Sinbad and the Minotaur (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus just enjoyed the heck out of a good bad movie. 2011 has really begun
Sinbad (Manu Bennett) steals an ancient artefact from bad guy Al-Jibur (Steven Grives), which should lead him to the golden head of the Colossus of Rhodes. Action, adventure and plenty of chicks in belly dancing costumes meet Sinbad as he travels towards his goal and all this with an Australian cast doing American accents. Bonza!
You know those TV specials that roll around every bank holiday? You know, the ones that are usually a reimagining of a classic tale, with an all-star cast and usually split across a couple of days to make for a big bank holiday weekend treat. Okay, now you know what I mean, picture one of those but even cheaper looking, campier acting, more out there costumes and special effects that make the polar bears in Lost look realistic. Sinbad and the Minotaur is all that and more.
Now you’d think that would be enough for me to want to snap my own neck rather than sit down to watch, but as is the case with those bank holiday specials and good bad movies generally, Sinbad and the Minotaur sort of has a cheap charm that was dead easy to keep me entertained (even if it wasn’t for the reasons the production intended). The acting is lousy, the story is like a bad kids’ book and there’s so much eye make up on the male cast it was like I was watching a My Chemical Romance music video.
Still, I sort of got into seeing how naff it could get. How bad could the effects get? How bad would the practical shots link up with the bad CGI? Can any new characters outdo the others with the clunky dialogue delivery? Can the sets look any less believable? and the one that held my attention the most, how many bad scenes could ex- Home and Away star Holly Brisley look pretty enough in for me to not care how bad the scene was (the answer to that one is plenty).
Sinbad and the Minotaur is about as good as you’d expect from a movie with that title that went straight to home release. It’s a bad movie but it’s not a really bad movie, especially if you like a slice of silly adventure with that Hercules/Xena flavour. The recent big budget Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans weren't half the fun this trashy movie was and to tell you the truth I’d happily watch this again in the right setting (unlike Persia and Titans). I'm pretty sure a group of friends with a sense of humour on a Friday night could very well turn this into a blast but my god it’s hard to imagine any audience out there going out of their way to see this.
Well from the first frame of the film the transfer here looks murky, drably lit and low budget as all hell. In fact the movie doesn’t look unlike those porn parodies spoofing big budget affairs that are a dime a dozen lately. The visuals hint at being a real movie but all the time show the limitations of its low budget and all this even before the god awful CGI Minotaur turns up (honestly it’s awful).
The image continues to be soft to the point of appearing blurry in places and other than the odd bit of warm lighting here and there, there’s almost nothing to show off with. Colours are so-so, black levels are pasty and if you’re looking for textures or detail you’re not gonna find it here.
Well to make everything feel that bit cheaper the audio here is cheap, badly synched with obvious ADR and the score feels like it’s been pulled from a read-along-book about pirates. There’s the odd bit of atmospheric noise but it never feels like its representative of the scene we’re in. For example there’s a “crowded” bar but when the camera pulls back there’s no one in it.
I don’t think I have to go into too much more detail here as we all know what low budget TV style adventures sound like and Sinbad and the Minotaur is a prime example, with most of the typicalness living in the front speakers.
Thankfully there’s only the movie's trailer (01:39) and honestly if the title had come up as Sinbad XXX it wouldn’t have surprised me—and I'd already seen the movie at this point.
This disc is drab in all areas but Sinbad and the Minotaur totally deserves a mention on one of those lists of good bad movies and is probably worth a look for anyone fancying a good laugh. I want to tell you to avoid this one, I really do but this campy little adventure earns a spot as the best bad movie I’ve seen in 2011 so far. Awesome!
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 7th January 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Karl Zwicky
Cast: Manu Bennett, Holly Brisley, Steven Grives
Genre: Action and Adventure
Length: 88 minutes
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