Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris
'Sinbad' is fun, but nothing special
By BILLY NORRIS
Published July 7, 2003
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
Summary: Sinbad (voice of Brad Pitt) is a fortune hunter on the high seas who, with his faithful crew, lives and thrives by robbing ships and bartering the loot. He attempts to steal the coveted Book of Peace, but encounters childhood friend Proteus (voice of Joseph Fiennes), now the Prince of Syracuse, on the ship that carries it. During their battle, they encounter a sea monster that they must destroy. That brings Sinbad face-to-face with the sinister Goddess of Chaos, Eris (voice of Michelle Pfeiffer), whose proposition immediately alters his plan. Proteus takes the book back to its rightful place in the city of Syracuse. Eris steals the book from its guarded tower and frames Sinbad for the crime. He pleads before a jury that he was framed. His only believer is Proteus, who puts himself on the line: Sinbad must recover the book in time or Proteus will be executed. To make sure Sinbad carries out his mission, Proteus' betrothed, Marina (voice of Catherine Zeta-Jones), goes along for the ride.
My View: The legends of the Arabian swashbuckler Sinbad have been around for a thousand years but never in an animated film. The folks at DreamWorks began with the basic interpretation of these ancient tales and combined them with elements of Greek mythology they thought would blend well with their concept. Most noticeable were components of Homer's Odyssey. But the kids who will enjoy this film won't care about that. They will, however, feel at home with the familiar blended 2D-3D animation, which almost seems blase after the sheer brilliance (most recently) of Finding Nemo. Even though Sinbad is a good, fun adventure story, it just doesn't offer anything extraordinary and innovative, so it will be up for a tough fight against that kind of competition. The way Treasure Planet (which I thoroughly enjoyed) ingloriously faded into oblivion hints at the likelihood that Sinbad will wind up shipwrecked as well.
Recommendations: This isn't the greatest family movie you'll see this summer, but for the 7- to 12-year-old set, it's still worth the money.
- Billy Norris, 15, will be in the 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.