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DVD Review

DVD cover

Jason and the Argonauts


Starring: Jason London, Frank Langella, Natasha Henstridge, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Williams, Angus Macfadyen, Dennis Hopper and Jolene Blalock
Distributor: Fabulous Films / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 28 September 2015

Jason and the Argonauts is possibly one of the better known Greek myths. It tells the story of Prince Jason, witness to his father murder but his uncle, Jason flees. After twenty years have passed Jason returns to confront his uncle, Pelias. Pelias initially condemns Jason to death, but suspends the sentence when Jason promises to travel to the end of the earth to retrieve the Golden Fleece for Pelias...

Jason and the Argonauts (2000. 2 hrs, 50 min) is a fantasy mini-series directed by Nick Willing. The series was written by Matthew Faulk and Mark Skeet.

Hallmark poured a great deal of money into this series, using both CGI and real props to bring ancient Greece to life. Further they assembled an impressive cast including Frank Langella, Derek Jacobi, Dennis Hopper, Adrian Lester and many more. It should have been an unqualified success, in fact it did go on to be nominated for a number of technical awards, but pointedly not for the writing, direction or acting.

Jason London looks the part of Jason, but his monotone performance lacks any real sense of the heroic, and even with the manically evil Hopper or the quiet dignity of Langella, cannot pull back into balance a weak script and underwhelming performances.

Technically the series is impressive, given that this was made for television, there is a good use of location shooting made better by the practical effects like their boat, the Argo and impressive costuming. The DVD presents the show in its original aspect ratio of 4:3 - 1.33:1 with a Dolby digital audio track. The print was free of damage, but the conversion process has left the picture a little soft. The single disc DVD contained no extras, not even subtitles.

Regardless of the technical achievements of the series, it was never going to make up for the lack of real passion in a lot of the performances.


Charles Packer

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