CON: Immortals

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.
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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