September 2nd: Space Jesus

eo

182. <a href="http://www.imdb vente viagra pfizer.com/title/tt0090793/”>Captain EO (Francis Ford Coppola, 1986)

The always excellent and comprehensive movie blog /Film brought this little gem to my attention the other day. It was initially produced by Disney with the assistance of George Lucas as a theme park attraction and it was shown in 3D with a laser show.

Michael Jackson is the titular Captain EO; he leads his spaceship, crewed by a ragtag assortment of Rick Baker’s finest puppets/robots, to a dark planet ruled by a terrifying evil queen in order to give her a gift.

Clocking in at 17 minutes this cost $1million per minute at the time of release, making it comfortably the most expensive bit of film going at the time. It’s probably still up there as inflation adjustment puts it above $30million today. Using the cream of the special effects crop Coppola and Lucas have made a kind of interstellar Thriller style music video. To see these old effects is a bit of a joy because they are so rarely used nowadays. I especially liked the costume design for Angelica Huston’s evil queen – it reminded me of the Jim Henson productions Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal; a time when special effects seemed a whole lot more tactile. Of course I haven’t seen it as it should be watched, I had to settle for a laptop with some dimmed lights but the intention is pretty clear. It’s fun and slightly silly and with good reason – it’s a theme park ride, just a slice of entertainment. I liked that it presents Michael Jackson as a sort of musical space Jesus, its how I always imagined he saw himself anyway and a perfect vehicle for the man.

I looked around for the highest definition version of the film that I could find and got this YouTube 2-parter. Enjoy…

April 3rd: Going to outer space?

Right, well I’m back off holiday and despite innumerable distractions I’m going to review the seven films that I’ve seen and carry on watching. Hopefully we can get the traffic back up on this site!

supernova

84. Supernova (Thomas Lee, 2000)

Who is Thomas Lee? According to many sources Thomas Lee is the director of Supernova but according to others Walter Hill directed it. Some even suggest that Francis Ford Coppola had a hand in the film. The truth is that Thomas Lee doesn’t exist. He is a figment of the imagination, conjured to save the blushes of the many hands that touched this film. Walter Hill has apparently signed a non-disclosure agreement to never say anything about the production and it isn’t certain if Coppola ever really acknowledged his involvement. If you want to read a fascinating article about the production then check out David Hughes’ excellent book The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made. It is this book that prompted me to watch the film. For a taster check out this Times article about great sci-fi movies we’ll never see.

But what of the Supernova film I managed to see? Well it claimed to be some kind of extended cut but it felt very clipped to me. In the 22nd century (I think) the crew of a kind of ‘space ambulance’ are called to a distress signal at an abandoned mining facility. Things start to go from bad to worse as they pick up the lone survivor, the clearly demented Karl Larson. They also find his prized possession, an alien artifact that has odd effects on the crew members. It doesn’t seem to be able to stop Robin Tunney from getting her tits out at the drop of a hat though. There is one point where Lou Diamond Phillips (yes, him from La Bamba) appears to have sex with a future alien bomb. That’s strange. It isn’t worth hunting down a copy of Supernova without knowing the back-story, it is a pretty average piece of cinema and the deleted scenes weren’t nearly as mental as the rumoured scene of Lou Diamond Phillips turning into a 6′ baby.