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.
Distributed By: Twilight Time
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH
Run Time: 1 Hr. 53 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-rayAmaray
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 12/10/2013
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.
The Production Rating: 3/5
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?).
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.
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: NA
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.
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.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5
The special features include all of the following:
Special Features Rating: 1.5/5
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.
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.
Overall Rating: 3/5
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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