Clash of the Titans 3D Blu-ray Review
The disc presents a theatrically correct widescreen 2.35:1 1080p transfer on a 3D disc. This is another 2D to 3D convert and suffers with all the inherent problems associated with that process; in short the three dimensionality of the film is practically nonexistent. Things actually start off pretty good, the fly through the stars at the beginning does show some frame depth, but as soon as the films starts proper things flatten considerably, not just between layers, but the layers themselves. Objects and characters exhibit very little solidity within themselves, each remains pretty much flat, faces, for example, have no dimensionality, the ship at the beginning has no tangible front, middle or back meaning it is flat within the frame, and then the ship is not set apart in its surroundings. Then suddenly, on the ship’s deck, you will be hit with a few flat layers that show a small sense of distance between themselves, i.e. there is frame depth, albeit extremely short, and then it’s gone. Establishing landscape shots show virtually no depth into the frame, though one or two do express a little more foreground. Crowd shots show little or no distance between characters thus the frame shortens to nothing. The Pegasus flying between the Kraken’s tentacles has no sense of depth at all. In short this is pretty much a complete waste of the 3D format.
And worst still, the rest of the picture is horrendous, the whole thing has been de-grained and de-noised and then the sharpening tool has been liberally applied to bring out the edges. Thus absolute detail is severely lacking for most of the picture, though there are times when it is really very good; the Stygian Witches slate quarry looked very impressive, occasionally skin detail was very impressive, clothing weaves looked natural, armour had a decent sheen, but this was the exception and not the rule. For the most part detail was very shabby with faces having that unnatural waxy look, and establishing shots were a mess of edge enhancement.
Colours were rather drab and dour, with none of the primaries coming across with any significance, save red which was given a little prominence in Hades’ flame or in the lava of Medusa’s lair. Even the blue of the sea, or that of the sky, was a little thin to my eyes.
Contrast was set way too high leading to a very weak image and contributing to the lack of distinct colouring, while brightness was set to give reasonable depth to the black level, it did remain somewhat noisy so that there were never any inky blacks to see.
Digitally there were thankfully no real compression problems, but because the DNR softening tool need the sharpening tool to bring out the image the whole thing is riddled with edge enhancement and looks awful – not quite as bad Gladiator or Gangs of New York (before they were fixed) – but it’s close. Also to be thankful for, I spotted no crosstalk either. One the whole, this picture is one of the worst for the format and, in my opinion, damages it’s already weak reputation.
I concentrate on the English dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Whatever weaknesses are in the picture are made up for in the sound, which is loud and absorbing, if a little undefined. Stereo effects are well separated both across the front and between the surrounds, effects such as crashing waves, falling debris or whizzing arrows are well realised and match their on screen action. Dialogue sounds very natural and emanates from the frontal array and is well layered in the mix to be clearly audible despite the action happening on screen. Bass is well defined and the sub has a happy time with plenty of LF effects be it giant scorpion foot falls, the destruction of Argos, or the resonance of Mount Olympus. Not to be outdone the score lights up all speakers and fully immerses you in the centre of the action, shame the score is so forgettable really. On the whole a terrific sound track with plenty going on, shy of reference but not by much.
Unfortunately my review copy did not contain the 2D version Blu-ray which houses all the extra material, so I am unable to comment on them.
Thoroughly lambasted upon its initial release Clash if the Titans is every bit as bad as you have heard; its biggest fault is its lack of heart and complete lack of investment in the characters and their plight, despite valiant attempts from the effects department to show you spectacle. Whilst these effects are pretty good they cannot paper over the cracks of a weak storyline told by weak acting and thus this one might be best consigned to the myth from whence it came.
As a 3D Blu-ray package the entire set is let down by a very poor picture, in fact I’d go so far as to say it is a strong contender for worst 3D image in a very poor print, although the sound really does help swell the experience and the extras (although I was unable to view first hand) look to be fairly extensive. Containing as it does a 3D Blu-ray, 2D Bly-ray, DVD and digital copy, this one does cover all the bases.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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