Clash Of The Titans

Clash Of The Titans (1981)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Harry Hamlin, Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress, Judi Bowker
Extras: Featurettes, Gallery, Booklet, Preview

As the movie's remake is rolling into movie theaters, Warner Home Video has given the original 1981 special effects film "Clash Of The Titans" a bit of an overhaul, releasing in on Blu-Ray Disc. Filled with Ray Harryhausen's remarkable stop-motion effects, there was not getting around reviewing this disc pronto.

'Clash Of The Titans' tells the story of Perseus (Harry Hamlin), according to the Greek Mythology. Perseus is the mortal son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier) whom the Gods challenge to see how powerful he is and if he is capable to overcome the whose they throw his way. So, Perseus finds himself thrown into an adventure that confronts him with a menagerie of fantastic creatures, such as the Kraken, Pegasus, Calibos, and even the deadly Medusa. Filled to the brim with special effects by Ray Harryhausen, 'Clash Of The Titans' is a feast for every fan of fantasy movies.

Warner Home Video is presenting 'Clash Of The Titans' in a matted widescreen version on this release in a newly remastered 1080p high definition transfer. The transfer is entirely free of speckles and defects and has an intrinsically film-like look throughout. Having said that, the film does exhibit quite a bit of grain, which is natural, considering that 90 percent of the movie have been shot using optical effects which required multiple passes of film processing. Whether it's the use of matte paintings, miniature sets or full stop-motion sequences, there is barely a shot in the film that has not been processed, and as a result the image is a bit grainy. The transfer itself is great, though, reproducing the film in all of its glory and splendor, however it has to be said also, that Blu-Ray's incredibly high definition makes many of the effects shots all the more noticeable. Matte lines that were softened on DVD, suddenly stand out sharp and clear. Shots that required multiple layers of film to composite the final image, suddenly show a certain softness that wasn't noticeable before. In short, while "Clash Of The Titans" looks spectacular on Blu-Ray, it is also clear that the high definition is a bit harsh on the film.

The release features a DTS HD Master Audio track that restores the film's original uncompressed audio. As such the track is free of any noise or notable distortion, but the sound elements have a bit of a dated quality with their narrow frequency response, which is evident particularly in the dialogues. The music fares notably better, however, and offers a better bass roll-off and high ends.

As bonus materials you will find the 12-minute interview featurette with Ray Harryhausen on the release that was previously part of the DVD also. Harryhausen was clearly at the top of his game when the film was made and "Clash Of The Titans" can easily be considered his masterpiece. In this featurette he discusses the film and his work on it, though it is padded quite a bit with footage from the movie itself. Nonetheless it is an interesting look at the genius that is Ray Harryhausen and the impressive skills he possesses, making the fact increasingly pertinent that his art is dying out as it has been surplanted by computer generated effects.

A 'Myths and Monsters' gallery is also included on the disc. The release also includes a preview for the upcoming "Clash Of The titans" remake and a full-color booklet filled with photographs, biographies, production notes and more.

As a fan of 'Clash Of The Titans' I am incredibly happy to have this film on Blu-Ray, particularly since with the booklet, the titles makes a great collectible for your movie shelf. Time for you to upgrade your DVD version, I would say!