The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 106 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Music by: Ramin Djawadi
Written by: Travis Beachman, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 27, 2010
"Between gods and men"
In Clash of the Titans, the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth. Battling unholy demons and fearsome beasts, Perseus and his warriors will only survive if Perseus accepts his power as a god, defies fate and creates his own destiny.
When I saw that Warner was remaking Clash of the titans my interest was piqued. In the early eighties I watched the original on cable TV every chance I got. I loved the story, the Greek Mythology/mythical characters and of course Ray Harryhausen's wonderful stop motion animation. In this remake the premise remains intact and revolves around Perseus, the demigod son of Zeus, and his quest to thwart the impending destruction of the city of Argos from the monstrous Kraken. There are some changes in this version which diminish the depth of the story and in my opinion make it less appealing than the original. In the original Perseus' quest was for his love of Andromeda, who was to be sacrificed to the Kraken as vengeance for the goddess Thetis and her outcast son Calibos. Perseus was carefully watched over by Zeus and provided help that came in the form of weapons from the gods, a robotic owl named Bubo, and of course the mighty winged white horse Pegasus. The development of the characters both primary and secondary as well as their placement in the simple but multi-layered narrative made for a rewarding tale of heroism that has a timeless appeal.
The story here is a bit darker in theme as Hades is essentially the sole antagonist whose actions are responsible for Perseus' plight. Perseus seeks revenge against Hades for the deaths of his adopted family. He agrees to go on the quest to save Andromeda/Argos for the sole purpose of having a shot a killing Hades. Meanwhile Hades plots against Zeus and hopes that the destruction of Argos will give him the power to overthrow him. The script moves quickly with brief introductions, a shallow back story, and little connection to the characters most of whom wind up dead before we even know their names. It becomes apparent that the goal is to get to the action. As a genre fan I can live with that and appreciated the frenetic pace of the screenplay once things got going.
This is a special effect laden extravaganza that's story relies too much on it in the hopes of drawing the audience in. Speaking of which I felt that some of the CGI wasn't a good fit within the context of the story (I guess as compared to the original). Medusa's face was modeled after Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova. She looked way to hot to be intimidating as a bow/arrow wielding, serpent headed monster whose gaze turned living things to stone. The Kraken was just too massive and beastlike which made it having any interest in the sacrifice of a human woman seem ridiculous. I didn't like the diminished role of Pegasus and felt as though the comradery/devotion between him and Perseus was an important element in the original film. Lastly I felt that the reference to Bubo (the golden robotic owl) was poorly integrated and a bit of a slap in the face to those of us that appreciated his contribution to the original story.
Having said all of that and taking this film strictly on face value I found it to be entertaining. I think that Sam Worthington is a proven talent and has the chops to pull off these types of roles. The remaining cast headed by Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Mads Mikkelsen did well although I couldn't help but feel that the majority of the talented actors present were underused. This included Alexa Davalos, Jason Flemyng, Pete Postlethwaite, Alexander Siddig, and Danny Huston. I liked the finale although the ending was a little corny. There is an alternate ending included which doesn't improve things so the original was probably the better choice. The question remains, is Clash of the titans worth seeing? I think so. It may not be great cinema but as action flicks go it has enough going for it to make it fun to watch. For those of us who love the original we can probably enjoy this one while acknowledging the fact that it doesn't quite measure up.
The rating is for fantasy action/violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Clash of the titans comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
This film's limited chromatic visual style doesn't lend itself to overly vibrant colors and high gloss video quality. There are instances where brighter elements/deeper color extension are utilized and the punchy contrast allows them to pop nicely. Otherwise onscreen images predominantly lean toward darker color schemes, and grittier textures that provide the look that the filmmakers use to drive the story's components. This is done to good effect. Shadow delineation is quite good and revealing of subtle details within dark backgrounds and low lighting which enhances visual depth. Strong contrast and stable black levels allow scenes containing mixed content to appear gradationally satisfying with crisp whites and dark dynamic highlights. Resolution is discerning as images are predominantly characterized by well resolved detail that gives the video appreciable dimension and delineated texture. This is the case in all but a few instances where definition softens and doesn't retain the same level of lucidity. This appears innate and attributable to the use of CGI. Grain is visible and rendered in fine even layers that provides texture while never appearing obtrusive.
A movie like Clash of the titans this lives or dies by its soundtrack and Warner's active DTS-HD Master Audio mix gets it right. This is a captivating surround sound mix that features an immersive array of well placed sound effects that at times prays upon your aural senses. I appreciated the attention to detail that went into creating the surround mix as it effectively replicates the environments featured in the film. Near field sounds are accurately placed within the sound field which gives them multi-dimensional perspective that places you right in the middle of the action. During the extended battle with the giant scorpioch and the Krakens arrival in Argos the entire room is illuminated with an array of sounds that are both directional and ambient in nature. Bass is rich, and room pressurizing as it accentuates the audio's excellent dynamic range with gun punching impact. Dialogue intelligibility is never a problem even during the film's active moments. This is a great surround sound experience that certainly made this film more enjoyable.
- (HD) Maximum Movie Mode - An in-depth look at the film/production via an interactive viewer that includes enhanced scene breakdowns, on-spot vignettes, dissection of visual FX, cast/crew interviews and more. For those without Bonusview capable players each of the segments can be viewed independently as focus points as indicated below.
- (HD) Focus points ( totaling 27 minutes):
- Sam Worthington is Perseus
- Zeus: Father of the gods and men
- Enter the world of Hades
- Calibos: The man behind the monster
- Tenerife: A continent on an island
- Actors and their stunts
- Wales: A beautiful scarred landscape
- Bringing Medusa to life
- (HD) Sam Worthington: An action her for the ages - 8 minute featurette
- (HD) Alternate ending
- (HD) Deleted scenes
- WB BD-Live enabled
- Digital Copy/DVD Bonus Disc of Clash of the titans
Taken on face value Clash of the titans is an entertaining, special effect laden extravaganza that doesn't live up to the original 1981 film but makes for a decent watch when you have a craving for action. Warner's big ticket flicks coming to Blu-ray have yielded some impressive results and Clash of the titans is no different. It offers excellent high definition video and room shaking lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound that is sure to make the demonstration material lists of high resolution audio enthusiasts. The comprehensive list of bonus features includes Warner's Blu-ray friendly Maximum Movie Mode which looks inside the production from an interactive view while the movie plays, Deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and a bonus disc which contains a DVD version and digital copy of the film. This is a solid package that comes recommended for fans. If you haven't seen it I would recommend a rental prior to purchase.
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