Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
A police officer has to bust a drug ring on a mining facility in space.
Is it good movie?
Question: Whatís more bad ass than Sean Connery?
Answer: Sean Connery in space.
Far off on Io, one of Jupiterís many moons (but one of the few with planetary mass) Marshall William OíNiel is the new chief dick on Con-Amalgamateís platinum mine. The General Manager not so gently informs him that if he doesnít rock the boat, theyíll get along fine. Except you donít tell Bond not to rock the boat. So when OíNiel gets wind of a drug ring running in the facility, he rocks the boat alright. He also picks it up and shoves it up everybodyís asses.
OUTLAND plays sort of fast and loose with physics. People donít actually explode when exposed to the vacuum of space, and there really shouldnít have been more gravity inside the barracks of the mining facility than outside of it. But hey, you know what? I donít care. Itís Sean Connery in space. As well as Peter Boyle and Frances Sternhagen. Thatís a lot of hefty acting prowess. There are also some great fight scenes, and the aforementioned exploding people.
And somehow, in the midst of a movie about space drugs on a moon of Jupiter, it manages to be a human drama. OíNielís wife and kid leave him for being a career man, and his one ally on the mine, Dr. Lazarus (Sternhagen), feels like sheís the mineís doctor being sheís too old and worthless to do anything else. So by getting each otherís backs and wiping up the bad guys, they get to prove that theyíre not actually colossal eff-ups.
From a production standpoint, the SFX are really good considering the film is 30-years old. Apparently it was a pioneering production for a process called IntroVision, which allowed an actor to exist in the same shot with a projecting foreground and background element. The fight scenes are realistic as well, and there is appropriate gore and blood when it is needed. All and all a neat little gem from the past.
Video / Audio
Video: 1080p, 2.4:1, enhanced for 16x9 televisions. This transfer looks really good. There was a bit of controversy over the relationship between the director and the DP, but Iíll let you Google that.
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 for English, Dolby Digital 2.0 for French and Castillian Spanish, and 1.0 for Latin Spanish. Optional English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.
Other than the original theatrical trailer, there is a commentary with writer/director Peter Hyams. His voice is monotonous, but heís pretty frank and funny, and tells a lot of interesting stories.
At the risk of repeating myself, itís Sean Connery in space. Yeah, there are some other great actors, neat fight scenes, and some decent gore, but it all boils down to Connery. He delivers here, as always, and itís great to finally have a Blu-Ray edition of this classic space western.