Wednesday, February 24, 2010


In celebration of CAPTAIN EO's return to Disneyland, here's my THIRD posting of my controversial review of CAPTAIN EO, the movie.Now that the smoked has cleared. I think it's safe to rerun this controversial review of CAPTAIN EO from 2008. In light of news from last summer, I've decided to dust it off, clean it up just a bit and respond to some of my critics. It's not often that one gets an opportunity to review a theme park attraction movie, especially one that's over 20 years old and no longer used because of its star's reputation for being an alleged pedophile, so when given the chance to see CAPTAIN EO (1985, directed by Francis Ford Coppola!!!) again - I practically moonwalked!This ambitious (to say the least) short was filmed in 3-D and had George Lucas attached as a writer/producer. Not the cool George Lucas of STAR WARS, but the cheesy George Lucas responsible for such dreck as the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks. Also, I might add that this Francis Ford Coppola is not the class act "A List" director responsible for the GODFATHER saga, but the evil madman who foisted his daughter Sofia upon an unsuspecting world. One wonders if Coppola and Lucas signed a pact with the devil (aka Michael Eisner) to make this mess.This $30 million movie (Imagine what I could do with that money!!!) tells the story of Captain EO (played by a pre-skin bleached Michael Jackson) and his "ragtag" crew (basically the Banana Splits from Saturday mornings past) traveling in his space craft, which I'll call MLSTR-1, on some sort of a mission from a hologram named Commander Bog (played by Dick Shawn, who later died on stage the next year during a performance of his one-man show), that I believe (from what I could decipher) to deliver a something to a evil queen (this is Disney after all - there HAS to be an evil queen and an innocent princess) named "the Supreme Leader" - played by the fabulous Angelica Huston in H.G. Giger meets KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN make-up -that's funny I always thought Diana Ross was the Supreme leader!We first meet Captain EO and his Sid & Marty Krofft-inspired crew, consisting of a dumb, bumbling Dumbo-like creature named "Hooter", an annoying flying "bug" which I think is named Fuzzball (was WEBSTER not available?), a thing with two heads, a robot called Major Domo (?) with a small robot named Minor Domo, who plugs himself into the back of the larger robot. No comment. They soon fly past a giant space rock that looks like Michael's old nose, that explodes, reportedly causing the audience to scream with delight. I don't recall since 3-D movies give me migraines and I usually don't wear the plastic eye disease-spreading glasses that they hand out.
Once they arrive on Planet Huston, they encounter Angelica, who lives in a place that looks like a dirty, flithy warehouse, decorated with scrap metal and disconnected wires. She is the only cool thing in this entire 17-minute opus, and she orders her storm troopers to take them captive - and she sentences them to be tortured. IF ONLY, because I'm already in pain from watching this, and I don't like to suffer alone!

Princess EO tells the Queen that he sees the hidden "beauty" within her - all she needs is some good plastic surgery and that he has a gift to help unleash it. Then the first "music video" portion of the evening begins, but clumsy Hooter trips into EO and breaks his instrument, stopping the music. I was almost expecting EO's hair to catch on fire!

Before the grande bitch's guards can capture EO, Hooter fixes the problem (damn you Hooter!!!) and there's a blast of music, which gives EO super human powers - transforming the storm troopers into Solid Gold dancers.
Then a THRILLER-like dance number begins, followed by a dreadful song, "We Are Here to Change the World" - during which he uses his powers and magical rainbow tee-shirt to transform the Queen into a "beautiful woman" and her planet is transformed into an OZ-like paradise. Then we are "treated" to another crappy song called "Another Part of Me" which I think may have referred to Michael's allegedly polka-dotted penis.

And then it's over. Thankfully. I have to say –with all respects to the recently departed megastar–I have never owned a single Michael Jackson record, 8-track tape or cd EVER ("We are the World" doesn't count, does it?) -and this little film exemplifies why. In my book, I never found "the man in the mirror" to be a genius that most people did. I'm sorry.

As a kid, I did enjoy the JACKSON 5IVE cartoon series, and really loved little Janet as child-abuse victim Penny on GOOD TIMES (nothing says "good times" better than the imprint of a clothes iron burned into your flesh), but that's as far as my Jackson tolerance goes.

I guess I'll never understand how and why people are drawn to such marginally talented "pop stars" - well then again this is the same planet where AMERICAN IDOL and DANCING WITH THE STARS are the top 2 shows on TV. Give me the GONG SHOW any day. Oh, sorry - what was I reviewing? Oh yeah, CAPTAIN EO. It sucks, but not in "the good way". 2 outta 10.

Okay - that was my initial post (with a few minor edits). Here's the comments I received:

TEDDY writes: you're right, Captain Eo blows, I never did like Mickey Jackson either.

DOUG responds: Thanks Teddy.

JUSTIN writes: You can call E.O crap, but to say Michael Jackson isn't talented? What are you smoking? The man single-gloved handedly revolutionized the music business and every male pop and R&B artist that has followed after him has taken a note of two from his book; the same way female pop-stars follow Janet's career book as well (save for the SB wardrobe malfunction. Michael Jackson not talented.... indeed this is the first time i've ever read someone dismiss the man's talent.

DOUG responds: Well, just because someone inspires others to adapt certain aspects of their style doesn't really have anything to do with talent. It has to do with packaging and marketing - which, in the 1980s, was something that the Jackson camp was able to do extremely well. I just don't find his music or the music that it inspired very appealing - the same for his sister. Sorry. Justin - if I was smoking something I might have enjoyed EO more. Maybe next time?

ANONYMOUS writes: Wow, I agree with Justin, Michael jackson has had such a major influence in pop culture and the artists of today, i.e. Usher, Ne-yo, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, just to name a few. They all credit him as one of their inspirations. I'm not concerned with someone's appearance and quirkiness, as much as God-Given talent. you don't have to like the movie,'s from the 80's and was at Disney, but don't discount the kind of talent Michael Jackson has!

DOUG responds: Usher, Ne-yo, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake. 4 prime examples of why music sucks today. Thank you for proving my point.

PAT writes: Pop music is in it's worst shape ever thanks to "influences" like Michael Jackson. Calling "performers" like Usher, Ne-yo, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake "artists" just shows how far down the talent scale we've slid. They are all pretty crappy if you ask me, though I wouldn't mind seeing them naked. ;) Give me Tom Jones any day!

DOUG responds: I love you Pat. Tom Jones is the true king of pop.

LANCE writes: I too would like to see Justin Timberlake naked. Michael Jackson, not so much...

DOUG responds: I concur, Lance.

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DOUG responds: That is hysterical. This officially ends our trip down memory lane. Rest in peace, Captain Eo.

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