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Logan’s Run review, part 3

with 21 comments

The movie previously showed us that the runner that Logan killed was wearing an ankh, and that Jessica who Logan met on the “Circuit” but who then refused to have sex with him because she doesn’t like Sandmen, she was also wearing an ankh.

Logan goes to his debriefing with the computer which runs the City of Domes. The computer explains that there have been 1056 runners that are unaccounted for, and when Logan asks “are you sure they didn’t get renewed, “the computer doesn’t answer the question. Then Logan starts asking questions like “has anyone ever been renewed,” and the computer’s non-answer implies that the answer is no and the computer is silent because it is unable to tell a lie. Which doesn’t make any sense because the computer runs a society based on everyone believing that they get “renewed,” in other words reincarnated. Why doesn’t the computer propagate the big lie and just say “of course people get renewed.”

The computer believes that runners have successfully escaped the city and live in a place that’s called “Sanctuary” by the rebel group within the city which encourages people to “run” and hands out the ankhs. The computer assigns Logan the mission of finding Sanctuary and killing all of the runners. And to help Logan “run,” the computer takes four years from his life and makes the glowing crystal on his wrist blink red and black, which means his time is up and he has to be “renewed,” but it is clear that Logan is now having doubts about “renewal” and is worried that he has just received a death sentence. He asks the computer if he will get his time back when he completes his mission, and the computer is once again silent. Cue ominous music.

In the next scene, Logan meets his partner Francis as the health club. Francis is sitting in a whirlpool hot tub, and behind him there’s a big room full of gym equipment and men are exercising. No women are seen: even though sex is casual, gyms are sexually segregated. This is one of those scenes from the movie which are so prescient. The type of fitness club shown in the movie barely existed 1976. The spread of big fitness chains all over the place didn’t start happening until the 1980s. In 1976, there was only a single Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California.

Logan then finds Jessica, because he remembers that she was wearing an ankh, and he figures that she’s the best way to meet up with the other people who know about “Sanctuary.” She expresses doubt that a Sandman would run, but he shows her his blinking crystal and says that it’s different because now it’s his own life at stake.

Jessica takes her proposal to two guys in her movement, and they decide that Logan can’t be trusted and that Jessica should get his confidence so she can lead him to a place where the guys can ambush and kill him. It should be pointed out that the two guys don’t look very scary. Before there was a Gold’s Gym in every town, men weren’t all muscled up the way they are today.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 18, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

Logan’s Run: fascist or communist?

with 48 comments

Some commenters didn’t like my characterization of Jessica’s (played by the beautiful Jenny Agutter) dislike of Sandmen as her believing them to be “fascist pigs.” Hey, just a commonly used expression to describe cops who enjoy asserting their power over the dissenters. As we saw Logan do in the first 20 minutes of the movie.

Some have considered the political left and right to be more of a circle than a linear construct, with the extreme left and extreme right being not much different from each other. And yes, I’ve previously criticized the term “facism,” because outside of being used to describe two very specific historical governments, Benito Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany, there doesn’t seem to be any basis for “facism” being a standard form of government. Rather, it’s just a form of totalitarian government that people on the more moderate political left has special disdain for. In contrast, the political left in the West always had warm fuzzy feelings for the totalitarianism of the communist Soviet Union.

The City of Domes in Logan’s Run is like communist East Berlin. The people are contained behind walls, and any who try to flee the city are shot and killed. (Or, as we will later learn, frozen by a very kitsch robot.)

The feature of the government of the City of Domes that’s most left-wing totalitarian is the complete obliteration of the family structure. The family has been seen by many leftists as a roadblock to implementing leftist ideology. The computer which runs the City of Domes has completely solved this problem by abolishing the family. Babies are gestated in artificial wombs and raised by the computer (the ultimate goal of extreme feminism, for women to be liberated from the unfairness of pregnancy and the patriarchal assignment of the role of caregiver to children), which allows the children to be doctrinated by the computer without interference from their parents who have no relationship with them. There is no marriage, and I’m not even sure that people have long-term romantic relationships. People are killed when they turn 30, an age when people start to get wisdom. People in their twenties and younger are more easily kept pacified with parties and sex. And free fitness clubs and plastic surgery so everyone can look good.

A computer-run society is not an original ideas of Logan’s Run. Captain Kirk came across many planets run by computers, and he always saw it as his moral duty to liberate the people by destroying the computer. Logan’s Run borrows from Star Trek.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 16, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Movies

Logan’s Run (the first 20 minutes)

with 41 comments

This is not a case of getting bored after 20 minutes. Logan’s Run is a movie worth watching in it’s entirety. But there was already so much to write about in the first 20 minutes, so I decided to stop and write down my thoughts.

We are introduced to the concept of “Carousel.” When people become 30 years old, they are required to participate in a quasi-religious ceremony where they float in the air and explode, in large circular stadium packed with people shouting, “Renew! Renew!” They believe that they aren’t getting killed, but they are being renewed and will be born again, or something like that.

Some people, back when this was filmed, may have though, “no way would people be so stupid to let themselves be slaughtered like cattle.” But two years later, at Jonestown, 900 people committed suicide by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid, and thus was born the phrase “drunk the Kool-Aid” to describe a true believer. Almost everyone in the City of Domes where Logan’s Run takes place have figuratively drunk the Kool-Aid.

But there are a few free thinkers who think the religion of the City of Domes is a lot of bunk, and they try to escape. The police force, called “Sandmen,” call these people runners.

In the second scene in the movie after the Carousel scene, Logan and his partner Francis are capturing a runner. The city is empty because everyone is still at the Carousel watching people get renewed. Logan laughs with glee as he intentionally shoots at the runner to miss him. I didn’t remember the cruelty that Logan displayed in this scene. Eventually, the runner falls from a balcony several stories above the ground and falls to his death. (The City of Domes looks very much like a multi-story shopping mall.)

Then Logan takes out of his pocket a small device that he uses to call in his report to his headquarters, and then there’s also a color videoscreen on the device. I totally missed this the last time I saw the movie, but yes, Logan’s Run predicted the smartphone! (Although the movie smartphone is bigger and chunkier than real-world smartphones. But damn, it was pretty prescient for 1976.)

He brings up a picture of the deceased on his smartphone, and then suddenly becomes worried that he killed the wrong person, because the guy he killed doesn’t match the picture. But then he phones in an “identity check” and he gets a text message (yes, Logan’s Run also predicted text messages) that the runner had a “face change” at a place called “New You.” Later on, we will learn more about this on-demand automated plastic surgery center.

Logan then goes back to his apartment, and uses the future version of Tinder. But better than Tinder because it’s like Tinder combined with the transporter from Star Trek. When he sees someone he likes, they are instantly transported to his bedroom for casual sex. (A much better use for transporter technology than Captain Jean-Luc Picard dourly teleporting down to yet another planet while smugly moralizing about the Prime Directive, don’t you think?) The first person who shows up is a shirtless man, and Logan sends him back. The implication, however, is that gay sex is common and out in the open in the City of Domes. When Jessica shows up (played by the beautiful actress Jenny Agutter, wearing a green robe that doesn’t hide very much), and she doesn’t seem into him, Logan asks if it’s because she prefers women. Once again implying that lesbianism is a normal thing. Remember, this is was filmed in 1976.

The reason that Jessica isn’t into Logan is because Logan is a Sandman, and Jessica apparently thinks that all Sandmen are fascist pigs. Which is indeed pretty close to the way it is. As we saw in the previous scene, the Sandmen take great joy in “terminating” runners.

Then Logan’s Sandman partner Francis walks in with two giggly blondes, and Jessica huffs out of there. Then Francis throws a globe into the air that breaks upon hitting the ceiling and emits a huge amount of pink smoke and the girls start giggling even more as they both embrace Logan. The implication is that the pink smoke makes everyone extra horny and giggly. This was in 1976, before most people ever heard of Ecstasy. This movie was so much ahead of its time.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 15, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

Yesterday (2019)

with 72 comments

Watched this movie tonight. I very much enjoyed it. Thumbs up.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 14, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

Animal House (first third of the movie)

with 123 comments

I’m only reviewing the first third of the 1978 movie Animal House because it was boring. It’s supposed to be funny, but I didn’t laugh once. (I personally find Critical Role, the web series where voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons, to be a lot funnier, especially the antics of Sam Riegel playing an alcoholic kleptomania goblin girl.)

That said, I found two politically incorrect scenes mildly amusing for their political incorrectness.

1. In the opening scene, a nerdy guy and a goofy looking chubby guy to a rush party at the best fraternity on campus, where they are evaluated and then immediately led to a side area of losers. Two of the losers are an Indian guy in a turban and a Muslim guy. The only non-whites ever seen in the movie. I suppose that the 1980s were when they first started adding token minorities to almost every movie, although fortunately iconic 80s movies like Back to the Future and St. Elmo’s Fire avoided having any token minorities.

2. Two pretty girls are sitting on the bleachers watching a football practice, and then the camera zooms down and we see Blutarksy’s head beneath them joyously staring up at their skirts. (Blutarksy is played by John Belushi)

I also noticed that some of the girls in the movie are extremely skinny, almost bordering on anorexic. That was in style in the 1970s; Farrah Fawcett had the same body type.

Also, no one had any tattoos.

* * *

“The Social Justice Warrior” writes in a comment:

As a person of african descent I have to say the movies of the 1980s were a disgrace to Americans and to the world. Nobody black won an Oscar and movies didn’t have enough blacks in leading roles. In my opinion, the movies they make today for people with the mental age of teenagers that feature superheroes and blacks and even black superheroes (please no villain roles please) are superior to the 1980s and all white movies.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 3, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Movies

Solo: A Star Wars Story

This is the best Star Wars movie since the original trilogy. Yet weirdly, at Rotten Tomatoes, it only has a 70% rating, compared to 91% for the absolutely horrible The Last Jedi. This just goes to show you that critics rate movies based on whether it promotes SJWism. There’s nothing especially SJW about Solo. The three main characters are two white men (Han Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich, and his mentor in crime played by Woody Harrelson), and a beautiful white woman (Emilia Clarke aka Daenerys Targaryen) who mostly plays a traditional femme fatale role. There’s no LGBTQ propaganda. There’s a robot that seems to me like a parody of a sassy black woman, but the robot is actually voiced by a white woman. It’s a fun movie, inspired by Westerns, and it perfectly recreates the grungy dystopian feel of the original Star Wars movie from 1977. Nothing deep, but a fun diversion, especially when you’re stuck in your apartment during a blackout.

Nevertheless, I think it’s time to stop making Star Wars movies. Instead of trying to recreate something from the 1970s, how about some new original science fiction which reflects a more modern understanding of what the future will be like?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 14, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

Bird Box

This movie somehow makes you want to keep watching, even though everyone in the movie acts stupid and you know the ending is going to suck.

The real science fiction aspect of this movie is that Sandra Bullock is accidentally pregnant at the age of 54. (Although she can pass for 44 thanks presumably to plastic surgery. But still, why not get an actress 25 years younger if you want to have a character who is accidentally pregnant?)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 9, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

The French Connection (1971)

I can’t believe I’ve never watched his movie until now. It was filmed on location in New York City, mostly outdoors, and you get an amazing view of the gritty underbelly of New York City and Brooklyn in 1971.

“Popeye,” played by Gene Hackman, beats up suspects, and calls a black guy the n-word. Great stuff you’d never see in a modern movie.

And of course, the car chase scene underneath the elevated subway is iconic.

Highly recommended!

* * *

And the movie harkens back to a time when drugs came from France rather than from south of the border.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 31, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Movies

Manhattan (1979)

I re-watched this movie.

In March, there was an article about it in the NY Times, which I missed until now.

I’ve seen it several times, but I still found it enthralling. I’m not sure why. I don’t understand how 42-year-old Isaac (played by Woody Allen) is able to publicly date 17-year-old Tracy (played by Mariel Hemingway) and no one seems to bat an eye. Even in 1979 when people weren’t obsessed with this #metoo crap, people would at least talk about it behind his back. The women his own age would surely be angry about it, and jealous of Tracy.

What would a 17-year-old see in a 42-year-old man who is several inches shorter than her and acts the way that Woody acts in the movie? I assume the real-life Woody Allen was a lot more alpha and less nebbish.

Where are her parents?

I don’t understand why Mariel Hemingway was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has no chemistry at all with Woody Allen. She is supposed to be in love with him, but whenever he touches her, she looks very uncomfortable.

The message I still get from the movie is the simplistic one that Isaac has the most incredible amazing luck to have this beautiful shiksa goddess young enough to be his daughter who’s in love with him, and because he feels so undeserving of her, causing him to feel incredibly guilty, he pushes her aside in favor of a neurotic woman [upon consideration, the Diane Keaton character is not Jewish because her name is Mary, but she shares many of the Woody Allen character’s stereotypically Jewish character flaws] who just dumps him a month later. And then when he realizes his mistake and wants her back, it’s too late.

* * *

Funniest line:

See, the thing is, years ago, I wrote a short story about my mother called “The Castrating Zionist.” And, um, I wanna expand it into a novel.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 17, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

Manhattan based on a true autobiographical story!

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/woody-allens-secret-teen-lover-manhattan-muse-speaks-1169782

Woody Allen had an underaged shiksa-goddesss girlfriend in real life!

(Technically it was statutory rape, based on the assertions in the article. The age of consent in New York was 17, and she was only 16 when they first became sexually intimate.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 17, 2018 at EDT pm

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