Newest Review: ... one 'adventure' came across as a non-event for me but other than that, good fun and recommended. In terms of the DVD, I have a R... more
Just Like Butter
Member Name: wampyrii
Date: 25/06/03, updated on 25/06/03 (142 review reads)
Advantages: Frisbee, Coffee Mat, Pretty Lights
Disadvantages: indigo, Moomins, Last Tuesday
You probably aren't quite so much as an ignoramus as I am and already know the basic premise behind Ulysses' adventures. Those who don't well, if you're in the slightest bit interested in watching the movie then you'd be better off not knowing as I find there really isn't much more to these kinds of old mythological adventure movies other than watching the quirky events unfold. Skip the next (highly uninformative actually lol) paragraph if you don't want to know about any of the shennigans.
The movie begins after the fall of Troy, the Greeks are victorious and Ulysses is on his way home to his wife and child with all the treasure the sacking of a city provides. Neptune however, favours the Romans and sets into place a serious of events which cause the voyage to take ten years. Ulysses and his men encounter the one-eye giant Polyphemus, he is bewitched by Circe and his men turned to pigs, they brave the death songs of the sirens and have a chinwag with dead blokes and so on as they journey home. During this time others have moved into his palace and are demanding his wife choose one of them as her husband's successor. Will Ulysses ever make it back home and will he have a kingdom to return to?
Erm, that's it in a nutshell. Basically, the chances are if you enjoyed any of the Sinbad movies or Jason And The Argonauts then you'll enjoy this. It doesn't quite match those for a couple of reasons but it is still all good, clean entertaining stuff. In the lead role of Ulysses you've got Kirk Douglas, who hams it up nicely, alternating from kind and noble leader to devil-may-care searcher-outerer (grin) of adventure wherever it may lie and regardless of whoever may end up dead or injured as a result. Ulysses goes through a number of adventures, each bringing out a completely different side of his character, it's like watching different people each time....different, very 'hammy' people, but Kirk p
ulls the role off nicely. Anthony Quinn gets to chew the scenery as Penelope's(Ulysses' wife played by *mumble-mumble *...OK some Italian actress I've never heard of) main suitor as well. To be fair all he's asked to do is puff out his chest and speak boomingly but I guess he does it well in those few brief scenes he is afforded wgilst the rest are erm, 'the rest' as is often the way of things.
Yes, it's cheesy and it's also cheesy whilst being dubbed from the original Italian as well but it's great Sunday afternoon viewing. You've got your heroism, your rescuing of damsels in distress, magic and mystery, sword fights, wrestling and the odd (amusing) piece of dated special effects jiggery-pokery with a fair amount of humour (both intended and otherwise) thrown in to boot. There's plenty of action but without the blood and gore of modern day movies, nor the foul language etc. which makes it great for kids and adults too. Oh there's plenty of implied violence (someone gets eaten, blinded, a room full of people are spiked, speared, stabbed and mauled...y'know, kids stuff :P) but it's all completely bloodless or occurs off screen.
Ulysses is not a movie which ranks up there with the best in its genre but it is good fun. You'll either forgive it for being dated and dubbed or you won't, personally I found the dubbing distracting only during the dull moments and during one crowd scene where the voices get mixed and lag behind to the point where some guy ends up shouting something with a woman's voice... The action isn't non-stop and at least one 'adventure' came across as a non-event for me but other than that, good fun and recommended.
In terms of the DVD, I have a R1 from WinStar and it's not worth bothering with other than for your usual reasons for buying DVDs as opposed to VHS. Y'know the ones - it looks nice and shiny, it takes up less space than a VHS
copy, it'll last longer and if you get bored with it then you can always use it as a coffee mat or shove it in the microwave for a lightshow but other than that, go for the VHS version unless you want to watch it over and over. The disc includes filmographies for Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn, scene access, production credits and three soundtracks - Spanish, Italian and English but that's it. I don't think they tarted up the picture or sound at all either but then I guess there's not an awful lot of demand for Ulysses as opposed to the likes of some of the other oldies which get the Criterion treatment...and a price tag to match.
The bottom line: Ideal Sunday afternoon viewing for all ages, nothing special in terms of DVD release, get it if you haven't seen it and want something along the same lines as Jason And The Argonauts or the Sinbad movies. You might even learn something about Greco-Roman myths as well...like if you meet up with some bird called Circe then you're in for six months of nookie and will forget your name and...OK *you* might learn something, I'll just remain that ignoramus who thinks Zeus is a nightclub full of jailbait in Chelmsford and Polyphemus can be cured with a strong dose of Penicillin. Enjoy...
I'm off to watch The Black Pirate now so expect another lazy churny review of something else you have no intention of buying coming to a buggy green, peach and white page some time soon... :oP~
(all bizarre punctionation, page breaks and other formatting wierdness are entirely the fault of this schtoopid site, all spelling mistakes, shite grammar etc. are all mine, mine, mine and I wear them with pride. Thankyou.)