Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I'm still stuck at work, slaving away on the monthly bulletin while my eyes glaze over and my brain begins slowly leaking out of my ears. But enough with that, I need a break.

I saw that Marcus mentioned Xanadu in his last post over on Waye's World. It was a film that he and I rented for one of our bad movie nights back in the day; a film that--coincidentally--I recently re-watched. (Yes, psychotropic drugs were involved. Why do you ask?) Anyhoo, I realized that Xanadu makes a lot more sense when you're baked, something that most people who've seen the film have probably figured out long ago. I've also heard that if you watch Xanadu with a candle burning, you will see your entire future. (Almost Famous reference--email me if you don't get it.)

Maybe I should clarify my earlier point--Xanadu doesn't actually make more sense when you're high, it's that you notice things that you probably normally wouldn't. Like how much Sonny (played by Michael Beck, the film's "dashing" leading man) looks like a less-cute Andy Gibb, and how he totally rollerskates like a girl. Actually, that's an insult to kick-ass roller derby chicks everywhere. Scratch that. I meant to say that Sonny rollerskates like a guy trying hard to look like he doesn't rollerskate like a girl. And he skates into a brick wall, too. (But that's a big plot point...I shouldn't give too much away). Needless to say, he sucks. But his suckiness is just one of the many things that makes Xanadu so awesomely bad.

You have, as Marcus alluded to in his post, Gene Kelly on rollerskates. I know, but bear with me here. Gene Kelly totally steals this film. He acts, dances and--yes--rollerskates circles around Michael Beck and Miss Olivia, literally and figuratively. Although Beck's character is supposedly the "dreamy" (gag!) hero, Gene Kelly is the one with the charm and the sex appeal (and dude was pushing 70 at the time!).

And Olivia? So pretty, but so, so vapid. I liked her clothes, though. And she at least seemed pretty comfortable in the glittery disco montage scene at the end (if only because she was in her natural habitat). She's also a lot easier to watch than Michael Beck, but that's not saying a whole hell of a lot.

The plot? Nobody cares about the plot. Xanadu is much more than the sum of its plot. When you have Gene Kelly on rollerskates, you don't need no stinkin' plot. But the director was nice enough to throw in some Don Bluth animation, Tron-like special effects, a little Greek mythology, dance sequences, montages featuring a bad swing orchestra and a Spinal Tap-like "rock" band and Olivia Newton John singing "Magic," which has got to be one of of the greatest bad songs of all time.

I'm actually stopping with my review here, because I'm going to try and sucker Marcus into contributing a few of his thoughts on Xanadu, so I'll update this later to include them. He and I are a little like Ebert and Roeper, except that we're not gross and old.

Dude, I gotta get home. Screw the bulletin, I'm outty.

No comments: