Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan DVD
Gilles Penso's documentary 'Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan' will be released on DVD in early March by Arrow Films. The remarkable career of the movie industry's most admired and influential special-effects and stop motion auteur is brought to life through interviews with not only Ray himself, but the numerous famous filmmakers who today push the boundaries of special effects movie-making that have been inspired by Rays amazing body of work. Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and many more pay tribute to Ray and the films that enthralled them as children and inspired them to become filmmakers in their own right.
If you're a fan of Ray Harryhausen then it's unlikely you'll hear anything new in this documentary. Ray has talked often and openly about his work and many of the famous contributors have also paid tribute to him in the past, most notably in the made for TV, Leonard Nimoy narrated, 'The Ray Harryhausen Chronicles'. Another disappointment is that the film has a definite feel that it was made on the fly with opportunistic interviews, prime examples being Peter Jackson has clearly been hijacked at a press junket for 'The Lovely Bones' and likewise for John Lasseter and 'Cars 2'. We can't help but feel somebody as revered and influential as Ray Harryhausen should have a less scrappy homage to his name. Nevertheless Rays fascinating work and the enthusiasm he still holds for the stop motion process along with the plethora of bonus material makes 'Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan' worth a watch, it's just a shame it wasn't just a labour of love from Penso and the end result was a much slicker finished product that people unfamiliar with Rays work might also be tempted to watch.