greek Mythology in the trailer. So imagine my surprise and slight confusion when the old man became Zeus and Zeus was, well, a pretty boy. I mean, come on. Give me some delicious facial hair at least.
I don't know. I understand being influenced by Greek Mythology. I mean, I do it. In Revelations I pull bits and pieces from different religions and beliefs as well. My character Tyr gets the name from Tyr a god from Norse Mythology. My Tyr even has the symbol of Tiwaz tattooed onto his back. I mean, granted, maybe I will piss off or annoy some people with that, but it is more like a little easter-egg thing to make people snicker if they are familiar with either Norse Mythology or runes. For me it always makes me snicker or amused when a work of fiction does something like that. Oh! My Goddess has a lot borrowed from Norse Mythology. Tales of Abyss has Jewish mysticism or Kabbalah all over the place. Anytime I see fucking "yggdrasil" used as a tree or world I can't get over myself.
But these works of fiction aren't simply retelling myths/legends or other important stories of religions/beliefs belonging to cultures. They are simply influenced by them and drawing recognizable symbols to use in their story.
I don't know. I really don't know how to explain it. It just bothered me that what I was watching was supposed to be about Zeus, Ares, Poseidon, and Athena. That's how it was presented anyway. As a slice of our past. I can't even say they were retelling a story or a piece from Greek Mythology with their own interpretation or twist, they completely changed everything. I mean. I am not exactly the most knowledgeable on Greek Mythology, it just felt completely off.
The gods felt off and felt completely rewritten with what happens to them how they came to be. I don't know much about Theseus from Greek Mythology, but from poking around the internet his character is completely rewritten. And from how the movie ended I am guessing they are trying to play off an idea that myths and legends change slightly from generation to generation. But that seems like a cheap cop-out that is equivalent to ending a story as being a dream. Or something.
Mythology in general, whether we are talking about Greek, Norse, Slavic, ect. has always seemed to me like some great piece of culture from the past. It doesn't matter if you don't believe that Zeus is or ever was an actual god that existed or that there were gods that actually resided on Mt. Olympus. Those beliefs, those stories, those legends themselves all actually existed. Actually held an impact on an entire society. Held a great importance to an entire culture that actually existed. It seems completely off and almost wrong to me to just try to completely rewrite that. To rewrite their legends, their myths, their beliefs, and their gods. That's not being influenced by this culture of world history with its legends and myths from that time period, it's. . .altering it.
I mean, the best way I can explain it is this. I loved the movie and the story and most of the characters. I loved the character designs. Just not for these already established gods from Greek Mythology. If you changed the names of the gods and most of the other characters and didn't try to pass it off as a movie interpreting Greek Mythology, I think it would be a great movie. Hell. Keep the main character named Theseus. Use the name from Greek Mythology to name the lead without the intention of saying it's the same person. Because the movie Theseus seems pretty different from the one presented in Greek Mythology. I kind of like the idea of this bastard child growing up and one of the gods taking a liking to so he trains the child. I liked (for while it lasted anyway) having a main character who wasn't concerned with falling in love or even having sex. (Though I understood why the oracle wanted to have sex, I just. Get. So. Tired. Of every movie having a sex scene. It just feels so forced now.)
Also, I loved their interpretation of the labyrinth and the minotaur. Their labyrinth acting as an elaborate and sacred tomb and place of prayer. Their minotaur wasn't an actual minotaur, but rather a giant grunt of a man who dons on this massive headpiece that looks more like a torture device in the shape of a bull's head. It gave me the impression that this man was some sort of grunt or slave tortured to the point where he is just some massive killing machine.
If they kept everything the same, kept their labyrinth-temple, kept their version of a minotaur, kept the hero named Theseus, and just changed the names of the gods and didn't play it off as "an interpretation of actual Greek mythology" it would be a pretty damn cool fantasy story. I liked the gods themselves ignoring the fact that they were bastardizations of the Greek Gods. I liked the idea of the head of the gods (aka: Pretty-Boy) being some charismatic immortal that lead the good immortals. I liked that. I loved the design of the gods. They barely seem anything like the Greek Gods. If all of this was the movie, it would be a great movie. It would be a movie that was influenced by Greek Mythology and I think that would have been cool.
It would have been okay if the gods in this movie were completely new gods we had never heard of. That we had nothing to draw knowledge from outside of the movie. It was established in the beginning that they are immortals and immortals can only be killed by other immortals. Got it. The fact that you switch to calling them Gods for the rest of the movie tells me that these people are more than human. That they are super fucking powerful in SOME sense or at least more powerful than us humans. It wouldn't and shouldn't freak people out without any prior knowledge or explanation as to why these immortals can teleport or create huge massive waves in the sea or crash a fucking mountain. They are fucking gods! You don't have to explain more. In fact, the history and backstory and lives of these gods as described in Greek Mythology is irrelevant anyway as things had been altered so much that they seemed like the gods in name only. Oh and Poseidon had a trident and the God of War looked like he had swords coming out of his head. It was easy to pick him out as being the God of War for having a helmet of fucking swords.
There was absolutely no reason to even try to pass these gods as the Greek Gods. There was absolutely no reason to even try to pass this off as an "interpretation" of Greek Mythology.
If it had been a movie simply influenced by Greek Mythology and only used some symbols drawn from Greek Mythology, I think it would have been a great movie. Beautiful with only a few Hollywood cheese bits that sadly comes with just about every single movie from Hollywood.
But as the movie that it is, trying to act as an interpretation of Greek Mythology, or as the director describes it: ". . .it's just taking a particular Greek tale and half (make it contemporary) and telling it." No. Just. No. It sucks and is disappointing.