I saw the Clash of the Titans remake this morning with some friends. Contrary to the lackluster pronouncements of several critics, we three fans of the original film enjoyed it.
The plot follows a broadly similar outline to the '81 original, though a theme of Man versus God is emphasized (and perhaps over-emphasized. We got it already!), and a true villain is added--instead of just antagonists--which is what I think the original had.
Comparing the 1981 and 2010 films is interesting. The remake suffers from what I see as a common flaw of modern genre/action film screenwriting compared to the style of older films. Events are streamlined, probably in the name of making the film more "fast-paced," leading to the feeling of jumping from one action set piece to another, and inevitably losing some filler details, and atmosphere-building. Serving this same goal of narrative straight-forwardness, characters are eliminated and "good guy" and "bad guy" tend to get more sharply drawn. And this is all in comparsion to an original which was a pretty shallow fantasy film!
This rapid pace tends to necessitate broadly painted characters, and character "bits" are almost inevitably scenes of comic relief and badass-itude. These can be well-down and enjoyable, but also feel cliched. Of course, secondary characters in the original (besides Burgess Meredith's character) can hardly be said to be developed at all, so I suppose you could view this as an improvement.
CGI is certainly superior to stop-motion in terms of versatility and versumilitude, but the "ritual dance" nature of a lot of modern action sequence direction, means that doesn't equate to greater thrill value most of the time. The giant scorpion sequence in the new film is certainly more frenetic, but I can't neccessarily say that its better.
The ferry across the Styx, likewise, isn't really any better or worse, though for different reasons. The Stygian witches, I think, actually work better in the original, though I can't put my finger on exactly why--and admittedly, I'm working form memory.
So did the new one do anything better? Sure. The Olympians with speaking roles seem more "into it" than the slumming stars of the original. The "floor map" of the world in Olympus is a lot cooler than the "amphitheater"the god's crowd around in the original. Princess Andromeda is better developed, if in cliched ways. The sets for Argos are sumptuous.
The thing the new film does best in my opinion is the medusa. She's fast moving, and so more menacing, but she also has a great deal of expression in her facial animation. You actually get a sense of the medusa as a charatcer, more than just an obstacle.
Anyway, its worth checking out, in my opinion--though the 3D doesn't add anything, so save yourself a few bucks.