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Outland
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Customer Reviews:

  • High Noon in deep space...
    Director Peter Hyams and film legend Sean Connery make a powerful duo in the making of the film "Outland," which can be described as "High Noon" in space. Very nice sets, a complex script and excellent fight scenes power this film about a police officer on a mining colony on a moon of Jupiter. Peter Hyams is at his best when he's directing sci-fi. His other credits in the genre include "2010" and "Timecop," with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Connery proves once again that he's the best there was the best there is the best that ever will be... with apologies to Bret Hart....more info
  • High Noon in space
    This is an excellent film, even though it steals it's plot from the 1952 Gary Cooper film, "High Noon". It is a very good adaptation of that film, with good character development and fine performances. That it takes place in a future possibility of a mine on Jupiter's moon Io is icing on the cake for any SciFi aficionado. Special effects are of a high standard, and the music score is top notch, perhaps one of the finest ever.
    That being said, the DVD transfer is awful. The picture squirms continuously, colors are muted, the image is grainy, and the aspect ratio seems to be somewhat "crushed" in the wide screen version. I have to say this is the worst transfer to DVD I have yet encountered.
    Any SciFi enthusiast needs this film in his or her collection, but I would advise you to wait for a remastering of this film. It is a very good film, and well deserves special treatment. Perhaps a Bluray version is worth the wait......more info
  • Still looks Excellent on a big screen TV.
    Hard to believe that this movie made 22 years ago still holds up but it does. It is a dark movie, lightingwise, but on my HD big screen TV it still looks great. Sean Connery is superb as the loner Marshall aboard a space mine on a moon of Jupiter. When the bad guys find that they can't control him, which means ignore his duty, they send assassins to kill the marshall. Connerys only friend is the spacey doctor...Some had called it slow moving, but the tension that builds helps to emphasize the hopelessness of the situation. This is also a story of doing the right thing instead of drinking the koolaid for the party or the company. The values taught in this movie are slowly being obliterated, so admire this marshall that takes a stand and that others must obey the law....more info
  • "I need those files by tomorrow or I'll kick your nasty ... all over this hospital, that's a Marshall joke" Sean Connery
    Sure it's "High Noon" in space, but it works well with a very powerful star turn by Sean Connery as a Marshall of a mining town on Jupiter's moon Io. Backing him up are Frances Sternhagen as the "town" doctor and his only help, and Peter Boyle as the bad guy who runs the mine and the drugs that are killing the miners.
    Miners are going mad on Io and they are killing themselves in very strange ways(exposing themselves to the outside and being blown to bits) and new Marshall O'Neil(Connery) wants to know why. With the help of the town doctor(Sternhagen, who almost steals this movie from Connery) he learns that a drug that makes you work harder and is very illegal is being given to the works and the town manager(Boyle reeking with venom) is the one getting it to him. Connery then begins to shut the system down.
    I won't say anymore, but it is really quite good. The production design has an "Alien" look about it and the tension is very well done. All in all a hidden "gem" worth a look....more info
  • Still looks Excellent on a big screen TV.
    Hard to believe that this movie made 22 years ago still holds up but it does. It is a dark movie, lightingwise, but on my HD big screen TV it still looks great. Sean Connery is superb as the loner Marshall aboard a space mine on a moon of Jupiter. When the bad guys find that they can't control him, which means ignore his duty, they send assassins to kill the marshall. Connerys only friend is the spacey doctor.

    If the two movie High Noon and Blade Runner (though Bladerunner has made after Outland) could have a baby, that offspring would be this movie. Some had called it slow moving, but the tension that builds helps to emphasize the hopelessness of the situation. This is also a story of doing the right thing instead of drinking the koolaid for the party or the company. The values taught in this movie are slowly being obliterated, so admire this marshall that takes a stand and that others must obey the law....more info

  • A decent movie, but needed some help
    The best part of this movie is obviously Sean Connery, who does a fine job in a fairly routine role as the lone good guy fighting the many bad guys. I also liked the look, even though it is the grungy look perfected in Alien. The exterior visuals and special effects are not very good, looking very much like models. I take one star off for that alone. Overall, a good rental but not one I would buy. 3 and 1/2 stars in my book....more info
  • Enjoyable sci-fi thriller with suspense and great story
    "Outland" is truly an enjoyable film. Sean Connery does an excellent job portraying William O'Neil, a Federal Marshall sent to one of Jupiter's moons to provide security for the mining colony on this moon. Several apparent suicides begin to occur while O'Neil is performing his tour, so he begins to launch his own investigation to uncover the truth behind these suicides. O'Neil finds out that a new drug is being administered to the miners so they can produce more output, but the drug's side effects cause the miners to go crazy and kill themselves. When the general manager of the mining operation realizes that O'Neil has found out about this drug, he dispatches two paid assassins to kill O'Neil. The suspense in the film mounts as O'Neil prepares to fight while the assassins are being transported to the mining colony. The movie features good special effects and performances by the main actors, Sean Connery and Peter Boyle. I definitely recommend this film to any sci-fi or action film fan, as well as anyone looking for a good suspenseful movie....more info
  • HIGH ON IO
    Personally, although I'd never put OUTLAND on a par with BLADE RUNNER, or even DARK CITY, I still enjoy it very much. It's obvious HIGH NOON script-theft is not too bothersome either, given that the acting , sets, and special effects are excellent. The action, and suspense is quite good as well.

    What isn't good is the transfer. The old VHS tape I still have is almost as good, and this is a much better than average sci-fi film, and it is definitely in dire need of a decent upgrade....more info
  • Great Underrated Movie;
    Sci-fi fans searching for an overlooked gem should check this one out. Taking place at a mining town on Io (Jupiter's moon), the new marshall (Sean Connery) discovers that the station is rife with corruption and sets to clean things up. Yes, it's "High Noon" in space, but this isn't just another re-tooled western. (And don't forget, "High Noon" was a great western too!)

    There are great performances by Connery, Peter Doyle, and Frances Sternhagen. The pacing is set for suspence and the story keeps you interested. But the things that stick and make this worth checking out are the sets and special effects (by the late, great John Stears of Star Wars fame). Criticized at the time for being too grimy, the station seems both realistic and otherworldly--not an easy trick to pull off. The production values for the film (especially the model and matte work) were stellar and stand up very well 20 years later. Throw in a great score by Jerry "Star Trek" Goldsmith and you have a winner.

    Unfortunately, the transfer quality of the DVD is astoundingly atrocious. It's hard to believe that Time-Warner could allow their names to go on this jittery, grainy, shaky, fuzzy transfer--faults that are especially obvious on the DVD. I have to assume that quality control is something the Warners do only on a select few titles. Peter Hymes (2010, Timecop, Capricorn One) may not be Stanley Kubrick, but a movie that inspired Blade Runner and Frankie Goes To Hollywood deserves better treatment.

    Trivia: I believe this is the first recorded teaming of John Ratzenberger (as a miner) and Frances Sternhagen (chief medical officer); "Cliff Claven" and "Mom Claven" from TV's "Cheers"...more info

  • Terrible, terrible video transfer
    I can work around the fact that it's not "enhanced for widescreen TVs", but the transfer is atrocious; the picture "jitters" rhythmically throughout the movie. That's a level of quality control/assurance I might expect from one of the junk companies that releases public domain movies, but not from Warner Bros. This DVD release managed to ruin a fairly good movie.

    I thought I was giving it -0- "stars", but I guess that's not possible.

    Avoid at all costs....more info
  • Outlandos d'amour
    This is an odd film - although released some time after 'Star Wars' it seems closer in spirit to the mid-70s wave of dystopian sci-fi flicks, combined with the look of 'Alien'. It's not particularly good, but it's entertaining and watchable - the kind of thing that, if you were swapping channels and you came across it, you'd probably watch the rest of it. Although everybody remembers this for the exploding people, it's still obscure enough to be a little bit culty (a bit like 'Saturn 3' which came out at the same time and was similarly old-fashioned). The effects and the general look'n'feel have worn quite well, although it's still odd seeing Sean Connery stomping around a fragile, pressurised mining base with a shotgun. Connery is, well, Connery, in his lengthy post-'James Bond', pre-'Untouchables' wilderness years (he'd just done the awful 'Meteor'). It was directed by Peter Hyams, who had just done 'Capricorn One' and was on the way to doing '2010'. Despite these three films Hyams is strangely obscure, not quite a star director. He's very much a technically-minded director, and 'Outland' seems as if more effort went into the sets (which are still quite striking) than the plot, which is essentially 'High Noon', and the script, which contains precisely no memorable lines. It's still fun, though....more info
  • 1981 Sci-Fi "Oldie" Has Worn Well
    "Outland" is a movie I am always happy to recommend to people. Set on Io, a moon of Jupiter, it concerns a harmful and illicit drug. The colony's manager (smirkingly played by Peter Boyle), makes money dealing the drug and also benefits from the increased productivity this "upper" has among his workers--until they die.

    The new marshall of the colony is played by Sean Connery. You may not remember now but his tight, monklike beard and close-cut hair were a sensation in this movie. Set design caused a stir, too. The people who made this movie wanted a beat-up, realistic station but were accused of excessive "grunge." A year later "Blade Runner" came along and legitimized that look. As a result, "Outland" still looks terrific today.

    The plot is essentially "High Noon" with Connery substituting for Gary Cooper, right down to his wife and child taking the last shuttle (train?) off Io before the thugs come down to "explain" things to Connery. Does Connery get help from the quaking townfolk? What do you think?

    The performances are all good, particularly Peter Boyle as the plant manager who's so smug you could kill him for no reason at all; Frances Sternhagen as the wisecracking company doctor; and above all Connery, who once again turned the page on a new chapter in his career. I really think this flick is underrated....more info

  • Not just for the Sci-fan buffs and Sean Connery fans
    Okay, I've heard this film called uneven, poorly paced, and a slow retread of 100 different westerns that got by on the basics of the plot. I've seen [people] praise the film for its supposed ties to the Alien franchise. I've read the reviews from the die hard Sean Connery fans talking about how great he is in it, and offering that opinion up like his performance is the only saving grace of this film.... This is a good picture all on its own.

    The pacing is excellent, the atmosphere created is tangible, and the setting is interesting and engaging. The cast delivered here in a big way, and not just on Sean Connery's part. Yeah, he is gives a good performance here, but I personally felt that the rest of the cast outshined him at moments and stole some key scenes. I particularly enjoyed Frances Sternhagen as the company doctor here. She begins with a character that is presented as fairly two dimensional and fleshed it out with her own flairs. Peter Boyle is also noteworthy here. This is a far cry from the dancing Frankenstein's monster in Young Frankenstein, and still further from his current primeime sitcom drivel.

    The downside I will concede here is that people who enter into the film with a notion that this is an action flick are going to go away dissapointed, particularly those jaded by the last few years of 'summer blockbusters' that favored MTV style direction and Matrix level special effects over content and film making. If that's what you want, I heard Swordfish is a nice DVD to own.

    Leave this one to people who appreciate film as a story telling medium, and I think that this may well become a rediscovered treasure in the DVD collections of many.

    -B....more info

  • "Think it over..."
    Released in the space between "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Blade Runner," "Outland" is a decent if slightly lacking film.

    The plot concerns Marshall O'Niel (Sean Connery) being appointed the head officer on a mining colony on Io, a moon of Jupiter. As if his grudging family wasn't enough, he's got reports of miners dying after suffering psychotic episodes. With help from his only real ally, Dr. Lazarus (Frances Sternhagen), O'Niel discovers the miners are being supplied with a performance-enhancing drug that has some nasty after-effects. Mine manager Sheppard (the late Peter Boyle), after suffering a loss of product at O'Niel's hands, calls in some corporate thugs to fix things.

    Director Peter Hyams (2010, Timecop) has on his side excellent production design and decent special effects for the 80s. But the plot, while inventive, isn't much else. Connery, Boyle and the rest do good with their roles, but the script has some pointless filler and awkward talk. Aside from one excellent chase scene through the station, the action is limited and slow. The film also plods at 109 minutes, with several interesting scenes balanced out by several patches of empty downtime.

    Connery, post-Bond but pre-Untouchables, is probably the real saving grace of this film. Whether smart-talking Lazarus (Sternhagen is also excellent), taunting Sheppard (Boyle does what he can with limited screen time), or staring dumbly at his wife's video message, Connery is one of the few actors who makes a credible action hero. He gets hurt, he gets abandoned, he is left on his own to fight the mercenaries, whatever. In the hands of a lesser actor, O'Niel would be generic, but Connery makes him human.

    One more thing: bodies explode in this film (probably the only reason it was rated R). You might think I'm telling you this as a warning, but it's also because it's physically impossible.

    Overall, you should see the film at least once for its ambiance, but don't expect to be blown away. Good performances and effects can't compensate for slow pacing and limited action.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, this film gets a 6.
    On a scale of 0.0 to 10, this film gets a 6.4.
    On a scale of A to F, this film gets a C-.
    On a scale of 1 to 5, this film gets a 3....more info
  • It's Like A Space Western
    Director Peter Hyams appeared to have been inspired by the Western drama "High Noon" when he made this movie. Indubitably "Outland" presents the ingredients of a cowboy movie. The town is represented by a mineral colony on Io -a moon of Jupiter -in spite of the fact that they are in outer space and, if you go out, you might take the chance to explode your guts inside out because of the gravity. The town's people don't help anybody who goes against the powerful conglomerate. And then there is the sheriff in the body of Sean Connery.
    Connery plays Marshal William O'Neill, a law man who believes in truth and justice in a "town" where those things are unaccounted for. Unfortunately he goes against the powerful general manager of the mining corporation (Peter Boyle) under the suspicion that his company is giving some poweful drug to the workers who, later, end up dead. The manager decides to hire assassins to have O'Neill killed, and the clock -just like in "High Noon" -is ticking.
    This movie is quite a treat. The claustrophobic settings are very adequate for the plot development. However, this movie sometimes goes slow in the middle, but the suspense catches up with the viewer for the climax.
    It's too bad this DVD does not have documentaries, so I'm waiting for the release of a special edition. Anyone?...more info
  • EXTREMELY HORRIBLE
    This is by far the most incompetent transfer to DVD I have ever seen. Don't be fooled, it really is terrible. For such a great movie and cast, they cheated their customers in what could have been a superb DVD. There is nothing good in the video quality at all. The sound is very good but don't waste your money on this copy. A great story, it surely deserved better.
    The 5 stars are for the story and cast. The actual DVD gets a 1
    ...more info
  • In a word...Disappointed.
    Peter Hyams' 1981 release of Outland starring Sean Connery and Peter Boyle leaves the viewer a bit disappointed. The plot is not too deep and things move quickly without giving situations time to take root and develop. It's as if the movie doesn't know which path to follow. For example, subjects such as corporate greed and corruption, chemical abuse, O'Neil's relationship with family, and a good ol' good guy vs. bad guy scenario appears shallow having not been developed to a greater degree.

    The viewer is left with little to hang on to as the movie just rolls right along. The high point of the movie hits you before you feel as if much has happened, then is just not compelling enough. Another story of thugs coming after the little guy trying to do the right thing. On a personal note, this viewer had to wonder why the story even had to take place on Jupiter. The storyline could have occurred anywhere because it is mainly aa cop/detective show. Why must it take place on Jupiter? Does Hyams have a Jupiter fetish or was he just hungry to use some special effects (which were used pretty lightly, by the way)? He later got his chance to play with Jupiter in his 1984 release of Arthur C. Clarke's sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    The characters in the movie are few, and one would expect that this would allow the movie to really delve into them, but again we are left short. The characters are also thin and we do not get a chance to really get a feel for them but only on the surface. The irony is that the character that we get to know the least is actually the main character, O'Niel, played by Connery. In fact, in those rare circumstances where he does show emotion, he appears out of character. The character that creates the greatest impression is the general manager of Con-Amalgamate, played by Boyle. He does a good job at showing us that he is not such a great person and functions out of personal profit to himself. The relationships in the movie are weak also. We fail to realize the true struggle between O'Niel and his wife, and it is hard to feel emotion over his family struggles.

    O'Neil's relationship with the doctor is also weak. They nearly pair for a battle against the stronger forces, but this too fizzles out. All in all, the characters are very two-dimensional and it is hard to bond with any of them.

    Hyams had a good idea to begin with, but for whatever reasons, he failed to follow through. What we are left with is a light movie that fails to really pull in the viewer. This viewer was left disappointed.

    Other than that, it was wasn't bad....more info