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Clash of the Titans 3D(2010)
Perseus is the son of the King of the Gods, Zeus, but is raised as a man. When Hades, the God of the underworld, threatens to seize power from Zeus, Perseus embarks on a life-threatening mission to defeat him. Joined by a group of brave warriors, Perseus is forced to battle beasts and demons in order to save his family, and will only succeed if he finally accepts and uses his power as a God.
For more about Clash of the Titans 3D and the Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray release, see Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 9, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos
Director: Louis Leterrier
» See full cast & crew
Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray Review
A fun but generic Adventure picture lacks punch as a 3D release.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 9, 2010
I do this as a man.
The grand, sweeping Adventure picture is a staple of cinema. From The Great Train Robbery to Raiders of the Lost Ark, filmmakers have embraced the notion of telling big stories on the big screen and with lofty ambitions and, usually, to high box office returns. Somewhere along the way through the great lineage of Adventure pictures lies the name of Ray Harryhausen, a stop motion wizard who will forever be remembered as a pioneer of the special effects revolution. Pictures like Jason and the Argonauts, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and Clash of the Titans helped usher in an era that would transform cinema in a way that only a few major advancements -- such as sound and widescreen -- could claim. Of course, special effects have come a long way -- for better or for worse -- since the days of Harryhausen's prime and even since the days of his last great picture, 1981's Clash of the Titans. But far be it for Hollywood to leave well enough alone. Seizing the opportunity to one-up a classic picture with computer wizardry and smoother, more realistic effects, Warner Brothers commissioned a remake of Clash of the Titans for 21st century audiences. Bigger, faster, and even offered in a hastily-crafted 3D presentation, this update isn't a bad picture, it's just superfluous. A transparent movie with little to offer that hasn't been seen before, Director Louis Leterrier's (The Incredible Hulk) Clash of the Titans works as mindless entertainment, but it's the sort of picture that nobody's going to remember 10 years from now.
The great god Zeus (Liam Neeson, Taken) alongside fellow Olympians Hades (Ralph Fiennes, Cemetery Junction) and Poseidon (Danny Huston) vanquished the Titans with the aid of Hades' monstrous creation of his own flesh, the Kraken. After Zeus claimed rule over the Heavens, granted Poseidon rule over the seas, and tricked Hades into overseeing the underworld, he created man so that he and his fellow gods of Olympus could thrive off of man's prayers and worship. When man turns on Zeus and rises up against him, Hades unleashes a powerful force to quell the rebellion, but also sets in motion a series of events that sees the demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington, Terminator Salvation) take up arms in an effort to save the Princess of Argos, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), from becoming a living sacrifice to the powerful Kraken, for only her death can satisfy the gods and prevent the destruction of Argos as retaliation for man's latest sins against the Olympians. Perseus and a band of hand-picked warriors set out on one of the greatest adventures of all time, seeking a means of destroying the mighty Kraken and battling untold evils and incredible creatures along the way. Can the mere demigod Perseus -- he of half human, half god blood -- withstand the trials he's to face and clash with the mighty beast that even the ancient Titans could not vanquish?
Clash of the Titans isn't exactly the pinnacle of moviemaking. It might be among the best in terms of its special effects wizardry, but Hollywood has proven time and again that seamless special effects don't necessarily equate to a great, yea even good, movie; see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for proof. Fortunately, Clash of the Titans fares a bit better than Michael Bay's summer clunker. Though it might not have much to offer beyond its most basic action/adventure elements, Director Louis Leterrier's picture is lean, focused, and most of the way entertaining for what it is. There are no allusions to something bigger, badder, or more memorable here, and therein likes this edition of Titan's greatest strength. The movie clocks in at just over 90 minutes sans credits and plays just as fast; there's little downtime between action scenes which does translate into minimal character development, but then again, who needs meaningful and memorable characters when a movie can simply plop gigantic scorpions into the middle of the fray? So long as that it's established that Perseus is a demigod and son of Zeus, that Hades wants his revenge for having been banished to rule the underworld, and that the heart of the adventure lies in saving the good Princess of Argos from becoming a living sacrifice to the great god-killing creature Kraken, Clash of the Titans can go about its merry way by serving up some admittedly impressive special effects and action sequences to entertain its viewers and, at a basic level, achieve all that a film like this needs to thrive.
Indeed, Clash of the Titans delivers some breathtaking action sequences that don't want for a bigger scope or greater momentum and mayhem. The picture also dazzles with good costuming; nicely-realized set design (the gods' perch atop Olympus is particularly impressive); and a surprisingly heroic, big, and exciting score courtesy of Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man). Still, Clash of the Titans his home to several stale performances from even its name actors who do little more than show up, but then again, with characters this flat and/or confused, it's no wonder their efforts aren't exactly catching the attention of Academy voters. Liam Neeson is easily the biggest name the film has to offer. He also plays the biggest character in the film, but also its most unbalanced. Playing the part with his usual relaxed cadence, Neeson never really pulls off the whole Greek god thing despite some super-shiny armor and a Qui-Gon Jinn mane and beard. Then again, his character is sketchy at best and the film never really seems to know what to do with him, and Neeson more often than not seems left hanging out to dry as he is in one scene sympathetic to Perseus' efforts, jealous and cunning in the next, and flat-out angry and hostile elsewhere. For a character as big as Zeus from both a structural and mythological perspective, not to mention that he's played by one of the better actors working today, one would think that the character would be better developed. Then again, it all comes back to that "just throw some big CGI scorpions into the movie and nobody will notice" mentality. Ralph Fiennes completely disappears into his role as Hades, and Sam Worthington dishes out just enough action and charm from an otherwise blank slate as the focused and robotic Perseus as he and a few pals quest about the ancient world and battle some big CGI creatures.
Ultimately, and despite a whole host of positives -- a name cast, strong special effects, solid action sequences, and a lean and mean editing job that allows the movie to get to where it needs to go at an effortless and well-constructed pace -- Clash of the Titans simply can't escape that feeling that it's a completely transparent, generic, and even purposeless picture. Replace any or all of its basic ingredients -- insert any other name, any other actor, any other "sword and sandal" setting, and any other random collection of CGI baddies -- and Clash of the Titans could pass as a good enough Action/Adventure movie even if it were free of its Greek god elements and its roots as a Ray Harryhausen picture. From a thematic perspective, Clash of the Titans is as predictable as they come. As soon as it's revealed who Perseus is and what challenges he'll have to overcome and what characters he'll have to face, there's never any doubt as to the picture's outcome. Structurally, the film feels just as transparent; once Perseus and gang set off on their adventure, it's only a matter of time before they stumble across some tough CGI enemies and encounter a few new friends. Visually, the fim has spared no expense to deliver some first-rate computer elements, but the last-minute 3D presentation leaves much to be desired. At its most basic level, Clash of the Titans works; there might not be a movie better suited to define the type of experience that's best discovered with expectations reduced to nothing and the brain left outside the theater door. Viewers who can tune out comparisons to Ray Harryhausen's film and ignore the mythological and cinematically historical heritage with which the film takes several liberties will enjoy Clash of the Titans in its raw state and, frankly, as the filmmakers seem to have intended the picture to be received. The movie works well because it doesn't want to be anything more than a fast-paced, CGI-intensive excursion into another place and time, and in that respect, Clash of the Titans succeeds as a big, fun, and entertaining thrill ride.
Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Clash of the Titans 3D finally washes up on on U.S. shores after a brief exclusivity window overseas. Unfortunately, the domesticated title fares no better than its German counterpart. This appears to be minted from the same converted master as the German release, and the results are still decidedly average or below. The disc just doesn't inspire much confidence in the viability of conversions, though it must be noted that Alice in Wonderland borders on the superb, and it, too, is a converted 2D to 3D image. Nevertheless, Clash of the Titans starts out strongly enough with the Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures logos perfectly hovering over the screen while the following shots of various star fields and make-believe constellations feature quite a bit of perceptible depth and sharpness, both only serving to set up viewers for a showcase 3D title that ultimately disappoints with the majority of what's to follow. Indeed, there are plenty of scenes and even many extended sequences that offer nothing in terms of dynamic 3D content. Various characters at various junctures appear offset from their background, but the effect is fair at best and sloppy at worst in most instances; it's not quite to the level of the bad cutout look of The Last Airbender 3D, but it's not exactly eye candy material here, either. Much of the movie looks just as flat as the strong 2D version, but murkier and with no real benefit unless wearing 3D glasses for 90-plus minutes and for no good reason sounds appealing. Clash of the Titans does have its moments; some of the slow-motion effects shots of the giant scorpions jumping around the screen look quite good in 3D, while shots featuring long or vast areas such as the deck of a ship or the sparkly, almost dreamlike setting that's home to the gods tend to offer up at least an idea of what 3D is all about.
Fortunately, the 3D transfer does retain the same quality detailing and coloring found on the 2D-only transfer. Although there's no denying that much of Clash of the Titans appears unnaturally smoothed over, Warner Brothers' 3D transfer nevertheless manages to squeeze out some eye-catching details that aren't going to impress longtime format aficionados but that at least rate as average or better in most scenes. Whether looking at the textures of the wood on various seafaring vessels and the sacrificial platform seen at film's end, leather and metallic armor, cloth garments, or general facial attributes, the transfer's fine detailing adequately conveys most of what there is to see. Colors are handled very well, even if the film heavily favors various earth tones; shades of gray and brown dominate the film, but splashes of color -- the Djinns' bright blue eyes, for instance -- never seem lessened in favor of the general palette. Flesh tones are handled rather well, taking on and retaining a neutral appearance that never veers in excess towards a red or orange shade, while black levels, too, remain strong if not a bit too murky in a few scenes. Unfortunately, Titans' 3D more often than not seems like much ado about nothing. It's weak in most every area of concern, and both 3D novices and seasoned veterans alike will be checking to make sure the 3D glasses are even turned on, because sometimes it's actually hard to tell, particularly if viewers are using glasses with an on/off button rather than an on/off switch (and, yes, that's a first-hand observation and anecdote). Simply stated, the results aren't there, and this is easily one of the lesser 3D titles on the market.
Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Clash of the Titans features a strong DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack, and it's the best part of this Blu-ray package. The track excels at every turn, whether delivering the slightest of environmental nuances across the back as a rickety old boat creaks and cracks as it sails over gently rolling waters or powering the heaviest sound effects as giant scorpions attack a band of (mostly) human heroes. Clash of the Titans delivers a full-on surround sound presentation; it's not quite power-packed enough to call it a "bonanza" or "extravaganza," but the track's slightly reserved posture is a strength. It never overwhelms the senses, but it never seems absent pinpoint power and a full slate of surround information, either. The track delivers the room-filling oomph of distantly-cracking thunder just as well as the final showdown between demigod and powerful beast. Best of all, Ramin Djawadi's score is wonderfully balanced and infinitely clear and stable; it flows from the front speakers with a precision and spacing that would be the envy of all but the finest of soundtracks. Finally, bass packs quite the wallop in several scenes, again playing not necessarily as "overwhelming" but instead "natural" as it devastates the listening area without tearing it apart. Rounded out by consistently stable and center-focused dialogue reproduction, Clash of the Titans is a giant amongst Blu-ray soundtracks.
Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Clash of the Titans' 3D Blu-ray release contains all of the extras found on the standard 2D-only version, and all of them are, no surprise, located on the 2D-only Blu-ray disc included in the case (there's nothing on the 3D disc). Maximum Movie Mode features Director Louis Leterrier; Actors Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, and Liam Neeson; and others guiding viewers through the making of the film, with the behind-the-scenes footage playing alongside the film proper, the latter more often than not appearing in a much smaller window that zips around the screen to accommodate the behind-the-scenes footage. This extra examines Clash of the Titans' every nook and cranny and from every conceivable angle; viewers will see how the filmmakers crafted the picture's sets and props, discover various shooting locales, learn the secrets behind the script, understand the importance of diversity in the cast, witness the creation of various special effects, and plenty more. Warners' Maximum Movie Mode is quickly establishing itself as the best Blu-ray supplement, and the studio's effort with Clash of the Titans is no exception.
Focus Points (1080p) is a series of short features that further explore the world of Clash of the Titans. Sam Worthington is Perseus (3:43) features the actor, Director Louis Leterrier, and others discussing Worthington's character and the actor's work in the film. Zeus: Father of Gods and Men (2:18) looks at what Liam Neeson brings to the role of Zeus and further examines the costume he wears. Enter the World of Hades (3:29) focuses on Ralph Fiennes' performance, his character's appearance, and the special effects in which the character is involved. Calibos: The Man Behind the Monster (2:56) explores the makeup effects that help create the character played by Jason Flemyng. Tenerife: A Continent on an Island (4:24) more closely examines one of the picture's most exotic shooting locales. Scorpioch (4:06) takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the making of one of the film's most amazing visual effects. Actors and Their Stunts (3:48) looks at the film's impressive stunt work and the importance of casting athletic actors. Wales: A Beautiful Scarred Landscape (2:31) looks at the challenges of shooting in Wales. Bringing Medusa to Life (3:47) features a glimpse into the making of the picture's Medusa sequence. Rounding out this selection of Focus Points is Prepare for the Kraken! (3:55), an all-too-short look at the construction of the picture's signature special effect. Next up is Sam Worthington: An Action Hero for the Ages (1080p, 7:56), a short look at the actor's hard work and dedication to making Clash of the Titans a better film. Also included is an alternate ending (1080p, 5:23), several deleted scenes (1080p, 18:10), and BD-Live functionality. A disc-based digital copy is also included, and it's compatible with Mac and iTunes. Sampled on an iPhone 4, the two-channel audio track is handled very well; dialogue echoes nicely about the limited soundstage in chapter four as the Princess' fate is decided, while music and sound effects are superbly balanced and crisp. On the video side, colors are fine and details adequate. The image features minimally intrusive blocking. The digital copy disc also houses a DVD copy of the film.
Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Clash of the Titans might be superfluous, but the same can be said of any number of movies, remake or not, special effects-laden or not, all-star cast or not. Director Louis Leterrier's picture boasts all those things, and it's a solid effort that never oversteps its bounds and delivers only what it promises; it's a big, sweeping tale of classic adventure amped up for 21st century audiences and with no desire to be anything more or anything less. There's something to be said for a picture that exists within its means and seems perfectly content to do so; Clash of the Titans is one such picture, and the movie's all the better for it. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of its 3D presentation. Tacked on at the last moment and barely registering as a true 3D experience, Clash of the Titans is sure to disappoint fans of the technology while turning off others whose first experience might have come at the hands of this dumbed-down, last-minute effort. Fortunately, this Blu-ray 3D release still sports a 2D version of the film found on a second Blu-ray disc, because the 3D presentation doesn't really offer much of an upgrade. Warner's lossless soundtrack is quite good, as is the nice assortment of extras. Best to just stick with the superior 2D version, which Warner Brothers has included in this package. Recommended for fans who are 3D capable and want to give it a whirl, anyway, particularly considering the 2D disc and all the extras are here, too, for those times when a repeat viewing is wanted or warranted.
Clash of the Titans: Other Editions
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Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
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