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Monday, November 17, 2014

Fantastic Voyage (1966)

In 1967 Fantastic Voyage won two Oscars for Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects.  It was also nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Effects.  Do how does it measure up to all these accolades?  Very well.  Fantastic Voyage is a visual feast of great beauty, excitement and imagination. The story involves the journey of the Proteus, a miniaturized sub that is injected into the body of a diplomat who was nearly assassinated.  Their mission: to remove a blood clot and get the heck out of there before their sub returns to normal size.

Fantastic Voyage has everything going for it, beginning with a smartly written and believable script which is based on a novel by Isaac Asimov.  Director Richard Fleisher [20,000 Leagues Ubder the Sea, Soylent Green] and Cinematographer Ernest Laszio [Logan’s Run, Attack of the Puppet People] know how to bring this epic story to life with grand sweeping gestures as well as small moments of tension and conflict between individual actors.

However, the star of this show is most definitely the visual effects.  Everything about the way this film looks once the Proteus enters the diplomat’s body is cinematic perfection.  I can’t recall any earlier film that looks this stunning.  The colors, shapes, lighting and textures used to represent this miniature world are a total home run.  The voiceover at the beginning of the film says, “You’re going to see things no one has ever seen before.”    I totally agree.  What a grand adventure this is!

As far as acting goes, the cast is solid through and through.  The two most well-know acts in this ensemble are the radiant Raquel Welch [One Million Years B.C.] and horror legend Donald Pleasence [Halloween, Prince of Darkness].  While his character Dr. Michaels is not Dr. Loomis hunting down Michael Meyers, they same intensity is there.

If you like Sci-Fi then Fantastic Voyage is a must-see.  A wonderful film both then and now.  My only complaint is that they take nearly 40 minutes to enter into the body of the diplomat.  I would have shortened this part of the film a bit because that’s where the action really get going!

RATING: Excellent.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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