S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Clash of the Titans [Blu-ray]
(Desmond Davis, 1981)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 35,016,244,465 bytes
Feature Size: 32,263,458,816 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.08 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 2nd, 2010
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1649 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1649 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Czech 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, none
• A Conversation with Ray Harryhausen (12:13)
• Sneak Peek at the upcoming remake
• Digi-book loaded with photos, trivia, actors and monster bios!
Description: Before history and beyond imagination! The machinations of gods above and the fates of man and monsters here below play out in a Clash of the Titans. Decades prior to the sensational 2010 version of the tale, Harry Hamlin took up sword and shield to play valorous Perseus, mortal son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier) who sets out to fulfill his destiny by rescuing beloved Andromeda from the wrath of goddess Thetis (Maggie Smith). Perils await Perseus time and again. And eye-filling thrills await viewers as stop-motion effects legend Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the Argonauts) unleashes snake-haired Medusa, fearsome Kraken, winged Pegasus, two-headed dog Dioskilos, giant scorpions and more. Rejoice, fantasy fans: the movie gods gift us with adventure that’s innovative, heroic, titanic.
CLASH OF THE TITANS is a grand and glorious romantic adventure,
filled with grave heroes, beautiful heroines, fearsome monsters, and
awe-inspiring duels to the death. It is a lot of fun. It was quite
possibly intended as a sort of Greek mythological retread of STAR WARS
(it has a wise little mechanical owl in it who's a third cousin of
R2-D2), but it's also part of an older Hollywood tradition of
special-effects fantasies, and its visual wonderments are astonishing.
When Clash of the Titans, last collaboration of effects master Ray Harryhausen and producer Charles H. Schneer, came out on DVD - it met with some lukewarm to disgruntled response when it cam to the video transfer. At the time, I don't think blame solely on the DVD rendition was appropriate. This film appears to have been compromised or utilizing different stock - some less effectual than others. We've seen this with other mid-80's films. Firstly, we should state that this is significantly improved over the SD-DVD in all areas. But it still has that inconsistency in its appearance-to-digital. I'm not talking about the effects here. Certain darker scenes (see 4th capture below) are rife with heavy grain - appearing much like noise. While other sequences look quite impressive for detail and colors. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. I doubt it can look dramatically superior than this. Luckily, the inferior visuals are minimal and it I don't suggest letting them ruin your presentation. If you have a willing enough suspension of your disbelief for the monsters and mythology - a few exceptionally grainy scenes won't hinder your enjoyment. I may be wrong but this also looks cleaner than I recall the DVD (that I can't seem to get my hands on). This Blu-ray seems to have done it's best with the original sources. I'm actually quite pleased with the image quality. Obviously, it is imperfect but that only adds some flavor.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Along with a mass of foreign language DUBs - we get a solid, if not demonstrative, DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1649 kbps. A 5.1 artificial bump might have been cool - as there are so many effects sounds to 'mix-in'. As it stands, like the image, it is imperfect, with some inconsistencies - and obviously not much in the way of depth in comparisons to modern film audio transfers. But, the film is really a throwback to another era of fantasy films and I'm not complaining one bit at the limitations. The disc is loaded with subtitle options, including English, and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
I believe this I nothing beyond the existing DVD with A Conversation with Ray Harryhausen which is a dozen minutes of the master talking about the production and his own career with a backdrop of many scenes from the film. Myths and Monsters has Harryhausen giving a couple of minutes on each monster and the eccentricities of creating the stop-motion effect and decisions on the look of each creature. Maybe the best supplement is the 30-page Digi-book loaded with photos, trivia, actors and monster bios. It's quite impressive.
Clash of the Titans can be seen as a gleeful sigh at those Harryhausen / Schneermarvels. And they didn't go out with a whimper - there are more monster battles than in any of the previous films. So nostalgia is dolloped in heaping spoonfuls and there is NO WAY I wasn't owning this on Blu-ray. I feel strongly that this will be the best it will look and if you, also, enjoy these adolescent diversions - you too must indulge. Just check any atmospheric expectations of A/V at the door. I suggest this for a Sunday afternoon viewing - if you are in the mood - you won't be disappointed!
February 25th, 2010
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze