Clash of the Titans tells the story of Perseus (Harry Hamlin), who as an infant is exiled along his mother in a wood coffin thrown to the mercy of the sea. Now a warrior, son of Zeus, he has no idea what is stored for him and little does he know he is about to become another pawn for the Greek gods. Perseus is taken to Joppa by the goddess Thetis (Maggie Smith) for his trials to begin; there he receives a sword, helmet, and a shield from the gods. During his walk-through Joppa, Perseus meets a beautiful woman named Andromeda, who was once promised to Calibos (Neil McCarthy) until Zeus transformed him into a beast, but before they can be together Thetis demands that Andromeda be sacrificed to Poseidon’s feared monster, the Kraken. Now Perseus must go find a way to save the beautiful Andromeda, but will he have enough time to find a way to bring down the Kraken? Perseus is taken on a quest that pits him against deadly creatures, all for the love of a beautiful woman.
So, what made the studio say “Hey let’s bring Clash of the Titans on Blu-ray”? I don’t think it was only the fact that the new remake of this film is less than a month ago, perhaps the huge amounts of people who still love this movie. I mean, how many of you had this movie in the VCR often ready to watch? Sure, the new generation of viewers probably doesn’t know what I am talking about, but some of the older generation of viewers remembers what it was to sit back and watch Desmond Davis and Ray Harryhausen’s classic. I can remember how scary Medusa looked on TV, I remember Perseus fighting Calibos and cutting his hand off, Perseus fighting the scorpions, flying in the air on Pegasus, and most the most memorable Kraken it was all these pieces in the story that made it so appealing. Sure, now it all looks sluggish and anyone can pick things from the film that just looks right down silly, but you have to admire the Harryhausen’s ability to bring creatures to life on screen.
How does the story fair? Well, for starters Clash of the Titans is a very slow movie. The pace just seems to make the movie drag so I can understand if some get bored while watching. The excitement of the movie seems to happen too early in the movie which also doesn’t help the remaining of the film. The actors are a hit or miss as well, I am possibly going way out there, but the best cast was Harryhausen’s creatures who with their own mind and personality often outdo the real actors. Perhaps if the pace of the film was much faster and the actors showed some more enthusiasm this whole film would possibly appeal to a new audience. Unfortunately, I feel that those looking to see the remake will soon forget how it all began. Perhaps I just hold too many memories along with this film, but at the end it still remains one of my favorites regardless of its flaws.
Clash of the Titans arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 encode framed at 1.85:1. Where to begin? First of all the film has never been eye candy, meaning it’s not one of those films that were visually appealing. And all those flaws were also inherited to this Blu-ray transfer. So let that be your warning. Moving on, Clash of the Titans has always had a very poor lit image it’s always too dark and guess what? Yes, the Blu-ray also suffers somewhat of this poor lighting. The colors can be vibrant and bold from time to time, possibly the best looking scenes were prior to Medusa’s encounter outside her lair and during her encounter. The skintones are all over the place as well hard to pin point a sequence were they are consistent. Details suffer the same problem is very inconsistent throughout the film. One last thing, for those that just can’t stand grain I will tell you that this film has heavy grain. Just keep in mind most of these issues are inherited from the original source that maybe a proper restoration can fix, but I am not sure if there’s any much more improvement to be done. This is the best looking version that has ever made it to store shelves.
Clash of the Titans arrives on Blu-ray with a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio stereo soundtrack. Warner’s attempt to remain faithful to the original source is well appreciated. Dialogue is clean and clear most of the film. There is some minimal sound effects and ambience sounds being used throughout. The LFE output lacks somewhat and it isn’t what most would expect. Regardless of the shortcomings of the sound it should please audiophiles; after all it’s a lossless track.
Clash of the Titans doesn’t come packed with extras or anything of the sort as I would have expected, but something is better than nothing. Check below for the list of supplements.
A Conversation with Ray Harryhausen – Ray discusses everything from the story, the locations, cast, and much more. Very quick commentary only lasts 12 minutes.
Clash of the Titans Sneak Preview – A sneak peek at the upcoming remake.
Myths and Monsters – Ray Harryhausen talks about his inspiration behind the monsters in the film.
Also this release comes in a beautiful Digibook that contains production still and information on the creatures that appear on camera. There is some promotional booklet for the upcoming 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans starring Sam Worthington. To finish it off anyone who purchases this Digibook will get a coupon for admission to Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans will probably only appeal to those that grew up watching it and those looking at the old techniques used in film at the time. The Blu-ray offers a decent upgrade from the previous versions available but it remains a bit of a mess, however, this is not because of the transfer but more of the original material. The audio gets a nice boost and I am sure fans of the film will definitely enjoy. As for me I will continue to enjoy the film just as I did when I first saw it. I recommend at least a rent.