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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2010

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"The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Synopsis

When the evil magician Sokurah (Torin Thatcher) shrinks Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant) to roughly the size of a Barbie doll, only one thing can restore her: the egg shell of a Roc. The Roc, of course, is a gigantic bird that lives on the remote island of Colossa. Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) hires a crew of mutiny-minded convicts and sets sail, Sokurah in tow, but runs afoul of a fire-breathing dragon, a very angry Cyclops, and an equally perturbed two-headed Roc. This swashbuckling adventure was the first installment of the Sinbad films, and decades later it still has the power to hold viewers spellbound. Did I mention that it is filmed in “Dynamation”?

Specifications

  • Sony Pictures
  • 1958, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 28 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English, Dolby-TrueHD 5.1, Color, Widescreen
  • Starring: Kerwin Mathews, Kathryn Grant, Richard Eyer, Torin Thatcher
  • Directed by Nathan Juran, Ray Harryhausen
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

The art of cinematic special effects has taken quantum leaps since 1958, which makes it so amazing that his work still looks as fine as it does. Harryhausen creates a world of fantasy where dragons and grotesque Cyclops can battle to the death, one where it's very easy for adults to suspend their disbelief and watch the action with the wonder of a child. I am a big fan of Harryhausen, as there is something “organic” about his creations that CGI can not replicate. Thrills and chills without a lot of blood spills. Your youngsters will be enthralled with this adventure. The story and acting are not quite as good as “Jason and the Argonauts”, but the battle between the dragon and Cyclops make it a worthwhile viewing. Add this to your collection.

Technical

Unlike “Jason and the Argonauts”, the overall picture quality is not as sharp and many scenes suffer from graininess and soft focus. The musical score (Hermann) is well presented and sounds broad and clear. Surrounds come into play only on occasion, but dialog is well centered. The creatures in the film are some of Ray’s best work, in my opinion.

Extras

Extras are excellent, and include: a picture of the original poster; trailers from other Harryhausen features; two interview featurettes, each 12 minutes long; a 3-minute featurette about the Dynamation process; and a one-hour feature about Ray Harryhausen.