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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 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 13
Reply #41. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Kevin
Only one thing...the same dancers comment...umm they are supposed to be the same dancers...they are her sisters.

As a musician/artist I absolutely "get" the film. I don't believe in muses but I understand the frustrating artist all out of passion concept.

The two most brilliant scenes are the Gene Kelly, Olivia 1940s dance scene,(Remember the film is in the spirit of those old films, not Shakespear) and the 1940s meets 1980s rock/big band scene. Musically they are both superb.

Yes the movie has plenty of cheese but it is highly enjoyable from my point of view. Olivia's cuteness doesn't hurt either. lol.

If you want depth, watch Ben Hur. This movie never claimed to be in that genra. Just a fun time with some really great ELO songs.
Reply #42. Posted on February 15, 2002, 03:41:14 PM by Noel
I have seen this movie a few times and each view is valid.  It is interesting to note however, that there must be something in it to make so many people come this site and post an opinion about the film. (me included.)
Reply #43. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Jym
Script was bad
Music was hot
Olivia was hotter
The logo and font were very cool too!  I have several movie posters.

Michael Beck should have been handed a train ticket out of Hollywood after the film for his inability to act - Andy Gibb would have been better.

Too bad the actually building burned down in 1989 - it was really cool.
Reply #44. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by c l dufus
I watched this movie back in the 80's. Like every other teenager with a television set, I had a major thing for the Solid Gold dancers...several of whom were in this movie. It wasn't worth the time. Olivia "The Singing Bunny Rabbit" Newton-John and Michael Beck (who?) with the poor, unfortunate Gene "Hey, at least the check cleared the bank" Kelly...who should've known better. There wasn't enough bad beer in Milwaukee to make this piece of crud digestable.
Reply #45. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Swamprat
Yes, it's me again. I hate to point this out to all you ONJ lovers...she isn't Australian...she's English...she was just raised in Australia, just like the (uhg) BeeGees. Mel Gibson wasn't born there either, he was born in the states, his Aussie father took his sons back to KangarooLand before they turned draft age during Vietnam. I'm not picking on these people of course. (Not Mel anyway, I think he's a pretty cool guy...real goofy sense of humor.) But Scrawny ol' Livy picks her nose at stoplights just like the rest of us...and she still looks like an anorexic chicken to me...maybe she's a nice lady...I wouldn't be surprised. Both the Limeys and the Diggers are famous for being good ol' blokes, though the Brits can go off a little stuffy at times, and the Aussies are well known for getting bad-serious crazy when provoked even just a little bit...but hell! I'm an American. Every generation we write a new chapter in the book for being conceded AND bad-serious-dangerously crazy. I hope Olivia is well and happy. I wish she'd put some pounds on. I wish she had made Grease then hung up her Hollywood shoes. (Ever seen the film, "Two of a Kind"?) I wouldn't be surprised if her teeth were capped...the English are also famous for bad teeth. The Aussies are just as famous for having most of thiers knocked out. Xanadu is still bad-serious pain! It SUCKS!
Reply #46. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Swamprat
Sucks...Sucks...SUCKS. The only way this thing could've gotten worse is if Olivia Newton-John had did a striptease on roller skates. My soon to be wife at the time dragged me to see this thing...we still got married and still are married...a miracle considering the evil taint this film sloshes about. Livy couldn't act her way through a church Christmas play. GREASE managed to overcome her lack of presence but this cockroach fodder couldn't. She always was a so-so pop singer, a so-so country singer, I wonder why she couldn't at least have become a so-so actress. She's just plain awful. Add to the mix an awful Hip and Happening so-so generic pop soundtrack, Dis-uhg-co music, the then rollerskating fad, and a twerpy leading man. What were these people thinking? Gene Kelly? Why was this man inserted here? A link to a glorious past of musical fantisies...or did his aging mother need an operation? C'mon. Kelly was from another era...I didn't like those movies but they were an art form unto themselves...even a geniune artist like Kelly couldn't save this tripe. It was neat to see the old codger zipping around on skates and dancing, keeping up with the "kids", but other than the fun of seeing that old vet still doing a little strut, this film was and still is a total bore. I never found Olivia to be that beautiful. Even as a horny teenager I thought she looked like an anorexic chicken. One good sneeze and she'd snap every bone in her scrawny body. Then there she is zipping around on skates in a dark and abandoned building. The "C'mon guys! Lets put on a show!" theme drives me nuts. It sucked when Micky Rooney and Judy Garland did em that way back in the 30s and it still sucks. If a dance-musical-fantasy movie is done well I can sit through it at least once...All That Jazz is a favorite that comes to mind at the moment, I've seen it several times, good flick. Xanadu is just absolute pain. I'd rather sit through a root canal than watch this thing again. I'd love to chase after those dancing muses with a ball that would make a watchable movie! 400 pound middle aged man with bat chasing dancing glo-chicks on wheels. Michael Beck's character could paint the loddy posters for that one. This thing isn't just a bad movie...there is no catagory this dud could be dumped into without having the rest of the dreck rise up in revolt. It belongs in the bottom of an empty barrel all to itself. When I pass snippits of this thing while channel surfing through cable stations it makes me feel bad. So bad in fact I always get an urge to send Olivia Newton-John a bag of Oreos.
Reply #47. Posted on July 04, 2002, 08:35:19 PM by Mark
 I would just like to say I got a kick out of this review. Its a shame this movie was so badly written. Still fun to watch tho.
Reply #48. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Mel
It's campy, it's cheesy... and it's a lot of fun for those very reasons.  Is it good?  Well... no.  It's pretty awful.  But that's the fun of it.  It's purely a guilty pleasure movie.  The music is fantastic, even if the plot and the script were awful.

I own it, and every once in a while, I pull the tape out and just kinda go back to my childhood when it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen (I was five...there were roller skates and funky glowing people in a painting wearing sundresses... come on!)

It's also a very good movie to threaten using on your boyfriend if he doesn't behave... guys whimper if you threaten to force them to watch it.

Hee hee hee...

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