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Barbarella
BLU-RAY disk
Jul 11, 2012 By: Jason Adams
Barbarella order download
Director:
Roger Vadim

Actors:
Jane Fonda
John Phillip Law
Marcel Marceau

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A horny five-star, double-rated astro-navigatrix special agent must find the scientist Durand Durand and save the universe.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Iíve never seen BARBARELLA before so I wasnít sure exactly what to expect. Still, this is not what I was anticipated at all.

BARBARELLA is an exercise in weird 60s psychedelic pop aesthetic, a movie that 100% puts Bohemian fashion and artistry over things like story and cohesiveness. Thereís spaceships decorated with shag carpet and lava lamps, but zero characterization. Characters greet each other with ďloveĒ instead of ďhello,Ē living in a hippie paradise future where the universe is completely pacified with zero conflict. Thereís space rabbits, ice sting rays, bloodthirsty dolls and liquid evil. At best it makes little sense and at worst itís complete nonsense.

But at its heart the film is essentially just a vehicle to show off Jane Fonda as Barbarella. Thereís not so much a plot as there are different scenarios for the actress to get naked, have sex or at the very least wear different revealing costumes. Barbarella meets a hunter who helps her start her journey, so she has sex with him. She gets caught in an inescapable labyrinth and meets a random angel whoís lost the will to fly, so she sleeps with him and he magically has the will to fly her to safety. She is rescued by a resistance fighter who wants to have future sex with her (they take pills and hold hands) and the result is so good it literally curls her hair. And then in what is the filmís most memorable scene and perhaps its emotional climax, the villain hooks Barbarella up to his Excessive Machine, a device that gives you orgasms until you die. However, she ends up enjoying herself and breaking the machine. Are you sensing a pattern here?

When BARBARELLA was released in the 60s, Iím sure the filmmakers thought they were creating some rogue message about feminism and sexuality, but watching it now itís mostly just embarrassing. If there's a reason it's at all entertaining thing it's for how poorly dated it looks and feels. Okay, and the nudity. (Youíll be able to gauge your personal tolerance during the opening credits, which features an increasingly nude Fonda floating in zero gravity while a happy pop song.) Ironically, probably the only genuinely good thing about the movie is the music, featuring guitar work by a young David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, which most of the time doesnít fit the film at all.
THE EXTRAS
Theatrical Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
All BARBARELLA has going for it is its bizarre retro sci-fi style and constant determination to put Jane Fonda in as many compromising sexual positions as possible. Other than that, itís just drug-induced nonsense.

Extra Tidbit: Fonda was married to director Roger Vadim at the time, which explains a lot.
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