My 100 favourite films. Entry #7: Outland.



Outland
(1981)
directed by Peter Hyams
starring Sean Connery, Frances Sternhaged, James Sikking and Peter Boyle
Country: UK
Genre: Sci-fi / suspense / action

Visuals: 8/10
Writing: 6/10
Everyday watchability: 6/10
Number of people who die by explosive decompression: 4 (and maybe a fifth we don't see)

Who doesn't love a good head explosion? Watch this clip from Scanners for a classic example. But that's not the best thing about this movie. Actually, the head explosions are a bit of a hindrance when trying to discuss this movie seriously with other people. Because this movie is actually quite good. It has really nice art direction, settings that are absolutely believable as an interplanetary mining colony, really nice cinematography, above-average performances, and a fantastic score by Jerry Goldsmith (by favourite film composer).

While some of effects are downright cheesy - the exploding heads look like expanding balloons with faces printed on them - the rest of the film is very nicely made. It's well-paced and tense, partly thanks to Goldsmith's score and features a couple of nice fight scenes.

The story has been described as High Noon in space. Sean Connery gets a new gig as the Marshall of a shit-crud mining colony. When he uncovers a drug ring with players that go all the way to the top of the corporate ladder, two bounty hunters are sent to kill him. He tries to recruit help, but as he finds out, his "men are shit," so he goes it alone.

The film isn't great per se, but it's one of those late night finds where you're pleasantly surprised by a movie's quality. As such, this one grew on me with every viewing and every headsplosion.

See. It looks like a balloon.
I should be this guy for Halloween this year. It's easy AND esoteric.
Man. Technology of the future is sweet.
Here's the sleeping arrangement at the mining colony.
This is a picture of the great score. There's some really sweet music going on here. Just imagine it.
Worst child actor ever. Note: squinting does not equal acting. And you don't have to nod every time you say a line.
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1 comment(s).:

May 9, 2008 at 7:42 AM MPU said...

I thought Outland to be superior to High Noon.