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BARBARELLA
(ROGER VADIM, 1968)
PG
1 HOUR 38 MINUTES
Jane Fonda, in full space nympho mode, stars in this cult classic that defines camp. There are a lot of gaudy set pieces and super-psychadelic imagery, but it's really only funny when it isn't attempting to be (at least, I think). Best scene: Fonda is attacked by carniverous parakeets.
A rather fun and campy diversion. It's fascinating in an odd sort of way. I have a hard time imagining Jane Fonda opting for a role like this. It is most certainly a unique film and can't think of any film quite like it. It doesn't always work, but fun anyway.
Barbarella is a victim of the decade it was produced: shag carpets, hairy men, drug-induced events, free love, political undertone, and unusual characters. By unusual characters, I am talking about the mindless people who live outside the city and those that live inside the city, the children with the living dolls, and the winged man who becomes Barbarella's friend and lover. Although this is a science fiction film, it goes as far as to exploring sexuality and innocence. In fact, this film is a little bit odd. I found it to be more slow-moving than enjoyable. I suppose it has a cult-following, which usually means that the film is different and probably will not be enjoyed by many.
Jane Fonda plays Barbarella, a space-age heroine in the year 40,000 A.D. who is requested by the President of Earth to bring back scientist Durand Durand (Milo O'Shea), who is a threat to universal peace. After crashing on the suspected planet where Durand is in hiding, Barbarella gets into all sorts of strange situations that often result with her stripping down and making a few men happy... if you know what I mean! Barbarella is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen, but certainly one of the most enjoyable to watch.

There is a level of absurdity in Barbarella much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, just not nearly as classic. Not once in Roger Vadim's film, which is based on a popular comic of the same name, did I ever think the film was supposed to be taken seriously. I can see that there are going to be a lot of people out there who will hate this film... currently the user rating for the film is a low rotten score. But I think that if you can look past the lack of seriousness, you can come to appreciate the campy fun this film has to offer.

The movie's strength is with its leading lady, Jane Fonda. For her time, she was a pretty sexy woman, and this movie... though in a raunchy manner... displays her sexual appeal. But that isn't the only thing that she has going for her. Her performance is charming, and she manages to deliver a lot of funny moments. All in all, I just ended up loving Fonda in this movie.

There are a lot of memorable moments in the film. Things like the torture machine that makes women orgasm to death sticks out as one of the most audacious moments in the film. But the stand out moment, and another entry into my Music Honors category is the opening theme of the movie. It is played along with Jane Fonda doing a zero gravity strip. And all though you can tell it is fake, it still looks cool. Check it out!
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Firestarter
It was just kinda meh. The story wasn't one of Stephen King's best to begin with, and the acting is mostly bad here. Not the worst King movie I've seen, but no where near good.

Raising Arizona
I liked it, but didn't love it. Had a few really funny parts and was an overall compelling story with enough quirkiness to keep me interested.

The Fugitive
I thought it was great. I loved Tommy Lee Jones' character in it. The loud mouthed sarcastic hardass cop with a good heart is always a good thing to see in a movie. Another thing that's great to see is a movie with no computer effects. Practical effects are great. So yeah, great movie. Deserving of it's fame.

The Squid and the Whale
I was pretty disappointed. So yeah this is supposedly based on the real life experiences of the screenwriter. If that's true though, why do the characters seem so unrealistic? It's the same kind of random for the sake of being random movie as Garden State and Little Miss Sunshine, both of which I loved, but the difference between those and this is that those had likable characters. I could not sympathize with any of the main characters. They're a bunch of assholes, every one of them. There's a couple of nice background characters: Lili, Ivan, Sophie, but they are overshadowed by this horrible family. I hated each and every one of them. It's an okay movie I guess, but I didn't enjoy it and I wouldn't watch it again.

Barbarella
Kind of a strange mix between Heavy Metal and Austin Powers. Very 60's. It was sort of fun, but a little too silly and boring to my tastes.



Barbarella is an agent from Earth who works in outer space. When Earth discovers a planet that seems to be creating weapons, Barbarella is sent to talk to investigate the monarch and to ask them to cease creating weapons. She is also asked to investigate what happened to the previous agent who was sent onto this ruthless planet. Barbarella must overcome this planet's customs to succeed in her mission.

"Do you want to come play with me? For someone like you, I'd charge nothing."

Roger Vadim, director of Dangerous Liaisons (1960), Ms. Don Juan, A Faithful Woman, and Safari, delivers Barbarella.The storyline for this picture is absurd despite being presented well. The science fiction elements of this film are innovative and intriguing.Jane Fonda was perfectly cast for the lead role, and John Phillip Law was wonderful as Pygar.

"Angels do not make love. An angel is love."
"Then you are a dead duck."

The opening credits, the tongue box technology, the two little girls attacking Barbarella, the two girls sled that was lead by the stingray, the killer dolls, the slaves within the rocks, Pygar shooting the black guards, the mini-missile projector, the shoot-out during the flying sequence, the bird torture sequence, and the Earth sex sequence with the pill were amongst the better portions of the pill.

"A life without cause is a life without effect."

Barbarella is a bad movie; however, it contains elements of surprisingly good quality for the time frame in which it was released. Does this film exploit sex? On some levels, but it teeters on the fence of being an actual movie. There are some films of this genre worth watching. This is worth watching for those who enjoy the sci-fi genre. This may not be as bad as you anticipate.

"What kind of girl are you? Have you no shame?"

Grade: C
Definately worth a look to all who enjoy strange cult movies. Sexy Jane Fonda portrays Barbarella, a character adapted from a French comic strip. A movie to put at the top of your cult classic collection. I loved it. 4.5/5

Barbarella (1968)

This movie is extremely cheesy but still entertaining. Even though I really can't stand Jane Fonda at least she's easy to look at and that's really the only reason this movie was even made. This is almost like a mix between the 1980 Flash Gordon movie (and likely the classic serials which I haven't seen) and the 1960s Batman TV show. It's a camp classic no doubt and probably deserving of its status.


"It's more than a touch or a word can say,
only in dreams could it be this way."

-Foreigner, "Waiting for a Girl Like You" - 4


My girlfriend Angela and I went to a Foreigner concert last night that was sponsored through the local easy-listening classic rock station WMMO by Budweiser... so not only was it awesome that we were seeing Foreigner, the tickets were free and the beer was half-off. We had a great time. The opening band, My Generation (www.mygenerationrocks.com), was a cover band who did really fun stuff by Tom Petty, REO Speedwagon, The Who and more. They warmed us up for the main event in a good way - but actual warmth was not as easily attained. During the break between sets we wandered (I would say 'went' but we got lost...) back to the car to get extra jackets and hats.

Foreigner themselves did not disappoint - in fact they exceeded all expectation. They remain a youthful group full of energy and rocking out to their songs live was even more energizing than driving 80 MPH with Agent Provacateur on full blast. There were no low points in the show, even when the power went out during "Cold As Ice" a few minutes after Lou Gramm chucked a tambourine at someone just offstage. High points included "Star Rider", an acoustic version of "Say You Will", an extended version of "Jukebox Hero" that morphed into a Led Zeppelin cover for a minute or two at about the halfway mark and listening to "Waiting For A Girl Like You" while holding Angela close. Only thing missing was a performance of "I Want To Know What Love Is". I could say I wanted to hear "Hearts Turns To Stone" but they did play "That Was Yesterday", which is a very similar song... so I was happy.

On a much less related note... even though I have yet to see the movie I decided to promote Bee Movie at Blockbuster a few days ago by wearing a headband that had two fuzzy, dangly antennae-shaped poofs sticking out of it. One kid thought it was part of the uniform and I didn't miss a beat in telling him that was indeed the case. Another customer greeted me with, "Whattup, B?" ...initially I thought he was just trying to be 'gangsta'.
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