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While not great cinema, 'Wrath of the Titans' is still quite entertaining, and it manages to surpass its predecessor on numerous levels. Offering better writing, special effects, and an engaging development between Hades and Zeus, the sequel is the better movie for killing some time. The Blu-ray arrives with a near-reference audio and video presentation and a decent collection of supplements, making the overall package worth the purchase for fans and good rental for everyone else.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
'Wrath of the Titans' wreaks havoc on Blu-ray with a gorgeous and highly-detailed 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode. The picturesque photography of Wales and Spain by Ben Davis looks spectacular in HD, showing beautiful desert landscapes and lovely beach-side vistas. Every grain and pebble strewn across the barren lands is plainly visible. The lines of tree barks and vegetation making up the home of the Cyclops are as sharply defined as the simple stone structure of houses. Every thread, dirt smudge, scratch and battle scar on the armor of Perseus and Andromeda is distinct and unmistakable. The faces of actors are revealing and lifelike, even when covered in grime and soot.
Presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the transfer displays pitch-perfect contrast with crisp, brilliant whites throughout, providing the video with terrific pop. Colors are luxurious with a rich, varied palette of vibrant primaries and full-bodied secondary hues. The scenes in the forest-homes of the Cyclops and towards the end with the lava-spewing body of Kronos really show the bright range of colors used. Black levels are often intense and penetrating, but not always consistent. It's nothing too damaging, but the image can look a tad faded in a couple spots, which also hurts shadow delineation somewhat. In the end, 'Wrath' debuts unto a Blu-ray with a fantastic high-def presentation.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
The mayhem continues with an exceptional DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that fills the room with the chaos of battle and the wailing winds of Tartarus. The front soundstage is wide and expansive with random off-screen noises, generating a mostly consistent wall of sound that's very engaging. Dialogue, whether spoken softly or screamed at each other, is precise and intelligible, revealing the slightest changes in the emotions of characters. Dynamic range is sharply detailed and crystal clear in the upper frequencies, so we don't miss out on every clang and clink of metal upon metal or the fiery swoosh of Kronos' arm flinging lava everywhere. The low-end provides an authoritative, wall-rattling presence that's very thrilling and often digs deep during scenes when Kronos breathes or attempts to speak.
Rear activity is also amazing with several discrete effects which expand the soundfield and immerse the listener. A couple times, such effects do come off rather gimmicky, like the forest booby-traps of the Cyclops where noises are easy to localize. But this isn't a serious issue, just a very mild distraction that's ultimately a personal nitpick. In fact, several sequences employ the surrounds to excellent, enveloping effect, such as when Perseus and gang find their way inside Tartarus. Another outstanding moment is the final battle against Kronos, bloated with flawless pans, objects flying all around and discrete directionality, making this otherwise average fantasy actioner all the more bearable.
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