One of The History Channel's latest DVD releases comes from a series that began airing in the latter part of last year. Presumably planned to tie into Clash of the Titans, Clash of the Gods is a similarly titled show about Greek mythology, Norse gods, and other monsters from fiction and the like. This ten episode series lays on the camp and attempts to present relevant information through narration and poorly acted clips filled to the brim with budget CGI.
The Clash of the Gods DVD set presents the entire series on three discs. The style of this show is very similar to other History Channel series with narration followed by reenacted moments. The narrative is provided by Stan Bernard (MonsterQuest, MysteryQuest), who comes across as overly dramatic with a script that just isn't as solid as other History Channel efforts. The information is painfully repetitive and much of the content feels like it's talking down to viewers.
For instance, did you know that Zeus was the king of the Gods? This is a fact that's repeated ad nauseum multiple times during the introductory episode; including before and after each commercial break. On top of that, the same pieces of content are regurgitated as well. This is the case from the first episode to the last, and quite honestly the show could have been cut down to about 20 minutes for each episode. Instead each one clocks in at roughly 45 minutes. You do the math if you want to figure out how much each episode is stretched out.
The first disc of this collection features the episodes "Zeus", "Hercules", "Hades", and "Minotaur". The second disc features "Medusa" and two Odysseus episodes, "Curse of the Sea" and "Warrior's Revenge". And finally, the third disc offers up "Beowulf", "Tolkien's Monsters", and "Thor".
Of these episodes the best in my opinion were the "Tolkien's Monsters", "Thor", and the "Odysseus" pieces. I enjoyed "Tolkien's" episode because of the Lord of the Rings references. Thor's offering contained the best effects of the series, and Odysseus's two inclusions allowed more fleshing out of the mythos surrounding that character. All in all the other episodes are decent enough, and worth watching, but they are downright monotonous and bloated to an obnoxious extent.
While most History Channel shows are designed to present information in an entertaining manner, Clash of the Gods really misses the mark. The acting is often tacky with snippets of a person with face paint wearing a cloth and staring at the camera. Sometimes there's CGI interspersed in between and it's poorly animated at best, leaving much to be desired. Like the content these clips are repeated constantly and the only thing that remains fresh are the segments where experts talk about one particular god or another.
From start to finish Clash of the Gods is a weak attempt from History Channel to cash in on the popularity of Clash of the Titans. The base content of each episode is interesting and educational, but it's surrounded by so much filler it's almost not even worth it. The acted elements are poor, the graphics are worse, and the narration is over-the-top. When you also consider the fact that the same information is brought up at least four times in each episode, the show becomes even more redundant. The bottom line is I wouldn't bother with this, even if you're interested in the material.
Clash of the Gods is presented on DVD with a cropped widescreen image. The non-anamorphic presentation means you'll have to zoom in on your TV in order to get it to the ratio you want it to be. This knocks down the quality somewhat and continues to be a disappointing trend at History Channel. The picture is grainy, compressed, and soft all around. The image maintains a nice vibrancy, however, and there are portions of the show where it passes scrutiny with a nice cleanliness and resolution.
English 2.0 stereo is what you're going to find here. The quality is on par with expectations if you were looking for a presentation similar to other History Channel shows. The narration is overpowering, the music is flat, and sound effects are generally weak. Overall it's a serviceable track, but nothing impressive by any stretch of the imagination.
There's absolutely nothing here for bonus features.
Clash of the Gods is a meek offering from History Channel. It's light on content, full of tacky effects, and repetitive to a crippling extent. Anyone interested in Greek mythology and the like can find better information elsewhere. What's here is contradictive to other sources, regurgitated to an obnoxious degree, full of cheesy narration, and loaded with poorly acted moments. I wouldn't bother with this one.
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