Release The Kraken!

I think being an actor would be an enormous challenge.  To be successful as an artist, you have to understand your character, get into their skin, and faithfully assume their personalities and mannerisms.  Otherwise, it will just look like someone acting.  On the other hand, to put bread on the table, you will need to accept jobs in movies that aren’t exactly artistic triumphs — perhaps a remake of a popular TV show, or a comic book adaptation — often wearing ridiculous get-ups.

When Kish, Russell and I went to watch Shutter Island on Saturday we saw the preview for the remake of Clash of the Titans.  The original dates from the ’80s and was a Ray Harryhausen stop-motion epic starring Harry Hamlin.  The remake features, among other notables, Liam Neeson as Zeus, the King of the Gods.  At one point in the trailer, Zeus says “Release the Kraken,” which is an enormous, large-toothed, screeching, earthen monstrosity.

It must have been tough for Liam Neeson, so memorable in Schindler’s List and recent fare like Taken, to speak that dialogue.  As he does so he is clad in some glowing, shimmering kind of armored breastplate and a cape, with long hair and a long beard.  How do you decide how to say such a line as such a character?  “Release the KRAKEN!”  “RELEASE the Kraken!”  “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!”  Waving hand and shrugging, “Release the Kraken.”  Shatner-like:  “Release . . .  the Kraken.”  (Shatner probably would have been a good Zeus, come to think of it.)

Neeson pulls it off, somehow, speaking the lines with a sense of weariness, indignation, and resignation, as his breastplate glows and his beard hairs flap in the breeze.

25 thoughts on “Release The Kraken!

  1. LOL! Insightful post. I love the way you wrote this. It must be hard for an actor to know how much to invest of themselves not knowing if the project is going to be critically acclaimed or steaming pile of you-know-what. They must pick up some sort of actor’s intuition for something like that!

    When I see some of the made for SciFi channel drivel that’s out there, I often wonder if the actors woke up in the morning and hated going to work … just like me. 🙂

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  2. I’d love to see Shatner as Zeus.

    I can just see him saying other famous lines:

    A few good men: “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”
    Rain man: “I’m a good driver”
    Dirty Harry: “‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”
    Brokeback Mountain: “I wish I knew how to quit you”

    Although, I also would have enjoyed seeing Christopher Walken say “Release the Kraken.

    Thanks for the laugh.

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  3. It is all about the acting- Liam Neeson is portraying the most powerful Greek God – the King… I would think that would be empowering, not defeating. His line is relevant to the character he is playing. Whether the movie is a hit or a bomb remains to be seen – but as a role, I am sure Neeson didn’t go into it thinking Oscar.

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  4. This was pretty funny!

    I plan on seeing it because I’m a Liam Neeson fan, but the breakdown of “Release the Kraken” was great!

    Also, if he can read through George Lucas’ stilted writing and directing, then there’s not much he CAN’T do.

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  5. Interesting blog. Like how your family does this together. Whose idea was that? In my family with almost grown kids anything mom or dad suggests is suspect, so if I said, “Hey let’s all do a blog together 🙂 They’d back away slowly.

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  6. Gloriadelia —

    I have to give credit to our oldest son, Richard. I had mentioned the idea of having a family blog, and he found WordPress and put together the setup and gave it the name. It’s easy to use and has been a lot of fun, and the concept was that it would help serve as a device to keep us in touch, far-flung though we may be. I think it has served its purpose.

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  7. I’ll never understand why they remake movies that worked fine the first time. Reboots, ok, like the new Star Trek or Nolan’s Batman movies, but remakes no. The only acceptable reason is a classic literary source. New versions of Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes or Alice are fine to try. This Kraken just looked like a LOTR balrog/Spawn/MIB rip-off. Not gettin’ my money.

    (I just posted about my weird jobs, and ukuleles.)

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    • Speaking as a 23 year old… I do not believe the majority of my friends have seen the original with the amazing cast!

      I believe they make remakes because quite honestly…that movie was before our time, and not even on the raydar for most people my age or younger. Also, if you have taken a look at the movie recently…which I did thanks to Netflix… the special effects are sort of weak, and could be made better today…

      That being said though… I really did enjoy the original. Maggie Smith was quite good, and since she will forever be Professor McGonagall in my mind…it was very interesting to see her younger self in that role.

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  8. Taken was a great movie! Made me put my life into perspective…I used to do everything alone, but you can’t nowadays, you have to be super careful!

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  9. Haha great post, very funny! I am interested in seeing the film but I don’t think it looks to good and I personally find Sam Worthington a bit overrated.

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  11. Liam Neeson I’m sure was more preoccupied with giving a line reading comparable to that of Sir Laurence Olivier, widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in cinema and stage history.

    On the other hand, he could have consoled himself with the thought that if Olivier could stoop this low topick up a paycheck, certainly Liam Neeson could.

    At least Neeson had the benefit of a decent costume and better special effects. Olivier’s outfit looked like a cross between one of his grandmother’s nightgowns and a towel he might drape over himself in a turkish steam room.

    Release the Kraken!

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  12. Definitely going to be releasing the Kraken

    Check out these clever “Release the Kraken T-shirts” at cafepress.com/freethekraken

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