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Classic fantasy-adventure of the Harryhausen kind!
on 21 August 2002
Captain Sinbad's death-defying battles with stop-motion monsters began with 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad', in which he fights against mad magicians and giant, cuddly cyclopses.
The adventure must have really done him in, because he took some time off, leaving Jason and the Argonauts to hold the baton for a while, fighting hideous harpies and very cleverly animated skeletons.
Now though, Sinbad has recovered, and he's ready to crack himself some stop-motion skull!
'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad' is every bit as fun and entertaining as 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad' or 'Jason and the Argonauts'. One cannot of course, talk about these films for very long, without mentioning the incredible visual effects from the monster-meister himself; Ray Harryhausen!
This film features some really amazing work, the most note-worthy being, in my opinion, the six-armed statue which is bought to life for a deadly sword-fight with Captain Sinbad. Six arms - talk about harsh!
Some people may laugh at the slightly dated look of the effects nowerdays, but one must bare in mind that computer generated monstrosities were still a long way off into the future when this was made. With this in mind, I cannot help but marvel at the time and patience that must have gone into the making and animation of the monsters and other effects in this film.
'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad' features a new actor to play the intrepid hero - in the form of John Phillip Law. He is pitted against an evil magician (yes, another one!), who is played by Tom Baker. Tom Baker is of course, probably most famous for playing the mysterious Time-Lord in the BBC TV series; 'Doctor Who'. Tom Baker makes a great evil magician with his rolling voice, and his mad, staring eyes!
The plot, such as it is, involves Sinbad coming upon an ancient map, which leads him to a mysterious island, where he meets the equally mysterious monsters! To be honest, the plot flaps about a bit in my opinion, and I find myself not really caring about it. I'm too busy wondering whether Sinbad will have to devorce the Princess he married in 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad' so he can marry the slave-girl he meets in this film! Who knows? - and frankly, who the hell cares!
'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad' should be watched for what it is; a fantastically imaginative and exciting piece of cinema from an era before computers held all the answers.
After you've watched the film, you can pay a visit to the Special Features Menu, to see what's there. Not much, to be honest.
First, there are a few posters for the film.
In another section is a trio of trailors. One of them is for this film of course; 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad'. The other two trailors are for 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger'.
Next up are the filmographies, including Ray Harryhausen and John Phillip Law.
Last of all on the Special Features, are three featurettes, none of which are related to 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad', which is a bit of a shame. They are for 'Mysterious Island', The 3 Worlds of Gulliver' and 'Earth vs. the Flying Saucers'.
Out of the three featurettes, I was most interested in watching the featurette for 'Earth vs. the Flying Saucers' since it seems to be the film on which 'Mars Attacks!' was, visually speaking, heavily inspired by.
The one that actually proved to be the most interesting though, was the featurette for 'Mysterious Island', which seemed to contain quite a lot of information.
This DVD also contains various spoken and subtitled languages. Overall, I'd say this is a fairly plain disc, containing a very entertaining film. If you like your stop-motion monsters, then you can't go wrong with this.
If not, then the daddy of them all must surely be 'Jason and the Argonauts', though you would be cheating yourself if you didn't also get yourself a copy of 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad'. Lastly, there is 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger', which I am very much looking forwards to getting hold of. It was released at the same time as 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad'.
To summarise; if you're a fan of Ray Harryhausen's work, or you are a collector of fantasy films in general, than this DVD will certainly fill a hole.
But, and it's a BIG but, if you're looking for fantasy that's truely on the next level, with special effects beyond anything possible in the Harryhausen era, then I command you to go forth and buy yourself the recently-released 2 disc DVD of Peter Jackson's god-like adaptation of the first part of J. R. R. Tolkien's genre-defining epic. I am of course talking about 'The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring'; a truely magnificent piece of fantasy-cinema that literally sweeps away anything in the genre that has ever gone before it!