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jaragon

"Mysterious Islan" on Blu Ray

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This 1961 film has aged very well and it looks fantastic on blu ray.  Harryhausen's effects do not overwhelm the story.   Producer Charles H Schneer knew how to use well integrated stock footage  to make a low budge production look impressive. 

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Watched this one (standard image) multiple times. Jason and the Argonauts is the out and out masterpiece, but I always enjoyed both this and the first Sinbad installment... oh, and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

 

What looks a trifle dated are all of the painted matte shots. You didn't notice them as much in the black and white era, like those high "mountains" in Johnny Weissmuller Tarzans.

 

The cave they dwell in always reminded me of the one used in my favorite Saturday morning TV show of my youth, Land of the Lost.

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Watched this one (standard image) multiple times. Jason and the Argonauts is the out and out masterpiece, but I always enjoyed both this and the first Sinbad installment... oh, and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

 

What looks a trifle dated are all of the painted matte shots. You didn't notice them as much in the black and white era, like those high "mountains" in Johnny Weissmuller Tarzans.

 

The cave they dwell in always reminded me of the one used in my favorite Saturday morning TV show of my youth, Land of the Lost.

 

The matte paintings do look a bit fake but are kind of beautiful.  In the blu ray there is an obvious change between the photography- in some scenes the colors really pop out - the process work is a mix bag- the crab and giant bird look really good. Harryhausen really knew how to edit his sequences.   Schneer  used a lot of stock footage and this evident in the volcano eruption finale.  But over all this a fun movie with another great Bernard Herrman score.

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Nothing wrong with stock footage, unless it is another round of the "slurposaurs" from the 1940 version of One Million B.C. At least the Harryhausen version made 22 years later had only one lizard and one tarantula blown up, the rest of the beasties being stop-motion. Since I mentioned the Tarzan films, I've always enjoyed seeing the same crocodiles run into the river over and over from a Martin and Osa Johnson travelogue that MGM borrowed relentlessly from.

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Nothing wrong with stock footage, unless it is another round of the "slurposaurs" from the 1940 version of One Million B.C. At least the Harryhausen version made 22 years later had only one lizard and one tarantula blown up, the rest of the beasties being stop-motion. Since I mentioned the Tarzan films, I've always enjoyed seeing the same crocodiles run into the river over and over from a Martin and Osa Johnson travelogue that MGM borrowed relentlessly from.

Low budget filmmakers knew how to make a film look better with stock footage- Irwin Allen built an entire show around stock footage look at " The Time Tunnel"

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