I'm a lifelong fan of Harryhausen films and have seen Jason and the Argonauts dozens of times over the years. It's a fantastic classic Fantasy Adventure! As soon as I read the description for this fan edit, I knew I had to check it out!
In short: EXCELLENT!!
I knew going in that the trims to the movie were extensive, but watching it is impossible to tell and as someone who's seen this movie so many times even I couldn't spot any of the edits. The work done here to tighten up the editing and smooth out some of the already excellent stop-motion effects are, to my eyes, invisible. And, IMO, that's one high accomplishment! It was only reading through the cut list afterwards that I really came to understand just how much was actually trimmed, and even the biggest change to the narrative - Medea no longer confessing her love for Jason - was so superbly removed that I never noticed it was missing. If I have any nitpick, it's my personal distaste for fan edits altering the title but I'm far too happy with this edit to dock even one point for that.
A great companion piece to original theatrical cut, and one I highly recommend!
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJanuary 23, 2022
Glad you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to review. Much appreciated :)
Jason and the Argonauts was one of my favorite movies as a kid. It's full of great adventure scenes and incredible creatures, and it's just slightly more interesting, to me anyway, than movies if of it's type.
However, movies like this are never quite what you to remember them to be when you were young. I watched the original version recently, and I agree with all of the issues Scribbling Man spotted. It's just not quite what I remembered.
This edit is how I remembered it. I don't know what sort of black magic he used to improve the stop motion, but these creatures now more than ever feel like they're really there. It doesn't feel odd or like it's been changed too much, like a Star Wars SE situation. It's the same effects, just smoothed out just the right amount. The skeleton battle, one of the most magical scenes in all of Hollywood special effects, has never looked better.
The pacing is up, the story moves, it doesn't feel as cheesy. The picture quality is excellent. I only listened to the mono track, but I found no issues.
This is a really special edit, one that I am very glad to have watched.
Owner's replyJanuary 16, 2022
Thank you for the swift review and kind comments, Spence! Super glad you liked it :)
SO...this is a case of "this is how I recall this movie", but when you go back, IT's NOT! That is PROOF of a great piece of work.
Audio/Video Quality: 10
There are no issues to report here given the source material drops in quality whenever we hot Stop Frame animation but that is the nature of the beast and using rear-screen for your production backdrop. So no loss compare to the source material, and I have the best version released to date.
Visual Editing: 10
Visual editing is superb and I have to say I was no convinced this could improve on the original BUT it does. The enhancements to the animation are sensitive and not overdone and as such sequences I know by heart look even better. There is still some staccato effect but it is vastly improved and just looks terrific frankly, The visual trims also keep the momentum of the scenes moving naturally without the extended reveals that dragged on.
Audio Editing: 9
I must say, as noted below, apart from medea feeling a tad rushed, I could not spot the trims...and when I went back to the source, OH BOY DOES IT NEED IT by today's standards; having said that, the dialogue still has room to breath and the narrative does flow at a great pace overall without feeling rushed. The foley work is also super and really enhances nailing the reality of the action sequences like never before where applied.
I have to go with a 10 here since the original would be an 8/9 and the trims made really do put this movie into ACE storytelling territory
I am thrilled that Scrib took this on and I can't wait for you to tackle a few more of the stronger entries ("Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "First Men in the Moon" come to mind).
I've watched this twice now, and as soon as my son (grown up son that is) returns from abroad, a third viewing is on the cards.
Owner's replyJanuary 03, 2022
Thank you for the kind words, Wraith. I'm really glad you enjoyed it (and enough to watch it twice!). When you reference Medea being rushed, are you referring to her rescue from the water or her dance (or something else)? You put this under audio editing, so are you referring to a transition rather than the pacing?
I'm not sure when I'll get to them, but "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and "First Men in the Moon" are both on my list :)