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Animation and Anime

SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS review

I have rarely, if ever, walked into a screening of a film more ready to openly hate a film than I did tonight.

I went to see SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS fully ready to dice and fillet the processed soy product that would undoubtedly be palatable to all tastes, without so much as a single spice that made the stories of Sinbad so open to being cherished by me.

I grew up with Sinbad. From the Silver Screen, where I first caught sight of Harryhausen’s tellings… to that smiling scoundrel of a mug worn by Douglas Fairbanks Jr… to the chapters dedicated to “Sindbad the Sailor” found in the verses of THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.

I Love Sinbad.

I’ve never seen a faithful telling of the character, and still long to see a version that begins with a man named Hindbad with a burden and life so hard, that he doubts the very right of Sindbad to have the wealth he has while others suffer so. Then for Sindbad to invite this impoverished man into his banquet halls and to tell of his Seven Voyages, so this man could see that his life was not always that of silks and spices, but of hardships inhuman and unbelievable… to light the hope of adventure in the souls of cultures from the streets of Baghdad centuries ago to our ears and eyes today.

SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS is not that tale, not by a long shot. With its grossly modern language and sensibilities to the cultural cleansing that the film represents… One can watch this film and have not a single iota of a clue that they are watching the tale of the greatest hero of Baghdad and Muslim legend.

To have done that, would have meant financial suicide, because I know only too well that too few would take their children to a hero saving Baghdad from ruin, but call it Syracuse… make everyone look quasi-European tan, and you’ll be nice and safe. Imagine had they done the same to the story of Moses in THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, but… hey… I understand, we live in the melting pot and this Velveeta telling of Sinbad, well it is the telling of Sinbad for the times we live in. I only hope there will be a day that the true telling and adaptation will be done and accepted here. When a Muslim hero can exist for all, with the same eagerness and joy with which we except a Greek HERCULES.

Ok, enough of the Soap Box…

I went to this film, fully expecting to hate it. I hated the trailers. I really hated the trailers. I hated the trailers so much that Jeffrey Katzenberg called to tell me to not judge the film by the trailer… to have faith. That he would ship me the film on the 23rd of May, the day after it was done, so that I could judge the final film and love or hate it… I would be judging the final film.

Well, I have to say, this did make me think that perhaps I was a bit tough on the film. Then the 23rd came and went without so much as a peep. The 23rd of June came and went without a peep. Well, so much for that confidence.

Today, I heard from a friend that they were screening SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS tonight, and it was at a theater that I am always welcomed at, so with no pass, Father Geek and I went uninvited.

Theater managers waved me right on in, and as I sat there in the theater, I told Dad that I had been talking with a friend online, and how I told them I was seeing “Sinbad” tonight. They responded with, “Sin-baaaaaaaaaaad?” To which I responded, “Sin-BRAD” and then they came back with “SPIN-BRAD” I then told Dad that I was probably going to call this review, “Spin-Brad: Thief of Shahrazâd.”

The theater filled up with around 500 folks – mostly families with children and it was time for the film.

I was kind of half expecting a SHARKSLAYER teaser, but apparently they didn’t have one ready… a shame for sure.

The film begins and with the exception of a few problems, I found the film to be absolutely wonderful. I’m still rather shocked by how involving the film was and well executed given the shoddy trailers.

Ok, admittedly Brad Pitt’s Sinbad takes around 30 minutes to get used to. He’s so… Brad that there were times where I just saw Pitt up there doing his thing. It isn’t just the voice, they took several of his mannerisms that he’s done in his modern day film work. At one point, he does the talking muppet hand thing as if to say, “Yabba yabba yabba”, then waves the person off as he turns. It was a total Pitt moment, which did bug me, because I didn’t want to SEE or even HEAR Brad Pitt here, I wanted him to just disappear into the voice work, and eventually he does… At one moment of character confession for him, he’d completely just become the character and it was the best moment of the entire film. I believe you’ll know it when you see it.

Joseph Fiennes’ PROTEUS is just a complete non-character. Just nothing particularly groovy about the character. He’s just a plot device. Same with every character in Syracuse. They’re all designed bland. No real ethnicity or cultural heritage. They remind me of those people on those planets on bad utopian Star Trek episodes where they’re essentially just bored sheep longing for their never-ending field of grass to just chew on till they die.

However, they are not all that important. Instead, the important characters are all either ethereal or on Sinbad’s boat.









First… There’s Michelle Pfeiffer’s ERIS, the goddess of chaos. As you can probably guess, she’s like Loki, sexy and a wench. She loves just putting a monkey wrench in everything. As a voice, Michelle Pfeiffer oozes sensuality as Eris. As a work of animation, Eris is a marvel… a trickster, here, there… everywhere. Within a single line of dialogue she could be 50 ft away, blink, stroking your cheek, blink, in front of you, blink, 10 ft behind you. The result is beautiful work. So – a big pat on the back goes out to Dan Wagner as the supervising animator, along with the team of Robert Espanto Domingo, John Hill, Yoshimichi Tamura and finally – Scott Bern. My personal favorite moment for her is the trailer shot where she’s over-sized clacking her nails in front of Sinbad on the rock. Delicious moment, and it works far better in the context of the film.

Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Marina didn’t work for me at the beginning, but as the film continued, I warmed to Marina. At the beginning they play her character and her relationship with Sinbad in a similar fashion to say…. Olivia De Havilland’s to Errol Flynn in CAPTAIN BLOOD – that barely tolerable antagonistic hate/attraction for each other -- only Flynn and Olivia had it down to an art form, and here it didn’t feel right till later… Of course early on, I think I was having trouble adjusting to the overt modern feeling to all the dialogue which was so out of place for these characters, and later I had accepted it.









My favorite character in the film is this sailor on Sinbad’s ship called RAT. Rat is a genius of a character. Absolutely classic! He’s a man of the ropes, always with his feet off the deck, hanging, entering frame from odd angles, nearly always coming in from the top half of the frame… which is always jarring, but pleasantly so. The way he moves, the concept of him and just everything about him is a triumph. The team that created his character should be watched for future animation work. EXCEPTIONAL! The Supervising Animator was Steve Horrocks, but with Helen Michael and Raymond Flores Fabular lending their talents as well. These 3 really did a bang up job on the character. The character stole the film for me. He’s a minor character yes, but the same way that John Turturro can steal a Coen film with a few minutes here and there licking a bowling ball, RAT steals scenes with a ukulele and a sheepish look and a few words from Adriano Giannini as his voice.

I enjoyed the film immensely despite the baggage I brought against the film. It is the best action adventure animated film since ALADDIN and the third best action adventure American animated film after BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM and ALADDIN. There are no characters in this film that I out and out hate, I could do without the dog, but I get why he’s there… I just wish when he attacked, he was vicious instead of lovable. This is the most successfully entertaining 2D animated film from Dreamworks to date. Very good work, and not at all the disaster that the trailer made it out to be.

It is still miles behind Harryhausen’s films, but hell… what’d ya expect?









Readers Talkback
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  • June 27, 2003, 2:17 p.m. CST

    nice

    by imageburn13

    all dreamworks efforts in animation come out reasonably above average

  • June 27, 2003, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but.....

    by orlandocfa

    Did your nephew poop his pants? I heard this movie only ranks 2 crap filled diapers out of a possible 5.

  • June 27, 2003, 2:25 p.m. CST

    I only have one thing to add...

    by Curiously Strong

  • June 27, 2003, 2:25 p.m. CST

    I only have one thing to add...

    by Curiously Strong

    The 23rd of June came and went without a peep

  • June 27, 2003, 2:31 p.m. CST

    I too grew up with Sinbad

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    He was a large man, swarthy really, who used to attempt to touch me inappropriately.

  • June 27, 2003, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Great, in-depth review!

    by Goonie

    Harry--I think you are doing an excellent job. Keep up the good work, and the nice, long reviews.

  • June 27, 2003, 2:34 p.m. CST

    No mention of Baghdad? That's pretty pathetic..

    by Tarl_Cabot

    When are they gonna make a decent live action Sinbad?

  • June 27, 2003, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Why hire Brad Pitt? I don't get the fascination with him. How ma

    by Tarl_Cabot

    Ewan McGregor would have been better.

  • June 27, 2003, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Does Sinbad battle terrorists on a hot air ballon?

    by Grando

    That would be pretty cool.

  • June 27, 2003, 2:46 p.m. CST

    by Rome&BrianGarage

    Brad Pitt is cool...Ewan Mcgregor is a huge flaming piece of Moulin Rouge.....and that is seriously gay!

  • June 27, 2003, 3:03 p.m. CST

    I still can't bring myself to see this crap.

    by Movietool

    Dreamworks and Disney are so interchangable that I don't know why you even bothered to remind us which studio made it. I'm so utterly tired of both of their efforts that it's pointless to continue to distinguish between the two. With the outstanding exception of Iron Giant, American 2D animation continues to wallow in a quagmire of modern day colloquial language, "hip" characters that will remain absolutley glued into the decade they were created, and funny animal sidekicks which serve no purpose other than to compensate for weak main characters. I know, I know, this is a movie for kids and I shouldn't judge it before I see it. Screw that - the dammed TRAILER has Sinbad saying "cool" like some California juvenile for God's sake. I don't want my kids to think that Sinbad went around saying "cool." I want them to hear him say "Allah be praised!" I want an animated movie that TRANSPORTS ME AWAY from people who say "cool." Clearly American audiences aren't ready for "serious" animation yet - I can accept that - and clearly Dream-Disney-Works is making their movies for kids and kids don't care if Sinbad says "cool" or "I rock!" or "Sinbad in the Hiz-ouse!!!" But is it so impossible to imagine that you could get rid of the modern colloquial bullshit and give me a movie that both me and my kid can enjoy? Modern colloquial was funny when Robin Williams did it in Aladin - it was wearing THIN by the time Mulan came out - it sucked in Hercules (which also all-around-sucked) and now it's just a sign of laziness. "Hey! Wouldn't it be wacky to hear (insert classic literary character) say (insert modern day saying)? Yeah! That will get a laugh out of all the kids!" Ugh. . . . . I'll pass.

  • June 27, 2003, 3:04 p.m. CST

    I'll be going to check this out only because I always go see ani

    by Terry_1978

    with the exception of some of the more annoying nickeoldeon ones. Dreamworks animation has always had that somewhat "adult"(if you can call it that) edge to it, and I may go just for the hell of it on the holiday weekend.

  • June 27, 2003, 3:08 p.m. CST

    brad hater

    by purplemonkeydw

    What is the deal with the brad haters? Outside of Cool World, I've liked most of the stuff he's done...seriously, Fight Club? Snatch? I'm convinced his role in Snatch paved the way for Collin Farrel...oh, now I see why some of you don't like him.

  • June 27, 2003, 3:11 p.m. CST

    As my name implies - I'm a tool

    by Movietool

    Mulan came out AFTER Hercules. It's just that Hercules was the pinnacle of the "Modern Colloquial Syndrome" in American animation. Hercules took a big steaming DUMP on the greek myth and didn't even feel bad about it. Walt Disney had the balls to leave Pinnocio's darker aspects alone - where is that edge now?

  • June 27, 2003, 3:32 p.m. CST

    What the hell - I'll keep going

    by Movietool

    Looking back on my post, I'll concede my lumping of Dreamworks so completely with the Mouse House was a little unfair. The Prince of Egypt was a good movie - devoid of most of what I was ranting about. Since than, however, Dreamworks keeps slipping into Disney territory. Road to El Dorado (which began a downward swing) and Spirit (which seemed like SKGs answer to the ridiculous Pocahontus - mired in Political Correctness). And just to be fair to Disney - The Emperor's New Groove was a great movie. I guess what I'm really mad at is the constant "re-imagining" of classic tales that have ample adventure and humor and drama AS THEY ARE. I resent the modernization - the sterilization - and the lost opportunity to present these great works without fiddling around with them so drastically. Crap, I take this stuff too seriously.

  • June 27, 2003, 3:34 p.m. CST

    My view on Sinbad...

    by CoolDan989

    First of all, I probably won't be seeing this. Second of all, I find it kind of ironic and hypocritical that Brad Pitt criticized cutesy animated films with celebrity voices in Fight Club but is now appeaing in one himself. And third...sorry I have to say this, but Eris really does have big breasts. Sorry, couldn't resist observing that. It's just an observation, people!

  • June 27, 2003, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Boo Hoo! Oh the poor Muslims!

    by SexyBeast

    Harry rips America again. We are now the evil crusaders corrupting a glorious muslim fable...Time for some suicide bombings I guess. Maybe fly a couple planes into some more buildings to kill the evil Americans. Never seen a FILM site so anti american in my life. Something tells me Harry would sooner vote for Osama Bin Laden than Bush in 2004

  • June 27, 2003, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Technically, that'd be the Greek original HERACLES

    by Trav McGee

    ...and the ROMAN version Hercules, and the legendary Homercles of Springfield. ...Wow, was THAT geeky. Hail Eris! (And never whistle while you're pissing.)

  • June 27, 2003, 4:05 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't call Aladdin ction/ adventure. There really wasn't mu

    by ILoveEwksAndJJar

    But Batman:Mask of the Phantasm was better than all of the live action Batman movies.

  • June 27, 2003, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Who's Bad?

    by Lance Rock

    that line in the trailer really killed it for me. thankfully for dreamworks i'm not an 11-year-old.

  • June 27, 2003, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Am I to assume, then, that Sinbad doesn't fight terrorists in ho

    by Chastain-86

    Fuck it. I ain't going.

  • June 27, 2003, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Well, it's true the ad campaign is AWFUL -- but if the movie is

    by Bregalad_

    It should be able to rise and stand on its own merits. I will see it for sure and decide for myself. THANK YOU Harry for helping the potential audience understand the film better than the DreamWorks marketing team could have.

  • June 27, 2003, 4:44 p.m. CST

    PLANT! Fighting Terrorists on a Hot Air Balloon!

    by pmarq

    Okay that was really stupid, but I felt like it. Sue me. Let's make this hot air thing the new trend...

  • June 27, 2003, 4:51 p.m. CST

    cartoons are for kids

    by Rome&BrianGarage

    especially manga

  • June 27, 2003, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Sinbad ( not Sindbad? Oh well. )

    by Blue_Demon

    "It's still miles behind Harryhausen's films, but hell...what'd ya expect? C'mon Harry, you just said the characters on Sinbad's boat were good. Harryhausens films were fun, but nobody cared about the characters. I mean, what would get you into the Paramount Theater? Kerwin Matthews? Or the Cyclops? Yeah. Two different types of movies my friend. In this one, you go for the animation across the board. In the Harryhausen movies you go for the few precious minutes the creatures are on screen ( except for "Clash of The Titans" which has Judith Bowker's bum as an added attraction...but methinks I sayeth too much, hehehe. ) Man...the other day I said I hated fish sticks so much that Mrs. Paul called to tell me that I should taste hers. When Charlie the Tuna got wind of that, he called to tell me that I should taste his product. Sara Lee called to tell me thank you, because she knows that nobody ( myself included ) doesn't like her.

  • June 27, 2003, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Cool version of Sindbad

    by Blue_Demon

    A really nice version of Sindbad was the graphic novel by Jan Strnaad and Richard Corben ( I have a copy in my library somewhere ) called "The Last Voyage of Sindbad." Great story. Sindbad has given up his worldly ways and become a Sufi and tells his tale to a merchant and we're off! This would have been a great movie, but then again, Richard Corben is such a good "director" that if feels like a movie already.

  • I just had to say that.

  • June 27, 2003, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Brad Pitt and stop motion skeletons

    by PRIVATE_SANTIAGO

    Wouldn't it be cool if during a fight scene Sinbad leaps up and is frozen so they do the "bullet time" trick before he kicks a bad guy in the face??!!! No. No it would not. Animation movies are supposed to be particularly timeless, so you and your children both get a kick out of it. Throwing in "cool" or "phat" or any modern phrasing just makes everything seem that more dated. Oh and , "I want you..to stab me.. as hard as you can."

  • June 27, 2003, 7:08 p.m. CST

    The movie trailer is so annoying.

    by guava_jam

    What bugged me so much about the trailer was that smarmy gimmick of showing the actors lending their voices to this cartoon. It's as if the suits had very little faith that the public would turn out for the story itself, so they decided to trot out footage of Brad Pitt, CZJ, etal, in the act of reading the script. It so reminded me of those irritating political ads where the politician goes about his business as if he doesn't know there's a camera eight inches from his face. Seriously, this is an effin' cartoon, who cares about the face behind the voice!

  • June 27, 2003, 9:06 p.m. CST

    I don't care what anyone says...

    by 007-11

    "Prince of Egypt" was fantastic.

  • June 27, 2003, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Bravo Harry

    by NubtheSquirrel

    I applaud you! My review was posted earlier today and everybody thought I was crazy for saying is was a good movie. I guess I'm not the only one who liked it, despite the trailers being so stupid, go see this movie! It truly deserves an audience!

  • June 27, 2003, 11:49 p.m. CST

    could it be worse than TREASURE PLANET??

    by mooncake

  • June 28, 2003, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Tomorrow night, TCM plays all 3 Harryhausen Sinbads back to back

    by Trav McGee

    Tune in, folks! Hell, I'm pissed I only found out tonight that it was a Harryhausen weekend. Got the tape rollin now, though. It's gonna be nice watching "Mysterious Island" over breakfast tomorrow morn...

  • June 28, 2003, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Hunky Bruce Springsteen

    by Brimacombe

    And no he doesn't need a haircut, I love the vest, and the soul patch can stay.

  • June 28, 2003, 2:54 a.m. CST

    sexybeast=idiot

    by beamish13

    the people who've been bombing abortion clinics in the states have almost all been CHRISTIANS. what about the Inquisition, you moron? America needs to get off of its high-horse and learn to respect other cultures (*cough-the Central America disaster during the 80's, the Middle East)

  • June 28, 2003, 2:56 a.m. CST

    Viva France! Fuck America!

    by beamish13

    Shove "freedom fries" (which are from Belgium, a country Bush can't locate on a map) up your silly, immature asses.

  • June 28, 2003, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Re: Boo Hoo! Oh the poor Muslims!

    by gojira

    Hell I'd just as soon vote for a potato as Bush in 2004. I'm sooooooooooo sick of this "if you dissnet against anything Bush your anti american" bullshit. Why don't you morons just split yourself off from the Republican party and call yourselves the Nazi party, 'cause your not foolin' anyone with your flag waving patriotic crap anyway.

  • June 28, 2003, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Re: Boo Hoo! Oh the poor Muslims!

    by gojira

    Hell I'd just as soon vote for a potato as Bush in 2004. I'm sooooooooooo sick of this "if you dissnet against anything Bush your anti american" bullshit. Why don't you morons just split yourself off from the Republican party and call yourselves the Nazi party, 'cause your not foolin' anyone with your flag waving patriotic crap anyway.

  • June 28, 2003, 11:32 a.m. CST

    I dont get it

    by FearTheJuggalo6

    I have been coming to this site for a while and it just seems to me that there isn't a movie that harry hates anymore. it seems to be that he loves everything. Did he lose his edge or is it just me.

  • June 28, 2003, 11:59 a.m. CST

    How much?

    by DeadRapedDeer

    How much did the studio pay you to write that review Harry, you fat bastard. I am so sick of your liberal carrying on about the bloody war. What has the good and just war in Iraq got to do with Sinbad. You eat too many ham snacks Mr Harry

  • June 28, 2003, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Harry is right, the ad/marketing campaign was terrible

    by Spacesheik

    Where SINBAD should be swashbuckling, mystical, adventurous, eerie and exotic and colorful, the trailers were terrible, placing too much emphasis on the female villain and unimaginatie, dark settings. I wanted to see SINDBAD jump, throw a punch, slash someone, steer the ship, fight a Ray Harryhausen monster (a la 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD) and I got some ROAD TO EL DORADO look-alike character with some female villain talking.

  • June 28, 2003, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Can Harry write two sentences without dropping some douchebag ex

    by mrbrains

    Harry, how is is relevant that a Disney executive called you about this movie? Whatever happened to "the play's the thing?" Douchebag.

  • June 28, 2003, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Where is the Punch-Drunk Love DVD Talk Back!?

    by readyoufool

    sorry it's off topic guys...but then, there's no pdl dvd talk back...see?

  • June 29, 2003, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Brad Pitt is blah

    by GypsyTRobot

    Why anyone thinks he's cute or interesting is beyond me. However, I am a weirdo, so perhaps my opinion doesn't count.

  • June 29, 2003, 12:18 a.m. CST

    IT'S GOTTA BE BETTER THAN THE HULK! I MEAN, IT SERIOUSLY COULDN'

    by TheGinger Twit

  • June 29, 2003, 12:18 p.m. CST

    godrefla...

    by Bad Guy

    Harrison Ford's worst recent movie is "DEVIL'S OWN"??Hardly, try "SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS", "SABRINA", "HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE"or "RANDOM HEARTS". And I don't care for most of Julia Roberts' movies anyway, but you could do worse than "THE MEXICAN". As far as movies that Brad Pitt has appeared in that I did enjoy: "THELMA & LOUISE", "KALIFORNIA", "TRUE ROMANCE" (He stole every scene he was in.), "INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE", "SEVEN", "FIGHT CLUB", "12 MONKEYS" and "OCEAN'S 11". "A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT", "SLEEPERS" and "LEGENDS OF THE FALL" all had their moments. Oh and he did get an Oscar nomination for best supp. actor for "12 MONKEYS".

  • June 29, 2003, 2:39 p.m. CST

    really?

    by drjones

    so this is better than prince of egypt???

  • June 29, 2003, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Dumbass.

    by tv`snick

    "I brought against the film. It is the best action adventure animated film since ALADDIN and the third best action adventure American animated film after BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM and ALADDIN." So it's better than PRINCESS MONONOKE? Or PORCO ROSSO? Harry, you're a xenophobe.

  • June 29, 2003, 8:53 p.m. CST

    harry, you can't be serious

    by FMJeff

    It's a friggin cartoon movie for children? I can't believe you honestly expected a faithful interpretation of the character when Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta Jones were the primary voice-over talent. Maybe you should skip movies like these in general and leave the fluff to the audience it was meant for...children who still wet thier pants and cry when Bambi dies. (Or do you still cry when Bambi dies?) By the way, is there one review that doesn't contain some childhood anecdote about how you grew up with the character, loved the character, had masturbatory sex with the character, and any film version of the character couldn't possiby live up to your childhood preconceptions of that character? We get it, you're a nerd of all trades...skip to review please...

  • June 30, 2003, 12:48 a.m. CST

    sexybeast, no offense pal..but you're a moron.

    by exador

    just read the review, and not once, not anywhere in it, did Harry in fact rip on america, or americans....all he pointed out was that this story is from the middle east, and that it's characters are infact arabic and muslim. he also pointed out that it's a shame we have to paint over these facts to make fantastic and beautiful stories palatable for racist bitches like yourself. To be muslim is not a crime. to be muslim does not mean you are a terrorist. no more than being a christian means you're willing to shoot doctors that perform abortions. honestly sexybeast, when you post nonsense like that, you show the whole of the talkback world what a complete and utter prejudiced nutcase you are...........so, why don't you just go back to hating and racist gibberish someplace else.... ________________________________________________ special thanks go to gojira and beamish13, for reminding me that there are still plenty of cool people hanging around the talkbacks....cheers guys...

  • June 30, 2003, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Yet more movies that Harry "grew up" on. Did he ever do anything

    by trouserpress

    Someone call Amnesty International!

  • SYRACUSE???!!! Fuuuuuccccckkkk, what IS it with Whorywood? They do their best to avoid offendint the potential rabid (or at least pissy) Muslims, but when it comes to setting a story completely within their culture, they blow that off too and relocate it to the MEDITERRANEAN??? I assume that's the ocean in question, since SYRACUSE is on freakin' Sicily! Or are we to assume there is a city somewhere in the ancient Levant or the coast of the Indian Ocean that is also called Syracuse? Criminy. I really HATE, HATE, HATE this shit. God-damned Whorywood always has to fuck with science or history to appeal to a demographic. Who cares about reality when PROFIT is on the line and you're largely trying to sell your cray to iggerunt morons? ****** All very well and good that this turned out to be enjoyable for you, Harry, in spite of your extreme misgivings, so MAYBE I'll go see it after all, in spite of MINE. But I'm afraid I'll be going in with bad memories of Atlantis in my mind. Ugh. Now that I recalled that lump of celluloid sewage, I have to puke.

  • June 30, 2003, 10:04 a.m. CST

    The Amazing Voyage of Azzam would be the ultimate Sinbad movie

    by Idontgiveadamn

    You have the hero rescuing a princess from the harem of a 3 bodied giant straight out of mythology as Harryhausen might have done, followed by a chase through a city on flying carpets that ends in the clouds. A battle between fiery skeletal warriors and a war party of headless tribesmen. And a treasure that makes the finale of Raiders of the Lost Ark feeble by comparison. Character-wise, the protagonist is out to top Sinbad's reputation(he never appears in the story but makes his presence known). Clever book, but it would never be made into a movie for the reason harry cites--you cant have any positive portrayals of Muslim-Arab society in the current US climate. Fortunately the US is no longer the only game in town in terms of spfx, so a UK company or European company could do it. PLEASE make Azzam.

  • June 30, 2003, 10:07 a.m. CST

    So you think Loki is sexy? Very interesting, Harry.

    by Nice Marmot

  • June 30, 2003, 10:52 a.m. CST

    HERCULES is ROMAN, HERAKLES is GREEK

    by Drath

    Not to be a bigger geek than usual, but it's an interesting twist to your point about accepting the true ethnicities of the characters when you use the Roman name of a Greek hero, Harry. You probably knew it already, and if so, "wink wink." ******************** Oy, I'm sick of people blasting Treasure Planet on Talkbacks. It was a good movie with unnecessary CG and a poorly timed release date. I loved it a lot though, and every criticism I've read of the movie is too full of shit to even argue with. People have just dismissed that movie off hand. Fucking disgrace of a way to treat a good animated movie like Treasure Planet. Even Lilo and Stitch is taking hits now. I think it's Disney just trying to validate it's move to all CG at this point. Pinheads. ************** Now, to get on topic, I'm very much encouraged by this review. If anyone was going to hate this thing, it was a major Sinbad movie fan like Harry. But if he was impressed enough to give it a nice review, then I will most likely enjoy it too. Although I'm really really sorry to know they fucked up the dialogue. Why the hell can't modern script writers handle otherworldly dialogue? Gore Vidal can't be the last one to pull this off without sounding stilted and dry. I though John "Gladiator" Logan would do a good job, so either he's a one-hit wonder(yeah, he DID do Star Trek: Nemesis) or this was corporate/middle management insisting on dumbing down the movie because of all those idiots complaining that Prince of Egypt took itself too seriously.

  • June 30, 2003, 10:46 p.m. CST

    HARRY ATE MY SNACKS!

    by DeadRapedDeer

    AND MY BOTTOM

  • July 2, 2003, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Is Classic Animation DEAD or dying??

    by BladetheOriginal

    With Spirited Away as an exception, comparing box-office between movies like Finding Nemo, Ice Age, Monsters Inc. & Shrek to movies like Spirit and Treasure Planet, it appears as if classic animation is getting its ass kicked by Pixar and the like consistently. Audiences seem to prefer movies like Shrek and seeing how well Treasure Planet did, I feel Sinbad will do just about the same regardless of the high profile voice talent.

  • July 7, 2003, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Movie Star does not equal seiyuu

    by LoveDark

    Seiyuu - Japanese for voice actor, usually in anime. I ran into this problem first with Princess Mononoke. The suits believe you have to have stars to sell films. Maybe that it is reality but so what, it sucks and I don't have to like it. Now, Matt Damon and Drew Barrymore did a passable job in "Titan A.E." and show a bit of seiyuu magic - the ability to lose your identity in a voice over for an animation and become the character. Daveigh Chase is a young Master with her great, great performances in "Lilo and Stitch" and "Spirited Away". And Cheryl Chase absolutely blows my mind as this grown woman becomes a 5 year old little girl in "My Neighbor Totoro". But no one, no one will ever touch the talent of the late, great Mel Blanc. Warner Bros. had to recruit an army of seiyuu to replace he after he left us. But in American, voice actor get no respect. It is a shame, it is really a separate talent than film acting and they deserve more. But most of all, we, the teeming millions, will have a better experience if we can convince the suits that we want great voice actors and not names that are easily sold. Notice, I have spared you any mention of truly Japanese seiyuu - I actually do want to be on topic. So, basically, my point is, would not Sinbad been a better film with great voice talent that you did not recognize as other than the characters of the film instead of the stars? I do think so.

  • Harry, are you REALLY surprised by an American version of a Middle Eastern hero IN A FREAKING CARTOON? I mean, this is an American cartoon aimed at American children. Did you expect popular culture to deviated from a formula that has worked for years? Have you been unconscious for the last for last few decades and missed the black "spiritual" singing in the cartoon, Hercules? Or a genie that sounds like Robin Williams in Aladdin (yeah, he just "disappeared" in that role, didn't he?). This is nothing new. It is only your liberal bias and the current political climate that has precipitated your skewed outlook. I'm glad to hear it didn't bias your review (though you still found it important enough to mention????)

  • July 15, 2003, 8 p.m. CST

    Curse of the Highland 10

    by LoveDark

    I live closest to the Galaxy Highland 10 theater here in Austin. Since the Galaxy people have taken it over, it has been more improved, thank you. But they have started screwing the pooch. I tried to go see Sinbad there today. The picture was prefect but the sound REEKED. Everything came from the center and all of the soft, soft parts has this horrible distrotion. I summoned an usher and he has thin ears and no clue of what I am talking about. What the hell can you work in a movie theater and not understand the important of clean 5.1 sound? I wait FOREVER and nothing is done. He slips and tells that they are having a lot of speaker problems. I demand a refund and they make me wait for the manager. She tells that they are planning to remodel the theater. NOTE: this is a full price first run movie house. They all knew the sound was fucked. No one believed it is worth telling the customer ahead of time. That is cheap and deceptive. When I complain, first I get gamed and then I get a cool shoulder refund. Never an apology. Galaxy Highland 10 SUCKS!!!!!!!!! I hope to see this film at a professional theater before it disappears.

  • Aug. 3, 2003, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Hey Beamish, why don't you and the rest of Iraq Jr. aka france g

    by Malebolgia

    An American has taken your lousy Tour De france and wiped his ass with it. sniveling, smelly pompous ass!