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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2010

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"Clash of the Titans" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-september-2010-clash-of-the-titans

Synopsis

In ancient Greece, mankind has begun to question their loyalty to the gods of Mount Olympus.  After the destruction of key monuments to the Titans and the blasphemy of Queen Cassiopeia of Argos, the gods descend to Earth and give Argos an ultimatum: sacrifice the Princess Andromeda or face the destruction of the city.   Young Perseus, whose family was killed by the god Hades, learns that he is a demi-god and vows to find a way to save Argos and prevent Andromeda’s sacrifice.

Specifications

  • Warner Home Video
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 46 min
  • Aspect Ratio:  2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec:  VC-1
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring:: Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
  • Directed by Louis Leterrier
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: None
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

As corny as it was, I have fond memories of the original “Clash of the Titans,” the 1981 film that featured the brilliant stop-motion effects of the great Ray Harryhausen.   When I saw that they were remaking the film in 2010, I had high hopes.  Sadly, I think this remake wasted a lot of potential.  There is no doubt that the special effects for this film are better and far more believable than the 1981 film’s clay-mation, but they still aren’t great.  Many of the CGI shots blatantly stand out from the live-action footage and don’t blend seamlessly into the film.  The Medusa sequence is particularly bad in this regard.  The acting is much less hokey than the original, but is still rather wooden.  I never felt any connection to any of the characters, as they just don’t show any real emotion or range.  The numerous action scenes are fast-paced and entertaining, but it feels like they tried to pack a bit too much action into the film at the expense of plot and character development.  Perseus’ character suffers the most from this.  In the original film Perseus falls in love with Andromeda, which is the catalyst that sparks his dangerous quest and makes us actually care about his fate.  Is this version, Perseus could care less about Andromeda, he just wants vengeance against Hades for killing his family.  Saving Argos from complete destruction at the hands of the Kraken just seems to be an added benefit.   This really hurts the whole “hero” image that Perseus is supposed to live up to.  I’m not sure why the writers felt the remake needed this change, as it was not a change for the better.   Despite all of my criticisms, I still found this to be a somewhat enjoyable action film and at least worthy of a rental.

Technical

Overall picture quality is pretty good on this disc.  Most of the images are sharp, with punchy colors and decent contrast.  The image is surprisingly devoid of grain, which gives it more of a video presentation as opposed to film.  Some may like this, but I thought the image looked a bit over-processed and slightly dull.  Unfortunately, the smooth image just makes the poor CGI more obvious to the viewer.   Audio quality left little to be desired.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is clean, clear, and highly dynamic.   Dialogue intelligibility is good and the surrounds are used judiciously to expand the sound field.  Bass is very deep, without being overly boomy or droning.

Extras

The main extra on this disc is Warner’s “Maximum Movie Mode,” which makes a lot of the special features available via picture-in-picture pop-ups throughout the film.  Most of the segments available in “Maximum Movie Mode” are also available separately.  We have the usual barrage of storyboards, visual effects breakdowns, and interviews with the director and cast.  There is also an alternative ending to the film.  A second disc contains a DVD version and Digital Copy of the movie.