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In the Year of the City 2274, humans live in a vast, bubbled metropolis, where computerized servo-mechanisms provide all needs so everyone can pursue endless hedonism. Endless, that is, until Lastday, when anyone who’s 30 must submit to Carrousel, a soaring, spinning trip to eternity and supposed rebirth.
For more about Logan's Run and the Logan's Run Blu-ray release, see Logan's Run Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on November 7, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Michael Anderson
Writer: David Zelag Goodman
Starring: Michael York, Richard Jordan, Jenny Agutter, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov
» See full cast & crew
Logan's Run Blu-ray Review
Another classic Science Fiction film arrives on Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, November 7, 2009
So what does the world of Logan's Run really look like, that is, beyond the flowing and revealing singularly-colored garb, sterile indoor environments, and the ability to change faces on a whim? There's little-to-no baldness. Not bad! There are no cutesy little "Lordy, Lordy, Logan's 40!" quips in the newspaper. A definite plus! Grumpy Old Men doesn't exist. Eh, take it or leave it. There's the fiery ritual "Carrousel" that kills everyone on their 30th Birthday. Excellent!...oh, wait. Surely there had to be a catch, and that's it. No longer does man live until his "11's" are up (that's for all the Mel Brooks fans); instead, the slate is wiped clean and room is made inside the happy little dome (that's for all the Bob Ross fans) for the next generation of hedonists to live it up until it's time for the ultimate trip up into the blowing vortex of Carrousel, which is really a downer. And for those that refuse the ride to eternity? The Four Aces will be sure to send someone to "give [them] a dream"...permanently.
In the 23rd century, wary of the ravages of war and overpopulation, mankind now lives in domed cities where hedonism rules. It's a life free of worry and filled with pleasure, but there's one prerequisite: citizens will, on their 30th birthday, be terminated in an event known as "Carrousel." Those who choose not to participate in the ritual -- known as "runners" -- are hunted down by a specialized unit known as "Sandmen" who dress in black and carry deadly weapons. One such "Sandman," Logan (Michael York), becomes inquisitive when he kills a runner wearing an "Ankh," and later sees the same symbol on a young girl named Jessica (Jenny Agutter). Logan's inquiry of a central computer reveals the Ankh to be a symbol of an underground movement that leads runners to the safety of "Sanctuary." Logan is tasked with posing as a runner, discovering Sanctuary, and destroying it. Gaining the trust of Jessica, Logan begins his mission but soon finds himself sympathetic to the runners' cause when his lifeclock -- a small crystal implanted in everyone's hand that counts down the time to Carrousel -- skips ahead four years for the purpose of the mission. With fellow Sandman and Logan's best friend Francis (Richard Jordan) in pursuit, can he discover what lies beyond the dome's walls and once and for all terminate the barbaric ritual of Carrousel?
Though not an endearing, timeless classic of Science Fiction in the same vein as something like Forbidden Planet, Logan's Run nevertheless enjoys a strong following thanks to its ability to mesh action, special effects, and a quality story into a singular, entertaining, and somewhat timeless picture that speaks to the notion of personal liberty versus centrally-imposed tyranny. Of course, those technical elements -- special effects, story, pacing, and action -- seem tame by today's frenetic Michael Bay-inspired style, but Logan's Run has nevertheless maintained a welcome spot near the top of many genre aficionados' "best of" lists for the past several decades. One of Logan's Run's best assets lies in its ability to juxtapose the cleanliness, sterility, order, and security of the dome with the grim reality of Carrousel. The hedonist lifestyle has won over the majority of the population, and Carrousel is depicted as a sport of sorts that seem the highlight of every day inside the dome. Citizens have become numb to reality. Cheering on the deaths of their friends without consideration that their time will come soon enough, life in the dome creates a citizenry of walking dead that seem no more clued into the realities of life than the undead flesh eaters that have become staples of cinema in recent years. Though Logan's Run suffers through a few slow spots in its second and third acts, the action and philosophical underpinnings are enough to keep viewers glued to the film from beginning to end.
The aforementioned special effects -- though winners of a "Special Achievement Award" at the 1977 Oscars -- just don't hold up well, particularly when viewed under the scrutiny of high definition. The model work remains impressive for its scope and somewhat natural look and flow, but the problem is that there's no mistaking it for being just that -- a model. The spartan interiors of the dome, too, add little visual flair to the picture, but the minimalist set design allows for something of a "less is more" approach that fits in with the themes of the film nicely. Acting isn't one of Logan's Run's strong suits, either, but Jerry Goldsmith's (Star Trek: First Contact) score delivers a consistently pitch-perfect sound that's at once futuristic, foreboding, and grand. One fault of the picture is its inability to adequately explore the inner-workings of life in the dome and offer a more detailed history that goes beyond the superficial explanation provided by a paragraph at the beginning of the movie. Such specifics may be better left to the written word, in this case the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson on which the film is based. While the film does a good enough job of capturing the purpose and timeframe of its locations, many viewers may leave the film with a curiosity to understand the social, political, and economical infrastructure behind the world of Logan's Run. Nevertheless, this filmed adaptation satisfies on several levels, and despite several weak points and a terribly dated look, Logan's Run remains critical viewing for Science Fiction fans and connoisseurs of exciting but at the same time morally and philosophically challenging cinema.
Logan's Run Blu-ray, Video Quality
Logan's Run jogs onto Blu-ray with a decent 1080p, 2.40:1-framed transfer. Though the image looks consistently flat, much of that may be attributed to the mundane set design that doesn't do much to spruce up the image and populate it with objects that give more than a basic sense of depth to the frame. The sterility and smoothness of the dome play in contrast to the bowels of the forbidden zones behind the walls, and fine detail tends to become more visible as the movie moves along to areas that actually have more textured objects to showcase. Still, close- ups of clothing -- particularly the Sandmen's black and grey sweaters -- reveal stitches and lines well enough. Also, the 1080p transfer makes it particularly easy to spot the many wires holding up Carrousel's latest victims. Colors -- particularly those shades that represent the citizens' age, are bold and nicely rendered, and as the film moves into its second and third acts, additional shades make for a welcome reprieve from the doldrums of the dome. Black levels waver a bit, ranging from a slightly overly bright shade to deep and dark shades. Flesh tones are nicely rendered, and the transfer retains a layer of film grain that spikes over some of the more effects-heavy shots. A few vertical lines appear in places over the image, but they don't particularly distract from the film. All in all, Logan's Run isn't the stuff of high definition visual bliss, but it looks fairly good in every regard on this Blu-ray release.
Logan's Run Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Logan's Run arrives on Blu-ray with an uneven Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. As for the good, the surround channels are used to fine effect in several instances, particularly during some early overhead model shots of the dome. The clarity and precision of Jerry Goldsmith's score isn't to die for; it's a passable rendition but won't be mistaken for a fresh-out-of-theaters modern presentation. Several sound effects play far too loudly at reference volume, and Logan's Run may have listeners scrambling to turn down the volume during much of the film. The first Carrousel sequence features thunderous applause from an eager crowd, but the effect sounds muffled at best and a jumble of not-at-all-pleasurable sounds at worst. This is a case where aggressive volume can't make up for lack of clarity, and the two combined make for a crucial segment in the film that's simply hard to listen to. Dialogue delivery is never unintelligible, but the track often places it at the far reaches of the front half of the soundstage, and while it's meant to replicate the location of the actors on-screen, it makes for more a distracting nuisance that seems detached from the picture. As the film goes on, a few effects tighten up and deliver a bit more of a natural and focused presentation, even accompanied by a fair level of bass, but more often than not the soundtrack plays as far too eager to spread things out so that it comes across as more unnatural than it should. Logan's Run's lossless soundtrack isn't terrible, but it has several distracting characteristics that often take away the pleasure of the moment.
Logan's Run Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Unfortunately, this Blu-ray release of Logan's Run delivers a rather paltry collection of extras. First up is a commentary track with Director Michael Anderson, Actor Michael York, and Costume Designer Bill Thomas. The three participants are recorded separately and have been cobbled together after the fact for flow. Each participant is well-spoken and informed, recalling plenty of interesting facts all these years later, from the design and special effects of Carrousel to the costuming seen in the film. Fans of Logan's Run will want to give this one a listen. A Look Into the 23rd Century (480p, 9:18) is a retro piece that takes a generic look at the movie's futuristic setting. Rounding out this all-too-brief collection of extras is the Logan's Run theatrical trailer (480p, 2:56).
Logan's Run Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Logan's Run turned 30 several years ago, and thankfully, the film wasn't lost to the brutal ritual of Carrousel. Instead, it's been reborn on Blu-ray as a quality release from Warner Brothers. Although neither the picture nor sound are going to rival G.I. Joe, Logan's Run probably won't look or sound worlds better in some future release than it does here. There are still some aggravating flaws, particularly with an unbalanced soundtrack, and the disc lacks a more extensive supplemental package, but all things considered, this is a decent release of a classic Science Fiction film, and it comes recommended to fans.
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• Logan's Run Remake Coming Up - June 18, 2013
Irrational Games' Ken Levine will write the script for Warner Bros' upcoming remake of Michael Anderson's cult sci-fi film Logan's Run. The project has been in development for some time now, and initially it was reported that Ryan Gosling will be part of it. Further ...
• Heat, Logan's Run, Negotiator Delayed One Week - August 27, 2009
Warner Home Video has announced that three of the catalog titles it had announced on Blu-ray for November 3 –'Heat', 'Logan's Run' and 'The Negotiator'- have been delayed a week and thus will be released on November 10. On the other hand, 'North by Northwest' isn't ...
• Heat, Logan's Run, and The Negotiator Announced for Blu-ray - July 20, 2009
Warner Home Video has announced that they will bring 'Heat', 'Logan's Run', and 'The Negotiator' to Blu-ray on November 3rd. Technical specs have not been announced at this time, though you can expect a 1080p VC-1 video presentation accompanied by a Dolby TrueHD ...
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