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Flash Gordon De Laurentiis Entertainment Group/Universal Pictures, 1980, 2007 Directed by Mike Hodges (The Terminal Man, Damien: Omen II) Based upon characters created by Alex Raymond (1909-1956) Running Time: 111 minutes Rated PG for sci-fi violence. Ming the Merciless: "Klytus, I'm bored. What play thing can you offer me today?" Klytus: "An obscure body in the S-K System, your majesty. The inhabitants refer to it as the planet 'Earth.'" Ming: "How peaceful it looks." (Ming flashes his ring towards the center console, setting off an earthquake on Earth.) Klytus: "Most effective, Your Majesty. Will you destroy this...'Earth?'" Ming: "Later. I like to play with things a while before annihilation." Cast Sam J. Jones (The Highwayman) as Flash Gordon Melody Anderson as Dale Arden Max von Sydow (Father Merrin in The Exorcist, Chief Justice Fargo in Judge Dredd) as Ming the Merciless Topol (Colombo in For Your Eyes Only) as Dr. Hans Zarkov Ornella Muti as Princess Aura Timothy Dalton (James Bond in The Living Daylights and License to Kill) as Prince Barin Brian Blessed (Boss Nass in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace) as Prince Vultan Peter Wyngarde as Klytus Mariangela Melato as General Kala Ming: "Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror." Synopsis When the evil emperor Ming the Merciless discovers the planet Earth, he plays around with it by bringing forward chaos and destruction. On Earth, New York Jets' star quarterback Flash Gordon and travel agent Dale Arden survive a plane crash caused by one of Ming's disasters and meet the scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov, who has been investigating the anomalies. Together, they board Zarkov's rocket and travel to the planet Mongo. "Flash! A-Ah! Saviour of the Universe!" "Flash! A-Ah! He saved every one of us!" Upon their arrival, they are taken prisoner by Ming's forces. While Dale is taken by Ming to be his consort, Zarkov is sent away to be brainwashed and Flash is sentenced to death for his defiance. But thanks to Princess Aura, Flash is resurrected, and they promptly leave Ming's palace for the moon of Arboria. There, Flash must struggle to form an alliance with Prince Barin and the Hawkman Prince Vultan, and stop Ming from marrying Dale and destroying Earth for good. "Flash! A-Ah! He's a miracle!" "Flash! A-Ah! King of the Impossible!" Lowdown Flash Gordon - perhaps one of the biggest guilty pleasure movies among film buffs. Yes, the acting is cheesy, the script is appalling and the special effects are laughable. It also boasts the loudest costume designs on film (which is probably where all of the budget went). But those elements are what actually make the movie work. Who cares about plot or character development in a film like this? It's all about good old-fashioned, campy fun. Not to mention the sexy Italian chick Ornella Muti (who is still hot for her age!) as Princess Aura. "He's for every one of us! Stands for every one of us! He saved with a mighty hand, Every man, every woman, every child, He's the mighty Flash!" And what's a good movie without a soundtrack to go with it? I've previously mentioned on my review of Highlander that the legendary rock band Queen were capable of telling the whole story through their music. In the case of Flash Gordon, the band's soundtrack is what holds the entire film together, from the thunderous opening theme to the lively ending theme "Hero." As a matter of fact, someone should remix this film and replace all the dialogue with nothing but the sound of Queen. Prince Vultan: "Gordon's alive?!?" SciFi Channel may have a new Flash Gordon series out, but it still can't hold a candle to this classic film. Don't rent it - buy it. It's one of the greatest popcorn flicks ever made. Battle Control Room Colonel: "General Kala, Flash Gordon approaching!" General Kala: "What do you mean, 'Flash Gordon approaching?'" Colonel: "On a Hawkman rocket-cycle. Shall I inform His Majesty?" Kala: "Imbecile! The Emperor would shoot you for interrupting his wedding with this news! Fire when Gordon's in range!" Rating: B+ "Just a man, with a man's courage, You know he's nothing but a man, who could never fail, No one but the pure in heart can find the Holy Grail, Oh..." DVD Extras: B+ To coincide with SciFi Channel's new TV series, Universal Pictures has remastered Flash Gordon to its original glory. The picture quality is more vibrant than ever and the new 5.1 surround sound brings out Queen's epic soundtrack. Kala: "Dispatch War Rocket Ajax, to bring back his body!" You also get the following extras (which could've been better if the ones in the European Region 2 release were also included): - Interview with renowned comic artist Alex Ross (Marvels, Gatchaman), who was heavily inspired by this film. - Interview with Lorenzo Semple, Jr. (Batman), who wrote the film's screenplay. - "Chapter 1: Planet of Peril" - The first episode of the original 1936 serial. - "Trailer" for the new TV series. (Actually, just the logo.) All that and a killer DVD case design to boot, along with two postcards featuring Alex Ross' awesome art. On an interesting note, Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson recorded some commentary for this release, but the idea was nixed when they realized they wouldn't be paid for their opinions. Dale Arden: "Flash! Flash, I love you! But we only have 14 hours to save the Earth!" Links Flash Gordon - Saviour of the Universe Edition DVD Robot: "Long live Flash! You've saved your Earth. Have a nice day." Flash Gordon: "YEAH!" Reference The Internet Movie Database Wikipedia