Studio: Warner Home Video
Theatrical Release Year: 1976
US Blu-ray Release Date: November 10, 2009
Running Time: 118 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 widescreen
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles: English (SDH), French, Spanish, German
Movie: 3 out of 5
In the year 2274, due to pollution and overpopulation, humans now live alone in a domed city, free to live as they want until the age of 30 (as indicated by the color of the crystal in their palm), when they must submit to Carrousel for the chance to be reborn. Those who do not submit to Carrousel are considered Runners, and are subject to termination by the Sandmen. Michael York plays Logan 5, a Sandman who is approaching his 30thbirthday. After apprehending a Runner, Logan takes his personal effects, including an ankh. That evening, he meets Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter) while surfing the circuit for casual sex, and notices that she wears the same ankh as a necklace. Jessica is repulsed by Logan's advances, and leaves his apartment. The next morning, Logan is debriefed in Sandman headquarters by the main computer, and learns that the ankh is a symbol for Sanctuary, a mythical place where Runners who have successfully escaped the dome now live. The computer changes Logan's crystal, making him now eligible for Carrousel, and gives him the secret task to escape the city, find Sanctuary, and destroy it. Logan convinces Jenny that he wants to run, and as they make their escape, Logan's friend and fellow Sandman, Francis (Richard Jordan), takes off in hot pursuit.
Logan's Run was one of the last big science fiction epics made before Star Wars would revolutionize the genre only a year after Logan's theatrical release. For that reason, the film has a very dated look, particularly in the visual effects department, despite being awarded a Special Achievement Oscar. The miniatures are very obvious, the wires suspending he actors during Carrousel are visible, even more so in high definition, and during close-ups of BOX, you can see actor Roscoe Lee Brown as the mask starts to peel away. The costume design is very 1970s, with bright primary colors and costumes that look like they were made from pillow cases. Also, the MPAA must have been much more relaxed with the PG rating back in 1976, as this film contains quite a bit of nudity and implied sexual situations that would certainly garner an R rating today.
The performances by the leading cast are average, about what you would expect from a science fiction epic from the 1970s. Peter Ustinov, as the Old Man who has taken over the Senate floor with cats, is a hoot and gives the film some much needed humor. My real problem is with Logan 5. We know he is on a secret mission, but we are never given the reason for his change of heart near the end of the second act, to defy authority like a real Runner.
Video: 3.5 out of 5
Logan's Run is presented in a 1080p transfer using the VC-1 codec. There has been some pre-release chatter regarding the transfer used on this Blu-ray release, claiming the image is a bit soft and grainy for a movie shot in TODD-AO. Logan's Run was filmed using the inferior TODD-AO 35 process, similar to 35mm Panavision or Cinemascope, and not TODD-AO 70 (as is assumed). Taking that into account, plus the fact that most film stocks used in the mid-70s and early 80s have proven over to be unstable, this is a fairly good transfer. Flesh tones are accurate, colors are vivid and consistent without bleeding, detail is very good (so much so that it reveals the limitations of the visual effects), and black levels are nice and inky. Film grain is kept in tact, and compression artifacts are virtually non-existent.
Audio: 3.5 out of 5
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is a good representation of the film's multi-channel soundtrack created for its 70mm engagements, but it does reveal its limitations. Jerry Goldsmith's score, spread across all channels, is full and bombastic, with good bass response. It is quite evident in many scenes that much of the film's dialogue was recorded on-set, as the quality fluctuates between shots, and sometimes within the same shot. Some long shots have dialogue that have a muffled echo to them, while some actors voices don't come into focus until they hit their mark. This is obviously more a fault of the film's original sound design than the encoding created for this disc. That being said, dialogue is intelligible.
Special Features: 3 out of 5
Audio Commentary by Director Michael Anderson, Actor Michael York, and Costume Designer Bill Thomas: The three individuals were recorded separately and edited together for this rather dry commentary track where each one discusses their contributions to the film, how they got involved, and problems with the studio and censorship.
A Look At The 23rd Century: A 9-minute public relations piece on the making of the film, including interviews with Michael York and Michael Anderson. Originally produced in 16mm, this 1976 short is in bad shape, with notable scratches, fading colors, and a very grainy image.
Theatrical Trailer: The original trailer (although the WB logo has replaced the MGM logo), presented in non-anamorphic widescreen and standard definition.
Overall: 3 out of 5
Logan's Run is a very dated-looking science fiction film from the mid-70s, but gets an acceptable Blu-ray treatment with a decent audio and video transfer, an informative commentary, and a vintage featurette.