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CON: Immortals

07.24.2011

You know when a movie looks to be all style and no substance? That’s the vibe I got from the IMMORTALS panel. The footage they showed was slick, hyperviolent and easy to digest, but nothing the cast and crew had to say inspired much confidence that the film would be anything more than that.

IMMORTALS may seem like a grab at the recent success of epic action movies like CLASH OF THE TITANS and 300, but the panel, which consisted of director Tarsem Singh, producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, and stars Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Kellan Lutz, Luke Evans and new SUPERMAN Henry Cavill, quickly tried to refute that. (Despite the fact that Nunnari and Canton both produced 300 and Evans played another god in TITANS.) Tarsem referred to his vision of the movie as much more “hardcore” and said that their version of the mythology painted the gods as much younger because if you could live forever, would you want to look hot and young like TWILIGHT star Lutz or “an old guy like producer Mark Canton.”

In fact, the entire gist of what Tarsem and the producers were saying seemed to be, “Look at how hot and young our cast is!” And they’re not lying: there’s the future Clark Kent, a new sparkly vampire, a former BLADE vampire and Evans, who is currently filming THE HOBBIT. The girls in the audience definitely ate that up (even when it was creepy, like when Lutz referred to himself as “the god of wetness and moistness.”) Tarsem even tried to get the audience going by talking about Pinto’s sex scene, which clearly embarrassed her.

Seeing the actors in action on screen did live up to the visuals we’ve come to expect from the director of THE FALL and THE CELL. The film seems to be another pissed off gods vs. puny humans story, and the scene we saw showed Evans’ Zeus character taking on a group of grey-skinned creatures/people with the help of a few Olympian warriors. The sequence was very stylized and used a lot of the slow motion-sped up effects Zack Snyder loves. I also cannot stress how brutal and violent the movie seems to be.  The characters used chains, swords, and tridents and there were beheadings, impalings, people cut in half (horizontally and vertically), people smashed in half and my personal favorite—a god throwing someone against a wall so hard they actually explode open in a splash of blood and guts. There were also victims on both sides of the fight, so the gods definitely don’t seem to be untouchable despite being immortal. The gore is also clearly all CGI, so it has that non-realistic effect that should make it more stomachable to average audiences.

I have no problem watching badasses fight and kill each other on screen for two hours. The bloodier the better. I just have a bad feeling IMMORTALS is going to be empty spectacle, something we really don’t need more of as movie fans. We were shown the clip twice and I don’t think either time anybody onstage actually bothered to explain what was going on, who was fighting or why they were fighting. It was just, “Look how cool this looks, guys!”

In fact, a couple things Tarsem said really rubbed me the wrong way. Once, when asked by someone about crafting the story, the director told Hall H that he comes up with all the cool visual stuff in his head first and then tries to write a script to fit the cool images and “see if a story falls in.” (That’s a red flag if I’ve ever heard one.) And two, Tarsem actually began to tell this really nice story about how he’s an atheist and his mother is very religious and she still prays for him every day and credits his success to God. That made the filmmaker really begin to question the idea of someday encountering God as a non-believer and left him wanting to explore the notion of how an all-powerful being would deal with the world and giving people free will. But then Tarsem immediately said, “None of that stuff really made it in to the movie, but that’s what I was thinking about beforehand.” Fantastic.
 

Other Tidbits:

- Not surprisingly, Henry Cavill couldn’t talk about SUPERMAN at all, but did say the script was “one of the best I’ve ever read.”

- Though it features characters we’re all familiar with, the film is not based on any actual mythology, just “based on Tarsem.”

-When a fan asked about their use of 3D as compared to last year’s CLASH OF THE “SHIT,” Tarsem said he hated that 3D conversion but when you know you’re shooting for the extra dimension you can compose for it, which is what he did. He also said his style his more static, less “shaky cam,” which is also good for 3D.

-This was Pinto’s first big budget film and it required more patience as she was waiting around for days without having to film any scenes. Plus her first day was the aforementioned awkward sex scene. She didn’t even have any lines with Cavill before they started doing it.

-Mickey Rourke tends to be late to the set and the producers take turns seeing who gets to go get him.

-Kellan Lutz said his research to play Poseidon involved watching THE LITTLE MERMAID.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: You may not know Luke Evans yet, but the man is trying hard to be geek friendly with CLASH OF THE TITANS, IMMORTALS, THE RAVEN, THREE MUSKETEERS and THE HOBBIT.
Source: JoBlo.com

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5:56PM on 07/25/2011
Caught the trailer for this in the cinema, and it convinced me the film wasn't worth seeing. Made it look laughably bad.
Caught the trailer for this in the cinema, and it convinced me the film wasn't worth seeing. Made it look laughably bad.
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12:47PM on 07/25/2011
A 3D conversion is a 3D fucking conversion. Why convert something when you can shoot it in 3D and have it look 100 times better? This is why people hate 3D.
A 3D conversion is a 3D fucking conversion. Why convert something when you can shoot it in 3D and have it look 100 times better? This is why people hate 3D.
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6:37AM on 07/25/2011
An R-rated Clash of the Titans? Fuckin A. Bring that shit. I want this and the Conan remake to be huge hits, regardless of their quality. Why? To re-energize the big budget R-rated genre.
After Watchmen underperformed, everything went to shit. Now we're getting a PG-13 'World War Z'. Fuck that noise. Fuck it all the way to the celluloid hell it deserves to burn in.
An R-rated Clash of the Titans? Fuckin A. Bring that shit. I want this and the Conan remake to be huge hits, regardless of their quality. Why? To re-energize the big budget R-rated genre.
After Watchmen underperformed, everything went to shit. Now we're getting a PG-13 'World War Z'. Fuck that noise. Fuck it all the way to the celluloid hell it deserves to burn in.
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2:24AM on 07/25/2011
I made into this panel too (and the Knights of Badassdom) and the Immortals looks pretty cool! The 3D actually looked really nice, not muggy or colorless or distracting. Tarsem was very articulate but I agree with Jason the story wasn't mentioned once. That being said I think the visuals will actually make seeing this in the theater more than worth it. The compositions and shots were AMAZING and I appreciate that Tarsem was honest about the crappy handheld crapfest that is going on lazily in
I made into this panel too (and the Knights of Badassdom) and the Immortals looks pretty cool! The 3D actually looked really nice, not muggy or colorless or distracting. Tarsem was very articulate but I agree with Jason the story wasn't mentioned once. That being said I think the visuals will actually make seeing this in the theater more than worth it. The compositions and shots were AMAZING and I appreciate that Tarsem was honest about the crappy handheld crapfest that is going on lazily in cinematography these days. Staying positive that this will deliver!

BTW great coverage guys! I wasn't there for all the panels but from the ones I went to and am reading your reporting on, you guys are doing an excellent job giving every juicy detail to the masses! Keep it up!
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6:54PM on 07/24/2011

Not watching

IMMORTALS for an oscar winning film. It's suppose to be just that amazing visuals that make you cream in your pants. I think it would have been very hard to make a great amazing oscar worthy plot with amazing visuals. Unless your chris nolan directing inception kind of movie.
IMMORTALS for an oscar winning film. It's suppose to be just that amazing visuals that make you cream in your pants. I think it would have been very hard to make a great amazing oscar worthy plot with amazing visuals. Unless your chris nolan directing inception kind of movie.
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7:08PM on 07/24/2011
The ONLY amazing visuals that would make me "cream in my pants" would be spielberg directing porn maybe
The ONLY amazing visuals that would make me "cream in my pants" would be spielberg directing porn maybe
3:35PM on 07/24/2011
Meh. I liked Cavill in "The Tudors", but still think there could be a better Superman somewhere else.
Meh. I liked Cavill in "The Tudors", but still think there could be a better Superman somewhere else.
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-3
2:58PM on 07/24/2011

Superman

Not to be a negative nancy here, but I highly doubht Henry Cavill has read all that many scrips so it is very possible it is the best he has ever read....
Not to be a negative nancy here, but I highly doubht Henry Cavill has read all that many scrips so it is very possible it is the best he has ever read....
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2:45PM on 07/24/2011

I...

I personally don't think there's anything wrong with coming up with some cool visuals then trying to write a story around them. James Cameron came up with the image of a robot emerging from flames then wrote Terminator around that.
I personally don't think there's anything wrong with coming up with some cool visuals then trying to write a story around them. James Cameron came up with the image of a robot emerging from flames then wrote Terminator around that.
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-1
2:30PM on 07/24/2011
meh.
meh.
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