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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ultimate Geek Fu

I have a confession to make. Actually, I have several confessions I could make, but this one, being fairly benign, is the one I will make today. While roaming through the aisles of my local BigBoxMart, trying to complete my Christmas gift shopping, I spotted this piece of cinematic mind-candy, and somehow it fell into my shopping cart:

I bought it because it's, um, digitally remastered, and because my old VHS copy was, uh, getting pretty worn out, and because, er—

Aw, heck. Because I really like it!

Why? I dunno. Because it's loud, and bright, and colorful, and just totally over-the-top fun! It's a 1930's comic strip brought to life; the costuming is straight out of an operetta, the sets are lavishly ridiculous, the actors were given free rein to chew the scenery shamelessly, and the spacecraft were steampunk before steampunk was cool. Add to that the wonderful, pulse-pounding, soundtrack music by Queen — any sci-fi movie, no matter how stupid, (and I'm looking at you, Highlander) is improved by adding soundtrack music by Queen — which sounds even better in Dolby 5.1 and makes this movie one of the few actually worth having the subwoofer and surround-sound cranked for...

It's the anti-Star Wars. Pure mind-candy. Totally fun. Utterly nonsensical. No pretensions of seriousness at all. A lesser filmmaker would have blown the entire budget just giving the hawkmen working animatronic wings, but De Laurentiis didn't bother with any of that. It's as if his entire attitude was, "They're hawkmen. They can fly. Shuddup and watch-a the show."

I know, as a serious sci-fi person, I'm 'sposed to look down my nose at this one, but I can't. I love it.

How about you? What's your guilty pleasure; the sci-fi movie you know you're supposed to hate, but you actually love?

Let the arguments begin.

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