Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

The bulk of my TV time allotment was used up by the Olympics. Coinciding with the Olympics, two things events occurred in the last few weeks that have influenced my movie watching. One was my wife insisting we all go see Percy Jackson and the Olympians. We all liked the movie and it got me thinking of the Greek myths. Another thing was that Leonard Maltin suggested The 7th Voyage of Sinbad in his movie a day calendar. No, not Greek by any stretch, but Ray Harryhausen, who did the special effects for Sinbad, later did the effects for Jason and the Argonauts. I was speaking to a scientist at work (one of two people I know who give a damn about pre-CGI movies) and the following day Jason was left at my desk. I promptly watched and returned it.

Pelias learns that the gods have ordained his conquest of the kingdom of Thessaly, so he does. The gods also will that the dead king's son, Jason, will in turn dethrone him. What's a tyrant to do? Kill the ex-King's offspring, of course. But, dang-it, Jason gets away. Of all the luck.

Many years later, Jason bumps into Bad King Pelias but doesn't recognize him. Pelias learns that Jason is hunting for this Golden Fleece, which is supposed to be totally awesome, and Pelias thinks that's nice, because it will send Jason to the ends of the world.

Jason is helped by Hera (played by the hot Honor Blackman), but she can do so only five times. Jason speaks to her through a creepy headpiece attached to the Argo. Quickly Jason uses up his Hera favors and is mostly on his own. He battles Harpies, a giant bronze man, and rocks with a bad attitude. Hercules loses his boyfriend so he takes off to search for him.

Arriving in Colchis, land of the mystical sheep skin, Jason meets Medea, played by the oh-my-god-hot Nancy Kovack. Jason, kills the Hydra (stabbing it worked, go figure), steals the skin (sitting on a dead tree in the middle of nowhere), evades some awesome skeletons, and returns to his boat with the hot Medea.

Only thing left to do now is set sail and ... credits roll. What? No journey back? No confrontation with Pelias? What's the deal? Is there a Jason II? Nope. That's it. Oh, come on!

The two of my boys that watched really liked it. Apparently the mythology presented is fairly accurate, though the benchmark is rather low. The fact that just about everybody's voice was dubbed was annoying, but I would consider seeing it again. AMRU 3.5.

Sinbad has already been picked up from the library. Oh, by the way. Percy Jackson was very accurate to the Greek myths, but apparently not at all to the books. Athena's daughter is hot.

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