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CLASH OF THE TITANS

Considering the critical drubbing the retooled, modern version of CLASH OF THE TITANS ($36) took at the time of its theatrical release; I was expecting the film to be a disaster of epic proportions. However, I am happy to say, nothing could be further from the truth. CLASH OF THE TITANS may not be a cinema classic, but it is a fun popcorn adventure movie, built around Greek gods and monsters, which are aided and abetted by some fairly cool CGI special effects work. Sure, this CLASH OF THE TITANS lack the innocence and tongue-in-cheekiness of the original, but I did enjoy the occasional nods to the original, including those stylistic trappings that pay a bit of homage to Ray Harryhausen’s special effects work. Like the original, the revamped CLASH OF THE TITANS drops a few big name stars into the mix, some of whom are permitted to shamelessly overact- which certainly reverses the effect of other performances that take the material far too seriously.

The premise of this CLASH OF THE TITANS offers a similar framework for its story, although it does change many of the finer details. Once again, CLASH OF THE TITANS tells the story of Perseus (Sam Worthington), the mortal son of the god Zeus (Liam Neeson). As an infant, Perseus was cast into sea, and found by a fisherman named Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite), who raises Perseus as his own son. Perseus grows to manhood, but finds his foster family snatched away from him, when they become casualties in a war between the kingdom of Argos and the gods of Olympus. For their defiance, Zeus unleashes his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) upon Argos, who demands that the Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) be sacrificed to the Kraken, as atonement, or the creature will destroy all of Argos. With no love for the gods, Perseus is convinced to join a quest to find a way to kill the Kraken. Making a perilous journey to see the Stygian Witches, Perseus and his cohorts learn that they must face and kill the Gorgon Medusa, if they are to have any chance of destroying the Kraken. The cast of CLASH OF THE TITANS also features Gemma Arterton, Tine Stapelfeldt, Mads Mikkelsen, Luke Evans, Izabella Miko, Liam Cunningham, Hans Matheson, Ashraf Barhom, Mouloud Achour, Ian Whyte, Nicholas Hoult, Vincent Regan, Polly Walker, Luke Treadaway, Elizabeth McGovern, Alexander Siddig and Danny Huston.

Warner Home Video has made CLASH OF THE TITANS available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. This is a fairly impressive looking 1080p presentation, which remains strong whether rendering the un-doctored principle photography, or those sequences that blend live action with CGI effects. For the most part, everything appears sharp and rather nicely defined, but some mild softness creeps into the image in places. I should also note that there is a bit of softness from the digital grading that helps to blend the digital and live action elements. Still, the picture appears quite dimensional, especially during brightly lit exteriors. In addition, there is a rather strong level of fine image detail and texturing to be found throughout the presentation. Colors are usually well saturated, but not to a degree that appears unnatural. In addition, all hues appear completely stable, plus the flesh tones are highly appealing. Blacks appear true, while the whites are crisp and clean. Contrast is smooth and shadow detail is quite strong. The elements from which CLASH OF THE TITANS has been mastered appear virtually flawless. A fine sheen of grain is noticeable during the presentation and helps maintain an organic quality.

CLASH OF THE TITANS is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. As expected, CLASH OF THE TITANS delivers the sonic goods, being expertly mixed with an aggressive fantasy/action movie sound design. That being the case, the sound design makes the most of all the discrete channels; showcasing all of the big action set pieces, as well as smaller moments. During the action, sounds explode and roar from all corners, and then, effortlessly pan in all directions across the soundstage. . In addition, the quieter moments provide a nice level of envelopment. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is marvelous; the musical component is full-bodied, plus all of the sound effects come across in a convincing manner. The bass channel rock and shakes the ground when required. Voices are cleanly and distinctly reproduced, plus the dialogue is easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off is Warner Brothers immersive Maximum Movie Mode, which offers viewers an enhanced version of the film with picture-in-picture pop up windows that contain, interviews, scene relevant ancillary programs, as well as interviews, animatics, special effects breakdowns, production stills, scene comparisons, makeup and costume tests, stunts, action choreography and concept art (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Programs from the Maximum Movie Mode are also available to view independently as a series of Focus Points. Programs falling under the Focus Points include: Sam Worthington Is Perseus, Zeus: Father Of Gods And Men, Enter The World Of Hades, Calibos: The Man Behind The Monster, Tenerife: A Continent On An Island, Scorpioch, Actors And Their Stunts, Wales: A Beautiful Scarred Landscape, Bringing Medusa To Life and Prepare For The Kraken!. The Featurette, Sam Worthington: An Action Hero For The Ages, plus Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending close out the standard supplements. CLASH OF THE TITANS is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). A DVD and Digital Copy of the film are also provided, with both being housed on the second disc of this set.

As I stated above, CLASH OF THE TITANS is a fun popcorn adventure movie. The Blu-ray presentation is quite solid and certain to please. Recommended to genre fans.

 
CLASH OF THE TITANS 


Clash of the Titans (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2010)

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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