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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Under the Radar: WestWorld

"Boy, have we got s vacation for you..."

With the way technology is growing and flourishing more and more these days, a real life WestWorld could possibly be in our future. Science fiction has always shown us the possibilities of a future world. It shows us what we as humans someday could be capable of. But it also shows us what can go wrong if our mechanical creations turn against us. 

Welcome to WestWorld, a theme park where you can live in the days of the wild west. For $1,000 a day you can get in a wild bar fight, visit a brothel, bust out of jail, or have a gunfight with an unwelcomed stranger. At WestWorld you can step inside the world of a real cowboy.

And best of all, it's 100% safe. The parks lifelike androids are programmed never to harm customers and the guns will only fire at the androids. So you can experience the wild west and leave without a scratch. Perfect Huh? 

Well almost... 

The androids are created by some of the best and brightest scientist and engineers. They are extremely lifelike and programmed to always let you come out the victor. Except lately, the androids are starting to fight back!

In Michael Crichton's story and directorial debut, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin play two friends who decide to visit the new theme park. They have a good ol' time until they mess with the wrong android cowboy. Yul Brynner is a spur jangling and gun slinging android that keeps coming back for more until the friends are no longer fighting for fun, but are fighting for their lives. 

This theme park is not big enough for the both of them

Like so many Sci-Fi films, this is the classic story of man vs. machine. Michael Crichton's style and touch is all over this movie, which is a very good thing. Crichton is one of the masters of showing us a great and genius idea like WestWorld or Jurassic Park, and then showing us why it might not be such a good idea after all. Crichton does a great job of directing this cult classic sci-fi thriller. 

Yul Brynner is everything he is suppose to be in this movie and more. First off, he plays a very convincing robot. He plays his character to the bone as a cold and mechanical android. He is so good at it you would think that it is just an android made to look like Yul Brynner, instead of the actual actor. At the same time he is intimidating and scary. Yul Brynner is the shining star of this film. 

Also, a fun fact, this movie made history in 1973 for being the first to use digitized imaging.

I really enjoyed WestWorld. It's just an overall good and fun movie. I think it stands the test of time and it was groundbreaking in it's time. Sadly Michael Crichton is no longer with us, but he has left behind some of the greatest science fiction stories ever told and WestWorld is no exception. 

As I was saying about sci-fi earlier. It has always shown us the future. Many of the scientist and developers who have created many of the technological advancements that we enjoy today (I'm writing on one right now) were influenced as children by science fiction and pulled their ideas from shows like Star Trek and films like Star Wars. While I wouldn't call him a pessimist, Michael Crichton wrote tales about the damage that can be done if we are not careful in our endeavours and the problems that can arise from creating something bigger and stronger than ourselves. Maybe he wrote keeping in mind that someday this could all be possible and he was trying to tell us something. 

Because someday, it could be science non-fiction. 


  1. Couldn't agree with you more, my friend! I have watched this film twice in the past year and consider it a somewhat overlooked gem. Brynner is masterful as the gunslinging android. Who can forget the mechanical satisfaction with which he says, "Draw," and, for the first time, really means it. Great post! - Mykal

  2. Yes, it is highly underrated! I heard rumors about a remake.... I don;t think they should touch this one.