Sunday, September 25, 2011

Outland (1981)

Director: Peter Hyams

Starring: Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James Sikking, Kika Markham, Clarke Peters, Steven Berkoff, John Ratzenberger

More info: IMDb

Tagline: On Jupiter's moon something deadly is happening

Plot: In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes, now bring on the Blu-ray that'll never happen.

Yeah, it's HIGH NOON (1952) in space. If you've seen it then you know what's going to happen but that doesn't diminish OUTLAND one bit. Connery is in badass mode but not so much of a badass that he's not afraid and I like that. He knows he could be killed and that frightens it should.

Jerry Goldsmith's score is reminiscent of the one he did for ALIEN (1979) but only in the very beginning. It's always a treat to watch a movie he scored. Well, almost. There've been some duds (**cough** RUNAWAY (1984) ** cough**) The set design and special effects also reminded me of ALIEN, and, being how ALIEN is one of my all time favorite movies, I'm OK with that. The only connection I can see between the two films, personnel-wise regarding the look of the film, is Stuart Rose who was a draughtsman on Alien and a set decorator on OUTLAND. It's not much of a connection but it's something.

The cast is fantastic. The supporting cast is great. It's cool seeing Sikking with a beard, Boyle was great as the heavy (if this were re-made today they'd have his character unnecessarily do some really nasty things to someone to really hit you over the head with how evil he is) and I'm in love with Frances Sternhagen as Dr. Lazarus, the only friend Connery has. She's bitter, sarcastic and scrappy...almost my kind of broad. She and Connery had great professional chemistry.

It's close to two hours long and it could've been longer for my money. I would like to spend more time in this world. I really don't have anything negative to say about this picture. I love it. It's a great sci-fi thriller.

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