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Clash Of The Gods [DVD]
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Thousands of years ago, they were used to help frame the world of the ancients, and dictate the guidelines of their societies. Today, they are often the first stories we learn as children, iconic tales in which good and evil clash, and humanity and fantasy collide. But what is the reality behind these stories? From the epic tragedy of Medusa, Greek mythology s most infamous female fiend, to Hercules, its greatest action hero, and Hades, master of the land of the dead and a god so feared no one would speak his name, explore these myths and the legendary figures who inspired them in CLASH OF THE GODS. Each episode connects ancient myths to actual historical events, as well as to events in the Bible and other cultures mythologies, gaining important historical insight from renowned scholars in search of the truth behind the legends.
This 10-part series on two discs travels back in time to reveal the stories behind some of history s most infamous mythological figures and legends including:
Odysseus: Curse of the Sea
Tolkien s Monsters
The majority of the series devotes episodes to the rise of the Olympian gods, beginning with Zeus's battle with his father, Kronos, and the Titans. Images of Zeus with a ridiculous white lightning bolt painted across his face repeat ad nauseam throughout to supposedly show how Zeus took control of mortal earth until consumed by his "uncontrollable sex drive." Likewise, the episode "Hercules" depicts a well-oiled man in tight underwear roaming the desert to elucidate how he is the world's "ultimate superhero." Only scholars like Tom Stone, who humorously likens Hercules to Babe Ruth, or Michael Fontaine from Cornell University, do any justice to the exploration of metaphorical connections between Hercules's 12-challenge quest and the ordeals humans were experiencing when the myth was popular. "Minotaur" better achieves its aim to link truths to the myth, by linking historical wars between the Cretans and Athenians to the horrific tale of the man-eating Cretan beast, deemed Athenian propaganda by historians like David George at Saint Anselm College. Also meaningful is the narrative thread in this episode about Theseus's dual fathers, one mortal and one god, and the fantastic connection between historical politicians, such as Alexander the Great, who believed that they too were conceived of two men. While "Medusa," the two-episode "Odysseus," and "Beowulf" do zilch to enlighten beyond basic redundant storytelling, the lamest episode of all is "Tolkien's Monsters," a heavy-handed look at how J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth was inspired by his days in the trenches during World War I. While the information in this series is informative and interesting, simulated drama and footage that repeats as if the History Channel ran out of material to edit in makes for possibly the worst series on mythology out there. Save your money and read the books instead. --Trinie Dalton
Top Customer Reviews
I am a huge fan of Beowulf, but I learned a few things about the legend from this show that I didn't already know. I am also a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, and likewise the Tolkien episode of Clash of the Gods revealed some things about Tolkien's mythology that I did not understand previously. This show has helped me to understand the Odyssey and Iliad like I never have before, and Thor the Norse god of thunder is a totally bad dude.
Be entertained. Baptize yourself in the flowing blood of the gods. You may just learn something along the way.
Acting is not the focus here. Indeed, you could hardly call non-speaking roles, with narration explaining them "acting." But the visuals are better than merely being told what the story is, and I do like the narration. I think it adds to the overall experience of the show, instead of detracting from it. It is far too easy to label something as "derivative" or say it's been done before. You would be hard pressed to find any concept that hasn't been done before. Execution is key, and the History Channel really seems to excel at this. The interviews from scholars, historians, and professors really give interesting background to tales many have heard before.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dann it... I shouldn't have paid high price for this documentary (not a movie). I already seen this on History channel too.Published 12 hours ago by Thao Nguyen
I very much enjoyed hearing the timeline of the myths from several scholars from different disciplines. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Randen Frei
Not very accurate to the actual epic poem. I had hoped to play parts for the English class I teach.Published 2 months ago by jennifer metzger lotfi