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Showing 1-10 of 406 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 491 reviews
on March 5, 2017
I've loved this film since I first saw it as a kid. I'll grant that the special effects are dated - but for it's time, this was magic brought to life on the big (and little - TV) screen. The excellent animation of the various creatures still remain (in my opinion) as one of the greatest testaments to the late Ray Harryhausen's legacy (my favorite being Talos - the man of bronze). The music score is near perfect for the storyline, making this film seem on a par with the best epics (it's not, but that's possibly due to it being a fantasy - as opposed to historical fiction).
This is definitely family fare - and older parents (who were kids when it came out) can probably still appreciate it as much, if not more, than children viewing it for the first (or second, or 50th) time. The plot isn't too complicated. There is no sex or gore. Humor is mixed with tragedy - like in the case of Hylas. A definite must-have for fantasy fans, filmmakers, and anyone who enjoys a great adventure film.
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on July 10, 2013
One of the best of the movies with Ray Harryhousen's Dynamation special effects. The Greek myth(s) about Jason were pretty well represented, in other words a great story. I only downgraded it from 5 stars to 4 because the story 'just ended' with Jason and the heroine sailing off into the sunset. Does Jason even get back home to Thessaly? How does he even get back through the Clashing Rocks on his way back? Does he finally confront the usurper-king, and win back his kingdom? In the original myths he does, but the movie's end leaves you guessing. Including an actual (or Hollywood) ending to the story might have added as much as 30 minutes to the movie, but since Jason encountered no more monsters on the way back, there was not much for Harryhousen to do.

As an aside, for those of you who might be wondering just where the 'Clashing Rocks' were located, I looked it up for you. The actual location is the Bosphorus - that very narrow strait between the Sea of Marmara (Constantinople) and the Black Sea. Colchis was said to be somewhere on the Southern shore of the Black Sea. Just to avoid any confusion, the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles) is the narrow strait between the Aegean Sea (Greek side) to the Sea of Marmara. Troy was supposed to be located at the entrance to the Hellespont.

It is also said in myth that floating rocks known as the Symplegades or Clashing Rocks once crushed any ship that attempted passage of the Bosphorus until the hero Jason obtained passage, whereupon the rocks became fixed, and Greek access to the Black Sea was opened. Now you know how Jason avoided being crushed on his way back to Thessaly.

History and myth aside, this movie is one of the best of Harryhousen's efforts, told a great story in only 101 minutes, and is therefore highly recommended. The more recent re-makes of the Jason story, as well as the Perseus vs. the Gorgon myth (Clash of the Titans) have better effects (at least more modern), but their stories just don't hold together as well.
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on August 11, 2011
This is no great film in terms of plot execution or dialogue or acting. But this movie is still an amazing piece of craftsmanship. Made on a low budget, even for the time, it is visually amazing. A giant bronze statue comes to life. Harpies torment a man and are captured. The hero fights a multi-headed hydra. And a climactic battle with undead skeletons. All without any computer work at all. No computers were used to make this film. And while the special effects might seem a little dated in this day and age of polished digital CGI beasts and worlds, they still work. I still have seen every little in modern films that impresses me as much as the work done on the giant bronze Talus in this film.

The blu-ray transfer of this film is really well done. It's clean and not at all grainy. This film also comes with a pair of commentaries. The one with Ray Harryhausen and film historian Tony Dalton is good. The one with Peter Jackson and Randall Cook is good at first, but unfortunately they begin to start talking about other Harryhausen films and spend as much if not more time talking about the Sinbad films as they do about "Jason and the Argonauts." Scenes where I wish they were commenting on the action on screen they spend talking about how much they prefer "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad." Which is a fun film, but not what I want them to talk about when I'm watching "Jason and the Argonauts."

Anyway, this film is entertaining as spectacle, and it looks wonderful in the blu-ray format. It is even child friendly, if your child can handle fantasy and skeletons. There is no gore, and the closest it gets to overt sexuality is a scene of Nancy Kovack dancing while painted gold. So buy it and watch it with your family.
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on August 4, 2010
Jason and the Argonauts is generally regarded as Ray Harryhausen's masterpiece (although my personal favorite is still Mysterious Island) and one of the greatest mythological fantasy films ever made, perhaps second only to the Kordas' Thief of Bagdad, if not better. This review, however, is not about the movie itself, but about the Blu-ray transfer versus the previous DVD release.

A number of reviewers have weighed in (both pro and con) on the Blu-ray transfer, but I wanted to add my two cents, having just cued up, synchronized, and directly compared the Blu-ray and DVD versions. Those complaining about the transfer could not possibly have compared the Blu-ray side by side with the DVD. Switching back and forth between the two, the superiority of the Blu-ray transfer is not only very noticeable, but indisputable.

The contrast, color balance, sharpness/detail, and black levels are all much improved in the Blu-ray. The DVD looks flat (low contrast) in comparison, the sharpness and detail are soft, and the color balance is considerably off, with the whole frame exhibiting a reddish-orange cast. In contrast, the Blu-ray is very sharp (even on my analog projection TV), fleshtones are natural, and the entire color palette is far more accurate (especially the blues and greens), revealing subtle gradations in hue (such as the slightly different colors of the two harpies) I had never even noticed before. I can only imagine how much better it looks on a digital TV.

Furthermore, visible film grain in a movie of this age (particularly in the optical effects and Dynarama shots) is to be expected and NOT a problem with the transfer. Grain can be reduced somewhat with Digital Noise Reduction, but applying it so heavily as to eliminate the grain will make the image look "plastic" and unnatural. A number of Blu-ray transfers have reportedly ruined the source material by trying to eliminate the grain with DNR. Personally, I think they did a fantastic job with this movie, striking a nice balance between restoring the image and respecting the original source material. Those reviewers who say it looks no better than the DVD are just flat-out wrong. If they had bothered to actually compare the two side by side, they would have seen a huge difference.

If you are a big fan of this film, the upgrade to Blu-ray is a no-brainer. I guarantee you will not be disappointed unless you are (unrealistically) expecting it to look like a movie shot in the last decade. I am very happy with the Blu-ray and can't see myself ever looking at the DVD again, especially after comparing the two.
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on October 10, 2010
First of all I have to say that I've been a fan and admirer of Ray Harryhausen's work for many years and "Jason and the Argonauts" is, in my opinion, his finest color film. I saw this grand old picture a few times when it was first played in theaters and I got the original DVD when it first became available. The Blu-ray release of this picture is a perfect example of how revealing the Blu-ray system is.

Shots which do not contain special effects involving double printing or blue screen procedures have razor sharpness that is immediately apparent. The scenes with special effects: Talos, the Hydra, the sword-fighting skeletons, etc. divulge, quite obviously, a loss in clarity resulting from the double printing required for these effects. These differences are not nearly so apparent in the standard DVD release simply because the standard DVD process cannot convey the ultimate clarity available with Blu-ray. As I see it the only way these differences could have been minimized would be for Harryhausen to have used something like VistaVision to produce the negatives involving special effects and double printing. The large negatives produced by the VistaVision process could have minimized the loss in clarity in the subsequent reprinting. But this would probably have added considerable costs to an already fairly high budgeted movie for its time.

But I'm not being negative on the Blu-ray release of this classic at all. Blu-ray is a system that provides more technical information about the film you are watching and as the saying goes, you have to take the bitter with the batter. In the scenes with the animated skeletons combined with the live actors, for example, you immediately see that the skeleton figures have greater clarity than the live actors in the same frame as a result of the double printing required for Harryhausen's process.

The Blu-ray release also has a higher level of audio quality than the standard DVD, which provides added richness to Bernard Herrmann's excellent score. All in all, a fine presentation of this tremendously entertaining picture.
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on August 23, 2016
Fan boy cult classic. Saw this at the movies when I was very young and was fascinated by it. Went with my big brother and his buddies to the show.. I had to sleep in his bed that night because the "skeleton army" gave me nightmares. 50+ years later this popcorn movie still holds up.The stop motion Ray Harryhausen effects are incredibly creepy because they were jerky and strange which made it even more scary.
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on February 9, 2013
The danger in using established material (mythology) as the basis for a film is that any deviation or disregard of the specific aspects of said material is bound to be noticed and unappreciated. That said this is a darn good film. Yes, it is a tad stodgy in parts, and some of the casting choices don't make sense: Nigel Green as Hercules, Gary Raymond (The Rat Patrol) as Acastus, and Nancy Kovack as Medea (her gimlet eye leads to several misinterpretations, none of them good). But there's always the unrivaled artistry of Ray Harryhausen and the fantastic score by Bernard Herrmann to make up for a few shortcomings. The story moves quickly, some of it quite humorous (the gods watching the earthly proceedings in a pool, in lieu of television). And it's always a pleasure watching Honor Blackman (Cathy Gale of The Avengers 1962 - 1964) in anything. For me, it's a tossup for favorite scene: giant Talos or the sword fight with the seven skeletons. The Hydra's also quite nice. Pity there wasn't a sequel as Zeus suggests to Hera. I still maintain that Harryhausen didn't make nearly enough films.
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on September 1, 2013
A fantasy flick with an edge. The plot? Jason, the true heir to the throne of Thessaly, sets off on a dangerous quest to obtain the Golden Fleece to prove to his subjects that he is worthy of being king. That said, this is clearly one of the best movies from stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. Also, the script wisely makes Jason a man cynical of the gods and their plans. Thus, the result is a somewhat unpredictable hero and a story that benefits from his unclear motivations. Keep in mind - adventure films work best when the outcome is in doubt. While known for its memorable skeleton army fight scene, there are other moments of equal wonder here such as the attack of the Talos statue. On the negative side, the very late romance between Jason and Medea is slapdash and weak. But overall, this rip-roaring feature is a thrilling experience. {This blu-ray is sure to satisfy most film fans with its extra material. Perhaps the most notable bonus is there are 2 commentary tracks, which includes successful fantasy director Peter Jackson on one of them.}
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on June 20, 2016
Next to Ben-Hur, Jason and the Argonauts is the greatest epic movie to come out of Hollywood. Ray Harryhausen considered this his best film, with the surprisingly spectacular special effects that stand the test of time. This movie is dope as s***, watch it.
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on May 20, 2011
Fans of the great Ray Harryhausen who apprenticed under the also great Willis O'Brien of King Kong [Blu-ray Book] fame will be thrilled with the 1080p version of his stop-motion animation masterpiece. Although I enjoyed The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad [Blu-ray] and even Clash of the Titans (Blu-ray Book) a lot better looking at it solely from the special effects angle "Jason and the Argonauts" with the skeleton army, the hydra, the clashing rocks and the giant bronze statue scenes trumps the rest. The sound quality is pretty good coming in DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround although truth be told the sonic source is pretty heavily front-loaded and so the surround effect isn't that pronounced. Too bad the picture quality isn't perfect though as interspersed throughout too many times for my liking are clearly inferior picture frames that are very grainy and soft together with some excellent frames that remind you that you are watching a blu-ray disc after all. So you get a few minutes of great picture quality interrupted by a spell of inferior ones which was distracting to me. The overall plot and content of the film though is very weak as you start with a very good premise of a young Jason wanting to avenge the death of his father the king and hence to reclaim his rightful place against the usurper except that the film ends way before this is done. It was almost as if a sequel that never came was being planned.

Overall though fans of early special effects and especially of the stop-motion variety of Ray Harryhausen will appreciate this blu-ray release but if you are looking for a Harryhausen film with a much, much better plot and storyline look towards the two I mentioned earlier.
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