Monday, 26 July 2010

DVD & Blu-ray Round Up - Clash of the Titans

Dear reader, it is with a slight twinge of embarrassment that I submit to you today Clash of the Titans as our DVD and Blu-ray release of the week. Yes the swords and sandals, gods and gorgons epic hits the stores this week, to delight lovers of muscle bound men and CGI beasties everywhere. The story, if you really care, follows Perseus (Sam Worthington of Avatar fame), who is the son of Zeus (but doesn't know it yet), on his quest to slay Medusa and foil the evil plans of Zeus' brother Hades played by Ralph Fiennes. Yes, that's right, another pesky evil's like Nanny McPhee all over again.

Readers of a certain age will recall the 1981 Clash of the Titans, featuring the late Ray Harryhausen's magical stop-motion booglies, with some nostalgia, and while it has to be said those monsters had far more charm, the original had nothing to match the sheer scale of the spectacle on offer here. The 3D fight scenes were impressive in the cinema, but they lose nothing for being returned to two dimensions here, so if it's big dumb fun you're after, look no further.

And, if Sam Worthington in leather wasn't enough, the girls are further spoiled this week by releases from hunky man mountain Gerrard Butler in The Bounty Hunter and spiffy Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson in Remember Me.

One real treat this week is the DVD release of Brotherhood Season 1, the 2006 series starring Jason Isaacs and Jason Clarke as brothers whose lives have taken two drastically different paths. The series begins when Isaacs, playing older brother Michael, a gangster, returns to his childhood home after a seven-year exile to reunite with younger brother Tommy, who is now a respected local politician. Michael's return triggers a complex, often brutal series of events which brings him in to direct conflict with his brother.

Central to the drama is the clash of ethical standpoints between the two brothers, although it soon conspires that Tommy is not whiter-than-white, in fact everything, and everyone in the show are just shades of grey. The standard comparison is with The Sopranos, and it certainly shares all of the moral ambiguity and wiseguy street smarts of that show, unfortunately it never achieved the same viewing figures and was cancelled after the third series.

Elsewhere in this week's DVD and Blu-ray releases, it's a good week for music lovers with Leonard Cohen's Lonesome Heroes, an inciteful documentary about the legendary singer-songwriter, and for the first time on Blu-ray you can get Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense, which features Byrne and co in concert at their funky, free-wheeling best. Julian Temple's rock-doc Oil City Confidential is also relased on DVD this week; it's an impressive peice of work, capturing the essence of seventies pub-rock scene, while detailing the rise and fall of the oft overlooked Dr. Feelgood.

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