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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad 1973

Sinbad and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura, the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic, wants the tablet back and pursues Sinbad. Meanwhile...

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Imdb rating: 6.8



Not a terribly auspicious start to the new year. But completely harmless. I had seen some of the Ray Harryhausen movies when I was a kid and remembered them being scarier. Also, don't remember being as riveted by the female lead. I guess I was only nine or 10 at the time. Still, this one had its moments and was completely believeable - especially the statue of the Hindu goddess Kali coming to life. She seemed a bit stiff, but then she was made of bronze, so the stiffness was excused.
Golden Voyage -

Fun, well-paced, adventursome. All in all, an excellent Sinbad outing. Sinbad seems more Arabic this time - a good thing. Some of the imagery at the fountain is actually quite bold. And Tom Baker, the iconic actor of "Dr. Who" fame is fantastic as the aging archvillain. The centaur is a bit dissapointing though.

I think it would be appropriate to call this Harryhausen's 'Blue' period. Heh.

The Tin Drum -

Surprisingly lush production, gorgeously photographed, excellent location work. Had some issues with characterization though. An admirable film that I didn't really connect with fully, and that was overlong. Still, I enjoyed it.

The Station Agent -

Appropriately enough, a film about agents of change. Phin is a stable element, and the film knows that something must be done about it. Enter, Joe, who becomes a rocket of excitement into the lives of both Phin and Olivia. They don't really understand what's going on, but eventually everything comes together.

I wasn't too clear on the whole Chloe character. But the elements of this film which showed the friendship simply developing and this meditation on the nature of friendship was well done and honest. On the whole, quite a great movie, with some flaws.

An arrest goes very wrong and reporters register a large part of it. The thing gets shown on TV and soon civilians start to worry if the cops can do their job.
To prove they still can some bitch who works for the cops sets up the arrest of the criminals who escaped as sort of a show.
A cop and a criminal become nothing more than pawns in a bigger game.

Breaking News starts of rather impressive: a tracking shot of a shootout that lasts over 8 minutes. It's hard for the movie to live up that beginning and it doesn't.
As an action movie it doesn't really succeed as the good and bad guys are stereotypes and the action is pretty clich
One of the later movies with Harryhausen effects, The Golden Voyage has lots of creatures but comes up a bit short of the magic found in 7th Voyage and Jason and the Argonauts.

It does have what I consider the coolest single creature of the Harryhausen portfolio, the Kali. It reminds me of the Naga from Heroes of Might and Magic, except they had snake torsos. Harryhausen improved the process of transferring his creatures onto the same screen as the actors, and now called it Dynarama.

The acting is uneven, leaning more towards the dippy sort common in low budget fantasy films. Law does OK as Sinbad, as does Baker as the evil wizard, but after that its pretty skimpy. The green-colored cavemen almost blow the whole thing completely, being just a little too silly.

This DVD looks OK and is anamorphic no less, but once again the soundtrack borders on awful as they just didn't spend any time on it to get rid of the harshness. It must've gotten heavily compressed somewhere along the line. Extras are minimal. The DVD gets a 7/10 for a decent video transfer.
For Saturday matinee fodder this isn't the worst I've seen that's for sure. The story itself isn't bad. The Ray Harryhousen created creatures are well done and still fun to see even in the age of breath taking computer effects. The music is there. The acting is actually "painful" to watch at times and is often not worthy of the story and effects. Tom Baker does a good job as Koura but his fellow cast mates do NOT rise to his level.
'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad' is not a great movie, but it is one that you can sit and watch one afternoon and enjoy the adventure unfolding on the screen. There's just enough to keep you preoccupied and seeking more with plenty of fantasy, monsters, and even a little bit of romance.

This film is packed with special effects, and there's always the interaction of these 'special effects' with the actors and actresses. I think the special effects made in this film were ahead of their time. (Sure, they may not look like much now with computer animation, but they still look good and do enough to contibute to the story without distracting from it like some of the effects do today).

It's not the best film, but it's a film that you can watch if you are looking for a no-brainer with some adventure.

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

Even though I had no idea who Ray Harryhausen was until just a year or two ago I always enjoyed his films. I just grew up with them on TV, seeing Jason and the Argonauts and bits of Clash of the Titans so any of these movies that used the stop-motion animation I was really into. I grew out of that phase but still always had fond memories of these movies. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, while not at the level of Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans or the 7th Voyage of Sinbad, is still a fun movie. It starts off somewhat slow and doesn't really even use Harryhausen's effects until 45 minutes into the movie and then not again until the last 20 minutes of the movie but it's still fun nevertheless.

One inauspicious day a flying creature crosses the paths of Sinbad's voyage. Sinbad's shipmates shoot arrows at the creature causing it to drop an artifact that is clutched in its claws. The artifact seems to piece of a broken medallion. The night after this incident, Sinbad's ship is mysteriously driven off course and onto the shores of an island. The inhabitants on the island tells the tale of additional pieces of the medallion that when placed intact can be used to stop a ruthless dark lord. Sinbad will race the dark lords to the ends of the world to obtain the remaining pieces of the medallion and bring an end to the dark lord's reign.

"I brought the city gates down upon their foolish faces."

Gordon Hessler, director of the Catacombs, Scream and Scream Again, Evil Stalks this House, and the Misfit Brigade, delivers the Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Hessler is assisted by the marvelous special effects master Ray Harryhausen (who also assisted in the writing of the storyline). John Phillip Law (Barbarella) portrayed Sinbad magnificently. Law portrayed a nobler Sinbad than most, and his action scenes were fluid throughout the film.

"A thief is a king until he is caught."

The creature being shot at and dropping the piece of medallion, Sinbad capturing Koura's spy, Haroun's father offering up his services, the statue on the hull coming to life and attacking the crewmen, the "playing a tune" conversation, the messenger in the cave, the deity dancing, Sinbad versus the deity, Margiana saving Sinbad from being sacrificed, the one eyed "god," the removal of the mask scene, Sinbad versus the one eyed monster, the hawk versus the one eyed monster, and Sinbad stabbing the one eyed monster were amongst the better portions of the film.

"We cannot be bought captain."
"Only with money."

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is one of the three Sinbad pictures that can be found in the Ray Harrryhausen Sinbad box-set. The storyline for all these pictures are outstanding. Sinbad is a wonderful, larger than life, character that I am surprised a set of remakes are not in the process of being created; especially with the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. The Sinbad series is a set of all time classics that inspired the likes of Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and George Lucas. I strongly recommend this series to any and everyone.

"A live dog is better than a dead lion."

Grade: A-
Uneven film, sometimes hokey, sometimes near brilliant. For the time, the special effects for the most part are great and creative. The score is a bit overdone. No matter what, it is fun to watch and is very fast paced.
The worst movie ever.
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