Clash of the Titans (Blu-ray Book) (1981)

Actors: Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Burgess Meredith, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress
Director: Desmond Davis
Format: Color, Widescreen, Subtitled, DTS Surround Sound
Language: French (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (DTS-HD High Res Audio), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010
Run Time: 118 minutes



Age hasn't been good to the original 1981 Clash of the Titans movie, but Blu-Ray definitely has . . .

This Blu-Ray disc is the best we've ever seen this movie, which isn't saying much as this film has never looked good in previous incarnations such as DVD and video.

Clash of the Titans was the last film to feature stop-motion special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. (It has been recently remade by the director of Incredible Hulk, starring Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington.)

Sure, sound and image quality is inconsistent and vary from scene to scene depending on the film stock in question. Those scenes with stars such as Lawrence Olivier and Ursula Andress as the gods on Olympus endlessly nattering on and on are all "soft" and grainy.

The rest of the movie however has moments of sheer visual brilliance and looks really sharp and clear. They even make Ray Harryhausen's special effects, which (let's be honest here) was already outdated by the time the movie was released in the era of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars and Close Encounters, look better.

THE DISC: The disc kicks off with a short featurette on the upcoming Clash of the Titans remake. Of course everything will be CGI now and it is sort of ironic - or sad (depending on your point of view) - that what used to be B-movies years ago nowadays get A-list treatment with millions of dollars being lavished on them.

Harryhausen's special effects was pretty much a one-man show back then and one wonders what he thinks of the fact that endless hordes of computer programmers are now employed to replicate his own efforts. (If you're nasty you also argue that the creatures in the new remake still look as fake as Harryhausen's did back then - today they look like something out of computer games instead . . .)

Not much in the line of special features except a short talk with Harryhausen himself about the movie. A more in-depth featurette perhaps featuring some behind-the-scenes footage would have been nice.

WORTH IT? Unfortunately the movie itself is still overlong and dull. Clocking in at almost two hours this fantasy epic stars LA Law star Harry Hamlin as Perseus, the illegitimate son of Zeus who has to rescue his beloved princess from the dreaded Kraken. (The Kraken is a sea monster taken from Scandinavian mythology, but what the heck!)

The movie could easily have been half-an-hour shorter and not have lost much in the process. Things aren't helped much by a cutesy mechanical owl that was "inspired" so much by R2-D2 from Star Wars that it is a bit of miracle that George Lucas never sued them!

RECOMMENDATION: Worth a purchase for die-hard Harryhausen fans and 'Eighties nostalgists who live in denial of the fact that this movie is, well, a bit shite.

The book format packaging is also handsome and the sort of item one shows off to one's friends. It certainly beats those standard plastic Blu-Ray keepcases!

NOTE: Clash of the Titans features two full nude scenes (from the back, granted) and one gratuitous boob shot - all in a PG adventure movie aimed at kids! How casually they are featured is all just evidence of how much attitudes towards sex have changed in Hollywood since the 1970s and early 1980s. Any chance of fleeting nudity in the upcoming remake? Nope, we don't think so . . .



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