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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 ... 5 6 [7] 8 9 ... 13
Reply #49. Posted on July 23, 2002, 02:35:21 AM by mike
I dont know what some of these people are thinking. The movie is strange but it does have O N J so its not all bad. They do say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder therefor if the person who said this line had seen this movie he or she would have gone blind.
Reply #50. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Sly R
Your review has ignored one key feature in this film: the soundtrack.  One of the greatest.  ELO's Jeff Lynne has produced some crafty stuff, but his work in the 80's got quite stale... except here.  Arguably, the Xanadu soundtrack is ELO's swan song.  And a damned pretty one.  Almost thrilling enough to make the movie good.
Reply #51. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Joe
Saw this film when it came out in the summer of '80 - it's really more of a late-70's film than an '80's flick.
A lot of fuss and promotion was made over this movie - all those cheesey songs by OLJ and ELO were all over the darn radio - the songs themselves probably made more money than the film itself.
The whole family and a couple of friends went that early Saturday evening to see it - everyone was anticipating another Grease (not that I had seen Grease - I was 13 and my parents were hit & miss when it came to taking us to the movies - we counted ourselves lucky to see this one).
I have to admit I had a little crush on Olivia back then - mostly due to this movie - so I kind of liked the film.
In fact, the next day I rode my 10-speed all the way to the theater and tried to sneak in the back door to see it again - got busted, though, and was told to go home (I obviously didn't have anything better to do that day).
My friend who lived next-door had the LP to the movie - kid named Tater - his mother bought him EVERYTHING!).
I remember waking up a little too early in the early Fall of '80 to my Mom's stupid clock-radio (my room was right next to my parents') playing "Suspended in Time".
I also remember just before the film was theatrically released the OLJ song "Magic" was played a couple of times  every hour on the radio - my and my little brother had the house to ourselves and a little too much free time as well - I remember we'd watch the Flintstones and during one episode where Barney was floating in the air, I turned the TV volume down and played the OLJ song "Magic" on the stereo (over the radio)and was so bored that I thought the song went really well with the Flintstones (never underestimate the desperation of a bored 13-year-old).
Well, many years later I purchased the DVD mainly because I like a few of the (admittedly cheesey) songs in the film, and, of course, for the nostalgia value (why else would they bother to put this movie on DVD?).
Visually that film really ain't half bad - and it can be amusing to see what passed for "cool" back then (what the heck is the deal with those freaks in that "Glitz" store? And why the heck is Gene Kelley all of a sudden inside a giant pinball machine, punching columns that then spring out with flags and sparks?).
Anyway, if you're ever thinking about getting the DVD, the sound is DD 4.0 (yes, you heard right - only four discrete channels) and the visual transfer and colors are excellent.
Of course, everyone knows that the acting....well, nobody can relaly act in this film.
However, there are an awful lot of amusing, stupid things in this movie, which really would have been a hoot on MST3K...
Reply #52. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Martin
Oh yeah, the movie is not so great, but all the film
is about those incredible sounds made by ELO and  by
Electric light orchestra /ELO/ did much more than a great
I love "don't walk away, it's alright, xanadu, all over
the world, I'am alive, you must understand those songs.
....Yeah, but those times are gone...

c.u. all
/I am european, just by the way, so forgive my imperfect
english please/.
Reply #53. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Dee
Wow . . . Xanadu this is the first movie i remember as a child.  I was a couple months old when we got the movie on vhs somehow i would manage to crawl out my crib and operate the vcr and watch this movie on my own. My family would trip out and wonder who was putting it on for me, until one day they realize it was me.  Anywayz i still have my original video which is soooooo worn out that i had to get the dvd.  But i think this movie is great yes it is a lil bit cheesy but hey there are worse films out there.  The music is awesome.  What else could you ask for in an 80's film.
Reply #54. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Irena
You clearly don't enjoy the deaththrows of the movie musical. The soundtrack was ELO it was really funky.
Olivia at least has funky peasant clothes and legwarmers over her skates. You can't beat that. My mind is forever tainted by the electric orange jump suits of the band and the band member who was the model for 'animal'. and what about the zebra skin jumpsuited dancer who bore a suspicious resemblance to Jerry Hall!. Not to mention the poor rollerskater dressed in gold that hangs herself in a tizzy at the opening ceremony. I query your "bad bits" There is much worse out there.
Reply #55. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Jeffrey
I wasn't even born when this movie originally came out, but I saw it at a very young age and have loved it ever since. It's a story about second chances, following your dreams, and above all else, love. Not to mention the Greek myth connections were cool. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a little goofy, but please, name me a teen movie from the 80s that wasn't?
Reply #56. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Mr. Paradox, M.D.
Whoa.  My mother, she of little taste, loves this film... eeggh.  Gene Kelly actually left semi-retirement to make this garbage.  Three questions:

1. Who thought Michael Beck could act?
2. Who thought that roller-disco could hold up a film?
3. Who in their right mind came up with this thing?

Actually, the last question I can partially answer.  It's a remake of an old Rita Hayworth film (can't remember the name) in which she played a muse.  This is irrefutable proof of the cannibalistic nature of Hollywood.  Ugh.
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