Sunday, March 23, 2008

12 Reasons Solarbabies Still Rules

You all remember Solarbabies, don't you? It's that awesome, dystopian future where rollerskating orphans are trying to get out from under The Man and free the Earth's water supply with the help of a magical purple sphere called Bodhi. This is one of those movies that every critic panned. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 00%, while IMDB commenters say "Avoid it like Solar-rabies."

I hadn't seen this movie in nearly 20 years. I still remember it being on one of the VHS tapes my parents got from our HBO-pirating relatives, and I used to watch almost weekly. It had nearly been completely overwritten by new memories before my girlfriend asked me to find it. During the opening credits, it was as if I was ten again, sitting on one of our old blue corduroy recliners and soaking it in for the first time.

Of course, like any memory, the feeling ran out in the first twenty minutes and I was stuck watching this horrendously great film; so I started keeping notes.

Therefore, logically, hence and thusly, but in no particular order, I bring you twelve reasons to watch Solarbabies again.

12. The deep, hallowing, mean-spirited synth music is a true hallmark of any 80s dystopian future. Also trademark is the barren desert landscape.

11. Children are taken at an extremely young age and placed into what seem like concentration camps, called orphanages. The kids have no knowledge of their personal history, let alone their current whereabouts. Why more movie makers don't highlight this harrowing single-minded practice is beyond me.

10. In the future, scores are settled by teams playing a mashup of roller hockey and field hockey.

9. All the orphans can rollerskate. This fact cannot be stressed enough, because everywhere these kids go - in the desert - there are enough flat, well-packed surfaces on which to use them ... in the desert.

8. The E-Police are the ones running the show. Apparently, the E stands for Ecology, because they have kept the whole of the earth's water supply under lock and key. This is deduced also by the fact that the freedom fighters call themselves eco-warriors.

7. Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) is Darkstar. End of story.

6. Despite traveling to several different locations across the ravaged, waterless landscape, most of the orphans never take, steal, barter, or otherwise acquire new clothes. Darkstar becomes a factory worker shortly before his capture, and Terra (Jamie Gertz) is a native eco-warrior for two brief scenes - and even then she dons the old uniform to break into the E-Police Headquarters,Reservoir & Beauty Shop.

5. The kids make several exciting escapes from the E-Police, who are total wussies, and apparently don't have radios. In one of these escapes from authorities, they create a human sling shot to propel themselves across a gap in a bridge. In another, the orphans climb inside giant tires and roll down a very steep hill to make their getaway.

4. The robot destroyer surgeon Terminac is brought in to finish off the magical sphere, Bodhi. His choice of weapon? a carbon-tipped drill bit.

3. Richard Jordan puts some of the best cheese I've ever seen into his antagonist role as the evil leader Grock. His best line comes when he captures the youngest orphan, Danny (Lukas Haas), holding the magic sphere: "Oh, my. Hello. Is this your ball?"

2. All the orphans can rollerskate. Not only that, but every room and building in the world is wheelchair friendly. In the future, there are very few stairs.

1. It's implied at the closing credits that all the orphans can swim, too, even though they've barely seen anything more than a puddle in their entire lives.

So there you have it. The twelve reasons to watch Solarbabies. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoy writing. Find it, watch it, scowl at it, love it.

1 comment:

glows said...

Hi, I just found this post when I was looking for pictures to this movie.

I just finished watching this movie! After seeing it on television, I wanted to buy it and see it again. I bought it at Borders (even though they rip you off there on DVDs) and sat down with a bowl of popcorn. I enjoy this but my brother made fun every minute of it. I have to say Reason #3 is very true. I could not stop laughing when he said that. I'd like to see if there was a score for this movie too.