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Immortals (2011)

Contrary to the jokes Twitter!Orestes makes about Theseus claiming that the film Immortals is a documentary, I hadn't actually seen the movie until now.

I want those 2 hours of my life back.

The clips and stills I had viewed suggested a work that was visually arresting.  Thousand-foot tidal wave smashing into the enemy? Check.  The Titans imprisoned Olympian foosball-style in a metal cage under Mount Tartarus? Check.  A Minotaur-inspired helmet cobbled together from chicken wire and chain-link fencing?  Check. Hoover Dam/Mount Tartarus fitted out with a massive gate covered in Linear B (probably King Nestor's shopping list.  Buy Geritol.  Prunes.  Fiber)?  Check.  Beautiful, pouty Olympian gods in gorgeous robes and headdresses lounging around Mount Olympus as if posed in some Bronze Age Obsession commercial? Check.

A story that makes sense? No check.

I had absolutely no idea what was going on or why.  King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) is pissed off at the world because his wife and children died?  Hey, cry me a river, Mickey.  Welcome to the high-mortality shithole that is the Bronze Age.  Why does he want the Epirus Bow again?  To become an all-powerful asshole instead of just an ordinary asshole?

Why does everybody in Theseus's village look down on him and his mom Aethra?  Apparently from the way the women throw shade at Aethra and call her a whore, she got preggers out of wedlock.  Later, we learn she was raped and nobody did anything about it.  Assholes.  But why dump on her and her poor kid?  Have those villagers noticed how ripped and hot Theseus (Henry Cavill) is?  He's disease free and still has all his teeth.  Those nasty neighbor women shouldn't be shunning him and his mom; they should be all up in his business wanting him to come over and "fix" their Bronze Age plumbing or something.

And why does mean Hyperion care about attacking some obscure Aegean cliff dwelling, anyway?  By his own admission, he's not after women or slaves; the way he deals with women, especially mothers, suggests he might not even be playing for that team.  Did he hear that Theseus's little community made the best pita bread and roast goat this side of Mykonos?  Has he read the script and discovered that the Epirus Bow is conveniently hidden in a rock in the village's low-budget, tripping version of the Labyrinth?  Why doesn't he search for the Epirus Bow in, say, Epirus?

Is this film trying to imply that Hyperion is Theseus's dad?

What's with Phaedra and the Sisterhood of Yellow Satin Sheets?  Why are they whispering sweet nothings to each other in some foreign language?  How did Hyperion capture the women, and why are they imprisoned with a bunch of sweaty, possibly horny men in a desert rest-stop?  Isn't it a bit stupid to shelter your virgin oracle with the likes of horndog thief Stavros and Theseus the serial sexual predator?  Oh, wait, we're not doing that version of the myth.  My bad.

Then there's that ridiculous battle between the Olympians and the Titans.  And kid Akamas's upskirt future vision of Theseus and a gazillion dead heroes and Olympians knocking heads with the Titans in heaven.  Why couldn't everybody just go fight the Trojan War like in the myths?

Why is it so impossible for Hollywood to do a straight-up version of Theseus and the Minotaur?  If any myth had Tailor-Made Blockbuster written all over it, it's this one.  There's the young hero sacrificing himself and heading into danger to save his people.  There's an awesome villain potential in the Minotaur and King Minos.  There's eye candy in the splendors of Knossos.  There's a love interest in Ariadne, and even a potential mentor-ally in Daedalus.  Yeah, there's the morally ambiguous ending in which Theseus's natural, Mycenaean-nurtured douchebaggery asserts itself when he deserts Ariadne on Naxos, but from a writer's standpoint that's an easy fix.  There was absolutely no reason for Immortals to have been made.

I really want those two hours of my life back.

Roman-era Labyrinth coins

The myth of the maze-like Labyrinth is alive and well in these Roman coins from the Knossos area.

The Minotaur was often depicted on the reverse side.  You can just make out the Greek letters for "Knossos" on the bottom of the right-hand coin.  By the Roman era, the ruins of the Labyrinth on Kefala hill had been buried for 1,200 years, but in places evidence of ancient walls remained.  In later times, people believed the Roman quarries at Gortyn were the site of the ancient Labyrinth, due to the twisting passages.

The discovery of such coins and other artifacts in the Knossos area later helped early excavator and native Cretan Minos Kalokairinos pinpoint the location of the actual Labyrinth in 1878.

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