Discs Are Rated
Jason And The Argonauts (TV - 2000)
review by Zach B.
Starring Jason London, Frank Langella, Natasha
Henstridge, Angus MacFadyen and Dennis Hopper
Written by Matthew Faulk & Mark Skeet
Directed by Nick Willing
Retail Price: $19.99
Features: Making Of Docmentary, Cast and Crew Info,
Notable and Quotable
Specs: 1.33:1 Standard, English Dolby Surround,
It seems TV movies and mini-series have been this huge
craze for quite some time. But after the huge success of the
mini-series "Merlin", NBC thought they could create even
bigger and better mini-series to air during the all
important sweeps period, which sets network advertising
rates. NBC thought if they could keep cranking out
mini-series and hype them out in advance, they'd be set.
Man, did their master plan fail.
"The Legend Of The Leperchauns" garnered decent reviews,
but the ratings were pretty dismal. "The 10th Kingdom" just
plain bombed, and "The 60s" plus "The 70s" were torn by
critics but did well in the ratings. All in all, none of
these topped "Merlin" in critical reviews or ratings.
Anyhow, I guess "Jason and the Argonauts" falls in
between somewhere. It did get very good reviews by critics,
and performed well in the Neilsens. It did a lot better than
what people expected. It was a mini-series, and debuted only
a few weeks after the heavily hyped "The 70s". "Jason"
wasn't hyped as much, but still did good. I feel it deserved
better, but anyhow, it still did good.
Jason is the heir to Ancient Greece, however, his father
is murdered by his brother, and Jason is also set to be
executed. He escapes getting killed and leaves his past
behind for twenty years. Twenty years later, he goes back to
claim what's really his, but his nasty uncle still wants him
to be killed. Jason, however, says he will get the ultimate
gift to his uncle... the Golden Fleece in order to save his
life. So with the Argonauts, a crazy group of sailors, Jason
sets out on an incredible journey.
This mini-series is presented uncut and in full, and
lasts just under three hours. Many people will compare this
to the classic one decades ago. Each version has their
similarities and differences, but I found it pretty neat to
see the monsters come to life (and look better) in this
version, due to advances with computer animation, plus with
some help from Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The action is
also pretty packed, and a lot of the sequences are nicely
This is truly one of the better TV movies/mini-series I
have seen lately, and if you missed it on TV, be sure to
check out the Artisan/Hallmark DVD version. It's worth your
Presented in the original way as seen on NBC in the
United States, Jason and the Argonauts has an aspect ratio
of 1.33:1. The video presentation is a mixed big. I did
notice some slight shimmer, and the resolution did not seem
up to par as it could have been. Detail is nothing
spectacular, but I do admit colors are vivid and at points
the characters and things on screen seemed really 3-D, I
just wanted to go touch them. At times it looked like it was
a high res VHS tape. It would look like that in one shot,
and in the next direct cut it'd be pure digital. There is
also some slight pixelation. All in all, the transfer isn't
really stable. It's decent, bascially.
The sound at best is also decent. Presented in 2.0 Dolby
Surround, the sound here is also nothing to really rave
about. I didn't find surrounds to be used so well or a lot,
and when they were used it, sounded like normal stereo to
me. Dialogue is easy to hear and understand, but I feel this
disc could have used a 5.1 Dolby Digital track, and I am
disappointed with the surrounds.
There are a few goodies to satisfy us here. Most notable
is a "Making Of" Documentary. It is an interesting watch,
and basically shows the making of and what it takes to make
a mini-series like Jason. Next is Cast and Crew Info, which
has some bios for the cast. Rounding off the disc is
"Notable and Quotable", which is a few pages of text from
selected cast members and their expierences making "Jason
and the Argonauts".
A very good mini-series, if you enjoyed it, pick it up.
While the video is weird to say the least, the sound is
plainfully average and there aren't many features, but
what's included is better than nothing. If you enjoyed this
to the extreme when played on TV or love Greek mythology, be
sure to pick this one up.
(3.5/5, NOT included in
(2.5/5, NOT an average)