Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Logan's Run

Look at this, folks, two posts in a week!  Don't get used to it...  Hehe.  Spoiler alert - as this book is pretty old, and you should have seen the movie by now, I'm not going to bother putting a spoiler image in like I usually do.  So here's a pretty picture in case you missed having one:

Logan's Run has been one of my all-time favourite movies for as long as I can remember.  A brief summary follows - brief because if you have seen it, you need little reminding; and if you haven't seen it, just watch it now please.  No, I mean it.  Go.  Now.

Logan is a DS man, a Sandman.  His life's purpose is to ensure all whose lifeclock palm crystal has progressed through red to flashing red to black are caught.  And killed.  Life ends at 30, one way or another.  Hedonism rules.  At 30 you go to Carousel and hope for rebirth, or you Run, and the Sandmen kill you.  The great computer who controls the domed city (outside of which there is Nothing) asks Logan to investigate Sanctuary, to become a Runner, losing his last years to serve the greater good.  And his DS partner Francis chases him.

The movie is beautiful; a masterpiece of classic science fiction cinema.  A post-apocalyptic dystopia where everyone is young and beautiful (even Michael York?).  The book is somewhat like the 'behind the scenes bonus' for the movie.  All of the poison of the society that one has hints of in the movie is brought to the forefront of the book, and it is disturbingly plausible.  What's worse is that the domed city is replaced by the entire world - a world-wide systematic eradication of anyone over the age of 21.  Consumption; decadence; and inhumanity; cruelty.  But the same sense of innocence is there too.  The actress who plays Jessica in the movie has huge, almost cartoonishly innocent-looking eyes, and both Logan and Jess are completely clueless once outside of the city.  Meanwhile, in the book it's a lot more subtle.

I initially had a problem with the ending because going to a space station felt a little like overkill - popping a sci fi trope in just for some excitement. But then I realised - as Logan and Jess escape the world in the book, so they do in the movie.  In the movie their whole world is the city- the dome is our atmosphere. In fact the book's somewhat open ending makes me feel a little odd about the movie - was I being force fed a fully completed dumbed down story all this time without realising it? Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely adore the movie. But I have to admit, the book is a lot more challenging. I believe there are sequels, but it remains to be seen if the library (or even the publishers) bother with them.

I've been looking to buy this book for as long as I’ve known it exists, but until now thought it was so out of print I’d never find it. Sound familiar? Tajore Arkle, people - the greatest pain of my literary life.  I’m glad I read it, and, like Tajore Arkle, I can see myself wanting to reread it.

You can buy Logan's Run on dvd here, and you can even buy the book in NZ now!

Friday, May 3, 2013


Not only am I pretty slack at posting on this blog these days, but I am terrible at clearing out my email inbox.  It's almost like trying to clear out the junk room of your house - what to throw away, what to keep, what to never buy (or sign up for) again.  I keep reminding myself that 'archive' doesn't mean it's gone forever!  While going through old emails I opened one from Amazon suggesting tons of '80s cartoon dvd sets.  I watched a lot of cartoons as a little kid, not that I remember sitting in front of the tv for hours - I think it was one cartoon before school, and one when I got home.  See if you remember any of these:

David the Gnome
The list of my absolute favourite cartoons of all time includes David the Gnome.  Beautiful animation, and stories that teach kids to be kind and generous - who could want more?  Buy it here, and find out more about the show here.

Need a reminder?  (I can't believe it, I remember pretty much all of the words!)

Lady Lovelylocks
THE girliest cartoon ever made.  Lady Lovelylocks is lovely, she has long golden hair that's magical.  There are purple dragons.  There's a prince that's been turned into a dog, and a blind wizzard.  And of course, the bad guy (well, girl) is a brunette.

Need a reminder?

No list of awesome '80s cartoons would be complete without Jem.  I would have wanted to be her, except that her sister almost has my name...  I'm sure you all remember Jem, so just enjoy the music below!

Inspector Gadget
Penny has a tablet and a mobile phone built into her wrist watch (that also doubles as a calculator, might I add!). I always wanted her computer book, and now that we live in the future, I can actually go out and buy one.  I hope someone has made a tablet look like her computer book.

Captain Planet
He's our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero; need I say more?  Starring LeVar Burton and Whoopi Goldberg, just like my favourite tv show... You can now watch full episodes online (like most of the cartoons on this list).

Gummi Bears
No, not the lollies!  I remember having a book-and-tape of one of the Gummi Bears stories, and listening to it in the dark on Mum's stereo that had lights that would move up and down with the sound.  And singing along to the song!  Buy it here.

Need a reminder?

 And if you need something a little more sophisticated:

The Snorks
What stands out in my memory most from this show (other than it being fun) is the use of the word 'snork' in place of many other words.  "Snorking along" or "it'll be a snorking good time".  I know a lot of shows have done this, including the smurfs, but this is the one I think of when I think about using a species name in this way!  The other thing I remember was them making sounds with the nose thing on their heads, and the dog-like snork pet, he was cute!

Need a reminder?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I know I loved this when I was little because I have almost the entire set of special coins that a newspaper in Australia made that had the characters on them.  But I really don't remember all that much about the storylines, just the characters.

I watched cartoons well into the '90s (in fact, I still watch them!), and here's a quick set of links to the ones I love from that era:  TaleSpin, Aladdin, Chip'n'Dale: Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, DuckTales (I have a DuckTales board game, true story), Tiny Toons, Animaniacs (..while Bill Clinton plays the sax!), and Reboot.

What are your favourite cartoons?  Did your parents let you watch cartoons growing up?  If not, do you watch them now?


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