Clash of the Titans

Photo #2

Film (with rating): Clash of the Titans (PG-13)
 

Studio: Warner Home Video

Summary: In this remake of the 1981 original, a war rages
between men, kings and gods. Perseus (“Avatar’s” Sam Worthington) is
born of a god but raised as a man, and he’s the only one who may be able to
defeat Hades (Ralph Fiennes) before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson)
and unleash hell on Earth.

Review: Kraken. Kraken. Kraken Kraken Kraken. It’s just so
fun to say. Unfortunately, not too much else in this movie is fun. Things are
just too big, too shallow and too chaotic to really succeed. On the plus side,
“Clash” does improve a bit on the 1981 original because it goes
deeper into Greek mythology. It’s interesting to see the focus shift more to
Perseus’ story and the whole “office politics” deal on Mount Olympus.
The CGI effects are a bit overdone and oft-times too much for even the big
screen, but overall, they do help move the movie forward at times. But that’s
about it in the plus column. “Clash” suffers from Too Much Syndrome;
director Louis Leterrier makes everything too large, too overdone, too loud. 

Even the (over)acting suffers; Fiennes appears to be channeling Lord Voldemort
in every single scene, and Neeson looks like a long-haired Liberace trying to
do Shakespeare. In fact, all the characters are one-dimensional and often
without chemistry. Too much emphasis is placed on the big visuals in
“Clash” and not enough in the dialog or plot development. But then
again, it’s hard to believe anyone would rent this DVD with expectations of
seeing a well-rounded, character-driven story. All in all, “Clash”
isn’t a total waste of time. But don’t expect a whole lot of substance or
improvement on the not-so-awesome original.

Extra highlight: Deleted scenes on the original/single disc
version; alternate ending on the Blue-ray one.

What to serve for dinner: I’m feeling punchy and
“cracking” myself up, so let’s serve up an entire meal with
“Krack,” I mean “crack,” in the name: Crack Dip (ehow.com),
Cracked Dungeness Crab On Ice (ifood.tv) and Momofuku’s Crack Pie for dessert
(latimes.com).

Crack Dip

One 8-oz package of cream cheese

1/4 to 1/2 cup of blue cheese or ranch dressing

1/2 cup hot wing sauce

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts

Two minced green onions

Heat oven to 400-degrees. Mix softened cream cheese with all
ingredients, except shredded cheese, in the baking dish (no need to grease the
pan). Then, after all the ingredients are mixed together, mix in HALF the
shredded cheese. Place mixture in oven, uncovered, and bake for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, top the dip with the remaining cheddar cheese and put back
into oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is golden. Serve with chips.

Cracked Dungeness Crab On Ice

Purchase cooked crab or cook live crab as follows:

Bring a large kettle of lightly salted water to a boil.
Grasp live crab from rear, firmly holding back legs. Drop crab, head first,
into boiling water. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 12 to 20 minutes. Time
depends on size of crab. Crab will turn red when done.

Drain; set aside until cool enough to handle. Clean and
crack crab. Place cracked crab on a large platter. Cover; refrigerate at least
2 hours. Mix together 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce, and few drops bottled hot pepper sauce. Use for dipping
crab. Place cracked ice in a large deep tray or serving bowl.Arrange chilled
cracked crab on ice. Provide lobster pincers or nutcrackers and small forks or
picks to help pick crab from shells.

 

Momofuku’s Crack Pie

Cookie for crust:

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar

1 egg

Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift
together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer using the
paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter,
brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg into the butter
mixture until fully incorporated.

With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little
at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.  Spread the mixture onto a
9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20
minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled
cookie to use in the crust.

Crust:

Crumbled cookie for crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in
a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture
clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2
(10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer
along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you
prepare the filling.

Filling:

1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar

3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown
sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

2 prepared crusts

Powdered sugar, garnish

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk
together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted
butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla. Gently whisk in the egg
yolks, being careful not to add too much air. Divide the filling evenly between
the 2 prepared pie shells. Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then
reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly
and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies
and cool on a rack. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies
are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered
sugar before serving.

 

What to talk about over dinner: What’s the film’s biggest
flaw? Best part? Compare it to the 1981 original: better, or worse? What about
the actors–could others have done a better job? Why is it so fun to say
“Kracken?” What is your favorite remake? Do you like it when today’s
directors do an honest remake of a previous film, or is it better when things
get modernized and modified? Looks like there may be a “Clash 2.”
Thoughts on that? What is your favorite Greek myth? Any thoughts on the new and
last “Harry Potter” films coming up soon?

This entry was posted in Action/Adventure Films and tagged by Kyra Kirkwood. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kyra Kirkwood

Kyra Kirkwood is an award-winning journalist who combines her love of movies and good food in her "Dinner and a DVD" column. Get your week started right with her "Meatless Monday Movies" every Monday, and prepare for the weekend with another "Dinner and a DVD" column on Fridays. "My mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'" Forrest Gump

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