Immortals (UK - DVD R2)
The Gods check if Henry Cavill is a worthy Superman so Marcus tags along
Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the titans, a new evil threatens the land. King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity. Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers, Hyperion has travelled Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares.
Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge. The gods remain powerless to stop Hyperion until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope. Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes.
With director Tarsem Singh directing this epic myth, we all know straight off the bat that Immortals was always going to be a visual delight. From the very first image of the the titans trapped in their prison(like scary table football players) Immortals has a rich, unique look to it that works wonderfully throughout the Greek myth arena.
On top of that we have a villain in Micky Rourke's King Hyperion that is deliciously evil. Every scene this guy's in someone dies or gets hurt and Rourke's voice with this epic dialogue about gods and battle is a perfect fit, delivered with a subtly maniacal substance that's only increased with his crazy scary outfits and interactions with those around him.
However, front and centre (and the main reason I saw this one back during its cinematic run) is we have our new Superman cast, so checking out Henry Cavill in an action role to see what he might do with the Man of Steel next year was a real draw. For me personally I wasn't sold when the casting was announced for Kal-El but after seeing the first few scenes with Cavill here, this seems to be great casting. He doesn't look that unlike Tom Welling from Smallville, so tick one for looking like Superman. Psychically he carries it easily (though it has to be said, compared to how big he looks in the Superman set photos, you could almost say he looks skinny in Immortals - which is insane). He really pulls off the leading man bit here well, forging a likeable character out of a role that could easily have been all visuals and no heart. It's easy to get behind Theseus's quest and Cavill totally managed to convince me he's the right man for the red and blue tights (or is that just blue now?).
The standard definition image here is immediately murky in the darkness but the moment the golden bars appear for the Titan's cage, the transfer comes to life. From here on in the golden appearance of Immortals glows off of the screen and while this DVD presentation is never sharp or striking, fine detail has moments of greatness and there is always something glowing off the screen.
That said the deep blacks here give Immortals a very murky apperance because of the softness and you know that it's a film that is going to benefit by taking the Blu-ray HD route as opposed to standard definition DVD to truly appreciate Singh's visuals. The deeply dark scenes hide everything here, especially in the Micky Rourke scenes and while the well designed lighting is still captured here most of the time, the true intentions of some of the scene's designs can feel somewhat lost.
The Dolby Digital track is strong and clear with a nice depth to the dialogue and a good layered sound to the battles. Bass kicks off from time to time to good effect and the clanging of armour and swords are sharp and crisp. The score, that generally sits in the background, builds when required and in the final scenes when the battle is at its peak everything holds together well, offering a balanced mix throughout.
The disc opens with trailers for Universal Orlando Resort, Tower Heist, Safe House, Contraband and Battleship then we hit
'It's No Myth' (05:16) which has experts discussing Greek mythology and where they've developed from as well as the themes the myths play with and the depth of the stories.
Next up is a batch of deleted scenes (07:03), 'Alternate Opening Scene - Young Theseus' (11:05) and some 'Alternate Endings' - 'This Is Our Last Embrace' and 'Theseus Kills Hyperion'.
Last up is the theatrical trailer (02:19).
I liked Immortals a fair bit when I first saw it and watching it here again I liked it even more. This feels like a proper stab at Greek mythology. It's not dull/stupid like the Clash of the Titans remake, it's not playing it too straight like Troy and I think I may have even preferred it to 300 but that probably requires a 300 rewatch to be sure as it's been a while. Immortals was a good balance of thought provoking philosophy, human traits in both mortals and immortals alike, a messed up baddie and some stunning visuals. This DVD struggles to stand up to what the visuals could provide in HD and the audio feels a little timid in places too. As for the extras, there's not much here, so all in all a bit of a below par DVD release.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 5th March 2012
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Edning, Alternate Opening, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Tarsem Singh
Cast: Henry Cavill. Stephen Dorff, John Hurt, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Mickey Rourke
Genre: Action, Adventure and Fantasy
Length: 106 minutes
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