Year 2, Day 105 - 4/15/10 - Movie #470
BEFORE: Sequel to "Westworld", and Yul Brynner's final film appearance...
THE PLOT: Two reporters, Tracy and Chuck, get a message from a third one who discovered something about "Futureworld" and becomes killed before he could tell anyone about it.
AFTER: A fairly unnecessary film. We KNOW there's something hinky going on at Delos Park, so any suspense or mystery is pretty much dispelled before the film begins. Plus, why re-open a park that got so much negative publicity, when a few hundred people died there? Is sex with robots such an attractive proposition that people are willing to return to the site of the Great Robot Massacre? Better to just bulldoze the park, and start over with another robo-entertainment concept in another location...
The new addition to the park is "Futureworld", where you can ride a space-shuttle up to Mars and go skiing on red dust...and in the future, they've invented the concept of the robot three-way. The problem is, the place doesn't look all that futuristic - especially when viewed in 2010, when the space-shuttle program is about to be scrapped. Heck, I can get a more "futuristic" experience over at Mars 2112, a Manhattan theme restaurant where you ride on a phony rocket (a motion simulator) to a dining area that resembles the surface of Mars.
We had a fine time at the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton a few years ago, where there weren't any robots trying to kill us, the food was great (Ham-BORG-ers) and the special effects were certainly better than those seen in this film...I'd rather go back there than go to Futureworld.
Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner keep sneaking behind the scenes to get a glimpse at what's really going on at Futureworld...but I love how Fonda's character finds some hi-tech computer and starts just pushing buttons randomly. Not to worry, he's a whiz at this sort of thing - huh? Would you sneak into the control room at Disneyworld and just start pushing buttons like a chimp with a typewriter? Next thing you know, there'd be an accident on the Space Mountain Coaster, and it's your fault...Disney lawyers would be on your ass like white on rice!
Blythe Danner's Tracy (called "Socks" by Fonda's character, worst nickname ever...) is given the chance to experience a machine that video-records her dreams (to VHS or Beta?) and apparently her dream is to run through a mansion from a Stevie Nicks music video, pursued by Yul Brynner's gunslinger robot. What? Her character never even met the gunslinger, so how could she fantasize about him? Westworld was shut down by the time she got there...so was this fantasy put in her head by the Delos staff, is this some lingering aspect of the computer virus? I guess we'll never know, because the movie doesn't see fit to explain.
This movie came out 1 year before the first "Star Wars" film, oddly both feature a holographic chess-game sequence - however the one in "Futureworld" looks like a complete cheat - it's just live-action footage of chessmen, either matted into a framing shot, or shot on a giant stage from a distance, in order to look small. Then Lucas came along with much better holographic effects and totally schooled this film...
see what happens when you spend a few more dollars on special FX?
RATING: 3 out of 10 microchips