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 ... more »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.« less
josh bellin | Pittsburgh, PA United States | 05/15/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I love "Clash of the Titans," but I'm terribly disappointed by the quality of this DVD. The "all-new digital transfer" that the manufacturer promises is quite possibly the worst transfer I've ever seen, enhancing the film's visual flaws while disguising its merits. In composite shots, live-action elements are so washed-out as to appear almost black-and-white at times, while stop-motion elements are garishly bright and crisp, looking more like cartoons than dimensional objects. This is particularly pronounced in shots of the flying Pegasus; the digital transfer so exaggerates the matte lines around the figure that it appears to be a paper cut-out plastered against the sky. Even the glorious Medusa segment suffers from these defects: what was, in the original (and on VHS), an atmospheric balance of rich darks and flickering red lights, becomes a clash of nearly impenetrable spots of shadow against grainy, pale-brown relief. I'm no authority on digital transfers, but my guess is that this one was done as quickly and cheaply as possible, the manufacturer's reasoning being (probably) that fans of Harryhausen will be so thrilled to have his films on DVD that they could care less what the films look like. Well, I was thrilled to have "Clash of the Titans" on DVD--but when the abysmal quality of the transfer interferes with the very effects that make the film great, my enthusiasm wanes considerably. I'd advise fans of Harryhausen to buy the video version, and to write angry letters to the manufacturer protesting their callous desecration of one of the master's greatest films."
GREAT HARRYHAUSEN MOVIE DESERVES BETTER TRANSFER :-(
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b | TRI STATE AREA | 03/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a shame, this is Ray's last feature film and they give the man a kick in his pants with this transfer. This has some of Ray's best creations and it's ruined with a washed out grainy print. I could not bring myself to give it a lower rating. The film deserves 5 stars for Harryhausen's incredible work, but the DVD transfer keeps me from giving a full thumbs up. The movie is still very watchable and at a bargain price it should not be passed by, but it should have been much better! Thankfully they are releasing this film on BluRay and on a new DVD, so I will update my review when it has been released and I have a chance to compare them.....I'll keep my fingers crossed that they do this gifted genius justice!"
A true delight for your inner child
Knight Hawk | Chicagoland, Illinois United States | 01/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Judging from the comments below, it seems one either loves this film or despises it. In the book "Roger Ebert's Movie Home Companion", Mr. Ebert praised the film, so I decided to give this DVD a try. I'm glad I took a chance because it turns out Mr. Ebert's opinion matches my own. If you harbor a child's spirit within you, if you like to entertain fantasies, or enjoy comic books, this film is probably for you.
Ebert says "Clash Of The Titans" is special effects wizard, Ray Harryhausen's masterwork, a tour de force, and having seen many of the master's earlier films, I tend to agree. His effects are achieved by stop-action animation, rear projection, modeling, etc.; traditional methods requiring painstaking effort and which lend themselves well to a film which deals with ancient Greek mythology. But there is much more here than just fantastic effects. Nearly everything about this film works for me. The mostly British cast infuses the film with a high tone. Harry Hamlin plays the role of Persius exactly right, and Judi Bowker is adorable as the lovely princess Andromeda. The production values are high, with wondrous sets and marvelous costuming. The location filming in the Mediterranean is beautiful and sometimes breathtaking. The DVD video transfer is from a clean 35mm print and looks terrific in the 16:9 widescreen mode. The sumptuous London Symphony scoring sets a tasteful mood and effectively augments the story. I do have one gripe, however. The music track on this DVD has too much treble and the music is too loud, competing with the dialog. Whoever remixes these soundtracks should be instructed that the music is not supposed to upstage the acting. Apart from the sound mix, I honestly can't find much to fault with the film. This ages-old epic of gods and men, good vs. evil, and fantastic ordeals braved in the name of love, is treated with respect, both in script and acting, while remaining fun. Titans is an enchanting movie. It evokes a certain sense of magic which films like Star Wars seem to have sacrificed in the name of urbane sophistication and high-tech realism. This DVD is a fine choice for those who like a touch of charm with their escapism; a gem to be enjoyed again and again, by young and old, for it truly celebrates the child within."
Clash of the Titans (Blu-ray)
Tony Khamvongsouk | Frisco, TX | 03/20/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Movie - 3.5
Similar to a lot of people, I remember seeing this (if not bits and pieces of it) on TV growing up as a kid. If not this, then probably some form of Jason and The Argonauts or The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. Ray Harryhausen and his people did a great job trying to captivate audiences with their work, with Clash of the Titans likely being their most memorable effort. Almost 30 years later with this Blu-ray release, nostalgia must be rampant for those old enough to recall this wondrous interpretation of Greek mythology and fantastic tale of adventure, drama, and romance. I can honestly say until a few months ago when I heard of the upcoming remake, I really didn't remember much about this film. So in preparation for its arrival I decided to give this a rent to refresh my memory. Needless to say, it had been so long, I only now realized how good of a movie this is. Granted, the special effects weren't too great for its time, but I especially like the screenplay and script. Many of the actors/actresses are also British, resulting in a very thespian quality, which I think coincidentally ties in very well to "things of the past" as Mr. Harryhausen would say. Much like how you didn't see too many Greek-themed movies back then, you really don't see much thespian-type works outside of theater houses anymore either. And even after all these years, Titans '81 still manages to carry itself despite its age. The plot is revealed right from the get-go and progresses fairly well throughout, while providing just enough excitement and intrigue to keep the audience entertained. Although, I regret to say the special effects did end up hindering it a bit. Obviously, it was not big-budget like a Star Wars or Blade Runner back then, but I think it makes up for that in innocence.
Video - 3.5
Presented by Warner Bros. in 1080p at an original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Clash '81 ranges from decent to good at best. Grain is all over the place, even in the cleanest of scenes, and accompanied by an equal amount of noise in the darker ones. Colors are a little more vibrant than the DVD, but just barely. However, detail and texture look much sharper, though can appear somewhat hazy in conjunction with the constant presence of that grain. Black levels and contrast receive a slight boost in depth as well, and shadow delineation seems a little more pronounced compared to what I saw in SD. All in all, considering this wasn't even that high of a budget, this is probably as good as the video will get without massive image manipulation having to be applied.
Audio - 4.0
This is probably the most notable of improvements over the DVD. While the original sound master was only limited to 2 channels, this DTS-HD 2.0 track is surprisingly buoyant. Separation of dialogue, sound effects, and music are good, even immersing at some points like there was actual surround speaker usage from the sides. Although, high and low ends aren't too different from one another, leaving a little more to be desired, but it's good for what was available. Again, this is probably as good as it'll get. Just goes to make you wonder how a sound design like Clash '81 can get lossless audio when bigger name movies and TV series still aren't getting stuck with lossy.
Extras - 2.0
Clocking in at just a little over 20 minutes, we get a very brief interview with Ray Harryhausen about his overall thoughts and experiences with the making of Titan's '81. The main segment is about 12 minutes and delves a little here and there about production, writing, and his own personal opinions on the project. The rest of the extras are about 1-minute-long vignettes of Harryhausen explaining the creatures and how they were constructed/animated. Suffice it to say, the real highlight is the 5 minute preview of the 2010 remake that talks a little about the CG designs for Medusa and The Kraken. Given how outdated Titans '81's effects are, I'm actually pretty stoked for when I get to see the remake at some point.
Overall - 3.5
Clash of the Titans (1981) certainly has its roots set with a unique charm and level of nostalgia for its Greek mythology and competent storytelling. While the special effects obviously didn't stand the test of time as well as its story, the overall movie itself really isn't so bad. However, with only a decent video transfer, limited audio encode, and small amount of extras, the current SRP of $34.99 for this digibook seems a bit steep for a film that didn't even have the highest quality production of its year. If anything, watch this just for the preview of the remake. Otherwise, die-hard fans should wait for the SRP to go a lot lower for this mediocre A/V presentation."
Grainy Titans (Blu ray review)
Alec Scudder | Barcelona, Spain | 03/14/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I really love this film. For that reason I am so dissappointed with this blu ray edition. Great packaging, I love the digibook format, plenty of photos and information (some of them mislead, according to IMDB Harry Hamlin never was on Dragonslayer) but great anyway. But the important stuff, the film itself it's a little (so little) improvement over the grainy, blurry and fuzzy dvd edition. Better color and contrast and that's all.
This film deserves a full restoration, frame by frame. I've just seen the much older Hitchcock's masterpiece North by Northwest (also by Warner) and the matte paintings, picture composites and image tricks looked absolutely crisp and pristine. The Harryhausen fans also want this treatment.
The sneak peak of the remake looks quite good in general. I'm looking forward to watch it on the big screen. But I must say that not a million digital effects would improve the masterful craftmenship of the great Ray Harryhausen. And I also think that Sam Worthington doesn't have the charisma, stature, muscle and skin tone to play a Perseus like Harry Hamlin was. A perfect specimen of a men and a very good actor. Luckily, Liam Neeson looks quite amazing as the new Zeus. Not so much the new Kraken, I'm afraid.