March 22, 2009

Xanadon't

OH FUCK I HATE MY COMPUTER!

It just erased all my goddamned post. I hate rewriting. I hate my computer. HATE HATE HATE.

Ahem. Let's see if I can recall any of this, but I doubt it, since it's always stream-of-consciousness and I never remember what I say. Or what anyone else says for that matter. It's not because I don't listen to folks, it's just my retention has waned considerably over the past 10 years. I don't know why. I can't really blame drugs, unless it's the over-the-counter kind like Sleepinal. But I haven't had any lately so who knows. Anyhoo.

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I used to love the movie Xanadu back in the day. I don't know if it's because I saw it for free--my best friend's family owned/managed movie theaters--or if it was during my "I heart Olivia Newton-John" phase (thank you Grease) or if it was the soundtrack.

The soundtrack, at least the ELO part of it, was awesome. I remember buying the album at Heck's, a local discount house somewhat like K-Mart, only much better in my opinion. Heck's used to have a snack bar that served the best cheeseburgers ever. I loved those cheeseburgers. What a treat it was to order one, watch it fry on the grill, then hold it snug in its little wax-paper wrapper and savor each delicious bite. You could also buy a cup of ice for a nickel, too. Why bother buying a soda when you could chomp on ice for cheaper, right? Heck's closed many years ago, but before they did, they took out the snack bar. A little part of me died that day, and it wasn't as much fun to shop there anymore. I still can't drive by there without feeling sad. I think there's some stupid sporting goods store there now, but who knows.

So I saw Xanadu on ABC Family the other night. I hate ABC Family because they just canceled Kyle XY, and are populating the schedule with a bunch of crap that doesn't deserve to be on the airwaves, in my biased opinion. So fuck them.

If you haven't seen Xanadu, you may be better off for it. As a child, I loved the flick, and I could even bear watching it as recently as 11 or 12 years ago. But last night, as I got sucked in, I found myself wondering WTF was going on. The plot, if there is one, could be summed up as: Muse (Olivia Newton-John) drops down to Los Angeles to inspire suffering artist (Michael Beck) and help him realize another man's (Gene Kelly) dream of opening a club. She sort of falls in love with Michael Beck's Sonny (not sure why, he's kind of a jerk) but they can't be together because, well, she's a muse.

The movie is basically a musical that makes no sense. Or is that redundant. There's even a wacked-out scene where the Michael Beck and Olivia characters suddenly morph into crappy animated figures to the tune of "Don't Walk Away" (ELO). WTF? Seriously? Why?

Because it's 1980, there is a lot of roller skating, too. In fact, everyone roller skates, even Gene Kelly. (I have to admit he's better than I ever was.) The club Xanadu ends up being some weird place where people just roller-skate around a small stage. There's a bar, but I don't know if they serve food. They don't delve into those types of particulars. They don't really delve into anything. And heinous outfits abound.

Mainly, I feel bad for Gene Kelly. Sure, he's danced with cartoons before, but making the man endure this is just horrific. Try not to cringe when you watch it.

I'm usually fine with cheesetastic stuff--sometimes you gotta revel in cheese--but this movie is beyond craptastic. I don't really understand the ending of it, and I can't believe it even got greenlit. I wonder if the person responsible lost his job. (I also can't believe they recently staged a musical of it, either.)

Kenny Ortega, one of the choreographers, went on to better things, if High School Musical is any indication. I've never seen any of those HSM movies, but they can't possibly be as bad as Xanadu. A pleasure dome it ain't.

7 Comments:

Blogger Who Am Us Anyway? said...

My favorite line? “She sort of falls in love with Michael Beck's Sonny (not sure why, he's kind of a jerk) but they can't be together because, well, she's a muse.” Ha! Well played, Ms. Jam!

I never saw the movie but i like good ol' Sam’s xanadu poem all right: in fack, it’s the only one i ever (mostly) memorized in my whole lib-long-life.

Hey ELO’s "Don't Walk Away" can’t hold a candle to The Left Banke’s “Don’t Walk Away Renee,” can it? Not to me, it can't.

11:04 PM  
Blogger H. said...

Ok, you got me. I LOVE "Don't Walk Away Renee" - but I also like the ELO song. They're different, let's celebrate their differences. Must everything be a competition?

Ok fine. I heart the Left Banke song. It's an oldie but goodie.

I was listening to some British Invasion and saw Ferry Cross the Mersey on Youtube. What made it cool? It was being performed by Gerry and the Pacemakers while they were on a ferry - gasp - crossing the Mersey!! Check it out. (I'd link, but I am..um, earning a paycheck here and so cannot be trolling the tube that is you.)

AnyWho, keep your innocence, don't watch Xanadu. (Can't wait to hear your poem recitation.)

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Donutbuzz said...

You know what rocked? When Lost featured a clip of Xanadu in an episode. That is reason enough justifying Xanadu's existence on celluloid.

P.S. I'm sure the mention of Xanadu in Lost has some relevance.

10:54 AM  
Blogger H. said...

Yeah that was pretty cool, Donutbuzz. But the movie still sux. I'm not saying it shouldn't be on celluloid - that is reserved for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Ugh! (Altho that one song by Meat Loaf is pretty good.)

Meat Loaf Aday. It's not just a name, it's a diet regimen. :D

11:23 AM  
Blogger Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Hey that's Mr. Loaf, according to the New York Times style guide. Hey hey -- & buy a Mac why doncha? Nowadaze they’re better than ever.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Tracie said...

H, you're breakin' my heart! How can you say that Rocky Horror isn't worth the celluloid? Aliens, sex, rockin music, and that weird professor guy. What more could a girl ask for? I even own the soundtrack on DVD. Oh so sad. So sad.

9:40 AM  
Blogger H. said...

I knew I'd stir up some flap by posting my opinion re Rocky Horror, but let's just say the movie has never been my cuppa tea. Maybe I had bad experiences re crowd control, or it could be coupled with my distaste for Susan Sarandon (I grudgingly give her props for other stuff though). And I do like Tim Curry. But something about the cult mania and the wack storyline just irks me. But like I said, Meat Loaf rocked. And there are a couple good songs.:D But still..yuck! Sorry, T.

2:05 PM  

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