Blu-Ray Review: Wrath of the Titans

Wrath of the Titans Blu-ray Edition

Official Synopsis:
A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus (Worthington)—the demigod son of Zeus (Neeson)—is attempting to live quietly as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year-old son, Helius. But unbeknownst to Perseus, a struggle for supremacy has been raging between the gods that will come to threaten his idyllic life. Dangerously weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion, the gods are losing hold of their immortality, as well as control over 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.

Now, Perseus cannot ignore his true calling as Hades, along with Zeus’ godly son, Ares (Edgar Ramirez), switches loyalties and makes a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titan’s strength grows as Zeus’ remaining godly powers are siphoned…and hell is unleashed on earth. Enlisting the help of the warrior Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon’s demigod son Agenor (Toby Kebbell), and fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), Perseus bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the Underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind.

WRATH OF THE TITANS

Review:
This is the sequel to 2010’s Clash of the Titans, which looks incredibly similar in all but the story details. This time, Perseus and his small band of adventurers search for a powerful weapon to drive back the Titan Kronos and keep him imprisoned. In Clash of the Titans, Perseus had to battle Medusa in order to have a weapon to defeat the Kraken monster and to save the Princess Andromeda. In both films, Perseus goes up against surprisingly not-so-immortal gods and a slew of ugly, monstrous creatures attack humans with little-to-no way to defend themselves. Perseus is only half human though, as son of Zeus. And as Zeus’ champion, Perseus becomes humanity’s hero once again.

I’m usually a fan of films and novels that take a unique approach to Greek mythology, but Wrath of the Titans takes it a bit too far for my taste. The same immortal gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades from the previous film suddenly become weak, easily injured and mortal – without sufficient explanation. The film starts out very slow with dragging dialog that doesn’t really further the plot, which is unfortunate since the film’s saving grace is the adventure and combat scenes. Despite its flaws, I still enjoyed the fantastic special effects and CGI creatures, action-packed thrills, and even a bit of humor.

Blu-ray Special Features:
Maximum Movie Mode: Control your destiny and choose one of two unique experiences: The Path of Men or The Path of Gods
– Focus Points
§ Battling the Chimera
§ Who Are The Titans?
§ Agenor: The Other Demi-God
§ The Cyclops Fight
§ Prison of the Titans
§ Minotaur: The Human Nightmare
§ The Heavens Raise Hell on Earth
§ Hephaestus: God of Fire
§ Lost in Tartarus’ Labyrinth
§ Creatures of the Titans
– Storyboard Comparisons
– Deleted Scenes and more
DVD disc: Feature film in standard definition

Trailer:

Book Giveaway: Heaven’s War

Courtesy of Ace Books, I have an extra copy of Heaven’s War by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassuttfor one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US and Canada only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 27. I’ll draw a name on July 28, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Heaven’s War

Fantasy Book Review: Alex Van Helsing: The Triumph of Death

Alex Van Helsing: The Triumph of Death by Jason Henderson

Alex Van Helsing teams up with a new classmate (who happens to be a witch) after discovering that a vampire queen is planning an apocalypse that will turn the world dark. Then vampires would have free reign of the world. And only an old painting holds a clue to her upcoming plans.

Alex is still struggling with a bit of teen angst and relationship problems, while dealing with school, his strange powers that he still doesn’t fully understand, and working and training as a vampire hunter. Henderson’s imaginative characters and historic literary foundation are a springboard for a wild ride of action-packed adventure, mystery, and fast-paced thrills. The creative twist on classic gothic novels are not only a fascinating center point for the story, but make me want to re-read the classics such as Dracula and Frankenstein again.

I read that this exciting third installment in the Alex Van Helsing series is supposedly the last. The Triumph of Death is certainly my favorite of the series. And the main story arc begun in the first book does have a huge twist that resolves in this climactic ending. But there is quite a bit that is left open and unanswered. I would love to see the more in the series simply because I love the characters, and I’m a sucker for a creative take on the vampire/Van Helsing story.


Alex Van Helsing: The Triumph of Death releases from HarperTeen on July 24, 2012.

Fantasy Book Review: Dreamless

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

Helen Hamilton has been traveling to the Underworld every night, trying to find the Furies and put an end to the scion curse of vengeance. But she is unable to sleep, and the lack of rest is taking its toll on her. Helen thought she’d have to do this alone, but suddenly she meets a young man who rescues her one night in the Underworld. The mysterious scion has been sent to aid her search and protect her. Meanwhile, someone has been plotting against Helen and watching for her to be at her weakest to attack.

Helen’s relationship with Lucas has become unbearably complicated. They believe that they are first cousins, yet the thought of incest doesn’t seem to bother either of them. Ick. Even if they aren’t actually related, just the thought of it should be a turn off. Instead, their lack of maturity and teenage hormones overpower any common sense. Their chemistry fizzled to nothing for me in this book. Though, the arrival of Orion came just in time. Orion’s bright personality and sense of humor won me over and made Lucas disappear. Angelini will have to work really hard in the next installment to make me change from Team Orion to Team Lucas. I don’t see it happening – even if we get the BIG REVEAL that Lucas and Helen aren’t really related. Damage is done.

This is the 2nd installment in the Starcrossed trilogy. Starcrossed was unique and spellbinding. Dreamless is a solid sequel with well-paced adventure and drama. I haven’t read Starcrossed in over a year, so I worried that I would be confused with the characters. But Angelini has created such memorable and complex characters, that they quickly came back to me. And a recap wasn’t even needed. Full of intense suspense, dramatic twists, and a bit of humor to lighten the dark setting – this fantasy flawlessly brings ancient Greek mythology to modern day.

SciFi Movie Trailer: Robot & Frank

Robot & Frank opens in Theaters August 24, 2012

Set in the near future, Frank, a retired cat burglar, has two grown kids who are concerned he can no longer live alone. They are tempted to place him in a nursing home until Frank’s son chooses a different option: against the old man’s wishes, he buys Frank a walking, talking humanoid robot programmed to improve his physical and mental health. What follows is an often hilarious and somewhat heartbreaking story about finding friends and family in the most unexpected places.

TV Tie-In Book Review: On Fire: A Teen Wolf Novel

On Fire: A Teen Wolf Novel by Nancy Holder

Scott McCall is no longer a normal teen. After getting bitten by a werewolf, Scott now has to control his inner wolf whenever his emotions run high. Scott’s relationship with Allison has just begun, but her family hunts Scott’s kind. So, keeping his secret is crucial. Recently, Jackson, the popular rich kid and Captain of the lacrosse team, skipped school and seems to be missing. With only a cryptic note and the ability to trace his cell phone from an app, his friends search for him. Jackson’s phone trail leads them to the woods late at night. Not only do they need to find Jackson, but Scott needs to make sure he and Allison avoid the mysterious Alpha werewolf who turned him. Or Allison may be the one in danger.

On Fire is a tie-in novel based on the new hit show Teen Wolf from MTV, apparently set about early to middle of the first season. MTV’s Teen Wolf is only loosely based on the beloved, original movie of the same name starring Michael J. Fox. This Teen Wolf is much darker, less comedic and blends mild horror, mystery, drama, and romance.

I wondered how a tie-in novel would work with such a fast-paced show, where a lot progresses over the course of just a 12-episode season. But On Fire works well as a mid-season story where there is a lot of mystery that has yet to be revealed. And fans are treated to a riveting backstory of Derek, the brooding werewolf who mentors Scott, but wants vengeance for his family more than anything. Jackson’s mystery is incredibly suspenseful, but unfortunately ended a bit too abruptly without much explanation. I would love to see this series continue in novels and see it either continue this storyline or jump forward to the present storyline. These are fantastic characters; and Holder does a great job of weaving a new mystery and remaining true to the characters.


On Fire will release from MTV Books on July 17, 2012.

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