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Old 28-03-2013, 13:33
Ted Cunterblast
Forum Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,386

Watched this yesterday from the new R1 blu ray release.

Some plot spoilers ahead.

Been some years since I saw this, and it has held up very well. It's a fairy simple story of a Disney-style resort for adults where lifelike robots are programmed to interact with the guests. There are three sections to the resort, a wild-west area, a Roman one and a medeival one. This means the guests can live out their fantasies, have western shootouts, indulge in banquets and jousting or enjoy the decadence and romance of ancient Rome

The robots cannot apparently hurt or harm the guests so in theory it should all be harmless fun...until it all goes wrong, of course.

It was Michael Crichton's directorial debut, and the similarities to Jurassic Park are very obvious, the idea of technology going wrong and turning against man is one he would use often in his stories.

The movie does not shy away from the obvious notion of the robots being used for sex either, though it is not graphically shown.

Another thing that struck me this time round was the similarity of Yul Brynners robot character to Arnie's Terminator. An unstoppable robot with a gun, dressed in black, which cannot be reasoned with. Cannot help feeling it must have influenced Cameron somehow.

It was also an inspired piece of casting to use Brynner for the role, as his portrayal of the gunslinger Chris in the Magnificent Seven movies was a very iconic and well known image...and to subvert that image by turning the cowboy persona into a killing machine must have seemed much more disturbing at the time of the films release.

Another plus point is the film does not hold back on the violence...the moment where James Brolin dies is quite shocking and was rare to see a leading character killed off like that in a mainstream movie.

Thankfully the biu ray remaster does the film justice, picture is excellent but the sound is really top notch. The somewhat eclectic (weaving between country and western, electronic and traditional strings) music track in particular comes across really well and adds immeasurably to the tension.
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