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XANADU - 1 Slime
Rated PG
Copyright 1980 Universal Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Kira - Olivia Newton John! Muse and organic mood ring supreme, one moment she's glowing blue, then orange, etc.
  • Sonny - Starving artist and nice guy, except he throws all his trash out the window.
  • Danny - Gene Kelly! Rich man who is unhappy with life until deciding to build Xanadu.
  • Simpson - Sonny's old boss, pretty much a run of the mill evil corporate overlord.
  • The Other Starving Artists - Sonny's friends.
  • Dancers - Also the daughters of Zeus, after noticing their ethnic diversity I'd say he gets around.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

What has Olivia Newton John, Gene Kelly, roller skates, lots of glowing blue people, quasi disco music, and never ends?

Exactly - Hell.

Living in this fairy tale torture chamber is Sonny, he is an artist with talent, at painting album covers at least. This is why Kira, daughter of Zeus and inspiration for fine art everywhere, decides he is the only one who can make Xanadu happen. With Danny providing venture capital of course. All of this nicely explains the decline of Greek civilization, Zeus and his siblings are spending their time opening roller skate dance clubs. Meanwhile the Greek population is burning goats at a furious pace hoping for a little help against these Roman fellows. ("Could we have another Alexander please, this disco thing you turned us on to is very nice, but now everyone else wants to kick our ass.") Did I mention the two lovers briefly change into a Don Bluth animation? Where's a bucket of dip when you need it...

This review is dedicated to Jenn Reinhart, recently my friend Todd and the young lady exchanged vows. Love works in odd ways, couldn't you have found a woman with less offensive social problems? (Jenn likes this movie.) Making body noises in crowded elevators maybe?

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Artists are litterbugs.
  • Most Skittles commercials were inspired by Olivia Newton John.
  • Gene Kelly can play the clarinet.
  • Mopeds are slower than roller skating women.
  • Dubbing tap scenes was beyond 1980's technology.
  • Gene Kelly does not look good in a pink pimp suit.
  • Zeus can't tell time.
  • If you use the same group of dancers over and over the one Asian girl is going to stand out.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 1 min - Let me guess, each time the changing craft orbits we get one title. Darn, I'm right...
  • 5 mins - Where in the hell did we get dancing blue people from?
  • 15 mins - How did Gene Kelly get to the pier so fast?
  • 24 mins - Enough with the screwy dissolves.
  • 37 mins - Maybe I'll get lucky and these two morons will skate into that huge fan.
  • 49 mins - You got your 80's all over my 40's. Hey, your 40's are all over my 80's...
  • 60 mins - That disturbed me.
  • 73 mins - Dude, skate through the wall, it'll work! Do it! Yes, build up speed, go, go! What the heck, that worked? Gads I hate this film.
  • 90 mins - Olivia Newton John is singing country, everything going black, mommy...

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note xanadu1.wav Sonny: "I run into this girl this morning. Never saw before in my life; she kisses me and disappears."
Danny: "What's so weird about that?"
Green Music Note xanadu2.wav Simpson: "If you start making changes, then other people start making changes, and before you know it you have a lot of people running around doing what they want to do. That's not a company."
Green Music Note xanadu3.wav Kira: "You're supposed to be an artist. Use your imagination."
Sonny: "Oh thanks a lot; I'm all out."
Green Music Note xanadu4.wav Kira: "I come from Mount Halycon. I'm the daughter of Zeus."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipxanadu1.mpg - 1.9m
The movie starts with dancing blue people. I am saying my prayers and looking for some hard alcohol to dull the pain.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 ... 13
Reply #1. Posted on October 27, 1999, 04:16:02 PM by
OK Andrew, you are obviously not part of what was the targetted audience here.  I don't think I know a girl that is around my age that didn't LOVE Xanadu.  It had everything a little girl growing up in the late 70's/early 80's dreamed, magic, & rollerskating.  Anyway, I love this movie no matter how corny you or anyone else says.  So there, NAH!! ;-)
Reply #2. Posted on November 08, 1999, 12:02:34 AM by
Oooooh, roller-skating... Olivia Newton-John... My dreams have come... and gotten shot.  Hell, I saw this movie when it came out and I was severely disappointed even then, Olivia's shiny cheeks aside.  Zeus is the god of gods, the wielder of thunderbolts, conquerer of titans, and wooer of earthly women, I thought to myself.  What the hell does roller-skating have to do with his interests?  I figured if I was the head honcho of my own pantheon, I'd be a bit more imaginative than that...
Reply #3. Posted on December 03, 1999, 03:33:27 AM by
I have to agree with were not the targeted audience for this movie.  I also loved the movie.  If everybody liked the same things this world would be completely it's okay if you didn't like it.  :-)
Reply #4. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by NC
Ok I first saw this movie when it was first out on tape. I borrowed my cousins' dubbed copy and never gave it back to them. Really I didn't like the movie except for the intro sequence and Michael Beck that played Sonny. I guess you could say that I had a crush on him, but being only around 7/8 years old it was more like I thought he was a cool guy. And I wore out the tape fastforwarding through all of the dumb parts like the '40s style number. Now I'm an adult (26), haven't seen Xanadu in 17 years, and since rediscovering Beck's 'good' movie 'The Warriors' will never have to watch Xanadu every again if I want to fawn over how great Beck and his hair looked way back when.
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Novaheart
Two words: Oliva & Gene!! This movie rocks!! I love its disco/art deco fusion, sure the acting is horrible, and the dialog is completely ridiculous, but it harkens to the way B movies were made in the studio years prior to the 1960's.

Where else can you see Kelly in roller skates??? I love Geney Kelly, this guy is amazing, and to see him in a more modern musical with the Olivia - who was every boys dream girl in 1980 - is history in the making. It was one of Gene's last movies, if not his last.  Oliva has never looked better.

The music for this movie musical is just as good as the music for Grease, but because Grease was a better made film  Xanadu  did not have as much impact as Grease, still it is a masterpiece of an album, especially the lush disco influenced tracks by Jeff Lyne, I think it's his best work. Oliva's distinct silky voice works very well with Lynne's lush big sound, oddly enough...

Remember, this is B movie at best, but it's alot of fun, for reasons that personal taste can only address. I like the look of the movie, it's similar to another film of 1980 - Flash Gordon, the same company did the special effects for Xanadu.
Reply #6. Posted on August 20, 2002, 09:26:02 PM by Bowie
This movie made me want to commit suicide within seconds!!!!
Reply #7. Posted on March 19, 2000, 03:41:37 AM by katmann
You're all nuts, watched(and I mean WATCHED!) this film more than fourty times.I Love every time. And as for the glowing blue people... the're not blue , the're GREEN...adjust you're TV!
Reply #8. Posted on March 27, 2000, 07:30:51 AM by Squishy
Trivia: Disney renegade Don Bluth did the animated sequence in "Xanadu" before moving on to better ("The Secret of NIMH") and worse ("Rock-A-Doodle-Doo") things.

I liked ELO, still do. But I never had the required crush on Olivia Newton-John (AKA the good-girl who learns to be a raging slut in "Grease") and, well, where's Michael Beck now? Roller disco? Allan Carr? Ew. Pardon me, I have to spew.
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