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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 ... 7 8 [9] 10 11 ... 13
Reply #65. Posted on August 27, 2003, 02:44:18 PM by Government Cheese
 I think there are a few great crimes of the twentieth century. The fact that this movie was the great Gene Kelly’s swan song is one of them. I can only equate to Bob Fosse passing away right after choreographing “From Justin to Kelly”.
Reply #66. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Nathanial Meade
I heard that the Vietcong used to show this movie to P.O.W.'s. Hell, this movie does make communism seem like the better system.
Reply #67. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by lisa
If it wasn't for me being an Olivia fan I wouldn't have bothered checking out this film, I like the musical numbers, if you enjoy the music it's good like a long music video.  As Swamprat mentioned, Olivia IS British, she lived in England from birth to 5yrs old, then moved to Australia, returned to England at about 16yrs old and stayed for about 11 years more before moving to the States after her friend advised her to.  She used to have more of a British accent, I don't know what sounds more like now. She feels more Australian because that's where she most remembers growing up of course.  Oh by the way, Swamprat, Olivia has put on more weight.  I guess Xanadu was targeted at very young women and girls... and also the guys who just wanted to watch Olivia.
Reply #68. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Nikki
Love the movie! Even had it special ordered on DVD from Best Buy because I couldn't find it anywhere else!

One thing though... Michael Beck sucked ASS.
My friends & I think the director lost a bet to Beck's father, and that's why he was cast.
Reply #69. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Carl
One of the great mysteries of can such a incredibly cheesy movie have such an excellent soundtrack?  It's probably the best thing about it.  

Well, the ELO songs, anyway.  Although, Olivia doesn't do that bad of a job, herself.
Reply #70. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by R
If not for this movie, Chloe Lattanzi wouldn't be here!  She is soon to release her first cd, Lonely Nights in Paradise, and her parents (Matt Lattanzi and Olivia Newton-John) met on the set.  That's one extremely cool thing going for it.

Best of all, it has Olivia Newton-John delivering great acting and great music!!

Gene, Olivia, and all are fantastic.  The skating is fun.  I was only a year old (not even) when it was released, but I have loved it on video for years.

TEN STARS!  Fantastic movie!
Reply #71. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Danny
There was some talk about Xanadu being re-written as a Broadway musical, with John Farrar doing the re-write. Has anyone else heard about this??? Olivia even mentioned it in an interview late in 2004.
"Xanadu Live" did have a limited run in L.A. a couple of years ago, however, this Broadway verseion was to have been a big budget version...
Anyway, back to the original film! Every time I have a few too many drinks and have friends around, the Xanadu DVD comes out for a laugh... now you can't beat a good laugh! (& the music IS pretty darn great!)
Reply #72. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ron
Erg...back when I was a sprout, my younger sister worshipped Olivia Newton John. My mom would drop us off at the Saturday matinee, where such delicious fare as Abbott&Costello and/or jason and the Argonauts would play all day. Did I get to see Bud&Lou run from Dracula or Martians? Did I get to see Talos crush Greeks and Jason skewer a hydra? No.
I got to sit with my sister through Xanadu something like 20 times. I would sneak off after and see cool movies, but never without having to watch ONJ skate,skate,skate...damn it. I had forgot the horror, but now it returns. Man, now I'm having bad flashbacks about Sgt Pepper,too... Damn it!
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