Monday, April 14, 2008

THX 1138

First of all, let me preface this review by revealing my love of distopia movies (also a big fan of ghetto future movies, but we can deal with that later ...). There was also a time when I was a big fan of George Lucas, but those times have long since gone, leaving only bitterness and disgust in their stead.

THX 1138 is, I believe, the earliest distopia I have watched. Made in 1971, it predates Logan's run by five years! Since it is so old, it has earned some reviewing grace. This is important to remember, because much like Logan's Run, almost every distopia that has followed has borrowed some of its elements. As a result, when I was watching THX 1138 I saw very little that I hadn't seen in one form or another in a more recent movie. But, this is probably a testament to the quality of the movie.

The acting was alright. Better than in Logan's Run. And there are actually a few recognizable names - Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence. The dialogue was very stilted and awkward, but it's supposed to be. Too bad George Lucas never stopped writing dialogue this way. Zing! He's probably crying now, but he deserves it after inflicting the pain of Episodes I - III on me. Which brings me to my next question.

What is up with George Lucas? The man is a mystery to me. For awhile now, I've been believing that he just got lucky with Star Wars (IV - VI) and Indiana Jones. He's made so many unbearably aweful movies: Star Wars Episodes I - III and Howard the Duck (seriously George? Duck nipples?). But as I look over his career I begin to see what's going on. George Lucas has good ideas, but he's bad at implementing them.

The only good movies for which he's written the screenplay are THX 1138 and Star Wars Episodes IV and VI. In all the good ones (Empire Strikes Back, the Indiana Jones Movies, Willow, Labyrinth), he's only responsible for coming up with the story and the characters. I've finally cracked the code! George Lucas is a creative guy, but as soon as he starts writing a screenplay it's almost guaranteed to be excruciatingly bad.

But, getting back to the review at hand ... THX 1138 was unable to elude the graps of George's CG. Please, please stop adding CG elements to your old movies! I guess he just couldn't resist adding the CG monkeys. Also, a lot of the same sound effects that are in the Star Wars movies are in this. With all the revising George does, I don't know whether to think they've been there all along or they've been added in decades after the film was completed.

Final Grade: B+
Blurb: While there's not much new to see here it's only because this movie was one of the earliest of the distopia genre. Despite George Lucas' CG meddling, it's reassuring to see that he hasn't always been totally inept. THX 1138 is good. Fans of the genre should definitely check this out.


  1. Final grade: C+/B-
    It would be a solid C, but like you said, you have to give it credit/grace for being one of the first. I think, however, without Robert Duvall, that this movie would've been even flatter. He's a great actor and is largely forgotten (I think it's b/c the era he was in also saw Pacino, Deniro, etc. etc.) ... I bet CBS will drag him out in the next 5 years when they need to give a "Lifetime Achievement Award" to somebody, and the powers-that-be decide that Frankie Munoz is too young.

  2. I think you should provide the same insight to your readers in the Automoblie line up since you have such good taste in vehicles too!

  3. Dad, you might as well leave your name since your comments are so easily distinguishable.