Jason and the Argonauts (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Bilingual)
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Top Customer Reviews
this is going to be the first movie I watch,The way it's suppose to
be seen in all it's Fantasy Sword & Sandal glory. Again as in "The
7th voyage of Sinbad" Columbia pulls no stops in presenting a great
story with mythical characters & monsters abound. Talos, the bronze
giant, The devilish harpies, The seven headed Hydra who guards that
of the golden fleece and of course the battle of the seven skeleton
warriors which is now film folklore.
Harryhausen's effects combined with Herrmann's music score
(Is there any conductor's work more thunderous than Talos'march?)
are top notch As are the cast of Honor (Goldfinger) Blackman and
Nigil McGullis and Todd Armstrong. I always thought it was great
to have Hercules portrayed as his older self and not in the same
beefcake manner traditionally presented at that time(Speaking of
this film raised the bar for sword & fantasy to follow (none ever
reaching it's status "Hercules in the haunted world" "Goliath and
the Dragon" to name a few) I only gave the dvd 4 stars because of
lack of the "HarryHausen Chronicles" and the ORIGINAL trailer.
The human actors were good, but fated by the gods to be upstaged by Harryhausen's miniatures. The film has a plot with a definite purpose behind it, something uncommon for an effects-driven film. To my eye, the film restoration looked good, especially compared to the unrestored trailer; sound quality seemed good, too (although the xylophones during the Harpy attack seemed an odd scoring choice). The lack of bonus features wasn't a problem for me; the Landis-Harryhausen interview was nice, but I don't really want more. This film stands on its own like few others; a behind-the-scenes featurette or a "how we did it" commentary would ultimately detract from this film's magic.
I can think of few movies I enjoyed as a child that have lived up to their memory when viewed as an adult. This is one of them.
Unless it's a Ray Harryhausen film. Because Harryhausen's spellbinding creations are always the real stars of his films, his name just has to come ahead of the director's. And nobody, but nobody wil ever question that departure from protocol.
For the uninitiated, one viewing of Jason and the Argonauts will help you understand just what I mean. Employing the painstakingly difficult, low-technology method of stop-motion animation, Harryhausen delivers a fantasy-adventure that's absolutely breathtaking. Jason, leading an intrepid group that includes Hercules himself, encounters the seven-headed Hydra, the winged Harpies, the metallic 200-foot-tall Talos, the Merman Demigod Triton, a band of sword-wielding skeletons, and a gargantuan reptilian beast. Not only are the creatures brought to life, they interact with the humans with seamless, eye-popping realism. And remember, this is a 1963 film.
How difficult is stop-motion animation? To give you an idea, Harryhausen took four and a half months to complete the skeleton battle scene, which lasted just over three minutes in the final edit. As for the Hydra, Jason had it easy. All he had to do was slay it. The really difficult task was Harryhausen's: he had to bring it to life, keeping all seven heads in constant, menacing motion.
The difficulty of this method naturally brings about the temptation to take short-cuts, moving the creature a centimeter here and there instead of the needed two millimeters. But Harryhausen worked hard at his craft, spending long nights in his studio to achieve the most realistic movements possible. And get this: he worked ALONE.Read more ›
The classic story of the Golden Fleece is aided greatly by Harrynhausen's monsters, such as the Giant Talos or the horrible Harpies. But nothing beats the final skeleton battle. This sequence remains an astonishing work. It is a seamless battle between humans and special effects skeletons.
The acting is the old-hollywood style, but for the subject matter it is perfect. Heroes seem like Heroes, villains like villains, Hercules like Hercules. The pace is quick and the locations are excellent and always very authentic.
Jason and the Argonauts may not impress everyone. Many of today's kids will merely exclaim "that's so fake looking!". But those with more imagination and a greater appreciation for classic story-telling will dig Jason and the Argonauts.
Also, anyone who is growing tired of the over-used CGI, which often looks too much like a video game, this is a refreshing change.
Most recent customer reviews
A classic - without a doubt Mr. Harryhausen's best work. Back in the early 60s this stop motion was considered amazing work. Read morePublished 14 months ago by T. Stamatis
It is a PAL DVD. It may not work with your American playerPublished 16 months ago by J. Allan Moffatt
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