After a long journey through endless space, astronaut Grimaldi returns home. As a souvenir for his daughter, he brings back an unusual object: a sphere radiating light. But on closer inspection, the mysterious object turns out to be a deadly thing.
4k movies reviews
I don’t really have a relationship with cartoons. Preferring feature films, I just can’t spend time on cartoons, although I certainly have my favorites – I won’t talk about the masterpieces of Soviet animation, like ‘Vacation in Prostokvasheno’ or ‘Last Year’s Snowfall’ – everything is clear as it is, But such western animation tapes as ‘The Earth Before Time’, ‘The Page Lords’, ‘The Lion King’, which stuck in my heart as a child, and the later ones ‘Dinosaur’, ‘The Ice Age’, ‘Shrek’, ‘The Simpsons’ also please the eye, the sense of humor and imagination. “Heavy Metal” is from another series, but it pleased me immensely.
‘Heavy Metal’ is a cult among fans of American fantasy comics magazine, published since 1977, with very high quality illustrations, great black humor, nudity and terrific dark atmosphere, which for many years inspired numerous filmmakers to create their opuses. The feature-length adaptations of the graphic novels published in the magazine were made just at the height of the popularity of the subject and the genre – in the early 80s the audience tirelessly applauded one after another the fantastic masterpieces of Lucas, Spielberg, Zemeckis, Cameron, Scott and others – of a lower rank – appearing on the screens.
The magazine was adored by teenagers, even though it was not officially sold to them, but has such a thing as an official ban ever stopped teenagers from buying cigarettes, alcohol or porno magazines? The film’s rating is also rightly lowered to a depth unattainable for teenagers, denoted by the letter ‘R’, but this did not prevent the cartoon from becoming wildly popular just among the younger generation. However, who else could be interested in the drawn nudity? But I was not happy with this film.
The Lion King”, created for the same teenagers, over the years has lost to me, pardon the pun, the lion’s share of its attractiveness, it’s too sentimental and with too much obvious touch of pink tenderness. ‘Heavy Metal,’ on the other hand, lives up to its title – it’s a rather naturalistic, violent, dark cartoon with shameless exploitation of the themes of sex, violence and this and that together. Even the movie posters (or the magazine covers), from which the viewer looks at the muscular Amazons draped in some postmodern (and probably wildly uncomfortable) latex half-bathing suits and the same muscular half-naked jocks with swords, wands and other half-magical weapons, as if stepped from the pages of books about Conan the Barbarian, says that sensitive young ladies have no place here. I watched ‘Heavy Metal’ now, and I’m still satisfied, because I’ve been reading sci-fi of all kinds for a long time now, and if I had watched this movie when I was 15, when I was just getting into Wells, King, Strugatsky, Belyaev, Bradbury, etc., I probably would have been under the impression for a long time.
Oddly enough, the film had the hand of Ivan Reitman, the legendary comedian who started out in the ’70s with second-rate horror movies and then suddenly created masterpieces that became literal symbols of the ’80s. Reitman produced the film and is credited with most aptly defining its genre specificity: ‘Space fiction mixed with Playboy.
Reitman hit the mark. Streams of blood and pictures of a terrifying earthly future, the boundless fantasy of artists who created parallel realities and worlds of distant planets are interspersed with scenes of erotic content, which refers us to the popular fantasy writers of the time, like Michael Moorcock, whose novels had no fantasy without sex. Does it interfere with that? Generally speaking, no. First of all, you react to the cartoon characters in a completely different way than to the real one, so you don’t get annoyed with her, although you distinctly realize towards the finale that you could have done without her, but the authors decided not to deviate from the original comics.
The film itself is rather a collection of separate fantasy stories loosely connected to each other by one general novel and a line of struggle against some abstract world evil Locknar. The short stories themselves are all very fascinating, quite varied and surprisingly cinematic. I kept catching myself thinking that live, that is, in a full-fledged feature film, this would have looked absolutely mind-blowing!
Take at least the first story about a cab driver who accidentally gets involved in the kidnapping of this very Loc-Nar from a museum: a role just right for Bruce Willis – and – please, a great cyberpunk action movie. And the story of the pilots who find themselves in the sky one-on-one with bloodthirsty zombies? Wouldn’t that make for a horror story? And the last story about the ‘last of the race’? Take the lead role of a sexy Amazonian beauty like Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Gardner and you got a terrific action film that would make the men of the world drool. So ‘Heavy Metal’ – the scope for filmmakers boundless, much better than the endless sequels, threequels and remakes – the same and about the same thing. True, it is necessary to keep the obligatory condition – remaking it all into a feature film, the style must be kept original, then you get something like ‘Sin City’, but otherwise – nonsense with a rating of ‘PG-13’, which now literally all science fiction films are working for.
By the way, ‘Heavy Metal’ is the forerunner of the fashionable 3-D, because much in the cartoon was modeled ‘live’, i.e. the actors played their roles and the artists copied every movement, and the amazing worlds were also first built as models and then animated.
A special article in the film is dedicated to ‘heavy metal’ and ‘hard rock’ fans who would love to just listen to this movie. I’m not a fan, so for me the most important thing is that the music fit adequately into the style and content of the movie, and which supergroups played and sang it all, I basically don’t care.
The cartoon turned out, in my opinion, because of the titanic work of the animation artists and the fascinating storyline. Despite the obvious play on the most primitive human instincts and the adolescent hormonal orientation of the film, it captivates, amuses, frightens, even delights in some places. That rare case where they did better than they wanted to, and for much longer than they should have – only in what genre films aren’t there explicit or implicit references to ‘Heavy Metal’.
Is the film worth watching in the original, like ‘Shrek’ for example? Sure, it’s nice to hear the familiar voices of John Candy, Harold Ramis and Eugene Levy, but the acting is not all that important because the characters are straightforward, caricatured – literally drawn flat and simple.
That’s not what takes the film. It’s just that this riot of fantasy of grown-up uncles playing at being kids somehow entices, captivates, occupies, and doesn’t leave you indifferent. Despite the ratings, there is nothing for real adults to do here – the pseudo-fantasy style and the characters testify to the fact that ‘Heavy Metal’ was conceived as a catalog of stories for teenagers keen on fantasy and they should definitely like it, as well as those who have already stopped believing in the all too sweet world of ‘The Lion King’.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (60.0 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 16-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
Korean: Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Arabic, Mandarin (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Spanish (Latino), Spanish, Thai, Turkish.