Reviewed by Joel Mathis
Rating: 4.5 Beans
ith a name like Isaac Asimov getting title billing, you know right off the bat that this film is horrible. Asimov may have been one of the great authors of the twentieth century, but every one of the four films he was involved in turned out horribly. Oddly enough, Light Years, Nightfall, and Feeling 109 where all released in the same year, so perhaps he got the hint that he was not well suited to being involved in film projects.
Light Years, despite its complex science fiction background, is still your basic adventure film at heart. The kingdom (or planet, the film isn't too clear on this) of Gandahar is being invaded by a mysterious force that is turning its citizens to stone. The councel of women, led by Queen Ambisextra (I am not making that name up!) who is voiced by Glenn Close, send out Prince Sylvan (Earl Hammond) to investigate the enemy. On his journey he must confront the results of his people's early experiments in organic technology. The plot is fairly incoherant, especially later in the film when time travel becomes involved. As in all time travel movies, don't think about it, just accept what they are telling you and it won't hurt so much.
The animation is the level of what you would expect to see on afternoon syndicated television of the period. In otherwords, fairly choppy and not well done at all.
Light Years is an extremely slow film. Something interesting will happen for about five minutes and then we will have ten minutes of the hero travelling. It could have been compressed to half an hour without loosing any of the plot. I suppose we were supposed to gasp in amazement at the art during those long travel sequences.
The film is definitely not for children. While there is no blood or excessive violence, apparantly this advanced society did not invent the shirt. I can only think of one woman in the film who wore a top. Often people didn't bother with pants as well. Its tough to tell what the filmmaker's intention was with this since half the time it is shot like a National Geographic where the nudity is ignored and the other half of the time the camera likes to linger.
One more thing that should be of interest to views. The credits have both Penn Jillette and "a special appearance by" Teller. Who he voices I have no idea as it is not in the end credits, but he's in there somewhere.
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