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Futureworld 1976

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3.7 out of 5 stars (62) IMDb 5.9/10
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Yul Brynner returns in this sequel to the cult sci-fi film 'Westword'; now that the entire resort has been rebuilt. Investigative reporters Tracey Ballard (Blythe Danner) and Chuck Browing (Peter Fonda) cover the opening of Futureworld. However, they soon begin to realise that, once again, there is something wrong (and possibly fatal) with this hi-tech paradise.

Starring:
Blythe Danner, Yul Brynner
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 43 minutes
Starring Blythe Danner, Yul Brynner, John P. Ryan, Peter Fonda, Arthur Hill, Stuart Margolin
Director Richard T. Heffron
Genres Science Fiction
Studio LACE GROUP
Rental release 2 July 2004
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 43 minutes
Starring Blythe Danner, Yul Brynner, John P. Ryan, Peter Fonda, Arthur Hill, Stuart Margolin
Director Richard T. Heffron
Genres Science Fiction
Studio Lace DVD
Rental release 18 August 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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 Verified Purchase
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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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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