Sunday, September 20, 2009

Xanadu


OK, before anyone says anything to me. I know that this movie from 1980 is not critically acclaimed and a lot of people find it really cheesy. So please if that is all you have to say than that's OK too.

This has got to be my favorite movie musical of all time. How can you not love a musical on roller skates? If you don't, you are just plumb crazy. Besides, Gene Kelley is in it so it's classy, right?

There isn't really a synopsis on the back cover of my DVD and I could go to Amazon or some such website and copy/paste a generic synopsis, but I will do my own this time.

Olivia Newton-John (love her) plays one of the mythological Muses named Kira. Her and her sisters spring to live from a painted mural and start to dance. Once the dancing is over, they zip away to destinations unknown.

Kira ends up roller skating into Sonny Malone, played by Michael Beck, who is a struggling artist. He paints giant album covers to be used as AD pieces in record stores. Now since he is a true artist, he balks at the rigidity of his job and years to break free and explore his more creative side. Kira (through magical means) keeps popping in and out of his life and he can't get her out of his head.

Long story short, sort of anyway, Sonny meets and befriends Danny McGuire, played by the wonderful Gene Kelley. Danny is a down and out former club owner and big band performer. Somehow, Kira of course, the idea of opening up a new club hatches between the two of them and Xanadu is born. This was the only odd point in the movie for me. If Sonny is an artist wouldn't his Muse inspire him to be true to the art and not become a club owner? Of course if that happened we wouldn't have had the coolest final number with costumes galore, jam skaters, and the catchiest dance tune in the history of cinema!

In the meantime Kira and Sonny fall in love, they even have an animated sequence together. They then have to convince Zeus and Hera that their love is meant to be. They end up together at the end but not in the way you would have thought, don't you love twists?

Now of course all this takes place amongst wonderful songs performed by Olivia and Electric Light Orchestra, great dance numbers, and lots and lots of roller skating. So far all of you in the mood for something over the top and cheesy as all get out, get a hold of this movie and enjoy!

22 comments:

thetruebookaddict said...

I also love this movie! I remember how cool I thought it was when I was a pre-teen and I was mad about ONJ and roller skating. And I LOVE ELO...their music really takes me back when I listen to it. Great post Ryan!

Also, just wanted to tell you that I got my new background at blinkyou.com, if you want to go over there and look at what they have. They have some great Halloween backgrounds!

Zia said...

I loved Xanadu!! The movie, soundtrack everything. I don't care if it's cheesy or not lol.

Lezlie said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! This soundtrack is one of the very best! In fact, I just added two of the songs to my own DIVA show: Magic and Xanadu! I'm happy to see not everyone will think I'm crazy. :-) Cheese rocks!

Lezlie

Melissa (My World) said...

Okay Ryan, You didn't get me on this one either. I actually just watched it on tv about 3 months back. I love this movie. Olivia singing is wonderful. I even love the song with Gene Kelly at his place. I think part of what the attraction is for Sonny to the club is decorating it. I really looks forward to creating the vision. I enjoy the roller skates too.

Very good movie!

Ryan G said...

Michelle, Thank you so much for the comment. I was relieved I'm not the only one who loves this movie. Also thank you for the website, I will be going over there later today.

Zia, Cheese is good!

Lezlie, You picked the two best songs from the movie. I don't think you are crazy at all!

Melissa, See I knew you were cool!

Melissa (My World) said...

Thanks Ryan, I was never "cool" before. It is almost scary the characters and movies you post about because I have seen them and really like them. I am so glad to hear of others, you among other followers, who enjoyed the same things. I think I was only stumped on just a few characters. I never thought I watched tv that much. Well, the things you learn about yourself. Oh well...

Ryan G said...

Melissa, You are one of an elite "cool" group of people, don't you forget it!

Jackie said...

So, now I'm gonna have the song going through my head all day! "...neon lights will shine for you, Xanadu...", lol. I haven't seen this movie in years but loved it when it first came out. Ah, the memories of roller skating on a Friday night (with real skates not rollerblades), those were the days.

Also, brings to to mind another musical of sorts that wasn't critically acclaimed but I thought was lots of fun....anyone remember The Pirate Movie?

Lori said...

LOVE this movie! So incredibly bad, it's good! And it brings back good memories. Great choice, Ryan.

BTW, I wrote a review a few years ago for Amazon on this and I think we all share some similiar opinions! http://www.amazon.com/review/R2R529TB8UZXH4/ref=cm_aya_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00000IQW7#wasThisHelpful

ps - Jackie, I remember The Pirate Movie!! Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol and the early, early 80s!

Ryan G said...

Jackie, Glad you like this movie. It's on my top ten list of all time.

Lori, Great review!

Krista said...

Guess what? Nope, I haven't seen this one! But with all this talk about how much everyone likes it, it is definitely on my MUST Watch Soon list! Great post, Ryan!

Ryan G said...

Krista, Hope you like it!

J.T. Oldfield said...

I've never seen this, but have always liked the title. It's just fun to say!

Ryan G said...

J.T., You have to watch it as soon as humanly possible.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

Ok Ryan - now you have to send me an email warning or something before you post something like this.... my eyes hit it and I was drinking cocoa and it almost came out my nose! LOL

I haven't thought of Zanadu forever.... and probably never would have recalled this movie in my lifetime if you had not posted it here.... now I have the theme song running through my head.
:)

Ryan G said...

Sheila, I promise I will try to warn you first next time :-)

Gregory @ Teens Read and Write said...

Okay, another one we haven't seen but, once again checked with my mom and she practically squealed with delight. Remembers it well and it is one of her favorites. She even started singing the Zanadu song (she had the sound track).

Thanks for another great pick to add to our dollar movie marathon fun!

Ryan G said...

Gregory, You are more than welcome. Not sure you will squeal like your mom but I hope you guys end up liking it.

Matt said...

Even though ONJ became box-office poison after this film, I actually enjoyed it (I'm still trying to make of the plot, if there is one). But there is! I love the roller skating scenes---especially Gene Kelly! I miss the all the magnificent sets and costumes of movies in that era. Xanadu isn't too bad, maybe it was just too "out-there" for 1980.

Ryan G said...

Matt, Thanks for stopping by. The costumes were fantastic in this movie, especially the final scence.

The Book Vixen said...

I actually have not seen this movie. But I must admit, a musical on roller skates sounds cool. And only quads are cool, not inlines okay? j/k

Ryan G said...

Book Vixen, I totally agree with the joke though...LOL