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Futureworld [Blu-Ray]


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Product details

  • Actors: Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Yul Brynner
  • Directors: Richard T Heffron
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 101 Films
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Aug 2014
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00IYTT4OC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,501 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

This follow-up to the successful 1973 thriller Westworld stars Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner as Chuck Browning and Tracy Ballard, investigative reporters. The team has been dispatched to the expensive theme park Westworld on the remote island of Delos, to find out what caused the park's robots to go berserk and begin killing the cash customers. They discover that Duffy (Arthur Hill), creator of Westworld, has retooled his park into Futureworld, a supposedly "fail safe" recreational mecca. In truth, he is scheming to replace all of the world leaders with robot clones, the better to take over the globe.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Kennard on 28 Aug 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Made to capitalise/cash-in on the unexpected success of Westworld, Futureworld tries to reach for the stars, but the shuttle doesn't quite make it.

It's not a particularly bad film, it just never quite fulfills the promise of the concept: the futuristic theme park with its vast array of robots was done very well in Westworld, so the sequel needed to try and find a new angle. So, what can else can you do with robots? Well, anyone who has spent any time in the Outer Limits or the Twilight Zone can answer that, as can the original series of Star Trek. If there is anyone who doesn't know what the big reveal is, I won't spoil it for you, but you won't find it particularly startling.
Another item borrowed is the sound effects. A number of very distinctive effects (most notably the tricorder sound) have also come from Star Trek, while the final piece of unoriginality comes in the form of Yul Brynner. Clearly included so that he could be used on the poster and to provide a link to the previous film, Brynner's cameo is so brief as to be pointless. The scene he appears in is largely devoid of context and you are left to work out why we've been shown it at all.

The two leads, while lacking chemistry, work quite well with the material they've been given, making the most of the limited plot. Likewise, with most of the film being shot at the Johnson Space Centre, good use of the location has made some of the visuals quite striking, with the giant door sticking in my memory from when I first saw the film over thirty years ago!

The film has aged quite badly, with overlong scenes and unnecessary exposition coupled with appalling fashion and dated technology.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Smith on 26 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Well having seen the excellent Westworld, I took the plunge and purchased the sequel - Futureworld.

Cynically, I could have guessed that this film has little to do with the original, and I would be right.

Futureworld features out of control robots as does Westworld, but here the comparison ends.

The film itself takes a good twenty minutes to get going, and once it does there is some plot to keep you watching.

The main characters are not a patch on those in Westworld however, and really this is one of it's main problems. They appear to be acting, and are not natural. Some of the lines are cringe making and as the other reviewer has pointed out here, Yul Brynner does not star in the movie at all - hence the box image of the DVD is misleading.

Now there is a good 'twist' at the end which I shall let you find out about yourself, however it is wasted due the very last scene - it being so bad, I thought it was a joke! It's as if the director packed his/her bangs and left the set, worn out - which to be honest is how you will feel after watching.

Only buy the movie if you appreciate it is not going to match Westworld in any way. There is little action, and the plot is going nowhere fast in terms of being dynamic and challenging.

The ideas are fine, some indeed are quite original - yet the execution of the idea, is a nightmare.

A great shame.
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By George Nada on 25 Nov 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Futureworld, as with Soylent Green, Omega Man and Logan's Run amongst others, was one of the 70s sci-fi films I discovered as a young boy in the 80s and immediately loved. Coming back to it now on Blu-ray, it has not aged well at all.

Some of the flaws are a factor of the low budget such as the entrance to Futureworld just being a standard theatre which looks very underwhelming - which is in keeping with the rest of the film. But the low budget doesn't account for the plodding plot and bland acting.

The actual story could have been fitted into a 30 minute short film - the balance of the time is simply needless padding, the most egregious example of which is the extended dream sequence featuring Yul Brynner which is laughably awful. The script is unmemorable other than the occasional howler, such as the confrontation between real Danner and robot Danner which features a complete non sequitor when the robot starts talking about the love of their father. Very odd. The acting isn't much better: Peter Fonda is his usual oily, dislikeable self and Blythe Danner is pretty but unbearably wet. Only the Dr Schneider character is worthy of note.

Spoiler warning: on rewatching the film, one thing that annoyed me is the inconsistency at the end when Dr Schneider confronts Chuck and Tracy - if they needed certainty, why didn't they use the retinal scan that is introduced earlier? Or some other more comprehensive check to see if they were real / robots?

As for the Blu-ray, this is the first (of 100s of BRDs owned) where there is no discernible improvement in quality. Initially I thought I had made a mistake and bought the DVD as the quality was so ordinary. The colours are reasonably vibrant but the picture is very soft throughout. There are also no extras to speak of.
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Format: Blu-ray
Okay, so it was never going to be better than Westworld, but it could've been one heck of a lot worse than it actually turned out. A sadly overlooked gem this one. It's shorter on action - and bankroll - than it's predecessor, but more than makes up for it's shortcomings by serving up an intelligent premise, which pitches it's tent somewhere between Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and The Six Million Dollar Man.

Fonda and Danner both give star turns, and the limited budget serves only to add to the movie's fleapit 70's charm.

Conspiracy, cloning, romance and a brief (albeit mute!) reunion with the unstoppable gunslinger who may well have inspired The Terminator himself...what's not to like?!!
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