Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad

Health and projects have kept me from blogging, but tonight I will make time to fix that.  How about a movie review?

Smiley has been interested in learning about kinds of monsters.  He is pretty good about inventing new ones for the stories he tells me.  But he still wants to know what ideas other people have already established.

I finally found a great book to help satisfy his need: Dragons, Dragons by Eric Carle.  (It was reviewed by my wife's friend Sarah.)  Not as exhaustive as the old Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials I enjoyed as a kid, but much more appropriate to Smiley's kindergarten age.

Then I serendipitously saw this DVD at the library.

What great monsters!  Both boys are loving this movie.

The film is a classic of Harryhausen's animation that I had never heard of.  It is one of the few films to score 100% at Rotten Tomatoes.  It is indeed a fun romp guaranteed to cause smiles.

I think they cyclopses are the true stars of the film.

But the best actress is clearly Kathryn Grant, who plays the princess. I had never heard of her, despite her other identity as Bing Crosby's wife.

Her lines are just as hokey as anyone else's.  But she also has the responsibility of acting old-fashioned feminine.  She remains genuinely cheerful and supportive, whether cursed by a shrinking spell, rescuing Sinbad or being rescued by him, or climbing into a magic lamp hoping to meet a young genie.

Brave Sinbad and wicked Sokurah are both wooden in comparison.  The men in the movie treasure the princess but never objectify her, and she runs with that dynamic to let the cheesy Hollywood love she shares with Sinbad highlight how daring and sweet can be very complimentary.

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