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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Jonathan Liebesman
Cast:
Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Édgar Ramírez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston, John Bell
Writing Credits:
Greg Berlanti (story), David Johnson (and story), Dan Mazeau (and story), Beverley Cross (1981 screenplay)

Tagline:
Feel the Wrath.

Synopsis:
Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson star once again as gods at war in Wrath of the Titans, under the direction of Johnathan Liebesman. A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kaken, Perseus (Worthington) the demigod son of Zeus (Neeson) is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades (Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston). The triumvirate had overthrown their powerful father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon that lies deep within the cavernous underworld. Perseus cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus' godly son, Ares (Edgar Ramrez), switch loyalties and make a deal, with kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans' strength grows stronger as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth.

Box Office:
Budget
$150 million.
Opening Weekend
$14.732 million on 3545 screens.
Domestic Gross
$83.441 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Latin Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 6/26/2012

Bonus:
• “Maximum Movie Mode” Interactive Feature
• “Focus Points” Featurettes
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Wrath Of The Titans [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 21, 2012)

If viewed in creative terms, I find it tough to pick between 1981’s Clash of the Titans and its 2010 remake. Both come with enough strengths and weaknesses to leave them as decent but spotty, so I can’t say I prefer one to the other.

The 2010 Clash does enjoy one distinction that its predecessor lacks: a sequel. Apparently the notion of another Clash tale in the 1980s got some attention, but it ever went anywhere; as far as I can tell, the sequel never made it past the “pitch” stage.

On the other hand, the 2010 Clash didn’t just produce a sequel, but it did so quite quickly, as 2012’s Wrath of the Titans made it to screens less than two years after the release of the first flick. After a quick recap of the first film, we learn that half-god/half-human Perseus (Sam Worthington) chooses to live a mortal existence. Set 10 years after the prior flick’s events, Perseus prefers to remain a simple fisherman, and he cares for his son Helius (John Bell).

One night Perseus’s immortal pop Zeus (Liam Neeson) visits to warn of a coming calamity. Because the humans no longer pray to the gods, Zeus and the others suffer from weakened powers and must worry about becoming mortal. Because of the gods’ decline, powerful baddies imprisoned in Tartarus may soon escape, and if they do so, the gods will literally be powerless to stop them. Zeus asks for Perseus to help prevent this, but he prefers to stay on the sidelines.

For a while, at least. Along with his brother Poseidon (Danny Huston) and son Ares (Edgar Ramirez), Zeus attempts to recruit his other brother, bitter underworld ruler Hades (Ralph Fiennes), to join the cause. Hades agrees but then immediately stabs Zeus in the back – along with the help of Ares, who feels jealous because he thinks his pop favors Perseus.

This leads to nasty critters unleashed on the mortal world and Perseus’s decision to assist the cause. He recruits Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and Agenor (Toby Kebbell), the scoundrel half-son of Poseidon, to set things right before Hades can drain Zeus’s powers and bring back their imprisoned father Kronos to lay waste.

While the 2010 Clash did well enough to spawn a sequel, it seems unlikely that Wrath will birth a third chapter in the series. Though not a huge hit, Clash still did pretty nicely, with $163 million in the US – and nearly $500 million worldwide. Alas, Wrath fared much less well; it snared a mere $83 million in the US. Decent overseas grosses helped get it to about $300 million worldwide, so the movie wasn’t a total financial dud, but I suspect the significant decline in earnings means another flick probably won’t arrive.

I won’t say this is a shame, as I can’t claim that Wrath delights me, but I do think it works substantially better than Clash did. That’s because it streamlines the experience and lacks the persistent dullness of the original.

I feel a bit hypocritical in my criticism of Clash vs. Wrath, as I normally slam movies that lack much exposition. Of the two, Clash clearly spends a lot more time with character and story delineation; Wrath tends to hop right into the action and not bother with much else.

So why do I prefer Wrath? Because those story/character pieces in Clash were so darned tedious. Granted, I realize the first chapter in the series needed to spend more time with these moments since it had to set up the movie’s universe; Wrath doesn’t need to worry about that material because we already learned so much the first time.

I still think Clash could’ve developed its narrative and participants much better than it did. When the movie focused on action, it worked fairly well; it only lost me when it left battle, as those expository bits were almost always plodding and boring.

Here, the story moves at a pretty brisk pace. It’s not non-stop action, as the tale occasionally slows to introduce a new character or situation, but these moments seem quicker and less numbing in the sequel. Overall pacing feels much stronger, as the film cranks along at a clip that keeps us with it.

Wrath also comes across as simply more fun than Clash, which tended to take itself too seriously. The sequel delivers occasional moments of mild comedy, and these help lighten the mood. Both provide solid action sequences, but the Wrath scenes fare better simply because they’re not islands unto themselves; since we’re still interested even in moments without battle, the fights seem more compelling.

Heck, even the actors appear more involved this time, especially the gods, who come across as less campy here. Does any of this add up to a great mythology-based action film? No – there’s a lack of depth that prevents Wrath from reaching a higher level. It also suffers from some dodgy visuals effects at times. Nonetheless, it provides a surprisingly lively and enjoyable tale.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus B+

Wrath of the Titans appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the movie boasted a terrific transfer.

Sharpness excelled. Virtually no softness materialized here, as the film was consistently tight and accurate I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also weren’t a factor in this clean presentation.

Much of the film opted for a somewhat amber palette, while otherscenes went with stylized blues and the like. These choices limited the color range, but I thought the hues looked solid given those decisions. Blacks were deep and dense, and shadows showed clear definition; low-light and nighttime shots offered positive visuals. This was the kind of strong image one would expect from a brand-new big-budget studio effort.

Similar praise greeted the intense DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wrath. I’d expect non-stop action from a movie about a battle among the gods, and that was what I got here. From start to finish, the movie used all five channels as nearly constant partners. Music filled the whole spectrum in a satisfying way, and effects demonstrated tremendous breadth.

Wrath certainly gave the audio plenty of opportunities to excel, and it delivered. We got plenty of winged creatures, explosions and similar battle elements, and all added pep to the film. The components showed fine localization and blending; everything came from the right spot and the pieces fit together in a smooth way.

Audio quality lived up to the standards of the soundfield. Music was bold and dynamic, and speech seemed concise and crisp. Effects demonstrated terrific range; highs were tight, and lows seemed deep and full. Bass response added a real kick and gave the movie great power. Everything worked here and this became an engrossing sound experience.

In terms of extras, Maximum Movie Mode offers the disc’s main feature. A staple of WB Blu-rays, this one delivers an interactive element with behind the scenes footage, art/sketches, and interviews.

We hear from director Jonathan Liebesman, producers Polly Johnsen and Basil Iwanyk, UCLA Department of Classics Professor Richard Rader, CSYDH Department of History Associate Professor James Jeffers, writers Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson, additional visual effects supervisor Chris Shaw, visual effects supervisor/2nd unit director Nick Davis, stunt coordinator Paul Jennings, LMU Chair of Classics and Archaeology Matthew Dillon, production designer Charles Wood, standby prop man Alan Jones, chargehand dresser Christian Short, costume designer Jany Temime, Framestore visual effects supervisor Jonathan Fawkner, Framestore CG supervisor Mark Wilson, assistant stunt coordinator Mark Mottram, director of photography Ben Davis, special effects supervisor Neil Corbould, supervising prop maker Craig Narramore, Nvisible visual effects supervisor Martin Chamney, supervising armourer Nick Komornicki, prop master Jamie Wilkinson, set decorator Lee Sandales, drapes master Daniel Handley, semior armoury technician Tim Wildgoose, MPC CG effects supervisor Anders Langlands, MPC visual effects supervisor Gary Brozenich, MPC animation supevisor Greg Fisher, LMU Dept.of Classics and Archaeology Professor Chiara Sulprizio, standby art director Oliver Roberts, and actors Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Edgar Ramirez, Ralph Fiennes, Danny Huston, John Bell, Rosamund Pike, Lily James, Toby Kebbell, Spencer Wilding and Bill Nighy.

Unlike most other “Modes”, this one comes with two options. “Path of Gods” focuses on history/mythology, while “Path of Men” emphasizes movie-making components. In the latter, we learn about Liebesman’s approach to the material, story/character/script areas and adapting Greek myths, cast and performances, creature/visual design, camerawork and various effects, props and costumes, locations, and stunts and action.

When we shift to “Path of Gods”, we learn about the origins of Greek mythologies and elements of the characters/circumstances involved. We also learn about how the movie digs into and tells the mythological elements as well as methods it uses to depict these components.

As you watch the two “Paths” separately, you’ll inevitably come across some repetition. Heck, they warn you of this at the start, as they tell you the two streams will occasionally “cross paths”, so a bit of redundancy becomes inevitable.

Happily, we don’t get a ton of repeated information, and both “Paths” move at a good pace. Often these picture-in-picture features come with lengthy gaps that make them tedious; I worried that’d be a particular problem here given the presence of two separate track. It wasn’t an issue, as both “Paths” filled the time well and kept us with them. We learn a ton about the movie’s inspirations and creations in these informative, fun programs.

Available during “Maximum Movie Mode” or on their own, we can access 10 Focus Point featurettes. These fill a total of 33 minutes, 42 seconds and include “Battling the Chimera” (3:54), “Agenor: The Other Demi-God” (3:00), “The Cyclops Fight” (3:34), “Prison of the Titans” (3:46), “Minotaur: The Human Nightmare” (3:02), “The Heavens Raise Hell on Earth” (4:26), “Who Are the Titans?” (3:20). “Hephaestus: God of Fire” (2:34), “Lost in Tartarus’ Labyrinth” (2:51) and “Creatures of the Titans” (4:02).

Across these, we hear from Liebesman, Fisher, Langlands, Davis, Corbould, Iwanyk, Worthington, Kebbell, Pike, Fawkner, Ramirez, Fiennes, Jennings, Neeson, Wilding, Wildgoose, Jeffers, Rader, Johnsen, Nighy, Sulprizio, Johnson, Mazeau, Framestore animation supervisor Paul Chung, prosthetics designer Conor O’Sullivan, prosthetics sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, prosthetics makeup second supervisor Goran Lundstrom, location manager Martin Joy, and assistant costume designer Joe Hobbs. The pieces look at creatures and their creation, story/character issues and the film’s tone, various effects, cast and performances, sets, locations and production design, stunts and action, costumes, and elements of the mythology at the film’s core.

The “Focus Points” play just like the components of “Maximum Movie Mode”, which makes sense since they exist as extensions of that feature. The familiarity of the format is fine with me, and the content continues to be good. The “Points” offer a lot more useful material and entertain as they go.

Three Deleted Scenes run a total of 10 minutes, 48 seconds. We get “Perseus Owes Helius an Explanation” (4:26), “Perseus Addresses the Troops” (4:50) and “Zeus Is Led Past Missing Olympians” (1:32). The first two are the kind of slow, unnecessary exposition that harmed the prior movie, so I’m glad they were cut. “Olympians” is a bit more interesting, though, as it shows a little more of what happened to the other gods.

The disc opens with an ad for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. No trailer for Wrath shows up here.

Finally, the package includes a bonus DVD. We find a standard retail release, not a “neutered” version, so it boasts added value.

Because I felt lukewarm toward Clash of the Titans, I didn’t expect much from its sequel. Happily, Wrath of the Titans worked much better than its predecessor; while it lacked the depth that would elevate it to a higher level, it still offered more than enough action and excitement to create a pretty entertaining 96 minutes. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture and audio along with a strong roster of supplements. Even if you didn’t care for Clash of the Titans, Wrath merits a look, as it consistently surpasses the original.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.0833 Stars Number of Votes: 12
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main