Jason and the Argonauts
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The DVD includes a "making of" documentary, "notable and quotable," detailed cast and crew information, scene access, and Dolby surround sound. Even hard-core fans of Ray Harryhausen's 1963 stop-motion-animation version will find room in their hearts (and DVD libraries) for this one. Although the basic plot elements are the same, the two versions achieve very different (and both quite enjoyable) effects. The new Jason and the Argonauts is something kids and adults can all enjoy. --Tara Chace
- Making Of
- Notable and Quotable
Top Customer Reviews
I admit I was expecting some cheesy, low budget, badly-acted made-for-tv series but was pleased to find an entertaining film that stays faithful to the original myth. Add to that a strong cast, good production values and impressive special effects and you have a film that you will want to watch again and again.
The story centers on Jason (Jason London), who returns to reclaim his kingdom from his uncle, Pelias (Dennis Hopper). In order to regain the throne and save his mother's life, Jason agrees to sail to Colchis and obtain the golden fleece. With a crew that includes Orpheus, Atalanta, the mighty Hercules and the shipbuilder Argos, Jason faces many dangers on his quest for the fleece. The argonauts encounter the bronze giant Talos, the women of Lemnos (led by their queen Hypsypile - Natasha Henstridge), blind Phineas (Derek Jacobi) and the frightening harpies, the clashing rocks and more. When Jason arrives in Colchis, he falls in love with the lovely Medea (Jolene Blalock) but must face more challenges (including its ruler, King Aertes - Frank Langella) before he can leave the island with the fleece.
This version is more faithful to the myth than the 1963 film. For instance, Orpheus, Atalanta, Castor and Pollux make their appearance here. Also, this version shows what happens when the argonauts return home and has a better, more tightly woven ending than the original. The special effects are impressive and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes bickering between Zeus (Angus MacFadyen) and Hera (the lovely Olivia Williams). I also thought that this version's Hercules (Brian Thompson) was a lot more convincing than Nigel Green from the original.Read more ›
Unfortunately, Jason London is cast in the title role, and appears to have absolutely no acting ability whatsoever. He delivers his lines in a lifeless monotone, and his closet approximation to real emotion could be charitably called "looking Concerned." True, he is hampered by a tepid script, but it's interesting to note how almost every other performer manages to inject some note of drama into his/her performance, whereas Our Hero wanders about like a zombie in a daze. You wonder why anyone would get on a boat with this guy, and when he does perform a heroic feat, it's hard to believe that he would be capable of such acts of valor.
Ultimately, in spite of impressive visuals and some very enjoyable performances by the supporting players, London's listless, zombie-like trance drags the production down, and this rather long movie (close to 3 hours) is flat and uninvolving. (I got through the first two hours; long enough to see the Golden Fleece recovered. I decided to pass on the voyage home --- another 45 minutes.)
The story revolves around the vengeance-seeking young man named Jason (played in a very cardboard manner by Jason London) who finds himself setting sail on a ship called the Argo (with the hand-picked crew known as Argonauts, of course) to fetch the Golden Fleece. Along the way, of course, in the tradition of such tales, there are many adventures and encounters with gods, men, and unnatural beasties. There is a love story of sorts hidden in there somewhere as well, but it�s quite unsympathetic. ...
The acting in Jason and the Argonauts ranges from shoddy to pretty good. Even the respectable actors acquired for the film sometimes manage to turn in pretty unstable performances. Dennis Hopper plays the villain of the piece (not surprisingly), the arch-enemy of Jason, and he seems to have a thing for embracing people and then stabbing them in the back. Frankly, it is a silly role, and played just so. There are other characters even more absurd - one who has the keenest eyes in the land and shouts �I see it!� every five seconds which is both annoying and laughable. But on the other side of the coin, there are characters that manage to keep Jason and the Argonauts interesting, such as Hercules (a very non-Kevin Sorbo performance that is pretty fun), the minstrel, and the bodyguard of Jason�s father who seeks redemption.Read more ›
Brian Thompson's Hercules was the best performance; he seemed not only gigantically strong, but his bragging about his historic seven deeds was a nice addition. Dennis Hopper was basically boring as the evil king, and Frank Langella wasn't strong enough either. Natasha Henstridge's bit as the Amazon queen was fetching. The main problem with the cast was Jason London, who did not have the maturity or strength to carry the role. He seemed like a weak leader, one I would have been remiss to follow. London just doesn't have the chops to play such an integral role.
Overall, though, it's an entertaining version of the myth and looked sumptuous. Simon Boswell's score was also a highlight.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am happy to find this version of the Jason and the Argonauts. I have the older version already. But I wanted the newer version too.Published 16 months ago by Kyllikki Keränen
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