We have also reviewed the regular domestic Blu-ray release of 'Clash of the Titans' (2010)
We have also reviewed the regular domestic Blu-ray release of 'Clash of the Titans' (2010)
'Clash of the Titans' is a remake of the charming 1981 film that told the story of Perseus and how he was able to save the helpless Princess Andromeda from the Kraken. This updated version of the movie may share the same title, as well as some of the characters like Zeus, Perseus, Princess Andromeda, Medusa, and of course the evil sea monster the Kraken, but that's pretty much all they have in common.
The 2010 'Clash of the Titans' tells the story of Perseus (Sam Worthington), who does not know he is the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson). Perseus and his family are caught in the middle of a battle between the soldiers of Argos and the gods. When the soldiers destroy the statue of Zeus, knocking it into the ocean, it causes the lord of the underworld Hades (Ralph Fiennes) to rise. Hades kills Perseus' family, leaving Perseus as the only survivor. Once back in Argos, Queen Cassiopeia (Polly Walker) commits the ultimate no-no by claiming that her daughter is more divine than any god. Hades appears when she says this and gives everyone an ultimatum. In 10 days, while the sun is eclipsed, they will either sacrifice Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) to the Kraken, or the Kraken will destroy the city.
Soon, Perseus is discovered to be a demigod, and the city's fate is suddenly aligned with Perseus' mission of revenge. Perseus and a crack team of heroes depart Argos together in search of a means to defeat the Kraken.
On the surface, this sounds an awful lot like the 1981 original, but don't be fooled, it shares the name and basic plot only. What made the original movie so great was the more mythic story structure. When watching the remake, I really don't feel like I am watching a classic story.
I would have been totally fine with a nearly shot for shot remake of the original film, because lets be honest, while it's classic Ray Harryhausen, those special effects are pretty outdated (albeit in a very charming way). This movie failed in part because Perseus was really only out for revenge. In the original, Perseus won the love of Andromeda by answering a riddle correctly. Then he had to learn how to stop the Kraken to save her life. The major motivation was not revenge, but love, which is a much more compelling reason to set on such a dangerous quest. That's just one example of what's wrong with this movie. The charm and reasoning behind everything in the original is lost in the remake. What we're left with is 100 minutes of nonstop yelling and fighting. If this was your first experience with 'Clash of the Titans' do yourself a favor and check out the 1981 version. The story is better and you'll likely get a kick out of the old time effects.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Warner Brothers presents 'Clash of the Titans' as a two disc set packaged in a standard blue case. Both discs are dual-layer, one being the 3D version only while the other houses the 2D version along with all the special features. Both discs load straight to the menu with no previews (something the US version does not do) and the 3D version includes a 3D menu. A digital copy is also included as a download code for the Warner website, there is no physical disc for the digital copy. Both discs are region free.
'Clash of the Titans' arrives on 3D Blu-ray and claims a few milestones in the process. This is the first live-action movie to hit the format, as well as the first day and date release of a 3D film to arrive the same day as the 2D version (though it is in Germany).
I was one of the unlucky few to view this movie in 3D during its theatrical run, and wow, did that leave a sour taste in my mouth. It was clear Warner Brothers had rushed in at the 11th hour to convert this film and cash in on that biiiig 'Avatar' 3D money. The theatrical release was riddled with inconsistencies, such as lack of depth in one scene vs. the next. Some scenes almost appeared to be in 2D, and at times the on screen product seemed to be showing multiple layers, almost like watching the movie through a window. Overall it was a complete mess with maybe a handful of scenes that showed promise in the third dimension.
Having said that, this 3D Blu-ray release didn't have much to live up to, as the bar was set pretty low from the get go. I was actually pleasantly surprised by some of this transfer. It appears Warner Brothers put some work into this release and improved upon the horrible 3D that was shown in theaters. I noticed a much greater sense of depth throughout the film, something I hardly ever experienced during the theatrical run. The best example of this came in the desert scene in which Perseus and the gang are fighting off the giant scorpions. In one shot Perseus is running towards the camera while the scorpion chases him from behind. I actually felt a nice sense of depth in this scene and it seemed there was some distance between Perseus and the scorpion. This sort of added depth was a welcome addition to this 3D Blu-ray attempt.
I was also impressed with the lack of ghosting on this transfer. I didn't notice a single instance. Bright colors were also present throughout the film, I had mentioned in my previous review of 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - 3D' that everything was a bit darker than in the 2D version. With this film, I found the colors to be right on par with the levels in the 2D release.
I did have a few problems. First off, there were times when I felt like I was on a spinning ride at an amusement park. This is a sensation I have not had with any other content that I have screened so far (maybe 3D X-Games, but I think that was intended). Scenes with fast camera movement really seemed to be the worst, at times it was hard to watch because of the nauseating effect. This was particularly apparent in scenes like the final battle with the Kraken and the fight with the scorpions. The content was just not as smooth as I have grown accustomed to in some of the earlier, native 3D content, and I think we can chalk it up to the film not being shot for 3D. I also found the textures to be less realistic in the third dimension. Things like the rough surface of the scorpion or details in the texture of characters' skin seemed to be lacking. To be fair, these textures suffer in the 2D version as well, a result of the massive digital clean up the source material received, but I found the 2D to have more detail in characters and objects than what was seen here.
Aside from the 3D, this transfer suffers from some of the same problems as the 2D transfer. There where numerous instances of edge enhancement and frequent lens flares and halos. There was also a complete lack of grain and noise. Some people may enjoy an unnaturally clean digital picture, but I prefer the feel you get with the occasional appearance of these elements.
Overall I was still pleasantly surprised with this transfer. Clearly Warner Brothers put some work into updating this 3D conversion. Many problems seen in the theatrical run seem to have been fixed, and numerous improvements appear to have been made. Unfortunately, the overall quality is greatly dragged down by the nauseating effect created in fast camera movement sequences and the lack of texture displayed throughout the film. The true test of this transfer will come when we finally get a 3D Blu-ray release of a live-action film shot in 3D, then we'll have some material to stack this up against.
'Clash of the Titans' 3D features the exact same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that was featured in the US release of the film. Just as with that mix, audio is excellent.
If you’re a fan of explosion after explosion, with the occasional addition of cheesy dialogue, this is the mix for you. Your rear speakers and bass are going to get a great workout from scenes like the final battle with the Kraken or the destruction of the statue of Zeus. Both scenes feature excellent examples of water splashing all around you and sounds ranging across the spectrum. Dialogue is crystal clear and is never overtaken by the bass or surround effects.
Aside from the sound effects and clear speech, I think the score for this film was one of the most underwhelming I have heard in some time. Nothing about it came across as memorable and I never got the feeling that the music represented an epic journey.
The movie may be nothing to write home about but this soundtrack sure does deliver a solid punch!
The 3D Blu-ray also includes Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Subtitles are also included in German SDH, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this release. Why was it only released on the 3D Blu-ray format in Germany? Sure the transfer isn't that great, but we need to get some more non-brand-exclusive content available to early adopters here in the US! As far as the 3D goes, what you get is an average 3D experience that's noticeably better than the theatrical 3D release, but still far below the standard set by other releases like 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.' Once you get past the 3D, you're left with a sub-par action movie with great audio, a fair amount of special features, and a case with 'Clash of the Titans' written in German. Had this been released in the US I would recommend renting the move, but unfortunately, that's not an option. If you have 45 dollars burning a hole in your pocket and absolutely must have some more 3D content for your collection, by all means, go for it. For everyone else, this German release really isn't worth importing.
Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.