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3.7 out of 5 stars60
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 28 August 2014
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. Certainly worth watching as a curious piece of seventies nonsense, but it can't quite match Logan's Run, despite the latter being released in the same year and sharing a very similar aesthetic and style.

The Disc (UK Blu-Ray release)
The picture quality is a marked improvement over previous versions, but it never rises above the mediocre. Some effort has clearly been put into mastering, with no really significant picture damage or dropouts evident, but colours are muted and occasionally muddy, while the image as a whole suffers from a softness that loses any real sense of clarity or definition. The sound is equally unremarkable, with no real standout moments anywhere and an original audio mix that makes dialogue occasionally hard to follow. However, given the history of the film, this is probably the best we're ever likely to get.
The only real letdown on this release is the presentation by 101 Films. There is absolutely NOTHING in the way of extras, not even a trailer. The icing on the cake is that they haven't even bothered with optional subtitles, a mean piece of penny-pinching that even the masters of 'no subtitles', Network, doesn't sink to on its Blu-Rays. Completely unforgivable in this digital age.

One to pick up when it is at a bargain price (£10 is way too much).
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on 29 November 2014
This is regarding the blu-ray version. In fact I'll only write about the blu ray, not the plot of the movie. Suffice to say that I find it to be a good movie and consider it a classic B-movie. That is why I purchased it.

Now regarding the blu-ray, this is probably the most minimalistic blu-ray I have in my collection. No subtitles, no audio options, no extras. Just the movie [PLAY] and [CHAPTERS] (there are 8 of those by the way). When you are in the movie the [PLAY] button is replaced with [MENU]. It just feels so absurdly minimalistic.

I never found a "region 2" DVD version of this movie so this purchase was a no-brainer and a must-buy. In the same way I couldn't tell you whether it's video- or audio-quality is better than the DVD version's. I like the movie but as a foreigner it's always nice to at least have subtitles to lean against if the language gets unclear, here you will find no such comforts. It's such a small thing to add to a blu-ray, and I simply don't understand why they didn't include subtitles. The lack of subtitles and extras is what ultimately cost the blu-ray version two stars.
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on 25 November 2014
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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on 26 July 2009
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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on 13 October 2014
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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on 15 July 2014
FUTUREWORLD [1976] [Blu-ray] [US Import] Where ‘Westworld’ Stopped! ‘Futureworld’ Begins!

Do you remember that disaster at Delos a few years ago, when the Westworld robots went out of control and killed a few guests? Well, the entire resort has now been rebuilt and redesigned to be completely fail-safe. To combat the lingering adverse publicity, Duffy, the Delos representative, has offered the IMC Communication Network exclusive rights to the new Delos story. Tracy Ballard [Blythe Danner], the network's top commentator, has been assigned the story with Chuck Browning [Peter Fonda], the newspaper reporter who broke the original ‘Westworld’ disaster story. But as Tracy and Chuck's private tour starts, they get the feeling the entire resort might not be as safe as Delos thinks...

Cast: Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Arthur Hill, Yul Brynner, John Ryan, Stuart Margolin, James M. Connor, Allen Ludden, Robert Cornthwaite, Angela Greene, Darrell Larson, Nancy Bell, Bert Conroy and Dorothy Konrad

Director: Richard T. Heffron

Producers: James T. Aubrey, Paul N. Lazarus III, Richard T. Heffron and Samuel Z. Arkoff

Screenplay: George Schenck and Mayo Simon

Composer: Fred Karlin

Cinematography: Gene Polito and Howard Schwartz

Video Resolution: 1080p [Metrocolor]

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo

Subtitles: English

Running Time: 104 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Shout! Factory / ORION Pictures

Andrew's Blu-ray Review: ‘Westworld’ [1973] was a popular, slick science fiction adventure produced at M-G-M and written and directed by Michael Crichton. It offered up a then-novel concept - a malfunction at a futuristic theme park that results in mass casualties of guests and park technicians alike. The movie was a box-office hit and its producer, Paul Lazarus III, developed a follow-up, although without the direct involvement of Crichton. When M-G-M passed on the property, Lazarus and co-producer James T. Aubrey bought the sequel rights from Crichton and brought their story to famous low-budget producer Samuel Z. Arkoff and his American International Pictures (AIP). The result was ‘Futureworld’ [1976], which wisely avoided the theme-park-run-amok scenario of the first film Michael Crichton himself would revisit that theme years later with his novel and screenplay of ‘Jurassic Park’ [1993]. Instead, the sequel delved into a deeper conspiracy plot involving the Delos corporate entity, placing ‘Futureworld’ squarely in the company of other post-Watergate 1970s films that exploited the general mistrust of political, industrial, and corporate institutions.

The film stars Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner, as a pair of reporters invited to review the re-opening of the Delos adult-themed parks, one of which was the 'Westworld' of the original movie. 'Westworld' has been closed down, although 'Medieval World' and 'Roman World' are reopening. New to the Delos theme parks this time around are 'Spa World' and the namesake of the film, 'Futureworld.' Reporters Chuck Browning [Peter Fonda] and Tracy "Socks" Ballard [Blythe Danner] are asked by Delos to come and check things out, so the public at large can be assured that Delos is no longer dangerous (we learn early in the film that over 50 people had been killed by robots as a result of the events happening in “Westworld”).

Chuck Browning is already suspicious about the parks before leaving for the trip, as he has witnessed the death of an informant who was attempting to provide him with information about Delos. Browning and Ballard aren't at “Futureworld” very long before they discover one of the main reasons why things are different. In the original movie, the robots were being controlled by a group of scientists in a large control room...this time; the men in the control room are robots too! But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as the investigative pair will soon unravel an even darker purpose for the re-opening of the parks.

One of the advantages 'Futureworld' has over its predecessor is with its lead actors. Fonda and Danner have good chemistry together and make strong leads. That, however, is pretty much the only aspect of the movie that proves to be better than the original film. Because the viewer already has an idea of what the Delos parks are like, there's no sense of fun and discovery like there was in the first movie. Also, while this film also concludes with an extended chase sequence between a pair of characters, it can't compete with the hunting of the Richard Benjamin character by the evil Gunslinger [Yul Brynner] from the original.

‘Futureworld’ feels as if it were shot on location at an industrial theme park thanks to extensive shooting at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Prominent as "sets" are such distinctive sights as the giant circular latch of the Space Environment Simulator Laboratory (which was also featured prominently in the posters and advertising of the film), and one of the Mission Operations Control Rooms, with its familiar rows of computer monitors facing a large bank of tracking screens. The film was also shot in several other locations in Houston, making liberal use of the late 1960s-early 1970s Modern architecture of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the lobby of Jones Hall, and the tram system at the Houston Intercontinental Airport.

Speaking of Yul Brynner, his character returns in 'Futureworld' in one of the most pointless and senseless cameos ever captured on film. He appears in the movie for about a minute, utters no dialogue and his only purpose seems to be so that the filmmakers could advertise the return of his character in the attempt to sell a few more tickets.

There's little doubt that 'Futureworld' is a slightly inferior film to ‘Westworld,’ but it deserves credit for at least trying to do something a little different instead of giving audiences a by-the-numbers sequel that follows the same notes of the original. Even with Fonda and Danner as the leads, the film looks and feels more like something made for the small screen than the silver screen, which means it might play a little better on home video today than the way it did in theatres back in the 1970s (where it was considered a flop).

Although by 1976 Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) had been seen in several short animated films, ‘Futureworld’ was the first feature film to incorporate such effects, and Peter Fonda was no doubt the first major actor to have his face "digitized" for the big screen. The 3-D wireframes for the film were created by a couple of graduate students at the University of Utah. One of these students, Edwin Catmull, would go on to become a leading figure in the CGI genre at Lucasfilm, PIXAR and Disney.

Blu-ray Video Quality – While this is no doubt the better of the two films, 'Futureworld' is the best of the bunch on this home video release, there are still some issues with the picture quality as the primary problem being the age of the print. There are evident scratches, dirt, and other defects in the presentation that are evident throughout the entire movie. Some scenes look better in HD than others, but most have a "washed out" look to them and lack the kind of detail, sharpness, and overall "pop" one expects in 1080p. Black levels are also an issue throughout most of the movie, with details often being lost in some of the darker scenes (of which there are many). Although there are issues with the picture, for the most part colours and skin tones are well balanced and the movie retains a film-like look throughout, with a healthy dose of grain that is always present but never obtrusive. The presentation pales in comparison to the work Warner Bros. did on the ‘Westworld’ Blu-ray, but there's nothing too serious here that would deter one's viewing enjoyment, it's just a very average transfer by high-definition standards.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The only track on this release is a 2.0 DTS-HD Stereo Master Audio that (obviously) doesn't provide much in terms of activity or immersion, but is certainly solid nevertheless. Both the dialogue and musical soundtrack, which I actually prefer to 'Westworld,' are clear and well-balanced. When I reviewed ‘Westworld,’ I noted that the spoken word and music soundtrack almost seemed separate from one another, with the score overbearing when compared to the dialogue of the actors. No such problems here, as everything is properly balanced, with no noticeable issues one often hears from older films, like popping or hissing in the track. Subtitles are also available, but only in English.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Theatrical Trailer [1976] [1080i] [3:00] This is the original theatrical trailer for 'Futureworld.' Like a lot of trailers, this one gives away the major plot points, so be sure to avoid it until you have watched the actual film.

Radio Spots [1:00] Two 30-second radio spots for the film.

Still Gallery [1080p] [1:00] A 60 second slide show that consists of preproduction artwork and movie posters for the film. It's a video slide show, meaning you don't need to use your remote control to advance from one picture to the next, but you will need to use your remote control to pause on any one still image.

Finally, ‘Westworld’ was a fun throwback to the kind of fairly low rent sci-fi fare that used to populate drive-ins in the late fifties, albeit gussied up in a lot of techno-speak and proto-futuristic trappings. Ironically, ‘Futureworld’ hasn't aged half as well as ‘Westworld’ has, looking decidedly dowdy and old fashioned, perhaps due to its relatively meagre budget and American-International production roots. Performances here are okay, though one gets the distinct impression most of the major players were wishing they were in some other world, like an A-list film, when they were shooting this escapade. This Blu-ray has some fairly problematic video issues, though the audio is quite good. Fans of Blythe Danner, who never really got her due as a leading actress in films, may want to check this out, one way or the other. But for Michael Crichton fans that are aching for a film about technology running amok in an amusement park facility, the much better bet would of course be the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise. Despite this slight flaw compared to the original film, I am still glad I have added it to my Blu-ray Collection and if you are a fan of this sci-fi genre, then you will not go wrong, but sadly with the way films are made today, this now looks very dated. Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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on 2 December 2015
After the success of Westworld, I thought this would be worth a visit to the pictures for. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's so boring, I fell asleep half way through it and had to be woken by one of the cinema staff at the end and was asked to leave. It was embarrassing because the cinema had emptied.
If anyone thinks this will be as good as or better than Westworld, you're going to be in for a big, big disappointment. The makers obviously jumped on the bandwagon after the success of Westworld, but it flopped dismally.
Don't waste your money and time. Anyone who gave this terrible film five stars must be easily entertained, and wouldn't recognize a bad film if it hit them between the eyes.
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on 29 August 2003
You can see from my title, why I like this movie. I was one of the extras. I can be seen sitting at a console as Blythe Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow's mother) enters the dream machine. Several closeups of hands turning dials are also me.
Being part of the film's making, it was interesting to see how they created storylines that they did not use. I actually had a line in the movie, which was cut out when they dropped that plotline.
Most of the movie was shot at NASA'a Johnson Space Center in Houston. I worked there during the Apollo moon missions, so I was familiar with some of the equipment. The very large building where they do weightless walking (not real) was done in the extremely large vacumn chamber. It is an impressive sight in real life.
Just getting a chance to look behind the scenes at NASA is not a good reason to watch this movie. Futureworld is the sequel to Westworld. It's one line summary is: "Futureworld - where you can't tell the robots from the machines - even when you look in the mirror!" If you enjoyed Westworld, you will probably like Futureworld. However, one need not have seen Westworld to enjoy Futureworld, or to follow its plot.
The basic plot takes over from where Westworld left off. Several years have passed since the disaster of Westworld, when the robots malfunctions and began killing the guests. Now, the owners have decided to engage in a great conspiracy. They will replace world leaders and business execs with look alike robots. This time the robots are more lifelike and will have real memories from the people the mimic. When all of the replacements are in place, the Futureworld owners will slowly take over the world.
Two reporters (Peter Fonda & Blythe Danner) have heard some rumors of "something amiss" from another reporter who has disappeared. Most of the movie is how they try to discover what is really going on at Futureworld.
The special effects were good for the time. The acting is good. The overall movie makes for an interesting break from reality. Yul Brenner is back for a small part in the movie, but he is not a main character. The movie will be more appealing to Sci-fi fans. There is also some romance in the movie.
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on 11 April 2016
Some review discribe a dull picture, but it is fine and worthwhile watching secual to Westworld.
I have the DVD R2 version en the quality is fine, no complains about 'aged badly' as some reviewers say.
Though the dvd has absolutely no extra's or even subtitles and that's a shame.
Still, if you liked the movie back then in the 70ties 89tie0, you will still oike this one now:-)
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on 30 January 2016
very poor for sadly but very nice steelbook
can't wait to see westworld the series starring Sir Anthony Hopkins but sadly

it has been put back for a few months to air on tv, i'm starting to worry about that as ive seen trailer's teasers on YouTube looks very promising, i plead to hbo

please don't cancel the show, altogether
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