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SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER ($25) may not be the best of the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad movies, but the film remains entertaining nonetheless. Also, the opportunity to experience Harryhausenís wonderful stop-motion special effects on DVD makes this disc a worthwhile acquisition. SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER stars Patrick Wayne as Sinbad, and the plot concerns legendary sailorís quest to help his friend Prince Kassim (Damien Thomas), who has been transformed into a baboon by his evil stepmother Zenobia (Margaret Whiting). Since a baboon cannot ascend the thrown of Carnak, Sinbad only has a short span of time to find Melanthius (Patrick Troughton), who may know a way to reverse the spell, before Kassim loses his claim to the thrown forever. Before SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER is through, Sinbadís journey takes him to the ends of the world, where he encounters the bronze Minotan, a giant walrus, a troglodyte and a saber-toothed tiger. SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER also stars Jane Seymour as the Princess Farah, who does little more than look good in her skimpy costumes. Taryn Power, who is also very easy on the eyes, portrays Melanthiusí daughter Dione. Kurt Christian, Nadim Sawalha, Bruno Barnabe, Bernard Kay, Salami Coker, David Sterne and Peter Mayhew fill out the cast.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has done a truly fine job with their DVD edition of SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER. SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER is presented at 1.85:1 and the DVD has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The image on the DVD is clean, bright, well defined and very colorful. Only sequences with optical compositing appear somewhat less defined and less colorful. The film element used for the transfer is pretty clean, displaying occasional scratches and other blemishes. Noticeable film grain shows up from time to time, but it never becomes bothersome. Colors are usually vivid and the flesh tones appear rather healthy. There are no problems with chroma noise or bleeding of the more intense hues during the presentation. Blacks are a deep inky black and the picture provides a respectable level of shadow detail, which maintains the depth of the image. There are no discernable problems with digital compression artifacts on this smartly authored DVD.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack lacks any appreciable distortion. Dialogue is crisp and always intelligible. The music has fairly good frequency response and sounds pretty good when amplified. Subtitles are encoded onto the DVD in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai.

The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few cool supplements. Harryhausen fans will appreciate the Ray Harryhausen Chronicles, an hour-long look at the life and career of the special effects wizard, narrated by Leonard Nimoy. The "This Is Dynamation" featurette is also included on the DVD, as is theatrical trailers, production note and talent files.

As I stated above, SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER isnít the best Harryhausen movie, but the movie is still a whole lot of fun. I look forward to future Harryhausen offerings from Columbia TriStar like FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH. I hope that Warner will also jump on the Harryhausen bandwagon and release CLASH OF THE TITANS, THE VALLEY OF GWANGI and BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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