Unleash the Kraken. After that, unleash the digital downloads.
As a refresher for the 3D special effects extravaganza
on April 2, Warner Brothers has released the Ray Harryhausen
classic Clash of the Titans on a variety of home
video formats. Though they've been slowly winning me over
to Blu-Ray (I admit I'm sold), this time around Warner offered
something new, even though the format has been around for
a while. Would I be interested in downloading this from
Make this a double , as for whatever reason in my geekish
youth, I never saw Clash of the Titans. For years,
that has been a conversation-stopper, to the point that
I'd just nod whenever people talked about how great they
remembered it being, and hoped that they wouldn't ask me
to contribute any further.
Over the years, the reputation of that movie had grown
so large I thought that I could never appreciate it with
the enthusiasm my friends had. Before I get to the quality
of the iTunes experience, let me say that my fears about
this movie were unfounded.
Yes, it moves at a slightly more relaxed pace than movies
do now. Thanks to a plethora of nifty set-pieces, however,
Clash of the Titans holds up surprisingly well.
the story of Hercules' half-brother Perseus (former "Sexiest
Man Alive" Harry Hamlin), the movie follows the path of
Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. The infant Perseus and
his mother are exiled in a floating coffin, and the gods
take vengeance against Perseus' grandfather Acrisius for
doing so. Greek justice was harsh; claiming your baby's
father was a shaft of golden light just didn't cut it as
an excuse for adultery.
The whims of the gods play a large part in the plot, treating
humanity pretty much as Zeus' action figure collection.
Yet the moral of the tale is a bit progressive. We get the
gods we deserve, and none of them are too scared that we'll
rise above the need for them.
Clash of the Titans doesn't just mark the end of
an era of mythology; it's also a transition from older-style
special effects to the CG that dominates today. On some
levels it's quaint, but it's also a testament to Harryhausen's
Sure, the giant scorpions and the Kraken might look slicker
in the new version, but there's something charmingly tangible
about Harryhausen's models. These guys couldn't make adjustments
by just typing some keys; they put in a lot of sweat and
patience to bring wonders and wonder to the screen.
Of course, the download includes a short behind-the-scenes
look at the new production, hitting theaters April 2nd.
It's a fun look, and at least shows that director Louis
Letterier has sincerity and almost boyish enthusiasm going
for him. So his toys are on a computer; he's still eager
so, thanks to iTunes, this movie ended up on my computer.
Thankfully, Apple has recently developed a 64-bit version
of the iTunes and Quicktime software, so it's hard to predict
a scenario where downloading wouldn't work. All versions
of Windows Vista and 7 should handle this with no problems.
The download itself went fairly smoothly, less than ten
minutes on a DSL line. When hooked up to a high definition
monitor, it looked about as clean and clear as could be
expected for a movie made in 1981, without calling extra
attention to the blue-screen work. The iTunes controls worked
extremely smoothly as well.
As a fanboy, I still have trouble fighting that need to
have something concrete for my collection, but overall,
downloading Clash of the Titans instead of getting
a DVD played back just as well. Digital downloading for
movies is here and effective. It would be hubris to think
Clash of the Titans, click here.