Loosely based on classic Greek mythology (although not quite as loose as Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief), the recent remake of Clash of the Titans is a huge, loud, sprawling adventure that blurs the lines between man and god. In ancient Greece, the increasing defiance of humans against the gods who created them is not lost upon the denizens of Mt. Olympus, and so Zeus appoints Hades to turn man upon man in hopes that the ensuing chaos will drive them back to obedience and worship. For their latest arrogance, one kingdom will face utter destruction if they do not sacrifice their beautiful young princess to the all-but-unstoppable beast, the Kraken.
To avoid that sorry fate, brave Perseus ("It" boy Sam Worthington)--a demigod spawn of Zeus, raised as human--leads a fighting force to secure the only thing on Earth that can stop the Kraken. To counter that plan, Hades creates a monster named Calibos to kill Perseus. Seemingly non-stop swordplay and magic follow, a visually stimulating if utterly forgettable evening's entertainment.
Also read Joe Lozito's review of Clash of the Titans.
The video quality is spectacular in just about every scene, with abundant detail in this vast yet sumptuous production. The movie was released in 3D although not originally produced as such, and we can see how some of the added CGI elements would impress with that extra illusion of depth. (Will this title be re-issued as Warner's first Blu-ray 3D disc?) Sudden shifts in light and color during the film are handled effortlessly, with a rock-solid 2.40:1 image despite the rigorous demands of the movie. I noted a very slight twitch in the textures of certain cloth, a bit of noise in smoke and mist, but so little as to be hardly worth mentioning.
Crank up the subwoofer and hang on. The low-frequency effects are fast and furious, starting with big, boomy thunder that exhibits a subtle resonance as well. The wrath of Zeus carries quite a bit of weight too, while the entire DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundfield is alive with shrieks from the distance, crowds cheering and bodies flying through the air. A voice can phase teasingly around us, and we can imagine what it's like to hunt Medusa by sound, since sight doesn't work out too well with her. On the trebly end of the sonic spectrum is the delicious clink of sword upon sword. This track has it all.
Warner's "WB Maximum Movie Mode" (with Focus Points) has evolved from a director-hosted presentation of the film with occasional walk-ons to a more slickly produced but more traditional "making of" that exploits the latest Bonus View technology. The movie shrinks to a little window for much of the running time, joined by video vignettes that take us behind the scenes to reveal all sorts of Clash secrets. The ten breakaway Focus Points, a tad more-in-depth, total 35 minutes, with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. All of the bonus content on Disc One is in HD.
"Sam Worthington: An Action Hero for the Ages" is an eight-minute celebration of the high-energy, no-complaints leading man. We're also shown a slightly rough alternate ending (five minutes) and 18 minutes of deleted scenes presented in a continuous block. Disc Two is a DVD-ROM hybrid platter containing the movie for standard DVD players, sans extras, plus a Digital Copy compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.
Anyone expecting a faithful depiction of the legendary interactions of gods, demigods and man will surely watch Clash of the Titans with befuddlement (as with the 1981 original movie, the titular Titans for example; "parents" of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon; do not figure prominenetly in the story), and quite possibly earplugs as well. But those seeking over-the-top action adventure--and an impressive night of high-end audio and video--can be assured they won't leave the home theater with their head in their hands.
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