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Clash of the Titans (2010)
Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/27/2010
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/27/2010
When I write reviews, I try very hard to avoid spoilers. (Writing the synopsis of some films without giving anything away is very hard.) I've always felt that the less information that we have when going into a movie, the more that we will enjoy it. But, we can't forget or unlearn the things that we know about movies and this can directly affect our feelings about a movie. This was my experience with Clash of the Titans. I would have loved to have judged the movie based solely on its own merits, but having seen the 1981 original, my views were clearly clouded.
Clash of the Titans is set during the time with the gods of Olympus ruled the world. However, humans have grown tired of the gods and they have not only stopped praying to them, but they've begun to desecrate their images. A fisherman, Spyro (Pete Postlethwaite) finds a baby boy floating adrift at sea and raises him as his own. As an adult, this boy, Perseus (Sam Worthington), watches his family die as the result of actions by the god Hades (Ralph Fiennes). Perseus finds himself in a nearby city, and he witnesses Hades tell the ruling family that they have ten days to sacrifice their daughter Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) or the city will be destroyed. When the locals learn that Perseus is a demi-god, he's the son of Zeus, they ask him to venture on a quest to help save the city. Joined by soldiers, Perseus, after taking the advice of Io (Gemma Arterton), goes on the journey. The group soon finds themselves encountering one monster after another as the time to save the city grows shorter.
When I first heard that a remake ofClash of the Titans was in the works, I wasn't totally opposed to the idea. Having just watched the original again, I knew that the special effects could certainly use an updating. Taking the story from the 1981 film and adding modern special effects could make for an awesome film. I quickly learned that only half of that plan was used.
This new film certainly features updated special effects, which look very good. Save for The Kraken, which looks sort of like theCloverfield monster but with tentacles, the designs of the major creatures haven't been tampered with that much. While most everything is clearly CGI, the effects are fairly seamless, and there was no point where I consciously thought, "Fake!"
That's where the positive comments about this movie come to an end. The original film was a fairly straight-forward adventure which took Greek mythology (and some influences from other sources) and mashed them together into a streamlined story. The character's motivations were easily discerned -- love, adventure, loyalty, etc. The remake becomes a bizarre treatise on religious freedom and politics, as the humans revolt against the gods. They reject the gods and Perseus' quest is more about sticking it to the residents of Olympus than saving Andromeda. Perseus is far too angry and there's no joy or excitement in watching his adventures. The movie takes itself way too seriously and the whole thing is decidedly grim. The gods in Olympus are all dressed in costumes which look as if they were picked up at an Excalibur garage sale or if they are involved in some sort of Silverhawks cosplay.
So, who's to blame here? I can't help but wonder what the film was like before Louis Leterrier was brought on-board. The director ofThe Incredible Hulk, and two of The Transporter films has proven himself to be a good action film helmer in the past. However, there is too much of an emphasis on action and fighting in Clash of the Titans. The scorpion scene and the finale go on far too long and the audience longs for story and character development instead of yet another monster which can't be killed. Sam Worthington was great in Terminator Salvation, but he's not very good as Perseus. He brings no passion to the role and he's not fun to watch. Perseus should be an inspirational hero, not a bad-ass.
When Clash of the Titans played in theaters, I read several complaints about the headache-inducing 3D effects. There are no 3D effects on this Blu-ray Disc version, but the pointless nature of this film and the way in which it sullies the good name of the original movie certainly gave me a headache. If you're in the mood for a movie which deals with mythology, I would recommend the superiorPercy Jackson.
Clash of the Titans makes Pegasus black for some reason on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Home Video. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains a 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing on grain and no defects from the source material. The image is never overly bright or dark. The colors lean mostly towards browns and slivers, but there are some flashes of red or blue which look good. The picture has a nice level of detail and we can make out textures on objects. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.3 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are quite good and nicely detailed, most notably during the action scenes. These same scenes provide very good surround sound effects -- the scorpion and Medusa scenes are the real standouts. The subwoofer effects are wall-shaking good, especially during the finale.
The Clash of the Titans Blu-ray Disc contains an assortment of extras. We begin "Maximum Movie Mode" which allows the viewer to watch the film while experiencing picture-in-picture comments from the cast and filmmakers. We get some broad discussions of the story and the production, along with specific points on the scene at hand. There is a nice amount of on-set footage and a look at the planning which went into the film. The odd thing about this is that the actual movie plays in a small box in the corner for most of this. There are ten "Focus Points" included in this, and they be watched separately, running for a total of 35 minutes. These focus on the cast, the myths, the locations, the stunts, and the visual effects. "Sam Worthington: An Action Hero for the Ages" (8 minutes) profiles the actor and has his colleagues commenting on his work ethic. The "Alternate Ending" (5 minutes) is certainly different, but it's not very good, as it continues the odd political stance in the film. The Disc contains nine DELETED SCENES which about 18 minutes. Several of these show us more of the gods of Olympus, while two important scenes reveal what Andromeda was doing for much of the film.
Review by Mike Long. Copyright 2010.