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Blu-ray Reviews

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger Blu-ray Review

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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Timothy E

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Posted December 31 2013 - 12:46 PM

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger Blu-ray Review

The third and final Sinbad film produced by Ray Harryhausen is available now on Blu-ray with Twilight Time's release of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Patrick Wayne steps into the role of Sinbad in place of John Phillip Law, who played the lead in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad(1974). John Phillip Law was originally planned to reprise his role as Sinbad, but became unavailable. In this entry, Harryhausen creates some new creatures for Sinbad to discover, including a troglodyte, saber-toothed tiger, and a giant walrus.


Cover Art


Studio: Sony

Distributed By: Twilight Time

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA

Subtitles: English SDH

Rating: G

Run Time: 1 Hr. 53 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

Amaray

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: ABC

Release Date: 12/10/2013

MSRP: $29.99




The Production Rating: 3/5

Sinbad(Patrick Wayne) arrive in port at Charak so that Sinbad can petition Prince Kassim for consent to marry Kassim's sister, Princess Farah(Jane Seymour). Sinbad discovers that Kassim has been turned into a baboon by the sorceress Zenobia(Margaret Whiting) who wants to see her son Rafi(Kurt Christian) crowned as Caliph in place of Kassim. Sinbad embarks on a quest to restore Kassim to human shape within seven moons, or else Rafi will become Caliph. Sinbad enlists the help of a wizard names Melanthius, played by Patrick Troughton(Doctor Who). Kurt Christian, who plays Rafi, also appeared in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, in which he played a member of Sinbad's crew.

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger is the third of three Sinbad films produced by Ray Harryhausen and Charles H. Schneer, after The 7th Voyage of Sinbad(1958) and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad(1975). Principal photography on this film was actually completed in 1975, and Ray Harryhausen then required over a year to complete his fantastic stop motion creations, which include a troglodyte, ghouls, a saber-toothed tiger, and a giant walrus.

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger is a fun entry in the Sinbad series, even if it is somewhat diminished from earlier entries in the series. Patrick Wayne has been the subject of some criticism, unfairly in my opinion, for his portrayal of Sinbad. The cast is excellent, but the film is only as good as its material. Ray Harryhausen's creatures are always worthwhile, but the creations in this film are perhaps not as inspired and original as those in some of his other films. Some prehistoric creatures were planned in production but never came to fruition. It might have been interesting to see a dinosaur of some kind in place of the giant walrus, for example.

It is interesting to note that Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger was released in the same year as Star Wars(1977) aka Star Wars: A New Hope. Star Wars certainly raised the bar on fantasy and science fiction films, and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger must have suffered from comparison among filmgoers in 1977. Interestingly enought, the "chessboard" scene in Star Wars was certainly inspired by Harryhausen's work. In all, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger is a fun and moderately entertaining adventure film, even if it is no Star Wars(and how many films are?).



Video Rating: 4/5  3D Rating: NA

The film is presented in 1080p high definition in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio with the AVC codec. The picture quality is excellent with a sheen of grain perceptible but not to the point of distraction. Blacks are solid with very nice shadow detail. Colors are vibrant, and fine detail is excellent in all but a few dupe shots.

Some of the matte outlines are visible, but this is no fault of the transfer, since those mattes were probably as visible in 1977 as today. The optical dissolves are seamless without a dramatic loss of contrast. This transfer is almost flawless, and the dated quality of the matte shots cannot be attributed to any defect in the video presentation.



Audio Rating: 4.5/5

The English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio provides an outstanding aural experience. The sound is surprisingly crisp and clear without any audible hiss. Dialogue is primarly though the center channel and the soundtrack composed by Roy Budd(Get Carter) is worthy of its own isolated score track, which features music during scenes in which the music is not even perceptible during the full mix.



Special Features Rating: 1.5/5

The special features include all of the following:

Isolated Score Track: The film score composed by jazz pianist Roy Budd is presented in DTS-HDMA 5.1.

This Is Dynamation trailer(3:25): This highlights the stop-motion technique used by Ray Harryhausen on The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and other films.

Original Theatrical Trailer(2:17): This is the original trailer for Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

Also included in the clamshell case is a nicely illustrated booklet with an informative essay about production of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger written by Julie Kirgo.



Overall Rating: 3/5

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger is a fun film with an excellent cast. The video and audio presentations are virtually flawless. The special features, although minimal, are interesting enough, and the isolated score track includes music that one cannot hear in the film presentation. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger is recommended for fans of the film series and anyone who can appreciate an adventure matinee with monsters and heroes.

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger on Blu-ray is a limited edition of 3,000 units licensed by Twilight Time from Columbia and Sony Pictures. It is available exclusively at www.screenarchives.com for a limited time until it sells out.


Reviewed By: Timothy E


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#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted December 31 2013 - 02:59 PM

Hi, Timothy. Thanks for the review. Am wondering, however, from wence came your information that Ray Harryhausen worked on STAR WARS? I had never heard this before. My understand was that Phil Tippett and crew were responsible for the chessboard sequence.

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   fxrh

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Posted December 31 2013 - 03:02 PM

You beat me to the punch.  Jon Berg and Phil Tippett, not Ray Harryhausen, did the chess scene in STAR WARS.



#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Timothy E

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Posted December 31 2013 - 03:03 PM

 

Hi, Timothy. Thanks for the review. Am wondering, however, from wence came your information that Ray Harryhausen worked on STAR WARS? I had never heard this before. My understand was that Phil Tippett and crew were responsible for the chessboard sequence.

 
Whoops! I would have sworn that Harryhausen did that sequence (admittedly it looks like Harryhausen's work and was inspired by it) but my reference on the internet does not lie. Thanks for pointing that out which has been corrected.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Brett_M

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Posted December 31 2013 - 03:27 PM

I saw this at the Drive-In when it was released -- haven't seen it since.  I have fond memories of it, though.  I will definitely check it out.


Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it meant to roast in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   JeffT.

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Posted December 31 2013 - 09:07 PM

SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977) is probably much better appreciated today than when it was originally released back in the Summer of 1977.  

 

It was generally overlooked in the blockbuster status (and critical acclaim) of both STAR WARS (1977) and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977) proving itself to be a resounding flop at the box office.  This film pretty much marked the death knell for Mr. Harryhausen's stop motion animation art in a rapidly changing more technologically advanced world of the late 1970s.

 

With the (relative) success of THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973) Harryhausen attempted to repeat this rather than approaching something (imaginatively) different but the movie goers just weren't buying it at the time.

 

In retrospect I have to concur with the previous GOLDEN VOYAGE (1973) bluray assessment that THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958) is (by far) the best in the trilogy.

 

Jeff T.

 

:rolleyes:


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#7 of 8 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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Posted January 04 2014 - 07:48 PM

Star Wars was the Event picture.  I recall being surprised when one of my teachers had not seen it as it seemed as if everyone had.  On the other hand, I saw Sinbad at the drive in with my father and recall enjoying it a lot.  I saw it again in the last few years and I think it holds up very well and is a lot of fun.  On top of that, Jane Seymore in this film really blows away ROTJ Princess Leia in terms of quality geek pin up.  Wow!



#8 of 8 OFFLINE   SilverWook

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Posted January 06 2014 - 01:30 AM

SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977) is probably much better appreciated today than when it was originally released back in the Summer of 1977.  

 

It was generally overlooked in the blockbuster status (and critical acclaim) of both STAR WARS (1977) and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977) proving itself to be a resounding flop at the box office.  This film pretty much marked the death knell for Mr. Harryhausen's stop motion animation art in a rapidly changing more technologically advanced world of the late 1970s.

 

With the (relative) success of THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973) Harryhausen attempted to repeat this rather than approaching something (imaginatively) different but the movie goers just weren't buying it at the time.

 

In retrospect I have to concur with the previous GOLDEN VOYAGE (1973) bluray assessment that THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958) is (by far) the best in the trilogy.

 

Jeff T.

 

:rolleyes:

Arguably, those kids over at ILM, who grew up on Ray's movies, picked up where he left off. The Empire Strikes Back used stop motion for the Taun Tauns and Imperial Walkers. ILM refined the technique into go-motion, utlized in Dragonslayer. Animator Phil Tippett, (who bears an amazing resmblance to Harryhausen) is working on a new "old school" animated project when not doing stuff for Hollywood.

 

Stop motion has been proclaimed dead so many times over the past couple decades, I've lost count.







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