Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Monday, January 17, 2011

Outland - 1981 - Dir. Hyams

Touted as a fine SPACE WESTERN, I was inevitably drawn to this even if it didn't have Connery in it. It's like the guy just couldn't stop making goofy sci-fi movies in the late 70's and 80's! Although that's not fair to Outland. It's not nearly as goofy as it's ilk. I feel like I have to attribute this to it's subdued goals. It's a kind of adapted High Noon and it never loses that focus. Connery standing up to a supremely douchey Peter Boyle. STICKIN' IT TO THE MAN! Perhaps the weakest part is the end, where the build up feels somewhat anti-climactic. It's the most significant point where the limits of special effects at the time really dampen the impact. But Clarke Peters shows up and he's really awesome. Also Hatchet Harry from lock stock who apparently was never not a creepy fuck, even when you throw him in space. I did notice that the movie seems to not exactly utilize or set up characters all that well. There's the Connery v. Boyle business going on but that's more of a Connery v. The System type deal. There's not really a lot of personal relationships going on so Connery's feeling of betrayal when no one gets his back (an important part of High Noon) isn't really there as strongly. The closest we get is him and the Doctor but that feels a little forced... not awful by any means... but kind of obligatory. I have to say I really got behind the sets. It goes to show that you don't have to go crazy to be convincing. The chases through the main sleeping quarters is easily my favorite part and the most memorable. Well, perhaps the most memorable are the amount of puffy hats in the movie. MAN! Apparently you can't run a mining operation on Io without puffy hats.
Sean Connery with his Shotgun of the FUTUUUURRREEE!!!!!

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