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I ask that you guys please excuse my tardiness. I initially received Clash of the Titans on Blu-ray in plenty of time to get an early review of out, but a couple of weeks ago my computer thought a complete meltdown of the motherboard, CPU and main hard drive along with a rewriting of my review for this disc sounded like a better idea. My wallet and sanity didn't--and still don't--agree with it. ~MJ

Feature
There is an alternate ending included on this Blu-ray release of Clash of the Titans that features the Princess Andromeda falling into the ocean and drowning until a heroic Perseus dives in after, reviving her with an underwater kiss. Both then frantically swim back to the surface, and after recovering on the beach they share a romantic embrace and gaze at each other longingly. Andromeda asks Perseus to stay with her, but knowing his task is not yet complete he grudgingly leaves her for Olympus and a meeting with the Gods, his father Zeus in particular.

Clash of the Titans
The fact that this is included as an alternate scene in the extras and not as part of the film proper is indicative of the picture's main underlying problem. This 2010 iteration of Clash of the Titans has none of the sweeping romance or sense of wonder that the 1981 version relied upon to propel the story of Perseus saving the woman he loves from the monstrous jaws of the Kraken. It is instead a testosterone filled torrent of vengeance moving from one action set piece to the next as Perseus looks to avenge the death of his family at the hands of Hades, and if in doing so he manages to save the city of Argos and its princess then bully for them.

It's not that I totally dislike Clash of the Titans, it's more a feeling of disappointment than anything else. I'm not one that is totally against the idea of remakes and believe that in some instances they could be justified. Some movies aren't executed quite as well as they could have been right off the bat and could be improved upon, and I have always thought--even though it is a childhood favorite--that the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans was ripe for a remake, reimagining, or whatever you want to call it.

Clash of the Titans
Somebody over at Warner Brothers must have thought that too. All it would take to successfully pull off a remake of the original would be to update the effects for modern audiences, replace some of the cheesy dialogue and acting, and maybe quicken the pace a bit to make it a punchier action piece, and in these respects the movie does pretty much everything right. But somebody, somewhere along the way decided to go in and make wholesale changes to the fundamentals of the original story--something the 1981 film did absolutely right and wonderfully--in order to make it edgier, less lovey-dovey and something that the PG-13 target demographic wouldn't roll their eyes at and smirk off the screen. Whereas the original was a family-friendly fantasy story, the 2010 model has clearly been made to cater to those looking for an action film more in line with the God of War video game series, and we all know Kratos didn't need some pansy love story to get in the way of his vengeance. It may be a bit cynical of me to think that these changes were made to make it easier to market to teenagers and not to make the picture better, but you'd have to be pretty naive to think it didn't play into those decisions even a tiny bit.

It's doubly disappointing that after viewing the extras on this disc it seems the original intent was to tell largely the same story with all its romance and wonder intact, but somewhere in between the initial filming and its theatrical release those elements were all cut, edited, and whittled away. All of the editing and replacing of plot points makes too much of the film feel like an afterthought and not make much sense in places, and I can't help but wonder if a couple of years down the road we won't see a completely different version hit home video. I'd take that bet, and add in that it'll probably land right before the sequel hits theater screens too.

Clash of the Titans
Video
Warner Home Video has supplied this Blu-ray release of Clash of the Titans with an almost demo worthy 2.40:1 widescreen VC-1/1080p video transfer. Luckily I skipped the 3D screenings of the film during its theatrical release and instead saw a 2D screening, and this disc projects a very fair representation of that theatrical experience on my 58" plasma. As expected for a new release film there aren't any artifacts or dirt and debris present on the transfer, There is some very nice, fine detail in the picture and the largely sun drenched color palette of the film is well represented. In fact the only slight detraction to be had is the brightness level of the movie in general as many scenes just don't have the black levels they should, but I recall thinking that while seeing the film in the theater as well.

Audio
The main 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track presented on the disc is everything you have come to expect from big budget blockbuster action films and it'll knock your neighbors into next week at higher volume levels. There are a lot of standout scenes throughout that give the surround channels a full workout, but the climactic battle against Hades and the Kraken is a nice piece of ear candy. The audio track also gets the little things right too--dialogue is easily distinguishable from the rest of the sound effects, the volume is level throughout and the discrete bass channel never becomes overwhelming like I half expected it to during some of the more bombastic action pieces.

Clash of the Titans
Extras
Warner Home Video has added to the film's package on Blu-ray by including a decent selection of special features. First up is another 'Maximum Movie Mode' similar to what can be found on releases such as Watchmen and Terminator: Salvation. Unlike those releases, however, there isn't anyone such as the director or lead actor pulling hosting duties so it plays out more like a picture-in-picture track done in the style of Warner's 'Maximum Movie Mode'. Besides a few gaps here and there it's an interesting sit through with a lot of good information to be had for those so inclined.

Also included as either a branching option from the 'Maximum Movie Mode' or from the main menu are a selection of Focus Points featurettes, including "Sam Worthington is Perseus," "Zeus-Father of Gods and Men," "Enter the World of Hades," "Calibos-The Man Behind the Monster," "Tenerife-A Continent on an Island," "Scorpioch," "Actors and their Stunts," "Wales-A Beautiful Scarred Landscape," "Bringing Medusa to Life," and "Prepare for the Kraken". each of these have pretty self-explanatory titles and offer some details on the titular subjects of each. The other lone featurette is entitled "Sam Worthington-An Action Hero for the Ages", which is little more than cast and crew extolling his virtues while we get to see him train for his role as Perseus.

The extras are rounded out by the alternate ending for the film which I discussed in my main review for the film and about 20-minutes worth of deleted scenes. Some of these scenes would have added a bit more substance to the picture, others were wisely cut. Judging by some of these scenes it seems that the original Perseus/Andromeda love story wasn't the only casualty of some heavy post-production editing, and it's a shame that the producers sought out some very interesting actors to fill the shoes of their Gods only to marginalize them so in the final cut of the film. Also included is BD-Live connectivity and--for a limited time--both digital and standard definition DVD copies of the film on a second disc.

Clash of the Titans
Overall
To put it bluntly, Clash of the Titans is a slick action film with decent special effects and a few thrills, but it also has no soul when compared to the romance and grandeur of Ray Harryhausen's 1981 swan song. It may not be totally fair to stand this version up to that, but comparisons are inevitable in the remake game and this Clash unfortunately holds up the rear to the 1981 picture. As far as this two-disc set goes, the video and audio are very good and represent the theatrical experience quite well, and while the extras are decent, many of them serve as a reminder of the potentially better movie left on the cutting room floor.

*Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray image quality.


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