Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HBO's Westworld

Being a fan of the 1973 original film, Westworld, directed by Michael Crichton, which starred Yul Brynner and Richard Benjamin, I was excited to see HBO is working on a TV series of the same name.  Westworld was a theme park created by the Delos corporation, which also contained some other themed worlds to escape into, like Roman world and Medieval world.  The inhabitants in these worlds are robot simulacra, controlled by human technicians in an underground laboratory, supposedly the animals are robots too.

Richard Benjamin and the other guys are out to relax and have a grand time at the theme park, outdrawing the robots, joking around in the saloon, and yes, and having sex with some of the female robots,  in general, acting out their male fantasies.  The next day, however, one of the robots shoots one of the men dead, the revolt of the machines.  The one bad robot is played well by Yul Brynner.  With a subtext about our exploitation of slaves and coolies, Westworld is a worthwhile watch for action and some suspense.  They also made a sequel a few years later, which I also enjoyed called Futureworld (which was not by Crichton).  There was also a short lived TV series, Beyond Westworld (1980), which ran only three episodes, with two further episodes made that were unaired.

At any rate the new HBO series sounds promising.  Although I don't have HBO, and will have to wait for the series on DVD, I hope it does well.   Read about it here. 



At 10:46 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

I have a shelf-full of Crichton's fiction but wasn't aware he directed as well as wrote Westworld. It was a fun flick and Brynner, reprising his look from The Magnificent Seven, makes a great killer robot. (The humans were given guns that wouldn't fire on another human -- sensing the heat signature as I recall -- but apparently that precaution wasn't considered necessary for the robots. Oops.) I liked Futureworld too, even though it wasn't as well reviewed. I hadn't heard of the HBO series. It might be worth a look -- until someone builds the real park anyway.

At 6:56 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

There's one of Crichton's books that I've always wanted to read, but haven't yet, and that's Prey. I thought it might make a good movie as well. Most of his films did pretty well at the box office.

Yes, I guess Brynner was reprising his role from The Magnificent Seven, and it worked rather well! I hope the series is successful.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

That actually sounds like a cool concept. There's a lot of potential to turn this into an interesting show. The original movie was pretty darn good. I caught it many years ago in a hotel. No I wasn't hanging out with robots. :)

At 7:34 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

HA, Roman, I didn't think you were the robot hanging type. I agree though it does sound like it has potential. I wish Hollywood would plumb a few more ideas like this rather than all the remakes. Granted there will be hits and misses, but the same holds true for all the remakes--and the remakes don't offer much, most of the time.


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