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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 ... 6 7 [8] 9 10 ... 13
Reply #57. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by jrr
god help me, i have very fond memories of this one and i still plan on marrying ONJ...and you can't escape the fact that this film helped Jeff Lynne learn how to produce,  on demand, whatever the industry suits requested.  without the Xanadu soundtrack, Tom Petty would still be braying hayseed rebel anthems in front of a big, stupid confederate flag instead of crooning west coast existentialism over shuffling eighth-notes.
Reply #58. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Mark
I just saw Xanadu for the first time in about 17 years - it was great!  I was 10 years old when it was released, and boy, the memories came rushing back.  I truly didn't want Kira to leave Sonny - I remember when I was a kid thinking, "If I just watch it one more time, she won't leave!"

I will agree that the dialogue is often mind-numbing, but luckily, there's lots of wonderful music - that's really what was special about this movie.  And I have to say that I was touched by the simplicity of a guy falling in love with a girl who just seemed to fall into his life, who then disappears just as quickly.  

If you can suspend reality for awhile and you can't get enough of Olivia, you shouldn't miss this movie.
Reply #59. Posted on November 26, 2002, 08:33:05 PM by Canadaphile
Great soundtrack, crappy movie.  I loved it when I was thirteen though--in those pre-MTV days, it looked pretty cool.  My sister and I actually dressed up like Xanadu muses that Halloween and won best costume at the local church Halloween party.  My father delights in tormenting us with those pictures ...
Reply #60. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Doug Scott
I'm gonna have to confess that I, too, developed a crush on Olivia Newton-John because of Xanadu. I'm actually relieved to see so many others here acknowledge this cause I got the *hell* teased out of me in high school.
So, while looking back on it, I admit that it's really a god-awful film (except for the music), I'll always have a soft spot for it.
Reply #61. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Heather C. Marsh
Xanadu will always remain close to my heart.  My Mother & Grandmother took me to see it upon its theatrical release when I was seven.  I was already a fan, as my parents had Olivia Newton-John's "Greatest Hits" on 8-track cassette as well as the "Grease Soundtrack" but seeing her on the big screen like that, looking absolutely luminous, I was mesmerized and transfixed throughout the entire film.  She completely owned my heart...and to this day I am a HUGE fan.  I've seen her twice in concert and while I have to admit, acting is not her strong point, her voice still gives me goosebumps like no other.  

Xanadu = Happy childhood memories

Reply #62. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by
A few unrelated thoughts on Xanadu.

1:23 minutes in--Only a muse played by Olivia Newton-John can be invoked by chanting "Ho" over and over again.

1:14--Sonny:  "Hey Zeus."  Zeus:  Si?  (Hey Zeus, sounds like Jesus in spanish.  Eh, nevermind.  Dumb joke).

Plus Shabba Doo is an extra dancer in a zoot suit in the final sequence.  What more can you ask for?
Reply #63. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Malarky

The guy who plays the love interest of Olivia Newton-John also starred in the late 70's movie The Warriors.  He is quoted as saying that The Warriors opened a lot of doors for him, and Xanadu closed them all up again.
Reply #64. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by hesalwysnmyhair
Ohmigosh!!!  This has got to be my number two favorite movie...right behind the great Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!!!  Yes, I love corny-lovey-musicals, please give me more rollerskates, more mopeds, and of course, more Blue Auras!!!  How could you hate such wonderful music, classics like Suddenly and of course Xanadu, I hope my daughter will follow in my footsteps, and like this 80's type of "bad movie" instead of the "bad movies" we have these days!!
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