Friday, 29 April 2011
Here's the first of our anti-royal wedding reviews, first up is my review for Sci-fi geek favorite Logan's Run... I really geek out on this on. Check it out after the break...
So you're nearing thirty, a small crystal embedded in your hand starts to flash, what would you do, go to carousel and become reborn or run, become a runner, search for sanctuary while being chased by the sandman you called a friend. Well that's the dilema facing Logan in Logan's Run, A 1976 SF chase thriller.
Ok kiddies, here's the part where uncle pete geeks the fuck out on this bitching flick. To people unfamilar with Michael York, he played Austin Power's boss Basil in...well Austin Powers but Mr. York will be more well known to film obsessives as either Logan or D'Artagnan from Richard Lester's Three and Four Muskateer films, but for it's as Logan which stays in my epic sized database of film knowlage brain. Michael York is one of those actors who was more prolific in the 70s than the 80s or 90s with such films as the afformentioned films and for flicks such as Island Of Dr.Morau, Cabaret and Franco Zefarreli's Romeo and Juliet, but was relegated to direct to video clag in the 80s and cartoon voice over's in the 90s, breifly popping up to star in Ruggero Deodatto's 1989 Giallo Phantom of Death. But in 1976 he starred in brit director Michael Anderson's (The Dam Busters) SF chase thriller about a society of people living in a domed city. The life span of these people is 30 years. Once you hit 30 that's it time to be reborn (new way of Population Control) by entering the Carousel (not as cool as Thunderdome), but some people decide they want to live beyond 30 and decide to run. That's where the sandmen come in. A Sandman is a police officer who is responsible for tracking and executing these runners. Logan is tasked by a computer to locate and destroy sanctuary by entering the outside. He has 4 years removed from his life span by the computer and his hand starts to flash. Logan contacts Jessica-6, she believes in sanctuary and he tries to convince her to help him find it. They start to run while being chased by Logan's friend Francis, another sandman. They reach the outskirts of the domed city to find a large ice cave presided over by a ropey robot named Box, who freezes anyone who has attempted to reach the outside world. Logan and Jessica somehow manage to destroy box (well done) and exit the cave to find themselves on the outskirts of a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. They find the overgrown remains of the library of congress and come across oldman Peter Ustinov, now you need to remember that these two have never seen an old man and they confused and shocked when they meet him. By this time Logan's mission has changed from locate and destroy to show the world to the people of the domed city and reveal that carousel is actually a death machine. Francis Meanwhile has tracked them and after a fight between logan and himself, he fall foul of Logan's power and is killed. Logan, Jessica and Ustinov travel to the domed city where Logan and Jessica succeed in opening the eye's of the 'city' folk.....the film ends with everyone looking at old man Ustinov and touching his face. All is right in the future...
The cast of Logan's Run is pretty good, the afformentioned Michael York is really good as Logan, Discovering new things such as sunlight and the beauty of the real world and his interaction with Francis is great, the work of both York and Richard Jordan as Francis as best friends is spot on, you really do believe these two are best friends. The coolest thing about Logan is how his hair stays inplace for almost the entire film. They don't make them like this anymore.
The Lovely ( I really do mean Lovely) Jenny Agutter plays Jessica 6 and the director and writer seemed to have found the ideal moments for her to get naked in the film, which I believe happens at least 3 times, not to mention a wet Miss Agutter on a few occassions. But less about performance and more about her acting. The lovely mis Agutter shows, as usual, that she is adept at handling a script very well, her role as Jessica is only matched by Scarlet Johansson's role as Jordan Two-Delta in Michael Bay's obviously ripped off The Island which bares more than a passing resemblance to Logan's Run. For more great Agutter Performances, An American WereWolf in London, Walkabout and Eagle has Landed.
Richard Jordan who plays Francis is pretty bad ass, he's relentless in his pursuit of Logan and Jessica and even in the outside world his main goal is to take out Logan, But at the end, he still can't put asside the fact that Logan is his best friend. I knew the name and the face but couldn't remember what I'd seen him in and while checking out IMDB I realised where I'd seen before, fucking Solarwarriors, love that flick. He's pretty cool and I've noticed he's been In some pretty cool flicks that im gonna be checking out soon.
Then we have Peter Ustinov, distinguished british actor of such film classics as Quo Vadis, Sparticus and Beau Brummel and the best damn guest the muppets ever had, here plays the old man, living in the library of congress. Ustinov gives this cooky, senile performance but still maintains and air of sanity. A true classic actor.
The direction is pretty good, the first half inside the domed city is pretty cool, the use of models for the city are great although very dated by today's standards but in 76 I bet this was the shit. Fuck Michael Bay and his CGI bullshit. Michael Anderson's way of handling this is off the chain, the city look immaculate as it's clean and all shiney looking like a brand new dvd that's just come out of the shrink wrap and you can use it as a mirror and then when we switch to the decaying over grown world of the outside, the metaphorical disc looks like my copy of Police Acadamy 4: Citizens On Patrol, all fucked up from excessive viewing, Scratched to shit, and awaiting for a replacement or a disc clean. That's what it's like. I don't mean to compare Logan's Run to a film like Police Acadamy 4 but it's a film I dig the shit out of. But this is about Anderson's direction and how he uses the camera to show the peace and cleanlyness of The dome and the complete contrast between that and the outside world.
So Pete after comparing Logan's Run To Police Acadamy 4, what's you're final Verdict?
I fucking love this film, it was a childhood favorite and as a 28 year old obsessive film nerd, it's still a favorite. Everything is just so fucking geektastic in this flick, from the sandman costumes and their weapons, The chase element of the film, the production design of the dome city, fucking carousel, wolverine's first name and Jenny Agutter fine figure. Everything in this film gets this little geek buzzing. It's just freaking awesome, and I want more people to love it the same way I love it.
There's something about chase movies that gets me pumped like a loon, Fled did it, The Fugitive does it, hell fucking Sesame Street presents Follow that Bird does it. Im two years off 30, I don't want to go to carousel...the chase is on mother fuckers....