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- Mirror, The (1974)
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- Drive (2011)
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- Seconds (1966)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
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- 1001 Club - Skyfall (2012)
- 1001 Club - When Harry Met Sally... (1988)
- 1001 Club - Rain Man (1988)
Genre: Action Sci-Fi Thriller Western
Starring: Yul Brynner (The Magnificent Seven; The King And I), Richard Benjamin (Deconstructing Harry; Catch-22)
Directed By: Michael Crichton (The First Great Train Robbery)
Overview: We follow a group as they experience the vacation of a lifetime where there are no rules and the robots are there to please, pleasure and bring adventure... that is, if they did what they were told...
Well, some films are about the performances, and other films aren't. The only big name I saw was Yul as the big mean machine, and it's strange that he would go from Musical Classics to 70s sci-fi, but either way, he's established and the rest are well directed, whether the evil Black Knight, the robo-techs or the almost Skywalker-like whiney main character.
A tramway transports guests to their choice of an ages old dream vacation, whether it's the not-so authentic castle of medieval world, the manicured gardens of Roman World, or the rough and tumble Wild Western World. As visual storytelling goes, this wouldn't fall under the 'artistic' category, but it's not chintzy either.
The best this film has to offer is the technical discussions the robotics engineers have behind the scenes from their control room. The reality of what's driving these machines and what's going on with the fantasy that's been created adds just enough explanation that you can tell some real work went into making something smart.
Yes, indeed there was the occasional plot hole. Questions arose like, "If you want to be Sheriff of Western world, and someone else wants to as well, how does that work? Where's security for when guests start getting into it with each other, especially in Roman World where drunken debauchery abounds?" Of course when you're being chased by a big angry cowboy, all those questions seem to fade away, quickly replaced by a survival instinct that is strong, yet so cinema-predictable that it needs to allow for enough escapes and suspenseful close calls that chooses the audience's exhilaration over realism.
As I write, I realize that though this film is nothing all that special, the predictable fun that comes from an innocuous little action sci-fi movie made in the 70s is really what beefs up the enjoyment factor. A remake is set for 2009 and the chance for failure in my eyes is quite high. My opinion of remakes aside, it risks to be nothing more than a modern tale with some nice special effects. Turns out that doesn't impress me much. The only saving grace would be that the director set to make it also did The Cell, a gorgeous film, forgetting everything else.
Overall Rating: 74% (A Nice Place To Visit)
The friend who lent this to me said nothing more encouraging than "well you MIGHT like this, my girlfriend and I certain hated this fetid monster testicle..." We found it a lovely little treasure of kitsch, solidly presented and though predictable, intelligently designed. This type of film is what makes up most of the Vituperatem's content: pleasantly satisfied without great expectations of greatness.
What I personally found creepily interesting about this future is that these amusement-park techs see everything, whether it be seduction or violence from their little monitors. I wonder how many vacationers read the small print when they signed up? Perhaps a future where being watched is commonplace is the more likely explanation... We're already going that way now aren't we?