Michelle H. (snoozemouse) from CHEYENNE, WY Reviewed on 8/15/2010...
Ray Harryhausen prime.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Superb classic adventure film for all ages
audrey | white mtns | 05/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love classic films and you love special effects, then you are undoubtedly passionate about the films of legendary Ray Harryhausen, and this is one of his best. In this movie, Harryhausen uses his stop-motion technique in color for the first time (and the print here is terrific) to tell the tale of Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) as he sails the seas, forms an uneasy alliance with an evil magician (Torin Thatcher) and battles a Cyclops, a two-headed Roc and a dragon. Other memorable effects include the genie Berani and the interior of his magic lamp, the Princess Parisa being shrunk and the servant woman who is turned into a dancing half-woman, half-snake. The action starts right away and continues throughout the film, and Bernard Herrmann's music is, as always, absolutely perfect.DVD 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. This is a great package -- and for you enthusiastic polyglots out there, the film can be heard in English, Spanish or Portuguese, while subtitles are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean or Thai!Having small children who are becoming interested in "scary movies", I've found that the Harryhausen ouevre is a great way for them to find thrills and chills without gore, and a wonderful way for me to reconnect with my childhood joys as well. The whole family has a great time watching these terrific films. I'm really glad they're being re-released in such high quality and with such interesting dvd extras.Superb!"
Breath-taking print for The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
gobirds2 | New England | 09/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film was always a favorite of mine since the first time I saw it. Visually the print on this DVD is extraordinary. The colors are vibrant and the images are incredibly sharp, crisp and clear.In particular, you can really appreciate Ray Harryhausen's Special Effects that he laboriously produced for this film. They don't look blurred or out of focus as they have on previous prints. They are presented here as they were intended to be seen in their entire splendor and brilliance. It is amazing what he did with an eight-inch tall stop-motion model of a skeleton. Ken Kolb's screenplay elevates this film beyond the boundaries of what could have been just another fantasy monster movie. He brings depth to the characters and uses dialogue to increase the suspense of the story. Along with director Nathan Juran and all the other filmmakers an epic fairytale unfolds and is preserved on film. Bernard Herrmann's score is a showstopper and as always accentuates the images on the screen adding mood and enhancing the overall visual effect for the viewer. Herrmann went on to score three more Harryhausen films: "The Three Worlds of Gulliver," "Mysterious Island" and "Jason and the Argonauts." Bernard Herrmann's collaboration with Ray Harryhausen and producer Charles Schneer equaled that of his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock. Kerwin Mathews is ever so stoically heroic as Sinbad. He is very good in this role as he brings energy and conviction to the part. He is a man with mission and will not bend or be swayed until he brings it to finality. It is a shame that Mathews never went on to greater screen accomplishments. Trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Shakespearean actor Torin Thatcher is the consummate evil magician, Sokurah. He too brings conviction to his role as he is dedicated to the forces of evil and darkness.Visually this is far superior to the Laser Disc version. The Laser Disc was issued in full-frame and not quite as sharp. However, the Laser Disc version was issued with the soundtrack in stereo. I was very disappointed that this DVD was not issued in stereo. That would have made it completely satisfying.However, the images are so spectacularly presented here it is almost a minor point. Thank the gods for Dynamation."
Ray Harryhausen's classic
George Guzman | El Toro, CA United States | 04/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great action. Great music. Great monsters! What more can you ask for. THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD is one of my all time favorite fantasy movies. I would count this, along with the silent version of THE THIEF OF BAGDAD starring Douglas Fairbanks and the 1940 remake with Sabu as the three greatest Arabian Nights adventure films ever made. What makes 7TH VOYAGE stand out among the three, however, are Ray Harryhausen's wonderful stop-motion effects.While there are some who consider the monsters in this movie "fake looking", for me, I actually prefer to watch this style rather than overblown video game-like effects that CGI offers us. Harryhausen's creatures have much more personality. I actually felt sorry for the Cyclops when he gets killed by the Dragon. Ditto for the Dragon when he gets killed by the large cross-bow.Kerwin Mathews, to me IS Sinbad. Every time the name "Sinbad" comes up, I always have to think of Kerwin Mathews. Kathyrn Grant is truly beautiful as the Princess. I also like Richard Eyer as the boy genie. Torin Thatcher, as the evil sorcerer Sokurah, is one of my favorite movie characters of all time. Foes of Sinbad in his later features like THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD and SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, just lacked the strong presence that Thatcher brought to his character.As Leonard Maltin putting so well - "It's a winner all the way.""
7th Voyage DVD is a winner!
John Dziadecki | Colorado | 12/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Matlin's summary above is quite accurate in describing this film. I first saw this film as a child of 10 at a drive-in theater. The memory of the imagery and the music have stayed with me over the years. I've seen the film since on tv, film festivals, and vhs. None had the clarity of image and sound of this new DVD release. Columbia has done Harryhausen's film classic proud. The print quality has NEVER looked so good and is presented here enhanced for 16x9!. The original mono sound is also quite good and Herrmann's brilliant score moves the story right along. The extras on this disk are quite good with the lengthy "Ray Harryhausen Chronicles" being the highlight. The added trailers for other Cloumbia Harryhausen films are a treat. Thanks to Columbia for an excellent presentation! Their DVDs are the industry standard!"
Does have Extras
Michael | USA | 10/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Just wanted to state this is loaded with extras.. here is a review below of the blu ray version:
Filmed in Technicolor and framed at 1.66:1, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad arrives on Blu-ray disc in a transfer that not only shows the effects of its 50-year-old age, but also exposes some of the inherent limitations of the Technicolor format. Let me first start by saying that Sony's AVC/MPEG-4 transfer does well at capturing the source without any visible compression artifacts or processing effects such as edge enhancement and it is as sharp as it can be given the source material. There are also good shadow details, even if the blacks aren't the deepest I have seen. The Technicolor process, however, particularly in 1958, was inherently grainy and often prone to some visible variations in color contrast and density. As such, this transfer is very grainy and does display some of those variations as well as some flickering throughout. One also has to remember that the Technicolor process was known for its hyper-realistic, saturated palette that often yielded something more surreal than realistic. Therefore, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad doesn't necessarily display natural flesh tones, but something more in line with what one would expect from a Technicolor production.
In fact, most of what we see today when Technicolor films are remastered are color palettes that are toned down to be more in line with what audiences today expect to see. I'm not certain Sinbad is even as hyper-saturated as it should be, but it looks well enough reproducing the film's colorful Middle Eastern garb and bright, sunny blue skies.
Sony continues their trend of providing multiple language tracks on their Blu-ray releases with The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. In this case there are two lossless options in the form of a newly remixed English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack and a French Dolcy TrueHD 5.1 dub as well as the original English mono soundtrack and a Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 dub. The new lossless English 5.1 mix offers a slightly more expansive soundfield that lets the score by Bernard Hermann breathe, exposing more of its intricate instrumentation. The dialogue is well balanced, if a bit harsh, and intelligible while the film's action sequences are lively with subtle use of the LFE to provide some much needed weight to the otherwise thin sound.
The original mono soundtrack is also rather good, if obviously less engulfing. It is well balanced with good dynamics, clear dialogue, and ample low frequencies. Sadly, instead of utilizing soley the center channel for a true monaural 1.0 configuration, Sony has provided the soundtrack in a Dolby 2.0 configuration. Still, it is good to have the original mix represented on this release.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad offers an abundance of exploratory supplemental materials that offer much insight into the work of both Ray Harryhausen and his longtime collaborator, composer Bernard Herrmann. Fans of film history, special effects and Harryhausen should be pleased by the wealth of informative extras available here.
The extras available on this release are:
Commentary with Ray Harryhausen, visual effects experts Phil Tippet and Randall William Cook, author Steven Smith, and Arnold Kunert -- The men offer very detailed information on the filmmaking and stop-motion animation process as the film goes by in a very conversational manner. Ray Harryhausen, in particular, offers up many informative anecdotes about the film's production. One interesting bit of trivia that can be gleaned form the audio commentary is the fact that Harryhausen had not actually met the film's young actor Richard Eyer (The Genie) until only a couple of years ago. Because of the scheduling, all of the location filming in Spain, where Harryhausen was, used a young Spanish double in his Eyer's place, while Eyer did all of his filming on the set in the US with director Nathan Juran. Remembering The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1.78:1/standard definition) -- Ray Harryhausen reminisces on the production of Sinbad and his inspiration for doing the film. In the process, he offers up much information on the special effects techniques he employed during the filming. The Harryhausen Legacy (1.78:1/standard definition)-- John Landis and many visual effects artists speak of Harryhausen's influence on their work. The Music of Bernard Herrmann (1.78:1/standard definition) -- Music historian Steve Smith offers up an historical account of the legendary composer's music and tells of how he and Ray Harryhausen first came to collaborate. Photo Gallery -- A montage of stills from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad set to the film's score by Bernard Hermann. "Sinbad May Have Been Bad, But He's Been Good to Me" Music Video -- A promotional 45rpm recording created for the 1958 holiday season release ad campaign for Sinbad. The song is played back to a montage of promotional posters. A Look Behind the Voyage (4:3/standard definition) -- This is an archival television documentary on the career of Ray Harryhausen. This is Dynamation (Special Effects) (4:3/standard definition) -- A classic 1958 promo highlighting the film's special effects. Ray Harryhausen -- Interviewed by Director John Landis (4:3/standard definition) -- John Landis interviews Ray Harryhausen in what is am ore a friendly discussion in which Landis it is obvious that Landis holds Harryhausen in very high esteem. Harryhausen once again details much of the techniques he used in the filming of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and many of his other films. Previews (high definition) -- Promotional spots for upcoming and currently available Sony Blu-ray releases: Casino Royale -- Promo for the upcoming 2-Disc Collector's Edition Men in Black CJ7 The Waterhorse: Legend of the Deep BD-Live -- This disc is BD-Live enabled for users with BD-Live (Profile 2.0) capable players. The BD-Live features available on this release so far are just promos for other Blu-ray releases from Sony, and offer nothing of any real added value. "