PLOT SUMMARY: A man is revived 200 years later, only to be used for an anti-government plot against a fascist police state government. Hilarity ensues.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Ulcer surgery leads to complications.
PEOPLE: Written, directed, and starring Woody Allen. That’s almost always a sign of a bad movie, except in this case. Co-starring Dianne Keaton (Mad Money, The Godfather), except that this time it’s 1973 and she is a TOTAL BABE.
And yes, the same voice that did Hal in 2001 did the voice of the surgery computer. I thought that voice sounded familiar!
QUIRKS: Comedy, sci-fi, and political satire. Sci-fi comedy is a big recipe to success (see also: Futurama, Tripping The Rift, Hot Tub Time Machine), one that is often underutilized due to people hating sci-fi so much.
VISUALS: An almost Clockwork Orange-esque depiction of a future with a government gone mad.
SOUNDTRACK: Old jazzy music apparently recorded live at some pub. Almost a throwback to the vaudeville days, though I may just be talking out my ass since I know nothing of those days.
POLITICS: A great example of how generic people can end up being quite happy with a fascist, abusive, censoring “Big Brother” 1984-esque government, as well as being trained to exist in a state of learned helplessness. This movie is political without throwing it in your face. Comedy is forefront, but the satire and social commentary can’t easily be ignored.
GOOD STUFF: Lots of good jokes, great slapstick scenes, plenty of future-based humor, and plenty of biting social commentary. This is a movie that keeps you laughing almost all the way through; something that’s hard to accomplish.
BAD STUFF: It had its “Woody Allen is annoying and corny” moments, sort of like how Spaceballs had its “Mel Brooks is annoying and corny” moments. But these moments were fewer than with Mel Brooks’s stuff. I draw a comparison between the 2 of them for several reasons: They both have made a lot of movies that people think are funny but that really aren’t. They both use self-deprecating humor that often isn’t funny. Despite this, both have made at least 1 5-star movie. Mel Brooks’s magnum opus is History Of The World Part 1 (NOT Spaceballs!). And for Woody Allen, it’s this movie.
CONCLUSION: Pretty damn funny! I’m not big on old movies, so this is pretty much my favorite pre-1980 comedy. I *HATE* Woody Allen, so this is my favorite Woody Allen movie. That this takes place 200 years in the future, and has biting social-political commentary and crazy slapstick situations that are incredibly hilarious. I can’t quite put words to how funny some parts of this movie are. The 1970’s view of the future reminds me of A Clockwork Orange, but if it were a comedy. Pretending to be a robot is hilarious. Fighting futuristic jello is hilarious. People no longer knowing how to have sex without the use of a machine is hilarious. This film is full of laughs. I watched it many times as a child, and it was great to finally see this as an adult, and to finally truly understand all of the jokes and political commentary. This caused me to raise my rating of this movie from 3/5 stars to 5/5 stars.
RECOMMENDATION: Even if you hate old movies, this is one worth checking out. Even if you hate Woody Allen, this is one Woody Allen film worth checking out.
MOVIE QUOTES: Lots of great quotes from this movie! Too many to list…
[a 22nd century historian shows Miles a videotape of Howard Cosell]
Historian: We weren’t sure at first what to make of this, but we developed a theory: we feel that when people committed great crimes against the state, they were forced to watch this.
Miles Monroe: Yes. That’s exactly what it was.
Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
Music: KMFDM – Mysterious Ways