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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on July 14, 2001
This is the archetypal "average" movie. Whilst not expertly handled by director Crichton (yes, Michael Crichton), Runaway at least succeeds in being reasonably interesting and very watchable. It's one of those movies that succeeds in being very enjoyable without actually being that good; there is something very comfortable about the tone of the whole film. Whilst most of the set-pieces could have been more tightly edited and paced, there is an undeniable consistency in the visuals throughout. And note has to be made of Gene Simmons (yes, from Kiss), who makes a convincing bad guy, and the subtle but workable chemistry between Tom Selleck and the glammed-down Cynthia Rhodes.
The film boasts an impressive electronic score by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, done in the same year as his beautiful work on Ridley Scott's Legend, at which time Goldsmith was in the process of moving over to synthesizers. The closing theme, which plays out as Selleck and Rhodes kiss under showers of sparks, is exhiliarating.
The DVD is unremarkable, with a fairly good transfer and sound if nothing in the way of extras (unless you're still counting trailers).
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on July 6, 2001
Featuring both the original Panavision version in 16:9 anamorphic and a pan&scan version for those who don't know why there must be black bars on a widescreen frame. Also features Dolby Digital 4.0 and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound in English, and monophonic soundtrack in Spanish. Includes English, Spanish, Portugese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles. Special feature worth mentioning is only the original preview. (The preview is actually more interesting than the movie!) The disc is single layer, double sided. One side in widescreen and the other in full screen Pan&Scan. Disc replicated by Sony DADC USA. Authored by Sony DVD Centre.
The movie isn't as bad as a lot of people coin it to be. (After seeing real garbage like "Space Mutiny", it's hard to call a bad Hollywood movie "bad".) As for the music, I love the score, which was composed and performed by the master of film music, Jerry Goldsmith. (Although I can understand why some people may not like it, it does sound eighties as they were performed on Yamaha digital keyboards. Appropriate, though, given the "technical" atmosphere the film attempts to portray. The score was electronic to help better portray this intent.) <
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on September 13, 2000
I'd like to think of myself as an advent movie buff and somewhat of an audio/video file. I pride myself with my Home Theater and DVD/LD/CD collection. I'd also like to think that I've got good taste in movies. There are 2 qualifying criteria that a movie has to meet for my to purchase it (and it doesn't necessarily have to have both of them in the movie), a good script and/or great sound. I enjoy a good story line, but I also love to hear reference quality sound (being that I have a home theater). That being said, I think this is a decent flick! I must admit though, I'm a little bias being a big Kiss fan. I ran out to see this movie in the theater (when it came out) solely for Gene Simmons. I also think Tom Selleck is a decent actor; he just has the Burt Reynolds and John Ritter syndrome (guys that can act but seem to pick very BAD movies to act in). It also has something that I whish more older movies would do...Dolby 4.0 (true Dolby pro-logic) and not just stereo. I know every movie can't be in THX-EX and they aren't all going to rumble your house either, but when they can spread the sound spectrum across the front 3 and the surround speakers, it just seems to accentuate the mood of the scene, and this movie can do just that! The only knock on the sound track is the 80's synthesizers, but it's used more for affect than anything else (so that makes it bearable). Now a little about the story, Tom Selleck plays a cop who transfers to the robotics division of the police department because of his fear of heights. His usual calls are responding to robots (that are designed to do menial labor) that have for some reason or another, malfunctioned (hence the term Runaway). Gene Simmons play a High-Tech villain named Charles Luther, and his only goal is to sell a newly developed bullet that is more like a "smart missal". It acquires and locks onto it's target by using a persons body heat signature and will literally follow your every move until it hit's the target. Selleck accidentally stumbles across this and kind of takes it upon himself (and dragging his partners in with him) to crack the case. The affects are cool for the time-line of the movie (especially the view from the "smart bullet" as it chases it's target) and the story isn't as bad as some of the reviews here make it out to be (even though everyone is entitled to their own opinion). If you are looking for a movie to take a chance on, Runaway could be that very movie.
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on December 14, 1999
I don't understand all of the negative comments on this movie. The story was good. The cast was good. The special effects were good. What is the problem? Granted it is SCIENCE FICTION! The story is no more far fetched than most other hard sci-fi films. Anyway, I am wasting this review defending the film from the critics.
The film is based in the near future, when robots (rather believable ones) can be found in many homes and businesses performing menial or repetative tasks. A certain level of AI has been reached but these machines are far from perfect, and seem to malfunction with some regularity. This background sets the scene for Tom Sellek and his partner who are police officers who specialize in deactivating "runaway robots." It also forshadows the evil genius Gene Simmons who has a bunch of wonderful (and lethal) robotic "toys." He also has developed an explosive "smart bullet" which is encoded with a specific target's thermal pattern and can home in on that target, even around corners. Anyway, without giving anything away, the plot gets more involved as Sellek and partner track down Simmons to a final exciting showdown.
My best recommendation here is that if you are a fan of hard sci-fi movies, Tom Sellek, Kirstie Alley, or Gene Simmons (of Kiss fame) then you will probably like this movie. It is nicely paced, with some intense moments and a satisfying, if cliched ending. If you are on the fence about whether or not to see this film, get it. I'll wager you won't be disappointed.
P.S. I'm waiting patiently for the DVD verson.
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on May 21, 1999
This movie really isn't half bad, in my opinion. It's not going to stretch your imagination or present you with any moral dilemmas, but the film's pace is good - the plot moves along nicely - and Tom's sidekick/partner is pretty enough. Too bad there isn't any nudity (or at least none worth remembering, apparently) or I would've rated it higher. I was secretly pulling for Gene Simmons to kidnap Tom's love interest and give us an extended "damsel-in-distress" torture scene (always a plus in a he-man action film), but no such luck. Instead, we have Tom trying to de-fuse an unexploded bomb that's become lodged in her arm. Policing is a tough job for cops of the future, I guess.
Anyway, it's good action fare that's worth seeing at least once, particularly if you like well-done robot props.
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on August 22, 2000
Jack Ramsay (Tom Selleck) is a sergeant on the runaway squad - a police squad dedicated to robots. Ramsay and his new partner (Cynthia Rhodes) track down an electronics genious named Charles Luther (Gene Simmons) who has programed robots to kill. After the murders of two electronic engineers Ramsay discovers Luther has stolen a new weapon and plans to sell it to the highest bidder.
Its hard to believe this movie is sixteen years old. I like all the actors in this movie and have seen it several times and it still is not boring. The only problems i have with it is that the dvd does not have many options on it and there are two very cheesy scenes at the begining.
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on May 12, 1999
I'm afraid I have to disagree with Mr. Maltin, although I'm biased because I've loved anything to do with robots since I was a small child. While the plot _is_ a bit weak, Crichton's carefully constructed "world of the near future" populated with construction robots, housekeeping robots, security guard robots, robot pets, etc. is one of the most realistic treatments of the subject I've seen in a long time. People who, like me, have followed the development of real robots and eagerly await the arrival of the world depicted in "Runaway" will enjoy the robots in the movie at least as much as the human characters.
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on September 4, 1999
What a fine movie to MST with some friends! I know some of these guys like it, but I have to AGREE with Maltin here. This movie is awful. You will predict EVERYTHING that happens, I guarantee it. Witness Tom's son, Bobby, in the most annoying "performance" in the movie. Watch as Gene Simmons glares and grins evilly while delivering dialogue like, "Where the template, Ramseeeeey?" Actually, Gene is the best thing about this movie. Seriously, this movie is strictly for laughs.
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on July 19, 2004
When I am watching a 1984 sci-fi movie, I am not expecting to see an oscar calibur portrail full of twists and turns. Some may call it predictible, but myself I feel that the story flowed and made sense. Too many times have I seen a movie wher its certainly unpredictable because the plot climax comes out of nowhere. Tom Sellek plays the part well and is very believeable as a hardened and some what cynical cop. Gene Simmons in one of his only noteworthy film performances takes his KISS type persona and plays the evil genius well. I for one enjoyed this movie alot, and unlike Blade Runner didn't find myself watching it 5 times to understand the very shallow story line. If you are looking for a believeable near future story, pick this up.
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on April 3, 2002
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