Looker

I didn’t want to go out into the rain to buy frozen yogurt, so I just stayed at home.  I watched the DVD of “Looker,” a Michael Crichton movie starring Albert Finney, James Coburn, and Susan Dey.  I saw this movie in 1982 at one of those theatres that used to show double features for one dollar.  I was impressed at how far ahead of its time this movie was in pondering digital technology.  Albert Finney was just in “Wolfen,” although he seemed to be getting too old for action movies.  Susan Dey was just under thirty at the time, and her face looked pretty, but what might have kept her from greater stardom was that voice of hers.  Still, I thought she was quite good in this movie.  She did end up with not much to do at the end except struggle to escape a pair of handcuffs.  I didn’t see her participating in a shootout, anyway.  The Looker gun was a strange weapon that led to humorous moments, like Finney’s car ending up in a fountain.  I couldn’t see how that could happen with the car getting severely damaged.  Some things didn’t seem to make sense in this film.  I didn’t know how the key card could work if security had known for a while that it was stolen.  The most visually striking scene was Susan getting her body scanned for the computer to store an image of her.  I thought that the final confrontation between Finney and Coburn was flat.  Crichton was showing that he wasn’t a top director yet.  The movie touched on computer technology, supermodels seeking perfection through plastic surgery, and the poisonous influence of television and advertising.  Crichton would come up with a stronger concept in “Jurassic Park,” but I thought this was a worthy movie.  It brought back memories of the early 1980s, as it was released in the same year as “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Arthur,” “Rich and Famous,” “On Golden Pond,” “Chariots of Fire,” and “Reds.”  The other movie on that double feature was “Personal Best.”  There is a missing scene with Coburn talks about shredding old documents and an ambitious police officer.  It could have made things clearer to the audience.  The Looker guns were rather ridiculous.  It’s like grown men were going around Los Angeles with toys.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 13, “Casino Royale” had its London premiere in 1967.  In 1968, Bobby Goldsboro had the Number one single, “Honey.”  In 1974, Elton John had a Number One hit with “Bennie and the Jets.”  Also in 1974, Paul McCartney had the Number One album on the charts, “Band on the Run.”  In 1980, “Grease” ended its original Broadway run after 3388 performances.

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