Fantasia : Jason and the Argonauts, Heroes of the East and G.O.R.A.

Representing a milestone in stop-motion animation, Jason and the Argonauts is undeniably one of the most important B-movie of it's time. However the focus of this event wasn't the movie itself but the genius who is mostly credited for the "stop-motion revolution" : Ray Harryhausen. He was on-hand with one of the skeleton from Jason and the Argonauts. The movie itself remains good after all these years, but not great. So much has gotten so much better in the last 40 years, that most of the dialogs, action scenes and special effects can only be enjoyed as historical artifacts. Rating the movie as it is rather than as what it represents, I give it 6/10.

Heroes of the East is a jingoistic ride through the minds of the world-famous Shaw Brothers. If it were made today, the unbelievably over-the-top scenario that expresses the undeniable superiority of China over Japan in every conceivable way would most likely be taken as an edgy, second-degree movie. The sad truth is that although the movie doesn't take itself seriously, the message is probably genuine. Still, of all the four or five movies of the Shaw brothers I've ever seen, this one was the most entertaining. From the cheesy "swoosh" sound effects to the hilarious "crab-style Japanese kung-fu", this movie will deliver a ton of laughs, intentionally or not. 7.5/10.

It's always refreshing to see non-US sci-fi. It's even better when one has Hollywood-quality special effects like G.O.R.A. This is a Turkish science-fiction parody similar to Spaceballs in style and intent. Gags are not particularly subtle and often fall into the obvious. However they are well executed and usually deliver. The jokes are pretty much aimed at science-fiction fans. If you haven't seen Star Wars, The Matrix, The Fifth Element and others, you won't get most of it. If you have however, G.O.R.A. is bound to make you burst into laughter at least a few times, and you'll smile in-between. 8.5/10.

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