Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Review Tuesday: XANADU (1980)

 Xanadu (Bilingual) [Import]: Amazon.ca: XANADU: Movies & TV Shows
A muse inspires a frustrated artist to team up with a developer to build a roller disco. 
Olivia Newton-John lost her thirty year battle with cancer last week and when it happened it filled me with a profound sadness. Anytime I heard her name it invoked memories from my childhood. I hated Grease, but I recall the media blitz around Olivia's follow-up musical XANADU. We never watched that movie in our household, but the commercials were burned into my mind. When I selected the title track for the movie as last week's ROCK OUT segment (See HERE) I discussed my thoughts and feelings about the song and the emotions it brought with it. But what about the infamously bad movie it came from? It was high time to see what the fuss was about. 
The movie starts off with Sonny Malone played by Michael Beck, who is better known for his role in The Warriors. He is a frustrated artist who can't make it on his own and has to return to his job painting larger versions of album covers for display at record stores. He takes some art, rips it apart and throws it out the window. The act of this artist in dire need of inspiration liberates the nine muses to help his artwork along. This task is to be coordinated by Kira, Olivia Newton-John, who magically inserts herself into Sonny's life. She guides him to meet a musical club developer named Danny McGuire played by the legendary Gene Kelly. 
 Xanadu' Was So Bad It Launched the Razzies in 1980 – The Hollywood Reporter
So this movie is some one and a half hours of the three working together with plenty of song, dance, and roller skating to launch the ultimate fusion roller disco that they named XANADU. 
Since I went into this with extremely low expectations based on the dubious reviews I was surprised. The film isn't very polished. The special effects were amateurish at best. The script was about what you'd expect around a song and dance film about establishing a roller disco in the year 1980. One of the bright points is Gene Kelly. His energy and ability definitely helps this movie greatly. It was his FINAL film, by the way. Of course, the on-screen presence of Olivia Newton-John as Kira the Muse is magical. Her lines aren't always great, but she looks amazing and is full of energy. 
In conclusion, I was expecting far worse, so it exceeded my expectations. 
More on IMDB
   Xanadu (1980) - Xanadu Scene (9/10) | Movieclips - YouTube