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Logan's Run (1976)
Not Perfect, But Entertaining
I've seen this movie a lot over the years. There are glitches galore: gray-haired extras and stunt men who are clearly over 30, the City of Domes miniature that just screams "model!". Still, it's entertaining, and it is NOT a B-picture(this was a 9 million-dollar production back in 1976, a big budget for a pre-Star Wars sci-fi flick). BTW, one of L.B. Abbott's f/x specialties was blending matte paintings with live-action sequences, hence, the bombed-out Washington, D.C. scenes. Also, regarding the production design and f/x in general: before Star Wars, major studios could get away with a lot of the cheesy stuff in the movie, like those interstellar flare guns, and the shopping mall dressed up with a few mirror and neon sculptures to create a "city of the future". Not to mention the Moog and Arp synthesizer noises in the soundtrack. I watched this film on DVD recently, and the picture quality overall is excellent. Who else, before watching this film on DVD, didn't notice that Jessica 6 throws away Francis 7's "City of Domes" flare gun, causing Francis 7 to dive off the balcony and duke it out with Logan 5 in the Old Man's D.C. lair? So, quick, before the remake comes, watch this, the original movie.
The Black Hole (1979)
A Really Cool Movie When I Was A Kid...
...but, like a couple others here have said, watching it again as an adult, you see all of the flaws: wooden acting, (black)holes in the plot, cheesy-looking robots(especially Maximilian, what's up with that one big glowing red canoe-shaped "eye"?). At least the opticals and miniature effects are quite good. IMHO, the ending was regally lame. They go through the black hole, come out the other side, and then what? I've always felt that if when they emerge from the black hole, and it was the planet Earth that they cruise toward off in the distance, it would've made up for a lot of the flaws already present in the film.
Did This Really Cost 2.5 Million To Shoot?
From the looks of this movie, Arthur P. Jacobs & Co. could've shot
it for 1 million less than that. No major special f/x, ape make-up
already paid for, full-scale prop spaceship already built and paid
for(just haul it down to the same Malibu beach where the 1st
movie was shot and smudge it up in black). And how convenient
that the story takes place in Southern California! Some of the
"on-location" shooting involved going two, maybe three miles from
the studio. Oh, well, "Escape..." is my favorite of the Ape movie
sequels, mainly for the comedy relief that the other sequels
Square One TV (1987)
A PBS Educational Show With A Decent Budget!
And, it was a good show, too. It looked like it had a good-sized budget,anyway. There were no ultra-cheesy sets or grainy 16mm filmed segments(like some other well-known PBS kids shows), from what I remember. Plus, the show seemed truly modern in the realm of PBS educational programs, definitely 1987.
Square Pegs (1982)
One Size Does Not Fit All
This show's one season coincided with my freshman year of high school, so I could relate to it big-time. It's a good candidate for resurrection on DVD, in my humble opinion(please, oh please!). I don't remember too much about the actual episodes, just bits and pieces(it's been 21 years since I last saw it). Again, let us all hope that Square Pegs gets released on DVD.
From The Folks That Brought You The Bloodhound Gang...
Was this show maybe a spinoff of 3-2-1 Contact's The Bloodhound Gang? I watched this show when it was on PBS back in the day. A bunch of kids, ranging in age from about 18 down to 13, would go around and solve mysteries of sorts, traveling around in a spiffy orange Volkswagen bus. I remember the show had a really low-budget look, like it was shot in 16-millimeter. Man, does anybody else remember this program?
Bad '70's Cars
Um, taking a cue from the last post, it's true that a lot of classic vintage cars show up in CHiPs, but you also get an eyeful of a lot of the (in)famously awful 1970s cars: Vegas, Pintos, Gremlins, Plymouth Volares--yuck! Not to mention the occasional big, boxy, clunky dark-brown American Motors Ambassador, making an appearance as The Bad Guys' Getaway Car(gag!). Heh heh. Oh, yeah, as for the rest of the show, it's kitchy seventies & early-eighties action-adventure. A lot of the above-mentioned '70's rides--along with a healthy dose of humongous gas-hog Chevys and Buicks and other Detroit iron--ended up in absurdly over-the-top 20-car pileups that got even more ridiculous when Dukes of Hazzard came along with its wacky car smash-ups.
Steven Speilberg & The Sequel Of Noise
Definitely a good escapist action-adventure picture, but it's still not as good as Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Where that 1st movie was an homage to the 1930s serial cliffhangers, Temple Of Doom is pure "Summer Blockbuster" material. I know. I saw Temple Of Doom back in '84 when it was first released, at age 16. For all its action, gross-out food scenes, and noise(i.e., the mine car chase), Temple lacks Raiders' depth.
Star Trek (1966)
The writing carried the show....
....well, the writing and the acting by the principals, but the writing was SO good: marvelous character development, detailed story lines. Gene Rodenberry used to do re-write after re-write of scripts, sometimes delaying the shooting of a scene until he'd re-written it to his satisfaction.
To all Trekkies and non-Trekkies who dis the original series' special effects: get over it!!!! Rodenberry had neither the time or money for fancy f/x. Just the fact that he and his staff ground out such a high quality sci-fi show weekly on a $190,000 per-episode budget is a miracle. During the first season, L.A. f/x houses were barely keeping up supplying much-needed opticals(phaser beam footage, ships-in-outer-space-footage, etc.); episodes were shot, then shelved, waiting for their opticals footage to arrive. It almost reached a point where Rodenberry did not have a completed episode ready to ship to NBC in New York for broadcast. The first, and still the best....
The Net (1995)
So-so thriller, silly computer graphics
This movie turned out to be an OK thriller, at least for me. It really moves slowly in places. And, yes, the computer graphics are of the "Only In Hollywood" variety. Macintosh users: our fave computer is used a lot throughout the movie(again, excuse the geeky, gimmicky graphics). Also, look for a couple Photoshop filters to make cameos!