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The 7th Voyage of Sinbad(1958)
This colorful adventure is the screen version of one of the classic tales from “1001 Arabian Nights.” It tells the story of Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) and Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant). When they unexpectedly stop on the island of Colossa on their way to Baghdad, they find themselves battling all types of dangers, such as evil magicians, man-eating Cyclopes, fire- breathing dragons, and sword-wielding skeletons.
For more about The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and the The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray release, see the The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 21, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Kerwin Mathews, Kathryn Grant, Richard Eyer, Torin Thatcher, Alec Mango
Director: Nathan Juran
» See full cast & crew
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray Review
High adventure graces Blu-ray!
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 21, 2008
They sure don't make 'em like they used to. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is a high adventure film full of spirit, vigor, and then-groundbreaking special effects. What makes this film, and so many like it, superior to many of the adventure films of today is its straightforward, easygoing nature. Its plot is simple, its story direct and genuinely awe-inspiring, the action and dialogue are presented with tongue firmly planter in-cheek, the acting is never pretentious, the directing never heavy handed. The film is pure escapism, with no pretenses of anything more and therefore a lessened expectation from its audience. It certainly delivers what it promises, though, and does so in a neat, tidy, and compact package. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is not as glossy and robust as many of the films today, but its heart and easygoing spirit more than make up for any other shortcomings it may have, particularly viewing it some 50 years after its initial release.
Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) is a respected ship's captain, adventurer, and leader, engaged to marry the beautiful Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant), daughter of a great Sultan. When Sinbad and his crew venture to the seemingly uninhabited island of Colossa, they meet a terrified magician by the name of Sokurah (Torin Thatcher) who is being chased by a giant cyclops. Sokurah calls on a genie (Richard Eyer) from his magic lamp to protect himself and Sinbad's crew from the dangerous beast, and they manage to escape, but not before the cyclops retrieves Sokurah's lamp. Returning to Bagdad, Sokurah is denied the men and material needed to return to the island to retrieve his lost treasure. He secretly shrinks Princess Parisa to miniature scale and informs Sinbad that the only way to return her to normal size is to retrieve an eggshell found only on the island of Colossa. Sinbad must form a ragtag crew of anyone willing to return to the deadly island, and they can only hope to retrieve the eggshell before running into the cyclops again -- or any other wondrous and deadly creatures.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is one of Ray Harryhausen's finest efforts, and the special effects have never looked better than they do on this Blu-ray disc. There is a charm to the simplicity of the effects, and while they are certainly out of date and not nearly as fluid and seamless as those found in something like Transformers, they are easy to embrace, fit the tone of the movie, and most importantly, never pull audiences, even audiences used to 21st century effects, out of the film. Various shots actually look great, particularly the first time the miniature Princess Parisa is seen standing atop her pillow. Such scenes are covered in scratches and debris, but never to the drastic impairment of the movie. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad offers audiences a fun thrill ride, making for an extremely watchable old-fashioned adventure but with a plethora of cheesiness to go along with it. The acting is certainly over-the-top, particularly between the Sinbad and Parisa characters as they seem to be reciting Hallmark cards to one another rather than heartfelt affections. The remainder of the cast and the delivery of the action dialogue is certainly second-rate in many cases, but because of the film's unabashed way that it revels in exaggerated yet simple storytelling, it all fits right in with the tempo of the film.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray, Video Quality
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad debuts on Blu-ray in a fine looking 1080p, 1.66:1-framed transfer. The colors over the opening title sequence are impressive, rich and bold and lifelike. Grain is extremely heavy in some scenes, and is present in some quantity over the entirety of the film. Some shots are also slightly soft in appearance, but for the most part, this transfer is solid, all things considered. Detail is generally above average as well. The sand on the beaches, as seen early in the film, and various large rock faces look good, and there is a decent depth to the transfer. Likewise, the interior of Sinbad's ship and the various interior shots of Bagdad offer viewers plenty of eye candy in the way of the magnitude of colors, texture, and detail. Black levels are moderately good, appearing a bit bright in a few scenes. Flesh tones appear very natural. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad looks better than ever, a treat for longtime fans, a rich, fulfilling experience for newcomers, and the disc serves as another fine example of the wonderful clarity and film-like transfers Blu-ray is capable of offering, particularly in regards to older films, in this case a 50-year-old adventure classic.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad sails onto Blu-ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack, and also included is the film's original monaural sound mix. The multi-channel mix, from the film's open, offers listeners a rousing soundtrack with a full, rich presence spread across the entirety of the soundstage. The opening credits sound so rich and fulfilling that it's hard to believe that the orchestra isn't playing live in the living room. It's a great sonic experience, a major step-up in all regards over the original mono track. An early scene featuring the cyclops pounding on an invisible barrier offers decent power with each thud, but don't expect anything like what is heard in The Incredible Hulk. Some sound effects are minimal in impact, evidenced by a driving rainstorm on the high seas as heard in chapter eight. Front-heavy and with little in the way of discrete effects, the scene is fine visually but lacks an excellent audio accompaniment that has been heard prior, particularly during the aforementioned orchestral theme heard over the film's open. Dialogue reproduction is solid and precise, each voice distinct and flowing gracefully from the center channel. In the scenes featuring a shrunken Princess Parisa, her voice is appropriately tiny and reserved. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad offers listeners a fine multi-channel audio restoration, and longtime fans should be pleased with this new soundtrack, as well as the inclusion of the original monaural offering.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad offers viewers a treasure as great as that of the Cyclops' in the form of this jam-packed supplemental section. Beginning the proceedings is a feature-length commentary track with Ray Harryhausen, visual effects experts Phil Tippet and Randall William Cook, author Steven Smith, and Arnold Kunert. The track begins by placing the film's influential and rousing score in the context of cinematic history. As the track moves along, the participants discuss the efforts that went into making the film, including the studios' rejection of the idea (due to the belief that costume pictures were "dead"), the evolution of the script, and the originality of the film at the time of its release. There is, of course, plenty of talk about the special effects. The track is a lively one, fascinating, entertaining, and educational all at once, and is a must-listen for fans of special effects or cinema history.
Remembering the 7th Voyage of Sinbad (480p, 23:31) features Ray Harryhausen reminiscing about the experience of creating the film, recounting some of the same information as heard in the commentary track. Nevertheless, he offers tales pertaining to the film's pre-production stage, shooting locations, creature design, and more. The Harryhausen Legacy (480p, 25:32) features interviews with an impressive list of Hollywood bigwigs as they discuss Harryhausen's influence as a special effects pioneer. Bob Burns, John Landis, Phil Tippet, Hoyt Yeatman, Ken Ralston, Joe Dante, John Dykstra, the Chiodo Brothers, Dennis Muren, Doug Beswick, John Berg, Rick Baker, Kevin Kutchaver, Frank Darabont, Forrest J. Ackerman, and Stan Winston are interviewed, showing just how far and wide Harryhausen's influence has spread. The Music of Bernard Herrmann (480p, 26:52) examines Herrmann's work, his love for Fantasy, his early work on radio, and, of course, his score for The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and other films. Passionately recounted by music historian and Herrmann biographer Steve Smith, the piece will appeal to fans of the composer and music in general.
Next up is a photo gallery, set to music, and presented in 480p. The feature runs for 9:34, with each photograph remaining on-screen for several seconds. A music video, set to promotional material for the film, entitled Sinbad May Have Been Bad, But He's Been Good To Me (480p, 3:07), is next. This piece was created as a promotion for the film, and its history is briefly described prior to the start of the song. A Look Behind the Voyage (480p, 11:47) is a vintage piece that further recounts the history of Ray Harryahusen's career, with Harryhausen participating in the feature along with producer Charles S. Schneer and star Kewrin Mathews. This is Dynamation (Special Effects) (480p, 3:25) is another vintage piece that informs audiences of how the then-groundbreaking effects were created. Ray Harryhausen - Interviewed by John Landis (480p, 11:52) is an entertaining interview featuring two Hollywood legends. 1080p trailers for Casino Royale, Men in Black, CJ7, and The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep are also included. Finally, this disc is BD-Live (Blu-ray profile 2.0) enabled.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is a classic example of pure entertainment. With its compact runtime, nearly nonstop action, family-friendly drama, language, and visuals, the film delivers, even five decades after its initial release. "Likable" is perhaps the word that best befits The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. It's never offensive, always fun, and full of characters that offer exaggerated personalities and actions that fit the tone of the film perfectly. Sony's Blu-ray release is befitting the material. Featuring a nicely restored 5.1 lossless soundtrack, a wonderfully detailed and colorful image, and a rather large helping of extras, fans and newcomers alike should be pleased with this release. Recommended.
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The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - October 7th - October 7, 2008
Since the early days of the format, Disney has been at the forefront of Blu-ray support, ensuring that consumers were able to purchase the best high definition home theater experience possible. Their critically acclaimed releases for films such as 'Pirates of the ...
• Harryhausen Blu-ray Details - July 29, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the special features for the upcoming Blu-ray releases of 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad: 50th Anniversary Edition' and 'Ray Harryhausen Giftset', both due to hit store shelves on October 7th. The collection will feature ...
• Sony Brings The 7th Voyage of Sinbad to Blu-ray - July 28, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the 1958 film 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad' to Blu-ray on October 7th, day-and-date with the DVD re-release. Video will be presented in 1.66:1 1080p AVC accompanied by a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. ...
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