Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Retro Movie Review: LadyHawke (1985 - PG13 - 121 minutes)

I was out of town this past weekend at a wonderful bellydance conference in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Oh, right, I'm a professional bellydancer, in case you didn't know that part about me yet.  Check us out at http://www.tamarindtribalbellydance.com/.  That being the case, I did not get to the movie theater.  I had intended to see "Think Like A Man", the comedy based on the Steve Harvey book.  I'll shoot for seeing that later this week and blogging accordingly.  So, as promised, here's another review of a movie you may have forgot about, or never saw...
I am not one for romance...if you know me, that's not a shock.  That being said, I do enjoy a good fantasy epic movie with a little romance thrown in.  There are several examples of this - Princess Bride being the most well known and probably in the top 10 of greatest all-time movies.  Slightly less well known is the movie "Legend", which you may have never heard of.  It's from 1985 and directed by the amazing Ridley Scott.  It stars an up and coming actor (at least at that time) named Tom Cruise.  He plays a young man who must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves (Mia Sara).

 There's fairies! and dwarves! and unicorns! But you're not allowed to touch the unicorns!   There's just all kinds of crazy magical beings.  The most impressive is Tim Curry's lord of darkness - and those horns.  I'm not even sure I can describe them.  It's worth checking out.  I'm not sure the movie is all that good - but it's certainly entertaining.  And those horns!  Plus, you know, unicorn - but it's not as cool as the unicorn in Cabin in the Woods.
Ladyhawke, made that same year, stars Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Matthew Broderick (this was released prior to Ferris Bueller).  It is, in my opinion, second only to the Princess Bride in terms of amazing fantasy epic romances. 
Broderick plays Phillipe, a theif who escapes from prison only to encounter a knight on a revenge quest.  Everybody loves a good revenge quest.  The knight and his love have been cursed by the Bishop of Aquila after she spurned his advances.  During the day, she is a hawk, and he is human; at night, he's a wolf, and she's human.  They are cursed to always be together, but always be apart.  After the knight rescues Phillipe, they travel together, and Phillipe gets sucked into the tragic story - enough that he helps discover a way to break the curse.  It involves both of the lovers standing before the bishop in human form, which of course, is impossible - unless there's going to be an eclipse.  Spoiler alert - there's going to be an eclipse.  The adventure continues as they try to sneak back into the castle to face the bishop. 
The story is simple, the characters clear, and the movie is really well shot. Why?  It's directed by Richard Donner.  Donner did a lot of directing on many old 70s action TV shows, but that's not why you know him.  You know him from 1978's Superman, followed by 1980's Superman II, which were shot mostly simultaneously.  He also directed the Goonies, Lethal Weapon (1,2, 3, and 4 ), and Scrooged (one of my favorite Bill Murray movies) just to name a few.  Tivia nonsense alert:  he actually had been up to direct the 1989 Batman, and wanted to cast Mel Gibson as Batman - thank goodness for Tim Burton.  There's a sentence I never thought I would say.  Watch this and imagine Mel Gibson.  yikes.

Donner did a beautiful job on Ladyhawke, using sweeping landscapes to help tell the story.  The action is intense and fun.  The early effects of the transitions from human to animal are subtle, not perfect, but nicely done.  There are lots of little comic moments, demonstrating Broderick's great timing and likeability.  Phillipe serves as the audience's connection to the story, and almost as an in-scene narrator.  The story quickly picks you up and builds to the point that when it finally reaches it's final battle scene, you are caught up in the emotion.  Much of this is due to Hauer and Pfeiffer, who have amazing chemistry for a couple who spend almost no time on screen together!   Also, Alfred Molina is in it, because he's in almost every movie ("Throw me the idol - I'll throw you the whip!").
If you haven't seen it, or haven't seen it in a long time, Netflix it now.  You'll be pleased.
9 out of 10. 
Bonus video 1.  The greatest fantasy/romance/comedy of all time - and one of the greatest movies of all time:  the endlessly quotable Princess Bride.  "Anybody want a peanut?"
Bonus Video 2:  Broderick's best movie - also one of the best movies of all time:  the endlessly quotable Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  Incidentally starring Mia Sara - who was in Legend...it's all one big circle.

Bonus Video 3:  The only recent (2007) fantasy epic that I have seen that is really really good:  Matthew Vaughn's Stardust - also with Michelle Pfeiffer...if you haven't seen this - Netflix it now...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Movie Review: Cabin in the Woods (R - 95 minutes)

How do you review a movie that you can't really say anything about?  Excellent question.  Should I say spoiler alert right now?  I'll try not to mention anything that wasn't already in all the commercials.
Let's start with some of my thoughts regarding horror movies in general:  not a fan.  I am not one of those people who enjoys a good fright.  There are many people who do get a kick out of being scared, thus the giant industry of horror movies.  So giant, in fact, that there are now tons of horror sub-genres:  slasher-horror, torture porn-horror, creature-horror, cerebral-horror, thriller-horror, religious-horror, and of course, documentary-style 'found footage' horror.  Personally, I prefer a sound night's sleep as opposed to really incredible nightmares that create the fear of closets, under-beds, basements, and dark woods.  I tend to avoid most horror movies, especially the really gory, bloody ones, as those are the ones that can promote the most vivid nightmares.  If I see a movie that can be classified as 'horror', chances are it can cross-fit into another major genre:  sci-fi horror, comedy-horror, etc.  I also really enjoy cheesy, bad SyFy-Saturday-Night horror nonsense.  Because, to be perfectly honest, I am usually laughing so hard at the nonsense, I'm just entertained and not terrified.  SyFy's rate of production is really all about quantity over quality.  They have created so many of these movies, I am not even going to list them here - but I will add this link of the Wikipedia list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Syfy_original_films , One of the recent ones was Leprechaun's Revenge, starring the lovely Billy Zane.
I have loved Billy Zane since Lake Consequence.  He is the reason I saw another horror movie, that remains one of my all time favorites:  1995s, Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight.  It is completely over the top, ridiculous, and entertaining.  The surprise is that the story behind the nonsense is actually pretty good.  Billy Zane, William Sadler, and Jada Pinkett (before Smith got added to the end of that).  Group of strangers trapped in a building while horrifying creatures attack, pretty standard stuff - until you get into the reason why.

So I guess I do enjoy some horror movies, just not the majority of them.  After all - I love the Walking Dead - and that's pretty much a weekly mini horror movie, with some soap opera thrown in.
Cabin in the Woods is very difficult to explain without spilling too much information.  Let me just say that it was written by the genius that is Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, directed by Goddard and produced by Whedon.  It was actually completed three years ago, but due to some trouble with the studio nearly going under, it got shelved for a bit.  With what seems to be perfect timing ("...see Chris Hemsworth's new movie!" "...from the director of the Avengers!") it is finally being released.
It's been out for two weeks, if you haven't seen it yet, you should.  It is fascinating and hilarious.  As for the claim, "it's completely changed the horror genre from this point forward!", well, I'm not sure about that.  It seems that a movie comes along every few years that does that (Scream, Blair Witch, the Ring, Saw, etc.).  However, I will agree that Cabin in the Woods is unique and different and very entertaining.
I feel like I can't say much about the plot, but I will steal this bit from IMDB.com:  "In an industrial facility, two technicians are preparing for their day on an unknown operation. Meanwhile, five friends are preparing for their trip to a remote cabin owned by a cousin. On the way, they stop for gas and have an encounter with a strange local who warns them from going further. While drinking and relaxing at the cabin, they discover a basement filled with interesting artifacts."  That sums up the opening of the movie...nothing in that blurb that was not in any of the trailers.  From that point forward, things get weird.
I was a little upset with the marketing of this movie.  Marketing decisions can make or break a movie.  I think the movie Easy A was Emma Stone's best movie - it didn't do as well as it should have because it was marketed as a teen sex romp comedy, when it was really much smarter than that (you should see it).
 If you target the wrong audience with your commercials, the movie doesn't do as well as it should.  The opposite is also true.  Marketing a movie as something better than it actually is will result in higher box-office totals for it's opening weekend, but then it will have a major drop-off after the first weekend as the negative word spreads.  There are many examples of this - it applies any time you've said, "all the funny parts were in the commercials." or anytime you see a award-nominated movie because it sure looked entertaining in the ads...Beginners is one that comes to mind right away on that:  marketed as funny, but actually a really depressing drama.
Cabin in the Woods is marketed as a horror movie, which is true, but it is smarter and funnier than that.  It was also clear from the commercials and trailers that there was something more at work.  I almost wish they had not ruined that for the audience.  While it is established in the opening sequence of the movie - it would have been really cool for that to have been a surprise.
In terms of the cast - Every one was really good.  Hemsworth's american accent is impressive and didn't seem to slip at all...Fran Kranz played the same character he's played before - and incidentally I am sick of super stoners in movies.  Jesse Williams, apparently best known for his bit in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, is also capable as the 'brainy' guy.  He is also really ethnicly-ambiguously good-looking...in fact, he's so gorgeous that I may have to go watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (man, those pants get around). I had not seen either of the two female leads before, but they were both good.  The real stars were the people in the lab - Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins in particular, and Brian White and Amy Acker to a lesser degree.  I could have watched the scenes between Whitford and Jenkins for hours. 
A word on the production value - the basement was awesome and I look forward to renting the movie and being able to pause on the basement to be able to fully appreciate every item in there.  Also, hooray for cheesy effects later on.  I can't really say anything else.  Your best bet with this movie is to go see it, then find someone else who has seen it, then discuss...  Parts of it are scary, and parts of it are gory, but overall, it's really entertaining!
7 out of 10.  lost points for Kranz's stoner - I have had it with that.  Gained points for Hemsworth's Sam Jackson Deep Blue Sea speech moment - outstanding.  Lost points for the PTS, didn't I just say how annoyed with that I was?  Gained points for the board in the lab, and the things listed on it - that I'm sure true horror fans got more out of than I did.  !!!Spoiler alert on these last two sentences!!!  skip if you want-->  Lost points for the last-episode-of-Angel style end.  Gained points for the Unicorn, and the Merman - they do make a mess.
Bonus Video 1: Deep Blue Sea - worth it just for that speech Sam Jackson gives!

Bonus Video 2: Jesse Williams's SotTP2 clip - "and Bam, Hello".
Bonus Video 3:  Billy Zane in Zoolander...cuz seriously - he's awesome.  Go rent Only You right now, or the Phantom, or Sniper, or Posse....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Movie Review: Lockout (PG13 - 95 minutes)

John Carpenter is responsible for many amazing things.  Among them:  Halloween, the Fog, the Thing, Christine, Starman, Big Trouble in Little China (my personal favorite), and the amazing Escape from New York.  In addition to writing and directing the majority of his movies, Carpenter also scores them himself.  For those who have no music knowledge (like myself), that means he writes the majority of the music for the movies....so that incredibly scary theme from Halloween - all him.  Save that information for a trivia contest someday.  Back to Escape from New York:  a pure action movie with a simple plot.
In the far-off future (you know, 1997), a giant wall has been put up around Manhattan, and the worst criminals in the country are dumped inside it.  They are left to fend for themselves, without any government issued control, rations, or costs (pretty much what the old British Kingdom attempted to do with Austrailia).  Air Force One accidentally crashes inside this super max prision - and the president suddenly needs rescuing.  But who to send in to such a situation?  A criminal, of course.  Enter one of the greatest movie characters ever created, Snake Plissken.  At the time, Kurt Russell was John Carpenter's go-to guy, collaborating with him on many projects.  Russell's Plissken was the perfect anti-hero: grumpy, determined, with questionable morals but a sense of honor, and easy to root for.  He also has one of the best lines in cinematic history:  after the mission is explained to him and he realizes he has no choice, and suffering some insults at the hands of his "recruiters", he says, "when I come back, I'm going to kill you."  Simple line - but incredible because of the delivery.
The new movie Lockout, directed by two Irishmen:  James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, has a small line in the opening credits that says, "...based on an original idea by Luc Besson..."  Now, I love Luc Besson.  He is responsible for the original La Femme Nikita (and everything else based on it), The Messenger (the best Joan of Arc movie ever made), and the absolutely perfect 5th Element (if you have never seen that, or if it's been a while since you've seen it -Netflix it now).  He is also the man behind the incredible action career that is Jason Statham's.  True - Statham was first a Guy Ritchie player - and would have continued to be fantastic in gritty British heist films...but Besson produced the Transporter, and that launched Statham's action career (Merci, Monsieur Besson).  So - Yes, I adore Luc Besson, but Lockout is the furthest thing from an original idea to hit cinemas this year. 
Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  In this version - the super max prison is an orbiting space station - not a walled off city (that sounds way more expensive to maintain then just dumping prisoners inside a walled off city).  The prisoners are kept in 'stasis', which is basically a chemically induced coma (hello Demolition Man -"illuminate!   deluminate!").  The president's daughter goes to make sure the criminals are being kept in humane conditions (who cares?), and happens to wander into a mass breakout.  They have to send someone in to get her - but who?  Well, a former CIA agent who has just been wrongly convicted of espionage and is on his way to serve out a sentence up there anyway.  Snake, I mean, Snow is the best there is at what he does (which, incidentally is the way to describe any action movie hero).  It also happens that the guy who has the thing that could prove his innocence is also on the station.  There you go - plot.  Fairly uncomplicated - but that's what you want in a piece like this.  Also - 95 minutes is the perfect running time for a movie like this - short and simple.  I also enjoyed the PG13ness of it.  Had it been rated R - I don't want to think what the prisoners would have been doing to each other or the president's daughter while waiting around to be stopped.  Because it was PG13 - it was more action, less ick.
I know what you're thinking...Guy Pearce as an action hero?  But he's actually the best part of this movie.  Being a former lightweight bodybuilder in Austrailia - he certainly has the body of an action hero in this movie, and is able to bring just the right touch of sarcastic smarmyness to Snow's screw-em attitude (it's PG13 - had it been R, it would have been F-em attitude).  At no point does he take this too seriously, which, remember is the best part of a bad movie - if everyone in it knows it's bad and just has a good time with it (again, Kull the Conqeror is the best example of this - Priest is an example the other way, where it was bad, but no one in the movie realized that). 

Pearce is really fun - Maggie Grace, from Lost - where she irritated everyone on the island, and from Taken, in which she was taken - is actually not bad in this.  She essentially has to play the damsel in distress role, but does a decent job with it, and trades one-liners with Pearce gamely.  The wonderful Peter Stomare (who you've seen in everything, but my favorite for him is Armageddon - he's the crazed Russian they meet up with.  My second favorite for him is Constantine - where he plays the devil) shows up as the man attempting to convict Snow, then send him on the mission.  He's usually over the top, but is a little more low-key in this, but still clearly having fun.  Lennie James plays another CIA agent who presents the idea of sending Snow to solve the situation.  James is another British actor who has been in everything (Snatch, Jericho, Lie to Me, Human Target, Columbiana, and most recently Walking Dead - episode 1 anyway...I'm assuming his character will show up again at some point).  His american accent keeps getting better and is really good in this.  He's very fun as he spends the movie coaching Snow along.  In terms of the prisoners, two brothers take over leading the breakout.  Vincent Regan, who must have been thrilled to be doing a futuristic movie, having previously been in Troy, 300, and Clash of the Titans - plays the older and "I'm in charge!" brother.  Joseph Gilgun plays the younger and "I'm crazy!" brother with a scottish accent so thick - he almost needs subtitles.  He steals the majority of this movie by simply acting crazy and looking like he's having the best time. 
The movie is short and quick.  The action sequences are good and shot well.  The movie is also fairly predictible, but honestly, I don't mind that either in a movie of this style.  It does have the cheesiest ending ever, but hey, what do you expect.  In reality - no one is going to be fooled into believing this is a good, original movie.  Sorry Luc Besson - we know it's not an original idea.  But - it is fun nonetheless. 
6 out of 10.  Don't expect too much - and just have fun.
gained points for Pearce's surprising action skill - who knew?  Christopher Nolan knew probably.   Lost points for pretending to be original - but gained points by not pretending to be great.
bonus video:  Memento trailer...Guy Pearce in the first glimpse the world had into the genius of Christopher Nolan...if you haven't seen it - Netflix it now.
Bonus Video 2: 5th Element Trailer...an original idea by Luc Besson!
bonus video 3:  Demolition Man...Sandra Bullock's best movie - what the hell was the deal with the 3 seashells?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Retro Movie Review: Under Siege (1992, R, 103 minutes)

It occurred to me that because this past weekend was Easter Weekend, I did not go to the movie theater (what?!!?).  Instead my family and I hosted a small Avenger Movie-a-thon to prep for the release of the Avengers in early May.  We watched Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America.  So I certainly could have rambled on about that for a bit:  which of those is the best (Iron Man), which was the most surprising (Thor), which is my personal favorite (probably tied between Cap and Hulk), and the fact that Stan Lee appears in all four of them.  However, my upcoming Avengers review will no doubt mention all of that.  I didn't want to let a week go without writing something, so what to cover?  Well, I have decided that for any week I don't go to the theater to something new...I'll review something older picked at random.  Enjoy!

Die Hard is the greatest action movie ever made.  This is not just my opinion, this is the result of an AFI list (American Film Institute).  It has everything action movies are supposed to have:  great hero, incredible villian, 'splosions, and Reginald VelJohnson.  In the 80s, action movies featured insanely larger than life heroes that were almost invincible and totally unrelateable.  Then came Die Hard at the end of the 80s and the movie introduction of Bruce Willis, previously only known for TV comedy, some film comedy, and incredible blues harmonica (I love the CD that I have: "the Return of Bruno".  His version of Secret Agent Man is wonderful?).  Willis's hero was a regular guy trapped in extraordinary circumstances, who did what he could with he had.

Because Die Hard was so astounding to the movie community at large, after it's release, we were treated to many movies that were one-man-against-an-army themed and billed as "Die Hard on a <blank>".  Insert your own location for the blank.  The best of these was Under Siege (Die Hard on a Aircraft Carrier!). 
Under Siege is one of the best in Steven Seagal's extensive filmography (the other good one is Hard to Kill).  Say what you like about Seagal, after all, he seems to have legitimately gone crazy...or at least Southern Border Cop crazy.  There are many stories as to who and what Steven Seagal was before he started acting. He apparently lived in Japan for a while. He loves blues music and sings and plays the guitar.  There are still MMA fighters who claim he is teaching them various moves (front kick!), and occaisionally you hear rumors of him training military units.  I have no idea what the truth is, and honestly, I kind of like it that way.
Under Siege is entertaining from the word go.  Featuring Seagal at his aikido best, and Tommy Lee Jones back was he was less grumpy and more crazy, and Gary Busey back when he was still crazy, but more understandable, the movie also features almost all the extras from Tommy Lee's The Fugitive (repeated viewings of both of these will demonstrate this to you). 
Directed by Andrew Davis, who had done several other Seagal movies (as well as The Fugitive in 1993), Under Siege shows Davis's skill with action directing.  The ship is a very claustrophobic setting for a movie of this nature, but it is really used well.  He clearly had pull with Seagal as he was able to get him to cut his trademark ponytail for this movie!
Seagal is a former Navy Seal (isn't he always), who has a problem with authority (doesn't he always), and is serving as the cook on an aircraft carrier that just so happens to get taken over by Tommy Lee Jones's ragtag group of terrorists.  Busey playes the Chief Executive Officer on the ship.  Baywatch star(?) Erika Eleniak pops up (literally - she pops out of a cake) for the required PTS in the movie.  Incidentally, it was tough being a female fan of action movies during this timeframe, as every single one of them featured a PTS (pointless tit shot).  Where were the PCSs for us ladies?  We do go to these movies to oogle the hot guys, you know!  If we're lucky, we get the attractive male star with his shirt off for a scene or two. 
The movie follows one improbable situation to another, as Seagal manges to take back the ship and gradually free all the other crew members.  The final knife fight between he and Tommy Lee Jones is very entertaining.  Big popcorn fun and some over the top crazy acting result in one of my favorite action movies.  Certainly one of the best Seagal movies, if not the best.  The movie did well enough to justify a sequel, which was actually pretty good:
It could have been billed as "Die Hard on a Train!".  It features Katherine Heigel before she started making the world's most annoying romantic comedys.  It's not as good as the first one, but if you haven't seen it in a while, go back and check it out!
8 out of 10....looses multiple points for Eleniak...she is seriously awful.  But, gains points for me playing 'identify the extra', which I think is a game only I play.
Bonus Video 1:  Fugitive trailer; if you haven't seen it in a while either, you should watch it again, it really is excellent.
Bonus Video 2:  Clip from Seagal's 2009 A&E reality show.

Bonus Video 3:   I was serious about the blues music thing....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans (99 mins - PG13)

The original Clash of the Titans was released in 1981 and featured a young Harry Hamlin as the toga-ed hero, Perseus.  Lawrence Olivier chewed a ton of the scenery as Zeus and according to the story, set a record for being paid a whole lot of money for not a lot of work, until Brando stole that title with Superman.  Ursula Andress, Maggie Smith (professor McGonogall for the HP fans), and everyone's favorite Penguin/boxing trainer Burgess Meredith also appear.  The movie also featured the beloved/hated metal/robot owl Bubo and the amazing stop-motion effects of genius Ray Harryhausen.  In this movie, they included some large stop-motion scorpions, a swamp-based vulture, Calibos (in distance shots only, in close-ups he was played by actor Neil McCarthy - save that for some trivia contest someday) the incredible rattlesnake-tailed Medusa, and of course, the Kraken.  Depending on how well you paid attention in your Greek Mythology courses, the movie either stays close to the original myths, or doesn't.  Perseus is the favored son of Zeus, but he accidentally upsets Thetis, a sea goddess.  He also falls in love with Princess Andromeda, who used to be engaged to Thetis's son.  What with all this interference, Perseus sets off on some incredible adventures to save his princess love.  Sadly, I couldn't find a trailer - but I did find a clip.  

The movie did terrible at the box office, but became a huge cult hit and enjoyed it's status as such until someone decided to remake it.  The fans released a cry of outrage, but no one paid any attention, and in 2010, we were gifted with the Sam Worthington/Liam Neeson version.  

It almost entirely changed the story from the original, had some really wooden leading acting from Worthington, and proved altogether not that successful.  There were some bright spots - I loved the presentation of Olympus, and had not seen it done quite that way before, it was beautiful.  Ralph Finnes was really creepy and evil as Hades, Mads Mikkleson played one of Perseus's soldiers, and the amazing Jason Flemyng showed up as Calibos.  I, like Guy Ritche and Matthew Vaughn, believe that having Jason Flemyng in a movie makes it instantly better.  If you don't believe me, go watch Snatch again.  He wasn't even supposed to be in that movie.  He showed up to take photos, and Ritche let him jump in.  Also - he's the only really watchable part of Transporter 2 - alongside his real-life best friend, Jason Statham.  Where was I?  Right.
So, the Clash reboot was average at best - with at least a very cool looking Kraken at the end, which the marketing team had ruined by putting it in every trailer released for the movie.  Sheesh, that's marketing 101...don't reveal the creature early (see: Alien).
Apparently it did well enough to warrant a sequel - Wrath of the Titans.  
Now, my knowledge of the ancient greek myths, the gods and goddess is mostly from the greek mythology course I took, and my studious watching of Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, and Xena: Warrior Princess, which I will assume had extremely accurate portrayals of the gods and goddess...because of course Aphrodite rode her seashell like a surfboard, right?  My knowledge of the titans comes mainly from playing God of War.  After all, I successfully defeated Ares in GOW1, and then defeated Zeus himself in GOW2, and am currently leading the Titans into war in GOW3.  (Incidentally - in GOW2, there's a fight sequence with Perseus, who is voiced by Harry Hamlin)  I'm sure they are completely accurate as well, Atlas has four arms, holds up the world, and sounds like Michael Clark Duncan - and Gaia is covered in trees and sounds like Linda Hunt - right?  
None of that matters with this movie.
Perseus has seemingly spent his time since his last adventure growing out his hair and raising his son as a fisherman instead of adventuring son of a demi-god.  His wife from the first movie has passed, and he is refusing all contact with his father.  Well, Hades gets upset and vows to release Cronos (Kronos?), the father of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades from his prison in Tartarus, where Zeus trapped him long ago by using a weapon that was made of the combined weapons of the three sons.  Hades tricks Zeus, Perseus has to go save him.  
Worthington is slightly less wooden in this movie than the first one...he was better in Man on a Ledge, but he's okay in this.  Everyone else is more interesting, but that's not really his fault.  Rosamund Pike (Doom, Die another Day) is Andromeda in this version - a queen leading her troops into battle (always cool).  Neeson and  Finnes are back as Zeus and Hades.  Danny Huston - fulfilling the movie's one mandatory American role - steps into Poseidon.  Edgar Ramierez (Bourne Supremecy) plays Ares with just the right touch of venom.  Toby Kebbel (who was in The Sorceror's Apprentice and Prince of Persia, but I remembered as "that dude from RocknRolla!") is an absolute joy as Agenor, Poseidon's half son.  He steals the movie, right up until Bill Nighy shows up - and completely runs away with it...he is unbelievably entertaining.  
As far as plot/story goes...does it really matter?  This movie is all about the visuals.  The story is there and easy enough to follow - but admit it, you're there for the same reason you wanted to see the first one.  Big shiny 3D CGI effects.  And boy does this deliver on that front.  All the scary demony things are well done, especially the cyclopses (cyclopsi?) and the double torsoed warriors from the trailer.  This is directed by Jonathan Liebesman who also did Battle L.A. (see it), and the most recent Texas Chainsaw entry (don't).  A few of the battle scenes are shot a little too up close and personal (back up the camera - let us see the effects!), but aside from that, I thought the movie was well done.
It's super-fun, big time CGI pretty, and great popcorn style.  If you don't expect too much, you won't be dissappointed!
8 out of 10.  
Gained multi points for Kebbel and Nighy - lost points for Worthington (sorry buddy, that new hairstyle did not make you more relate-able).  Gained points for the crazy two headed dog thing with snake tail that breathes fire...I totally just defeated one of those in GOW3, so I knew how it needed to be taken out.
Bonus video:  the late great Kevin Tod Smith as Ares in an episode of Hercules where there was a parallel universe, so he was the god of love instead of war...oh, it makes no sense...just enjoy him in those pants...
Second bonus video:  trailer for the movie Doom - which I love, has some awesome practical effects, a great first person shooter sequence, and stars Wrath of the Titan's Rosamund Pike as the sister to Karl Urban's Reaper - who used to play Cupid on Xena/Hercules...see how this is all circular?

Bonus video:  GOW3 trailer - because, as I said, it's where all my titans knowledge comes from!