DVD Report: Outland starring Sean Connery (1981)

DVD coverI re-read the novelization of the film last month, but I hadn’t seen the actual film. So as part of the “One-for-you, one-for-me” gift buying protocol, I bought and watched the DVD.

I won’t rehash the plot here, since I did that in the book report. However, I will make a couple bullet points about how the film has aged vis-à-vis the novelization. Well, no, I won’t use bullet points because I know what bullet points do to the polarized glass of a mining base.

The film is far more dated than the book is. The visual elements of the film strike one more than they would in the book. For example, when the book might have mentioned that the character lit a cigarette in the workplace, the film has a warehouse scene blue with smoke as every employee has a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. The book is dated enough with its video messages instead of text, but the film plays them on CRTs with green text. The look and feel of the film definitely evoke the time period of the film-making as much as that of the future.

The film also diminishes some of the minor characters in that their screen time is really truncated compared to their page time. That’ll come with any film, of course, since it has two hours and roughly one hundred or so pages of dialog and scene material versus page of text. It doesn’t make it better or worse; books (including books based on film) and film are two different media.

So, will I watch this again before 20 years have elapsed? Maybe. Movies are more replayable than most books because of the time committment involved. I buy movies more slowly than books, but I still buy them faster than I watch them, it seems. So it might just take my accidental repurchase of the film to trigger another viewing. But that’s not likely.

At any rate, a serviceable period piece of science fiction.

Books mentioned in this review: