HTF REVIEW: "Clash Of The Titans"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Clash Of The Titans

    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 1981
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 118 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)

    Ray Harryhausen is one of the greatest stop-motion
    animators who has created fantastic films that have
    amazed audiences. His trademark Dynamation method
    made possible a whole genre of science fiction and
    fantasy filmmaking. Often drawing from Greek and
    Roman legends, Harryhausen created unprecedented
    visions of imaginary worlds.
    Some of my favorite childhood films were all
    immortalized by the man that brought Mighty Joe
    Young, Jason and the Argonauts
    and The
    7th Voyage of Sinbad
    to life.
    Harryhausen has once again created another
    dazzling realm in Clash Of The Titans. This
    1981 fantasy adventure has long been on the
    request list of fans. Originally released by
    MGM and acquired by Warner Brothers, the film
    finally makes its way to DVD.
    This is the story of Perseus, the son of Zeus,
    king of the gods, and Dana", a mortal princess.
    As the film begins, King Acrisius of Argos (Donald
    Houston) has abandoned his daughter and child.
    This outrages Zeus (Larence Olivier) who orders
    Poseidon to destroy Acrisisus' kingdom. The
    Kraken is released, and the city is destroyed.
    Zeus spares the life of Dana and Perseus (Harry
    Hamlin). When Perseus grows into a young man,
    Zeus sends him a divine sword, shield, and helmet.
    A face speaks to Perseus from the shield, and
    tells him to fulfill his destiny. Perseus soon
    discovers that destiny upon discovering princess
    Andromeda (Judi Bowker) and the curse that she is
    plagued with. In 30 days she is to be sacrificed
    to the monster Kraken.
    In order to fulfill his destiny and save the
    princess, Perseus must face the challenges of
    the three blind witches and Medusa, the monster
    who turns to stone anyone who looks at her.
    Perhaps his biggest challenge is Calibos, a
    cloven hooved, horned creature with claws and
    a tail, once Andromeda's betrothed but now
    deformed by Zeus for his evil ways.
    As Andromeda is led to the sea and chained up
    as a sacrifice to the Kraken, it's up to Perseus
    and the winged horse Pegasus to save the princess.
    How is the transfer?
    The transfer of Clash Of The Titans generally
    looks quite good, but overall uneven. The shots
    on Mount Olympus contain a lot of film grain and
    the whites look very dirty. Many of the shots in
    this film look a little hazy and unfocused with
    facial tones running a little red. Meanwhile, many
    other outdoor scenes in the movie look quite excellent
    with brilliant colors and detailed clarity.
    The overall rhythm of this DVDs transfer goes
    from good to fair to good. I can't blame Warner
    for any of this as it is apparent that all the flaws
    are in the source material. I was amazed at how
    the clarity of DVD brings out the flaws in many of
    the effects shots. Underwater scenes were Poseidon
    releases the Kraken look quite bad as you can plainly
    see where the character is superimposed in the shot.
    Please don't let any of the above make you wary
    of the transfer. This is by far the best that
    Clash Of The Titans has looked on any format.
    The Dolby pro-logic surround is quite good, though
    like the transfer, a little uneven. The rears
    are very active throughout the film providing the
    effect sounds. Even the more quiet effects such
    as flames in Medusa's lair can clearly be heard
    in the rear channels. Unfortunately, there were a
    few instances that effect noises in the rear channel
    were abruptly cut off and thrown back to the front.
    Special Features
    Warner has added some interesting material to
    this disc that should please fans everywhere.
    A conversation with Ray Harryhausen is
    a very interesting opportunity to meet the legendary
    man behind the magic. Harryhausen talks about
    how his parents were great film buffs, bringing
    him to see obscure films like Metropolis
    and Lost World at his early age of 4. He
    was fascinated by the worlds that these films
    created, taking a special interest in mythology.
    His early works in the 50's were monster movies
    that featured lots of destruction, but soon
    Harryhausen became tired of the genre, turning
    his attention to Greek mythology, creating new
    creatures for the Sinbad films. Harryhausen goes
    on to talk about how much he enjoyed working with
    the cast of Clash Of The Titans. He also
    found more satisfaction introducing new film
    locations in Europe. One of these coast line
    locales can be seen in the very beginning of the
    film. Harryhausen talks about the importance
    of music in his films, and the many composers who
    scored them. Harryhausen is very proud of his
    legacy -- especially the fact that so many people
    were influenced by his work as they were growing up.
    (length: approx. 12 minutes)
    A Map of Myths and Monsters explores the
    characters that make up the film. It starts with
    a map of 7 creatures. By clicking on each, you
    are taken to an interview with Ray Harryhausen who
    talks about the creation of that creature. For
    instance, Calibos was originally only to
    be an animated creature for the film. But extended
    script dialogue led to an actor with a strong face
    being used for the role. Harryhausen talks about
    the realism brought to Medusa by upgrading
    her look from former films, giving the clay model
    an exquisite serpentine texture and adding flame
    flicker to every frame to make her look more
    A cast and crew filmography offers extensive
    resumes for 9 of the principal actors as well as
    Ray Harryhausen, writer Beverly Cross, producer
    Charles H. Schneer and director Desmond Davis.
    Rounding up the extras is the film's original
    theatrical trailer.
    Final Thoughts
    A typical damsel in distress story given new life
    thanks to the creations of Ray Harryhausen, Clash
    Of The Titans became one of the top ten hits of
    the summer of 1981 (no small feat when you consider
    that the summer was packed with other big hits like
    Superman II and Raiders of the Lost Ark!)
    Anyone who has grown up admiring the films of
    Harryhausen should absolutely add this film to their
    collection. This is a wonderful DVD with a transfer
    that does its absolute best with the source material,
    while adding an interesting amount of added content
    thanks to the cooperation of Harryhausen himself.
    Release Date: August 6, 2002
  2. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

    Apr 15, 2002
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    Thanks Ron for the review
    Just preordered this one
  3. Veli-Matti Reitti

    Veli-Matti Reitti Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 29, 2001
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    Solid reveiew Ron!
    Have never seen this as a child but will certainly be buying it now sight unseen. Actually i am not the least bit familiar with Harryhausen's work so it's going to quite interesting to see this one. Also i am amazed how cheap it is. [​IMG]
    The fantastic cover alone is worth the money.
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
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    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! (Dances around the room naked)
  5. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

    Feb 18, 2001
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    "Release the Hamlin!" [​IMG]
    Great news indeed!
  6. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    I am also very excited for this one. Seen it a million times on TV since 1981, but never owned it. Really a favorite from my youth. A few Harryhausen extras go a LONG way as well [​IMG]
    Take care,
  7. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

    Feb 21, 2000
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    I've been waiting for this one !
    A great movie you could watch again and again.
  8. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

    Aug 5, 2001
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    I saw this in the theater when it first came out and absolutely loved it. I can't wait for this DVD!! Thanks for the solid review, Ron.
  9. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

    Dec 20, 1999
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    Real Name:
    Peter Apruzzese
    Great review, Ron. Sounds like Warner has captured the source material as accurately as possible, warts and all. I'll be adding this to the collection as well...
  10. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

    Apr 25, 2000
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    London, England
    Real Name:
    Steve Christou
    This classic Harryhausen movie has always been grainy, saw it at the cinema I remember it being murky than, and video the same, what film stock were they using super 8?
    Well its definitely a must buy on dvd for me, big big shame there's no Harryhausen commentary, I'd pay double the price for that commentary alone.
    Jason and the Argonauts remains my favorite Harryhausen film though.
  11. John Koehler

    John Koehler Stunt Coordinator

    May 7, 1999
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    If it is Harryhausen, a hero of mine since youth (managed to even get his autograph through the mail!), I will buy it, even though I own the Beta HiFi tape, the P&S LD, the letterboxed LD, the first release on CD of the Rosenthal score, and the expanded release of same ! ! !
    Harryhausen pictures were an important part of my growing years. He even turned me on to actually reading the Greek myths (after watching Jason... several times) and to the study of film techniques (how he did what he did).
    If only Laurence Rosenthal's superb music had been isolated. The CDs are incomplete.
  12. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

    Feb 18, 2001
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    Clash has always been one of my favorites. It just captures a sense of wonder that I relive every time I watch it. I can't wait to have it in the house.
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Feb 24, 1999
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    Just like Beastmaster and Swiss Family Robinson, this was one of those films we watched continuously on cable whenever it came on in the 80's.

    CAN'T WAIT!!!
  14. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

    Aug 24, 1998
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    Can't wait for this disc!
    I hope this sells well... maybe it will convince Warner to release Harryhausen's overlooked Valley Of The Gwangi in the near future.
  15. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

    Mar 1, 2000
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    HOLY ****!!!!!!

    This is about 200% improvement over the WS laserdisc on my 55" WS TV. GEEEEEEZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!

    Warner did a top notch job on this film. WOW.....

    Grain is still there BUT, it's much improved over the LD.

    Needless to say I'm very impressed......
    andySu likes this.
  16. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

    Dec 9, 2000
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    Wow, I forgot this was coming out on DVD! I was having a VERY bad day but this lightens it up a bit. [​IMG]
    -Andre F
  17. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

    Apr 7, 2006
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    I'm watching a laserdisc pressing of this classic, Might buy soon...

    I like the score to the film.


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