Running Time: 138 minutes
Directed By: Nicholas Roeg
Written By: Paul Mayersberg, from the novel by Walter Tevis
Main Cast: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey
Click here to view the trailer
PLANET EARTH IS BLUE AND THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO
Today's objective: Another three movies in the bag, just like last Tuesday. If I can make that little goal, I'll only have six to go before I reach my short term goal of only having 100 movies to go and I'll be ready for TOP 20 list #9. In other news, I'm really starting to dislike Nicholas Roeg, but we'll get into that in a bit. Read on...
So the plot's kind of screwy (much like Performance), but I'll give you my bare bones interpretation and if you want to know more, it's an experience that you'll have to take the leap on for yourself. David Bowie plays an alien, Thomas Jerome Newton, come from a planet that is experiencing a major drought. His planet is like a big desert, which we see in flashbacks and back home, he's a family man, with a wife and two children. He's come to Earth because he's seen pictures of our planet on television and knows there's lots of water to be had. He comes bearing nine basic patents for electronics (cameras mostly), that threaten to bankrupt companies like Kodak. He retains a layer (Henry) who ballparks that Newton could make upwards of $300 million dollars off of his inventions, which are basic items on his home planet, but very advanced technology on Earth, but Newton insists that this isn't enough money - he'll need more. Eventually, it becomes known that Newton is raising money to build a spaceship so that he can transport water back to his home planet and save his family. In addition to the lawyer, Newton also retains Dr. Nathan Bryce (Torn), a college professor who he charges with the task of developing ways of fueling his man made spaceship. Meanwhile, Newton meets up with hotel clerk Mary Lou (Clark) and the two begin a relationship, despite Newton telling her that he's married. Newton keeps the secret that he's an alien a secret from everyone until about the midway mark, where certain people begin to find out and Newton is eventually wanted for testing. That ought to do ya...
What's with Roeg's use of rock stars as actors? Although I'll admit that Bowie actually wasn't half bad as an actor and I'd even go so far to say I liked his performance. His look is odd enough that playing an alien was actually spot on. Dig that scene where Bowie actually appears in his true form - lacking a butt crack and genitals. Speaking of scenes, dig that sex scene between Bowie and Candy Clark, where they roll around naked and shoot a gun filled with blanks at each other. Really a terrific scene and got me to thinking about some of the great sex scenes in film history. The one I just mentioned would have to be included, as would the one between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie from Don't Look Now. Which others? Also, speaking of Bowie, why was Space Oddity not included SOMEWHERE in the movie!? It seems like the perfect song to compliment the character of Newton and it's performed by the film's star. It's about a space man, technically an astronaut, but alien is a type of space man too, right? RIGHT?!
RATING: 5/10 One to watch again probably and '5' is probably being way too generous, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and admit that it's unique enough and odd enough to get at least to the average marker.
MOVIES WATCHED: 893
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 108
January 13, 2015 2:13pm