17 January 2012

Movies: Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165982/

Animated film (by Dreamworks)

In this film Sinbad is tasked to steal the Book of Peace for the goddess Eris. When he fails to do so, she disguises herself as Sinbad and steals it herself, framing him. Sinbad is sentenced to death, but his boyhood friend and prince of Syracuse, Proteus, believes his tale that he didn't steal the book and offers to take Sinbad's place. Sinbad is given 10 days to recover the book or Proteus gets offed.  Proteus's fiancee Marina stows away on Sinbad's boat to ensure that he actually does go try to recover the book instead of running away. Adventures happen. Guess the ending.

Sigh.

Voice acted by Brad Pitt as Sinbad, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marina, Joseph Fiennes as Proteus, Michelle Pfeiffer as Eris, Dennis Haysbert as crewman Kale. Other folks too. The voice casting wasn't really terrible despite the "look at the big names" casting that took place, they more or less fit their characters and tone of the film.

As a film for children this is probably fine and entertaining for them. They don't know any better.  They'll probably like the dog Spike 'cause there had to be a cute animal companion slobbering on stuff and doing funny things.
Technically the animation is fine, a mix of computer generated backgrounds and sequences with seemingly traditional hand-drawn animation. The music is neither great nor terrible, just effective enough. Loud, bright, orchestral and fanfare-ey at the right moments, background-y at others. The dialog, ugh. Plenty of contemporary phrases and lines to keep things modern, make weak contemporary jokes.  All wrapped around a mediocre story.


And me? I shouldn't have watched it. I should've known better. Anyone with a modicum of exposure to the Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) and Greek mythology is probably going to groan when seeing this, because it's basically a mash up of weak references to Greek mythology with a tiny bit of weak 1001 Nights references tossed in. Heavy on the Greek, light on the 1001 Nights. Two wholly different cultures and their stories separated by centuries mashed into this one film, modernized for your convenience.
Packed full of action sequences already watched to death in Disney films like Aladdin,Tarzan and Pirates of the Caribbean with a splash of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I suppose if the actual story played out between the characters wasn't so shallow and forced and the dialog wasn't so mediocre it may have been better.
I do have to give them credit for one sequence, right after Alladin and Marina enter Tartarus. That was probably the most original thing in the film and kind cool.

Not a great film, not entirely terrible. Entertaining enough for the kids but probably not destined to be on obsessive-replay like some great animated features tend to become (Toy Story, Little Mermaid, etc).

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Kinda grabbed this one on a whim with the TiVo and it's been sitting on there for a while. Figured I'd clear up the space so TiVo could use it for something else. Had some time since I'm between Netflix deliveries and just finished watching BBC's Sherlock season 1. I really enjoyed Sherlock and recommend it.  This was kindof a downer after that.

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