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Jason & the Argonauts [DVD] 
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Fantastic special effects by Ray Harryhausen and exciting mythological adventure make this a film that is fun for everyone. It's the story of Jason (Todd Armstrong), a fearless sailor and explorer, who returns to the kingdom of Thessaly after a 20-year voyage to make his rightful claim to the throne. But to do so, Jason must first find the magical Golden Fleece. He selects a crew and with the help of Hera, Queen of the Gods, sets sail in search of the Fleece. Jason and his crew must overcome incredible obstacles including a 100-foot bronze giant, the venomous Hydraa huge creature with the heads of seven snakes, and a spectacular battle with an army of skeletons.
Arguably the most intelligently written film to feature the masterful stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen, Jason and the Argonauts is a colorful adventure that takes full advantage of Harryhausen's "Dynarama" process. Inspired by the Greek myth, the story begins when the fearless explorer Jason (Todd Armstrong) returns to the kingdom of Thessaly to make his rightful claim to the throne, but the gods proclaim that he must first find the magical Golden Fleece. Consulting Hera, the queen of gods, Jason recruits the brave Argonauts to crew his ship, and they embark on their eventful journey. Along the way they encounter a variety of mythic creatures, including the 100-foot bronze god Talos, the batlike Harpies, the seven-headed reptilian Hydra, and an army of skeletons wielding sword and shield. That last sequence remains one of the finest that Harryhausen ever created, and it's still as thrilling as anything from the age of digital special effects. Harryhausen was the true auteur of his fantasy films and his brilliant animation evokes a timeless sense of wonder. Jason and the Argonauts is a prime showcase for Harryhausen's talent--a wondrous product of pure imagination and filmmaking ingenuity. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The quality of some Blu-Ray releases is pretty atrocious, but considering it's age, Jason looks nothing short of amazing. I have a 50" Panasonic t.v. and watching it for the very first time in HD is like seeing a completely different film. The image is relatively sharp, colors are rich and vibrant and blacks are suitably dark.
Some reviews have mentioned levels of noticeable grain, especially during effects shots, but this is simply the result of the effects process used at that time. This grain would have been visible on cinema screens at the time of the films original release.
Bernard Herrman was a key figure in several Dynamation pictures, providing scores that complemented the images on screen perfectly, so it's great to hear the wonderful score for Jason in full 5.1 audio for the first time.
Although Ray Harryhausen would go on to provide effects for several Sinbad films and the original Clash Of The Titans, it will undoubtedly be Jason And The Argonauts that he will be remembered for. The skeleton battle near the end of the film contains the best animation of his career and is beautiful to watch.
As a family adventure film, I'm convinced there is nothing finer. People of all ages can enjoy this film, and if they don't, they're either utterly cynical about everything and anything, or there is something wrong with them.
The title of this review naturally refers to the skeleton fight scene. If this film comes on and I'm busy, I will drop everything to watch this scene, even if I haven't had the time to see the rest of the movie. The moment the skeletons come out of the ground is unforgettable, and the animation is blended beautifully with the live action to create a scene that is as near to cinematic heaven as you can get. I've seen it re-done twice, once in Hercules (the dodgy TV series), and again in the Jason and the Argonauts mini-series. Both times CGI effects were used, and both times, despite the animators' best efforts, neither came close to the original masterpiece.
This whole film, and the skeleton scene in particular, highlights the fact that despite some of the wonders being done with CGI (and I'm not anti-CGI in the least), sometimes there's just no substitute for proper stop motion animation. (Just ask Wallace and Gromit!)
It's cheap- buy it and enjoy it!
I always have mixed feelings when something as old as this recieves the blu-ray treatment. there either seems to be a tendency to overcompensate for the age and grain of the picture by employing heavy DNR that destroys the intended look, or a tendency to pretty much leave it at DVD quality. But the recent clash of the titans blu ray release was a pleasant surprise, no heavy digital tinkering, just superbly remastered, authentic, and fresh looking with a great lossless dts stereo track.
I'm pleased to say that Jason and the Argonauts follows this trend, and improves upon it oustandingly. This is a truly great 1080p 1.66:1 framed transfer boasting superb levels of detail that bring this legendary picture alive like you have never seen. Yes, certain scenes are rough and grainy looking, probably most evident in olympus and certain creature shots, but this is not a transfer that attempts to digitally alter a film to the standard of recent releases with noise reduction and endless polishing. This is a transfer that has restored and remastered a classic with great authenticity to the source print, yet providing a genuine hi-def look that is really quite eye catching throughout. It's incredible to think at some points that you are watching something made in 1963! Skin tones are natural, colours are vibrant and bright, black levels are extremely impressive, and the general detail is extremely crisp and detailed, yet ALL without sacrificing the look of the film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always a great film to watch and ideal for family entertainment this is full of action and adventure. Read morePublished 16 days ago by M. Dowden
i bought it for an email friend i saw it years ago at the pictures a great film worth buyingPublished 27 days ago by dave wolstenholme
Just one of those movies that never gets old. Everything about this movie is just pure gold and thoroughly enjoyable, from the bronze giant Talos to the final battle with the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by tw8012