Friday, August 26, 2016

Where Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, or Thoughts on Westworld

Written and Directed by Michael Chrichton, writer of Jurassic Park (1993) and The Andromeda Strain (1971) in his directorial debut, Westworld (1973), is a virtual reality experience in an analog 70’s world with classic Star Trek technology.  Westworld, along with Medieval World and Roman World is an adult playground, much like Vegas, but with more robots and less casinos.  In Westworld you can play cowboy, shoot android outlaws and canoodle with barmaid sex-bots with no real-world consequences, provided you can afford it.  It’s all fun and games until a glitch in the system (the matrix?) causes all the androids to rebel and start killing all the guests.
The movie follows James Brolin (Josh’s dad, and Mr. Barbara Streisand) as John and Richard Benjamin from Catch-22 (1970) as Peter in 1880’s Westworld, with an equal emphasis on park management and the bank of computer techs behind the scenes.  It’s pre-Jurassic Park, and when you think about it, Jurassic Park follows the exact same plot except substituting dinosaurs for androids.  And really, I couldn't think of a better plot device except for perhaps android dinosaurs...
Yul Brynner reprises his acclaimed role as Kris from The Magnificent Seven (1960, and my most favorite western and greatest theme song of all time).  His graceful and balletic strut can seem very robotic under the right circumstances, and the Russian-born screen legend made a sinister pre-Terminator android.
Watch out for Majel Barrett, Mrs. Gene Roddenberry, Nurse Chapel, Lwaxana Troi and the voice of the Star Trek computers as Miss Carrie, the bordello madam.  Yul Brunner would return in the sequel, Future World (1976) with Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner (Gwynneth’s mom), this time with the robots running amuck on a space station.  Ed Harris plays Yul’s role in the 2016 HBO remake, scheduled to debut later this year.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).