Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sinbad and the Minotaur

I loved the original Sinbad films.  Great works of fantasy brought to life with Harryhausen special effects.  They were not only exciting but fun and light and full of swashes a buckling.  The closest we have to them today are the Disney Pirate movies, but they are bloated in comparison to the light touch of the Sinbad films.

Well SyFy gave it a try and of course it was a whiff and a miss.  That this is so par for course doesn't upset me anymore.  To expect anything more would be madness.  So let's just brush on the highlights and the lowlights, and be on with it.

Right off, we have a slow scroll up of "IMPORTANT THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW," and right off I'm a little confused.  I look at the title again, aha it does say "Sinbad."  Why then oh scribes of story telling are you telling me a bunch of hooey about greek myth?  I mean true the originals didn't stay strictly with arabian fantasies, but they would always first ground us into the world of Sinbad before going to Mu or Atlantis.  I have the feeling that as much as they want the name Sinbad, they want to distance themselves from anything arabic.  Afterall, I'm sure they don't want to be accused of making "Sinbad the Terrorist."

This suspicion becomes much more firm when we get our first look at Sinbad.  Again, the originals didn't play straight for arabic looking actors, I mean one of the Sinbads was John Wayne's son.  But at least they got the beard and such to at least suggest an arabian origin.  Not so here, this fellow looks straight out Jersey.  He looks like the Sitch.  He acts probably as good.

So in no time we meet our evil magician for the show.  He's obviously seen the first Sinbad film and tries to act accordingly.  Unfortunately he as well cannot act.  We also meet Sinbad's girl who is feisty, Sinbad's pal who is black, and the rest of the crew who are forgettable.  On the bad guy's side there's a real ugly guy who's called the "Undying," and seems to live up to that. 

In no time at all both sides are sailing to an island looking for some lost treasure of Minos.  The folks there are surly and given to fits of growing horns and homocide.  The lair of the Minotaur is done in early D&D with canvas based cave walls and traps.  The plot at this point is not important.  What is important is that the Minotaur, traditionally half man and half bull is here... well looks like half bull, half legos?  Maybe Half bull, half cactus?  Seriously, what is half man here in this design?  Is it the small wee wee? 

Anyway, the film is basically 2 hours of your life missing in action.  It doesn't rise to good badness and it's light years from any definition of good.  So there you have it.  As they say in the original films... "trust in Allah, but tie up your camel."


  1. Thanks for the warning... I might have been tempted by the 'poster children'...

  2. Alas and alak the syfy channel movies do nothing for me.