'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of the original film, because lets be honest, while it's classic Ray Harryhausen, those special effects are pretty outdated (albeit in a very charming way).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 three disc set packaged in a standard blue case with a holographic slipcover. Both Blu-ray discs are dual-layer, one being the 3D version only while the other houses the 2D version along with all the special features. The third disc is a DVD disc which features both the DVD version of the movie and the digital copy. The 3D disc will only work in 3D Blu-ray players.
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 found this transfer to be identical to the previous German release. It would have been nice to see Warner Brother's put in some extra work to improve the transfer but it's understandable that they didn't due to the high price associated with 2D to 3D conversions. When compared to some of the better 3D sequences from 'My Bloody Valentine' the 3D in this transfer can appear underwhelming but overall this is a serviceable transfer.
'Clash of the Titans' 3D features the exact same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that was featured in the 3D 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!
Overall, I found this to be a very average release. 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 recent releases like 'A Christmas Carol.' 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 DVD/ digital copy of the movie. Normally I would recommend a rental for a movie like this but since that is not an option at present I would say this is worth a look for any content starved 3DTV owners.
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.