September 2nd: Space Jesus

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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…

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