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Michael Crichton ("Disclosure," "Jurassic Park," TV's "ER") wrote and directed this smart, high-tech thriller that delves into just how profitable supermodels can be, once you're rid of the models. Plastic surgeon Albert Finney ("The Dresser," "Orphans") goes after big business execs (Oscar-winner James Coburn -- "Maverick," and Emmy Award-winner Leigh Taylor-Young -- "Picket Fences") when he realizes his glamorous young patient Susan Dey ("L.A. Law," "Love and War") is next in line for computerized cloning -- and murder.]]>
Someone is killing the supermodel clients of Hollywood plastic surgeon Albert Finney, and because this is a Michael Crichton movie, there has to be a pop-techno-scientific reason for it. Welcome to the daffy world of Looker, a 1981 film that manages to blend one or two interesting cultural ideas with a dismal storyline and a wonderfully cheesy early-Reagan-era look. The trail of murders leads to a corporation called Digital Matrix (Crichton always was prophetic about naming things), where head honcho James Coburn has launched a nonsensical plan involving TV commercials and mind control. Accused of the model deaths, Finney must track down the real culprit, aided by client Susan Dey (in her most appealing non-TV role). There's also a crazy "light gun" that causes victims to black out, a device that leads to some very strange shoot-outs. All of this might have been fun if the movie had any kind of suspense or distinctive characters. Albert Finney made this the same year he did Wolfen, after a hiatus from movie acting--a pair of eccentric choices, to be sure. Adding to the silliness is a truly wretched theme song, made the way they made 'em in the early '80s. --Robert Horton
- Introduction and commentary by Michael Crichton
- First-time widescreen video release
- Theatrical trailer
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As an adult, I picked up a used VHS copy, since it was OOP. It wasn't nearly as good as I remembered, but it was a nice piece of nostalgia. I held off on buying the DVD for a long time, since I didn't figure I'd ever watch it again.
I finally broke down and bight the disc. Yep, the movie was still cheesy, but I enjoyed the trip back down memory lane.
The overview is that a plastic surgeon is being framed for the murders of women on whom he has operated. These women, who are models, come to him with the exact measurements the need for corrections, so they can be perfect. The surgeon realizes something is going on, so he takes the last surviving patient under his wing, to keep her safe. They uncover a plot to use the digitally created images of the models. To brainwash people into buying what they see on TV.
Yes, the special effects are cheesy now, but were great way back in the 80's when this movie came out. The idea of using a scanner to capture a persons image and use it on TV commercials was years ahead of its time. As much as I hate to say it, this movie could be remade today and be extremely relevant.
Picture and audio quality were exactly what I expected from a 30+ year old movie.
I'm glad I bought this. I'll definitely watch it again.
This movie was made in 1981 and stars Albert Finney and James Coburn (in a much lesser role).
I'm not going to go into too much detail about the plot. Essentially it is about an advertising company that develops a way to control what people purchase through their commercial technology. It basically uses hypnotism. They also develop a gun that shoots out light pulses that hypnotizes you in such a way that you can't see the person who fired the gun.
The plot is a bit on the ridiculous side but I've seen a lot worse. Especially coming from Michael Crichton. The problem with many of his ideas are that they use technologies that are either not possible or won't be possible for a very long time. That's not to say that they aren't interesting. Like watching 'Westworld' his movies seem anachronistic. If he placed the movies in the future (sort of like RollerBall) it would be a lot more realistic and would make it easier to suspend disbelief. But then again, these movies were made before Jurassic Park and terrific CGI so it was harder and more expensive to make futuristic movies.
This movie isn't terrible but it isn't good either. I'd give it 2 and 1/2 stars if such a rating were possible. I'm giving it 3 stars because 2 stars would be too low.