|Beware the Horns of Doom!|
And don't get me started on the music. Honestly if I hear the Horns of Doom blasting BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA one more time I'm going go back in time. Then I will do everything in my power to keep Hans Zimmer from using those slowed down horns in Inception. It is ridiculous at this point. I hear the Horns of Doom and I just start laughing. The last time I experienced the Horns in a trailer was for the television special for Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch... seriously. Horns of Doom for Sherlock.
Where do I even start with this one.
Look, I'm not against a remake of Ben-Hur. The famous film from 1959 with Charleton Heston is actually a remake of a silent film from 1925. And there was a television movie version made in 2010. So yeah you can remake this film as many times as you want. It is based off a novel, and I'm guessing there were elements of the book left out of the 1959 version. You could explore those ideas in this movie. A remake of Ben-Hur isn't a horrible idea. It's not a great idea, but it's not a horrible one.
But the trailer for this version makes it look like Gladiator... again. The visual style has the desaturated look. The action has that slow-mo affect to it. All the focus seems to be on Ben-Hur's rage and anger and rage and did I mention he's an angry guy... with a beard.
So if the angry desaturated guy with the beard looks familiar that might be because of this...
Yeah Hercules doesn't look angry, more like brooding. And Clash of the Titans and the Immortals are sans beard. But there is a trend here. The thing is, Ben-Hur doesn't have to be like this. Ben-Hur isn't just about an angry bearded guy who "fights an empire". It is about a man who loses everything, feels that revenge is his only option, and then realizes that isn't the case. Revenge leaves him empty. The movie is about redemption. Not surprising for a film that features Mr. J. Christ.
Now maybe the movie has that element and the trailer is targeted to the teen boy crowd. Ok, I get it. But the visual approach is the same thing we've seen since Gladiator. Why do they keep pulling the color out of these historical epics set in the ancient world? Gladiator used that approach in 2000. This is because Ridley Scott was going for a new look and feel to the modern epic. He drew from movies like Braveheart and Henry V, but also put his own visual stamp on it. But just because he did it, doesn't mean that is the only approach for this kind of movie. But Gladiator was super successful, so...
|Color is for wussies! FREEDOM!!!!!|
The minute 300 became a mega-hit suddenly every movie set in the ancient world has to look extremely stylized, feature huge amounts of gore, and lots of guys with beards screaming at each other. It's getting so so old... just like the Horns of Doom.
I love reading about the ancient world. I love movies about the ancient world. Even the old cheesy ones like the 60s Hercules flicks give me some kind of joy. But this rash of angry, gory, shouty, Horn of DOOMy, desaturated movies is taking the joy right of what could be and should be an experience that transports us back to that period.
|Angry saturated guy with a beard?|
I watch the trailer for 2016 Ben-Hur and yeah, it looks real stale.
On the plus side, Marco Beltrami is doing the score. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the movie gives him enough of a palette to really unleash some epic and thematic style scoring. We'll see what happens when August rolls around.
Am I overreacting? Did the trailer work for you? Are you as sick of the Horns of Doom as I am?
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