Information Exchange => Reader Comments => Topic started by: Squishy on July 19, 1999, 01:48:59 AM

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Squishy on July 19, 1999, 01:48:59 AM
One of my faves; it does a surprisingly good job with such an awful concept to start from. Frank Langella is a pip as Skeletor, and everybody, even Lundgren (except the key line), rises above their usual level, and even though it never reaches the level of 'good' acting, again, surprisingly good for the roles and dialogue they are given. But the initial concept is just too horrible to overcome, and the budget seems weak--an awful lot of the 'action' is blowing up crap in a music store. David Odell wrote the, uh, screenplay; he also gave us "Supergirl," "The Dark Crystal," and at least one more movie I've forgotten, but they all had this in common: they were nice little fantasy ideas, laboring to stretch a half-hour of plot out to ninety minutes. Meg Foster turns Evil-Lyn into a fantasy of a different sort--grrrr!--but she wasn't Cagney or Lacey; they were Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly.  

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: on July 19, 1999, 01:57:41 AM

I should be more specific, Meg Foster only played Cagney in the very first (1982) season.  I honestly never watched the show, except it must have been that season (My mother loved cop shows, I still get "Hill Street Blues" flashbacks now and then.) since I always could have sworn the girl shown as Cagney wasn't the one I remembered.  Up until doing the review and checking the IMDB credits I thought I was losing my mind.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: NetFrog Alpha on July 20, 1999, 01:12:29 PM
This was probably the first movie I saw in the theatres, and it was cool. To top that off, it had a great line of toys, including a cyber-lizard looking-thing that shot sparks out of its mouth!!! How can you go wrong? You can't.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: on July 22, 1999, 10:10:29 PM
I remember when the He-Man toys first came out, I loved them. I also remember imagining what a live-action He-Man movie would be like. Years later, we got this. I was still young enough to want to see it, and I liked it. However, I've seen it a couple times since and it really was bad. Despite near perfect casting, the movie went afoul when He-Man came to earth. It never happened in the show. If it had been more like THE DARK CRYSTAL and stayed on Eternia,  instead of predicting the NINJA TURTLES movies, it'd be a classic. Well, maybe not. After all, what can you expect from a movie of a cartoon of a toy line that was originally intended as a CONAN toy line!

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: on July 23, 1999, 02:31:17 AM
Hey, my name's Adam Tyner, and I created the second He-Man website ever, way back in 1995.  Honestly, it's pathetic that filmmakers with millions upon millions of dollars at their disposal couldn't capture the spirit of a syndicated cartoon made on a shoestring budget.  "Masters of the Universe" wasn't the greatest cartoon ever, but when it was done well, it was SPECTACULAR.  Episodes like "Teela's Quest" and "The Problem With Power" are some of the best episodes of any cartoon ever made, and it's a shame that such brilliance never made its way to the big screen.  If it had, we probably would've seen sequels and playing with He-Man figures till, what, 92, 93?  :-)  Actually, a little bit of obscure movie history -- MOTU did have a sequel go into pre-production, but it didn't take long for it to turn into a totally different project.  "Cyborg".  Yup, the Jean-Claude Van-Damme movie.  If you see it on TV, it should have the full title "Masters of the Universe II -- The Cyborg".

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Warren H. on August 01, 1999, 12:47:21 PM
Did you notice that after the closing credits, there's a short scene of bubbling red water out of which Skeletor jumps and says "I'll be back!"?  I remember the line for this movie stretching all the way around the block when I went to see it.  Gotta agree that He-Man coming to Earth was a totally bad idea, but compare this to other cartoon/comic-book based movies and it stands out as one of the best (well, better) ones.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: on August 31, 1999, 11:40:25 AM
Well, its very easy to take shots at works after the fact.  Let me tell you - that was an amazing experience. I had control over everthing except casting of Dolph, he came with the package, and the script, which also came wiht the package.  But I did my best to make it all work.  I think we did a pretty good job -- you have no idea what its like to make movie based on a toyline, wherein the toy company has final say on every aspect of the characters, what they say and what they do.  But the picture LOOKS great (Bill Stout on costumes, production design), the actors all went on to future suceess, and for many it was their first movie, and ultimatly, not that this is an excuse, but remember -- this was a movie for kids who knew the He-Man stories from the cartoons.  So we tried to aim it older without losing the kids. Finally, for all the fans that wanted Orco and Battle Cat and every other character - give me a break - we were not making cartoon that could contain 50 main characters, and we had to FOCUS on a human story of some kind.  Lastly, we had a small budget (by Hollywood standards at the time) and THAT is why they came to Earth kids.  I watched the movie again recently and guess what - its prety damn good and frankly, I don't think it belongs here on your list of "bad movies" but hey - those that can, DO, and those that can't, write stupid criticisms with "witty" cutdowns.  

Gary Goddard

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: on March 10, 2000, 06:41:54 PM
Dolph and Frank did a great job.Teela is sexy but that little elf guy really got on my nerves(Bily Barty is not funny).I am glad that they made it live action and not just an animated 90 minute toy advertisemnt.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: STPezatcha on April 19, 2000, 06:05:31 PM
This movie is a supreme disapointment...Where the hell is orco? instead we get this red haired grizzy adams midget. I'm still looking for battle cat.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: on May 04, 2000, 11:27:25 AM
Of course I know Masters of the Universe is a very very bad movie. But I actually enjoyed it a lot. I still watch it every now and then. I thought Meg Foster was brilliant as Evil-Lyn, and it would have been really cool if they would have made a sequel with her as the main villain, since she survives in this one. Without her this movie probably would have sucked, but those eyes....
I also think it's really funny to see Courtney Cox in this one, and I wonder how she feels about this movie now that she became such a big star. I think it captured the essence of the original cartoons pretty well. Only Teela really didn't work, and they should have given Chelsea Field a costume that was more like the costume from the cartoon. With the white and the gold.
Overall I think it was a really nice movie.


Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: The Fly on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Even though I was a kid at the time I saw this movie, I still wondered "Where in the @#%* was Orko?"  I can understand no Prince Adam or King Randor.  What I can't understand is Teela's outfit.  Evil Lyn can have a sexy outfit, but Teela gets a reject soldier outfit?  Oh, also, I find the "1987 which was a long time ago and where special effects weren't so special."  That brings so many hilarious connotations, I don't know where to begin.  Has anyone here seen Star Wars?  You know circa 1978?  Back, when people wrote on cave walls, and the only way to find food was to go out and spear it down?  

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Squishy on June 09, 2000, 06:15:19 AM
Dear Gary Goddard (see his signed "Anonymous" message elsewhere on this page):

Those who can, DO, and unfortunately, those who can't, also "do." This is why you're such a sought-after director. (I checked you out on the IMDb. Let us know when they update your profile.)

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Iain Anglin on July 02, 2000, 07:51:30 PM
I used to rent Masters of the Universe growing up; along with Ghostbusters 1,2, Howard the Duck, and The Goonies.  I caught the movie on cable a couple days ago and was amazed of how sucky this movie really is.  Dolph Lundgren can't act worth s**t and Frank Langella is one of the worst villans of all time.  In fact you can't even recgonize him in that makeup.  Meg Foster sucks as usual, staring into the camera with her slut eyes.  The special effects are pretty good and James Tolkan who plays the cop is pretty funny.  Chelsea Field as Teela comes off with the worst performance in the movie.  What the hell was Courtney Cox doing in this movie. Bill Barty who plays the dwarf is annoying as s**t.  The Cosmic key (WHAT THE HELL) how much do want Gary Goddard 30 million, how but 40, what the hell were you thinking.  To sum it all up I used to love this movie growing up, but unlike Howard the Duck this movie just plain sucks.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Gabe Kelly on July 09, 2000, 03:13:03 AM
I remember going to theaters to see this flick. Dolph Lundgren, in my opinion, was the absolute best choice to play He-man. I was peeved Orco and Battlecat were not in the movie. But overall, Masters of the Universe is one of the best cheesy nation-wide released fantasy movies ever. And speaking of cheesy, keep an eye out for the upcoming AD&D movie, starring Jeremy Irons, and Marlon Wayans.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: The Joker on July 10, 2000, 06:44:56 AM
Seems to me people are simply too embarassed to point out the film's good points and feel they HAVE to criticise it - it's based on toys we liked as kids, right? We can't say we like it! - but if you look at it as a movie, it's exciting, funny, well performed, full of action, great to look at, and with solid characters and an excellent performance from Langella as Skeletor. It's a good movie.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Kolten on September 15, 2000, 12:49:58 AM

You know, actually, I thought the first half of the film was pretty cool, but for some reason the second half didn't do as much for me.  In the first half I remember thinking it was pretty suspenseful when, for instance, the four bad guys are chasing Courtney's character in the high school gym and whatnot.  

I also remember Blador being one of my favorite bad guys as a younger kid (almost up there with Boba Fett).  Ironically, Blador wasn't even in the cartoon.  (Come to think of it, I don't think the other three guys were either...)

But anyway...


Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Twisted_Syke on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I was a rabid He-man fan when I was young, I bought the action figures, read the children's books, watched the cartoon almost religiously, and of course I saw the flick. I enjoyed it then, and I still enjoy it now in that guilty pleasure sort of way all B-movie fans have. However, the first thing I said when I left the theatre was

"What's with the laser rifles?" Ok, I didnt say that exactly, but I knew laser rifles didnt belong in He-Man, as well as Earth. today, i shake my head and think of how much better it could have been if it was truly faithful to the TV show, with Eternia in all its glory, as well as Battle Cat and Orko (Go Battle Cat!) I didnt understand budgets that well back then, but I digress. in its own Star wars-ripoff way, Masters of the universe is a good movie, and only fans that are more rabid than I am would scream bloody murder at the director.

oh yeah and....


I just had to say that. *laughs like Skeletor from the cartoon*

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: The Ferret on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
One small point. Meg Foster did play Christine Cagney in the pilot episode of "Cagney and Lacey" but was replaced that same year by Sharon Gless. Attributing her as the character here is misleading as most do not even recall her brief and unmemorable stint on the show.

I would say that she is better remembered from her roles in They Live and the Oblivion films.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Bryn Roberts on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
When i was young i loved he-man but was a bit too young to really understand it. However, Masters of the universe was the first video i ever got and i still watch it today.
For starters, the acting wasn't as terrible as people make out, and the special effects, there's absolutly nothing wrong with them. The music although a bit similair to Star Wars made a perfect accompaniment to the action scenes and i even found a lump in my throat at the very end when courtney cox wakes up to find her parents are alive.
A kiddies movie but when we think about it were all big kids anyway.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Paul Westbrook on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
Masters of the Universe is one of those was good, but could've been better movies. The only appeal of this junk, was the special effects. Certainly not the acting, which was in my opinion, crummy as hell.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: chris on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Did anyone else notice that He-Man and all the other MOTU characters were barbarians with swords, not barbarians with swords and LASER GUNS!?!?! In the words of Adam Sandler: "Who were the ad wizards that came up with that one?"

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Dan on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I think it was physically impossible for any child of the 80's to have avoided this movie. The chip in your head would explode or something. I remember being the tallest person in the audience when this came out to the theatre and I still try to watch it when it comes to TBS or where ever on cable. Good attempts by the whole crew to brethe life into cartoon characters. Loved Seletor's outfit. Evil-lyn was way cooler than she ever was in the tv show. No Orco, darn it ! Ah, back in the day when Courtney cox was  cute and not the fragile wasp woman hollywierd has made her.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Master of the Universe on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM
I was affraid of Skeletor (Frank Langella), when I was just 8 years old and saw the movie.
He did his job very well, he was an absolutely great performer of Skeletor.
He was very bad, his voice and look scared me at that age.

He-man (Dolph Lundgren) did not act very well, but enough.
It was strange for me to see that he-man has only 3 friends around him (Man at arms, Teela & Gwildor).
I missed Ram-man, and other figures in the movie.
Also on the side of Skeletor were 2 known figures: Beastman & Evelyn.
I thought: who the X are Blade, Karg & Saurod ??

The movie could be a lot better if it all take place on Eternia, the choice to visit earth was bad (my opinion) !!

But..........Skeletor makes the movie believable !

Thanks Frank Langella !!

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Deej on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I was 12 when this flick came out and I was like the only kid on my block who didn't play with these toys(or the go-bots...or Transformers). I digress, after being dragged to this dud by the kid across the hall(you guys remember Danny Clark right?)I like the whole Masters of The Universe thing less. I thought it was gonna be cool because it had the Drago in it...NO. Someone tell me why this crap got a feature and GI JOE got a crappy cartoon movie. I WAS ROBBED!! And hey, didn't Loretta Swit play Cagney(or Lacey whichever) in the Pilot??

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Swamprat on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
The movie itself I don't really have a problem with. It was juvenile with an attempt to amuse Mom and Dad on the side. And it did...My daughter was maybe four or five at the time. She didn't fall asleep but wasn't impressed either. My hang up, just one of many I have, is the cash-in value of this sort of tripe. It's a toss up as to which is worse...Hollywood cashing in on a toy fad by making the movie, or toy makers cashing in on movie fads by making junk toys resembling characters or equipment. The result is the same...our kids get screwed, robbed of any original imagination, any semblance of original creativity, any flashes of original thought...and Mom and Dad reach deep into their pockets to fuel this bulls**t. The movie is silly...of course it's silly...It's a CARTOON. The characters were ridiculous...they were TOYS! The only thing in this film that impressed me was Frank Langellas James Earl Jones...his performances are up and down from film to film...In this one he's great, in that one he sucks...but the voice never wavers. With that voice Skeletor sounded like a serious bad ass. This was the only thing really interesting in the whole pitifully comercial piece of tripe. Wanna get a good Juvenile adventure movie to watch with the kids? Rent Jason and the Argonauts, or A Boy Ten Feet Tall...or even an old Ivan Tors movie like Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion or even Flipper. Tell Hollywood they can shove the cookie cutter brainwashing money machine movies up thier Kazoos. Do we want our kids to all grow up to be Consumer Lust suffering dullards, or reasonably intelligent individuals.  

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Kenner on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Your not the only one who got a nasty E-mail from Gary Goddard. I gave the movie a *1/2 star rating out of 4, and said that it was a very bad movie, which it is. My quote exactly.

Masters Of The Universe (1987)

Cast:Dolph Lundgren,Frank Langella,Courtney Cox,Meg Foster,Billy Barty,James Tolkan

"Masters Of The Universe" was a movie based on a cartoon series and toys and for the most part it basicly stunk. Sure there are a few redeeming moments  but this movie is strictly sub-par and Dolph Lundgren's wooden acting makes the movie painful as he recites his lines straight from the cue card and Frank Langella well let's just say he takes the wise approach by not showing his face. To basicly describe the plot you only need to say Dolph Lundgren VS Frank Langella or the sake of the world....Dolph Lundgren fans may like this one but this not one of his best. D.Gary Goddard  

I feel it my duty to say when a movie is really bad and I didn't like it, Hey I like a few of Dolph Lundgren's movies but this is a real stinker.

Gary Goddard is a guy who seriously needs to get over the simple fact that his movie stinks BIG TIME.  

I mean come on, you wrote Bo Derek's "Tarzan The Ape Man" you should be USED to the criticism!

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Andrew on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I can't believe that "Masters of the Universe" is on this site!  It was a great movie-- actually, it's my second favorite movie of all time (the Star Wars movies are my #1).  I was so excited when I saw the DVD at my local Wal-Mart.  I've probably watched it 10+ times already.  The commentary with the director is interesting too.  My hope is that someday he can put in some of the things he was forced to leave out because of budget and time-constraints.  I would also love to see a sequel.  It's one of my Dad's favorite movies too, and he rarely likes any movies.  

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Iressivor on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Whoa, have any of you guys been watching the new He-Man series on Cartoon Network?  There's an episode in which He-Man and Skeletor do an almost exact ripoff of Goddard's live-action film.

In the episode called "Sky War", Skeletor gets his hands on the Ambrosia, which is harvested by Buzz-Off's people.  Once eaten, it morphs him into a kind of Super Skeletor, not unlike the one in the movie, making him more powerful than He-Man.

Anyway, when He-Man and Skeletor finally clash, Skeletor gets the upper hand.  As he works to overpower his nemesis, He-Man taunts Skeletor, which causes the effects of the Ambrosia to wear off quicker.  As expected, Skeletor's power begins to fade.

The next few seconds are the story.  As He-Man drives Skeletor down to his knees, the evil warlock lets out an anguished cry of "NOOOOOO!" as his power dissolves in a huge flash of golden light.  The scene is almost a dead ringer for the battle in Masters of the Universe, though whether the writers were poking fun at Goddard's work, or paying homage to it, I have no idea.

Just thought I'd pass that little tidbit along.  Later.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Iressivor on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Oh, as far as the movie itself goes, I liked it.  Is it a good movie on the whole?  Not really.  Heck, The Sword and the Sorcerer is my all-time favorite film, and I doubt that very many people would consider it a good movie.

But like most B-rated movies, Masters of the Universe does have its moments.  Like when He-Man and Skeletor have their face-off in the finale, and Skeletor chides his rival for standing in the way of his destiny.  He-Man replies with a stellar line, "It's always been between us", which is the basic premise of the entire cartoon.  As long as Skeletor is hell bent on conquering Eternia, He-Man will always be there to stop him.

I loved it in the theaters when I was a kid, and it's still a mild favorite at my house.  Now, I wonder if they could get Triple H to do the sequel?  He's certainly roided up enough to pass for He-Man, but they might have to do something about that incredibly large nose of his.

LOL, just kidding.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Karl on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM
I thought this Masters Of The Universe was better than the Cartoons!  I thought the cartoons were very boring!  i have been reading some reviews and some people wished She-Ra was in the movie!  Why?  she and He-man only played in 2 movies together He-Man and She-Ra Secret of the sword and He-Man And She-Ra Christmas Special!  their should be no reason of having her in here!  anyway!  This movie had great actors like Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Meg Foster, Courteny Cox, and some more!  i thought the prodrcers did a very good job!  and the acting was great!  i have this movie and i watch this movie every-day!  The Movie is about He-Man that battles Skeltor for control of the universe in order to save the day, our hero, must, within 24 hours find the cosimic key and free the sworccess that is under a powerful spell that Skeltor has her!  So 2 teenage lovers Kevin and Julie have the key and they make and mistake it for a japensse Synthezier  untill they find themselves pursed by skelotrs henchmen!  it is up to He-man and his friends to find the key that Julie and Kevin have and Free the sworccess!   I would rent the movie before i buy the movie just in case you have a differnt opion!  than me!

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Chadzilla on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
"WOW! THIS IS ALMOST JUST LIKE STAR WARS!  ATTACK OF THE CLONES!"  or so shouted my son while we were watching this.  We both had a blast, for different reasons.  He liked the people running around in goofy costumes, shooting zap guns, and fighting each other.  I liked that stuff too, but I also had a nostalgic rush for the old Cannon Films junk that stuffed theaters from 85 - 88 or so, man those were the b-movie days.  Watching MofU made the 80s seem pretty nifty.

Great fun, great bad movie - a must buy DVD!

Ironically, I guessed the shooting budget at about 6 or 7 million while watching it.  On the DVD commentary, director Gary Goddard mentions that production was 17 million ("At a time when movies cost 6 or 7 million to make" Goddard says).  I don't know where the money was spent (perhaps getting the cast), but it certainly wasn't on the screen for most of the running time - the other Cannon super hero movie of 1987, Superman IV-The Quest for Peace - had a similar cheap look problem.  Ten million is production values were lost somewhere.

Nonetheless, the movie is a blast to watch.


Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: RESET on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I have not seen this movie movie in a very long time, The movie it's self in my mind was not that good. How ever there was one good part about this movie and it is one ever one overlook's.  Courteney Cox arquette  is in the movie.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Skeletor/RH on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
 This Movie is AWESOME. Love The Villian's Theme Song. Great Special effects. Skeletor was the best charactor in the movie. Loved tHe the scene with He-man v.S Skeletor battling each other. This movie is Worth Buying. "I HAVE THE POWER".

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: riff_raff on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I thought this movie was dumb.  Maybe because I never was around MOTU. When it was in it's prime, I lived where the TV station that showed it wouldn't come in.  Anyhoo, I guess it was a good enough movie, although you wouldn't know it's Frank under that makeup.  I hear rumors of another MOTU movie being in devlopment.  Arrrggggggg

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Austin on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
The only reason I enjoyed this one is because I was really young when I saw it.  Great stuff when I was six years old.  Frank Langella does the best acting job in the movie.  He-Man is corny as hell.  "I was looking for you!" he says with that accent that would make Arnold proud.  Down to the point.  Dumb, yeah.  Corny, yeah.  But the cop kicks ass and Gwildor rocks.  

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Vince on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I thought it wasnt half bad for an old movie. I do though want to find some of the movie props to it. Especially the full body suit of "Saurod" who didnt last too long in the movie. If anybody has information please email me.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Undead Ned on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
Quite possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen. Even 'Street Fighter' doesn't come close to how bad this movie is.
Given the exact same budget, I could have come up with something one hundred times better than this tripe. Gwildor is one of the worst 'comedy relief' characters in history and Dolph Lundren as He-Man was absolutely pathetic.
I remember someone on this list mentioning The Sword and The Sorcerer. That was a very good movie and I doubt it has the same budget as this one.
Sorry, but there was absolutely NO reason to have earth as the setting for the second half of the movie. There are plenty of other B-grade movies that have used different planets as the main focus to great effect (the first 'Star Wars' being a prime example).
There are no excuses. Masters of the Universe is just a bad movie. Full-stop.



Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: J.R. Harrod on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
Well, it was quite a Star Wars ripoff, wasn't it, as most of you will have noticed?  I mean, those black troopers of Skeletor's, well they were just resprayed Stormtroopers.
Even Skeletor himself looked very Vader-like.  But what I thought ruined the movie was the absence of Battle Cat and Panthor, you know, the two leading character's respective big cat war mounts.  If they do make a future Motu live-action movie, I think that they should have Skeletor like he is in the series, but with his bare flesh colored like muscle tissue.  That would definitely be more realistic than that hideous grey bodysuit the makeup artists plonked him in.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: hannah on March 20, 2004, 04:07:23 PM
Yes it was BAD BAD BAD....Nothing like the cartoon at all

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: night heron on June 24, 2004, 01:53:47 PM
Damn they left out ORKO  the little funny wizars guy from the cartoon series what a bummer he at least added a comedy releif and none of the other comrades for HE_MAN

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Zach on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I was never a fan of the He-Man cartoons but like all 12 year olds back in 1987 it was a familiar name and wasn't very discriminating in my movie selections, Howard the Duck, Over the Top, No Holds Barred, et. al.  The movie was less than memorable as I have yet to lay eyes on it since I originally saw it.  I was always a fan of Chelsea Field though.  Something about her rubbed me the right way.  She was especially yummy as Bruce Willis' wife in The Last Boy Scout.  Gary Goddard's complaint that he didn't have a big enough budget as well as no screen talent sure doesn't sound like a DOER to me.  Here's a towel Gar, DO wipe the tables at Denny's.  One last thing.  Before this movie came out there was a contest sponsered by Mattel or Hasbro or the mafia, whatever, where you could win a chance to have a part in the flick.  A younger brother of a girl I went to grade school with won and got to be in the quickest shot in movie history.  It seriously was like a tenth of a second.  He was some little kid in a pig-like mask standing around in the evils lair.  Don't blink.  You'll miss it.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Felicity on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM
I *liked* the fact that Lt. Parisí character was a hopelessly 1980s synthesizer-playing musician!  Meg Foster was *so* beautiful as makes me want to be her so badly.

This movie suffers the same problem as a lot of potentially enjoyable movies--it has a decent premise, and in the first fifteen minutes promises to be delightfully absurd, but then it sort of stalls and gets really boring.  Also, I just canít watch Billy Barty.  He always looks like heís in a lot of pain.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Peter on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I logged on to this site by accident (I was looking for pictures of Meg Foster on Google). Boy, this sure brought back memories.

To be honest, MOTU is by far not the worst movie ever made, but certainly one of the cheesiest (or kitschick, I believe is the German word). There were three redeeming factors for me: one, Meg Foster; two Frank Langella; and three, the script did provide for some memorable moments.

The casting of Evil-Lyn was spot on - Meg Foster did an incredible job of acting (I really felt her presence radiating through the screen) and somehow, it really her interpretation really felt right. Those eyes of hers are incredible - anyone know their actual colour? Remember her scenes with Skeletor, or the henchmen or when she manages to convince Courtney Cox (Arquette) to bring her the synthesizer. From what I remember of the cartoon series, Evil-Lyn seemed to be a lacklustre character. Meg breathed life and dynamic into her. And Meg, if you ever read this, you are one of the few actresses that I still can recall clearly from the eighties - you were that memorable and I wish I had seen more of your work.

Frank Langella, I suspects, suffers from bad choices in his selection of movies and then being poorly directed in them. He does a competent job most of the time. However, as Skeletor, he (like Meg) took a two dimensional creation and gave it direction and vitality. You could feel the hubris, his need for control, the reason he lusted for power.

Now remember, I'm trying to recreate the movie in my mind from memory, but I remember the scene with Teela and Man at Arms when they were eating the spare ribs, or some of her more ironic comments. They were other moments which at this moment I can't recreate, but the interaction between the Eternia characters was not bad, the inclusion of the Earthlings seemed ackward and inappropriate most of the time. With a little bit of more effort, the scriptwriter could have had a lot of fun with the Eternians exploring their new environment, contrasting it with their native one and eventually coming to terms with it (ah well, hindsight is 20/20).

Those were the reasons I still fondly remember the movie.

Dolph Lundgren was only cast because he looked like He-Man. Does that mean he can't act? No, just look at his performance in Universal Soldier, I thought it was great. But honestly, at that time of MOTU his acting was wooden and he was out of his depth (he does eventually improve).

Courtney was cute, but she overacted. (Incidentally, I believe that Christina Pickles who plays the Sorceress is also her mother in Friends).

I liked what the actors did for their characters of Teela and Man At Arms and regret that the script treated them mostly as part of the landscape.

The Earthlings could have really been better scripted. Instead I just recall them as cardboard cutouts.

The special effects were in most part cheap and certainly looked it.

The sets were a little claustrophobic, but for all their limitations, weren't bad.

Loved Evil-Lyn's and Skeleotor's costumes - the others could have been improved.

To sum up, the whole movie looked extremely rushed to me. If they had more time, they could have arranged acting lessons for Dolph, really polished up the scripts and carefully planned just where they could spend that budget to squeeze the maximum bang for the buck out of it. How much did this film cost? Whatever it was, the money was certainly not used correctly (or is this a variation of Mel Brooks' The Producers). The actors ranged from neophytes who struggled to get their characters right to professionals who gave us some exceptional moments.

On the whole, Masters of the Universe will remain one of those fond hazy memories that give you a warm, fuzzy feeling  when you recollect it, but should not be examined too closely because its faults then tend to overshadow what you loved in that movie.

Thanks for listening.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Banana Jones on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I can't believe this awful film had such a huge budget! It looks as if it was made for some 50 thousand dollars (and Canadian dollars at that)... Goddard must have spent all the budget on cocaine and whores. Or perhaps Lundgren pilfered it all and spent it on steroids?

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Cal Smith on December 15, 2004, 10:45:48 AM
All the people in this movie look like God Damn Pro Wrestlers with bad Gimmicks. But the that little midget guy was cool.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: kurash on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I really liked this movie.  Now before you gone to say that "oh this guy liked it, im not gonna read this post" go ahead and hear me out.  Overall, if i have to be honest, this was a bad movie.  I like it because i grew up watching it as a kid, and since i was born in 89 I missed mostly all of the He-Man era.  But i still like this movie because as a kid you dont think about cheesy acting or bad plot, you just enjoy the fighting.  I liked Star Wars, and this (technology wise) was like Star Wars.  So i watched it everytime it was on TBS.  I watched it a few years ago and i still love it, but for different reasons.  Now, to the actual review.

The acting is abyssmal.  Everyone sheds an uneven performace and attempts to make a one liner to make the audience laugh.  Most of these one liners come off as retarded middle school calibur performances. The only exception is Frank Langella.  The only real reason i watch the movie is because of Franks performance.  I love villains more than the heroes (i guess i have some hidden anger), so i love watchin movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and others like that.  Skeletor in my opinion should be ranked as one of the best cartoon-movie villain performances of all time.  He brought depth to the character, and i feel hes the only real character who was able to be mirrored from the cartoon to the movie.  The visuals were pure garbage except for the inside of Castle Greyskull.  Not havin so many of the main characters didnt really bother me, since this is happening at the end of a war, and we can assume most of the heroes except for He-Man have been captured.  A little mention of there names would have been nice though.  The laser blasts are laughable.  1978 A New Hope looks more advanced special effects wise then MOTU did.  The music was pretty good.  The overall storyline wasnt to bad, but there was several things that could have been done to just make it much better.  I felt that the story was choppy, if they could have made it flow more, it would have been a much more enjoyable experience.  I personally think Frank Langellas performance outweighs all of this, and thats why i watch this movie about once a year.  E-mail if you disagree with any of my opinions.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: I HAD THE POWER on September 16, 2005, 11:35:24 PM
Great special effects, music, production design and makeup in an awful movie years before Revenge of the s**t-I mean Sith.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: giant claw on June 07, 2005, 07:20:27 PM
They left out orko the funny little guy from the cartoon i mean nothing livens up a movie like this then a funny little wizard guy

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Mark on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Skeletor"s black-gloss troopers are the best villain troopers I have ever seen in movie! Stunning!

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: jmsynth on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
So this was Cannon's idea of a Blockbuster Franchise-starter. This movie was nearly incomprehensible to me as I never really watched the cartoons. Still the sets are impressive and it kind if works for the last 20 mins or so. Oh, and Skelletor is one of the best villains ever! Here's hoping they use him in the new movie.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Nathan on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Ok, I admit, I REALLY LIKE this movie, overall.  Don't get me wrong, it had some major flaws.  As one other fan noted, Dolph wasn't the actor that he would become.  I didn't understand why (IF THEY MUST BE ON EARTH), no one called in the Army or the doggone National Guard or something.  You mean, no one in suburbia noticed the army of mutants marching down the street?!?  But this movie did have it's moments, and in my opinion the moment that makes this whole movie worthwhile is Skeletor's monologue right before the Eye of Enternity is opened.  THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE BEST "VILLAN POWER TRIP" ON FILM!!!!!  Frank Langella sells this scene so well, that if there were an Eternia and he was obsessed with power, THIS is what he would be like.  There are some movies on this website that I don't think should be here, but this one is ALMOST borderline decent.  Great acting does that for me.

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: T.J. on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
To be fair to Gary Goddard, Cannon/Golan-Globus were on the verge of bankruptcy when the film was being made, and consequently siphoned off a large chunk of the budget. He mentions on the commentary track he had to put up his own paycheck in order to film the ending of the film.  Too bad the ending was so similar to Return of the Jedi's.  A better/cheaper (for the effects team) version could have had He-Man strike a final sword blow at Skeletor.  Skeletor could have used his Cosmic Key to deflect it, and as a result if the Key being split, he disappears into a burst of energy; similar to Saurod.  This would have left his fate open for a sequel.

Plus, getting back to Goddard, he redeemed himself in the same year with Mattel by co-creating the fantastic Captain Power television series and interactive toys:

I was one of the few in 1994 to catch what might have been his true version of what the MOTU film was meant to be in the form of the animated series, Skeleton Warriors:

Title: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Ash on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
"Nobody takes potshots at Lubic!"

An immortal line from James Tolkan, principal of George McFly's high school.

My friend and I are both in our thirties and we will still quote that line on occasion. If only he could've cursed Skeletor's henchmen as slackers while unleashing a hail of pump-action buckshot in their direction!

This movie would've been so much better without Dolph. Why not just star Tolkan as Lubic? That would work.

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Giant Claw Jr on March 10, 2008, 03:48:08 PM
They didnt include ORKO the funny little guy from the cartoon series i mean theres nothing like a goofy little wizard guy as comedy relief

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Kooshmeister on April 09, 2008, 07:30:03 PM
Probably because Orko was annoying and nobody liked him. Hehe, just kidding. My guess it would've cost too much to do the flying special effects, and, unlike the Air Centurions, Orko would've been a major character in almost every scene, and they would've wound up going way over-budget. So they opted for an Orko-esque character in Gwildor, who is just as annoying. :bouncegiggle:

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: J.D. on April 20, 2008, 04:15:09 AM
Gary Goddard is out of touch and thin skinned.  :teddyr: MOTU is here on this site because people like it for for what it's not. That being an A movie. We like B movies here and love the reviews. Seems to me that Andrew's review was not done out of malice but in fun and humor. Pointing out all those cheesy scenes we have all watched, loved and felt the same about and joked about at some point in our lives. B movie fans have that strong of a bond over such things. No matter what their job is or type of person they would classify themselves as. Silly and immature to many. It's a harmless recreation many of us will never give up. Seems to me Gary should consider another line of work since he's so sensitive. I think there's an opening for a mime in Hollywood.

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: WilliamWeird1313 on November 11, 2008, 09:38:11 AM
I just watched this again for the first time in years last night with two of my friends (one who'd never seen it before). I can't believe this flick was as much a part of my childhood as it was. The one thing I can't stop thinking about is how obviously the filmmakers desperately wanted this to be "the next Star Wars" or something. Epic fail!

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Master on November 18, 2008, 10:38:14 PM
This movie is great, I mean the coming to earth concept is now over used but when I was kid and saw this I LOVED IT!! I was a fan ofthe toys and cartoon sjow since 84 so by 87 I wasstill excited for the film and enjoyed it^_^

Nerds and geeks with no lives are hard on the film becuz they are jaded and lonley and feel worthless in their exsitance

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: FLU-BIRD on June 06, 2009, 01:29:52 AM
But without ORKO that funny little wizard and CRINGER the gt=reen tiger with the grange stripes who doubled as BATTLEi mean those two were comedy releif on the cartoon

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Tector on August 25, 2009, 08:12:14 PM
I ate a bag of mushrooms with a friend and watched this movie and it blew my f**king mind! Seriously. Awesome movie!! Amazing effects! I just watched tomb raider, now that is a s**tty movie. Pathetic how movie effects in the 80s look a hell of a lot better than all this cgi crap.

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: ralphyralph on March 29, 2011, 04:20:20 PM
This is a really good bad movie and should deserve more green drippies.

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Crom on April 16, 2011, 10:53:48 AM
Gary Goddard always blames everyone else for the film's various failings, or viewers for daring to point out such obvious failings, but the truth of the matter is that there is a very good reason why he hadn't directed a feature before this, and has never been offered another one since, or even any tv work directing, and that is because he was a very poor director who spent his budget very poorly, and didn't deliver what he promised on time or on budget. And that kind of reputation doesn't go away in Hollyweird.

He whines about a lack of money and a low budget, and yet he had a budget of 17 million dollars in 1987 to play with, and still couldn't deliver all that was required (and pre-costed) in the script, and in fact did so poorly at being able to deliver what was required and do it in time and on budget that Cannon had to inject another 7 million dollars into the budget just to get enough of the required footage so it could be edited into a releasable condition. Goddard complains that they cut his last three days of shooting, what he fails to mention is that those three days were part of the weeks of over-runs that his ineptitude as a director had caused the production. And even with a final budget of 22 million all up, his film still doesn't deliver a whole lot visually and certainly doesn't have any style or energy to it, particularly during the action sequences. Remember, this became, at the time, Cannon's biggest budgeted film ever. It's also partly responsible for the company's later collapse.

By comparison James Cameron had just delivered Aliens shortly before on a budget of only 18 million dollars, after having made Terminator for around 6.5 million. Oliver Stone had made Platoon for only 6.5 million, David Cronenberg delivered The Fly for 15 million, Russell Mulcahy delivered Highlander for 16 million, Star Trek IV had only slightly more than Masters at 24 million, Top Gun was made for around 15 million, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was only 5 million, and The Untouchables cost 20 million. None of these were simple or small films, and yet they survived on their budgets just fine. Thrived even.

Now take a look at Masters of the Universe. A film with no really expensive stars at the time, compared to the casting of other films of the time. Masters looks like a 5-10 million dollar film of the era, at best. And more often looks like something Albert Pyun would squeeze out for less than half that. It basically only had one big set, the inside of Grayskull, and only 5 not overly complex creature effects in Beast Man (a rather simple fursuit with a face appliance), Skeletor (with his skull mask appliance), Saurod (lizard head appliance and some body make up), Karg (another body suit and face appliance), and Gwildor (full 'hero' level face appliance, body suit, sculpted hand appliances, and mechanized ears) who was probably the most complicated. On top of that you had laser effects, that by that time even tv shows like V could replicate easily on a weekly basis, a couple of setpiece flying vehicles, which for the most part are just shells, and the hover board sequence, plus maybe a dozen different dedicated custom costumes, a couple of different mass produced guns, and some other custom weapons (swords, havok staff etc). That Goddard could barely deliver what surprisingly little that we got with 22 million dollars at his disposal in an era when that was a pretty damn large budget, well that is pretty telling in regards to his quality, or lack thereof, as a director. And that he still uses the "we didn't have enough money" excuse and fails to take any responsibility for any of the film's problems to this day is pretty pathetic frankly.

By the way, if you ever get the chance, ask Dolph Lundgren about Goddard. You'll get some pretty choice stories, believe me. And none to Goddard's favor either.

Now don't get me wrong, there's still some cheesy fun to be had with the film, if almost despite itself and all it's various problems, and what it did manage to deliver it did okay at, and I personally have a bit of a soft spot for the film, but even so, Goddard was the captain of this ship, and while his direction was merely mediocre and rather lifeless, his mismanagement of the film was borderline incompetent, and considering the budget that he had at the time he should have been able to deliver a lot more on screen that we ultimately got.

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Psycho Circus on April 16, 2011, 01:44:07 PM
I'm sorry Crom, I'm not trying to argue with you but I do feel that you are being very hard on Gary Goddard whether he's a competent director or not. It's hard to transfer comics, cartoons or videogames to screen and try to please everyone all the time. Whether you have 17 million or 70 million to spend on a feature, sometimes it just doesn't come off and there are problems. I absolutely love this film, for all it's flaws it's been a big part of my childhood even though I know it could have been miles better. I accept the excuses Gary Goddard has given over the years, but I am also open to the reasons given by others involved with the film. It's 2011 now, not 1987 and Masters Of The Universe is what it is.

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: Crom on April 17, 2011, 03:26:37 PM
Hey, no need to be sorry, you are entitled to your opinion and you are entitled to disagree, that's cool. And I'd never try to convince you otherwise, just as I'd never tell someone they should like a film they don't, or shouldn't like a film that they do. Everyone is entitled to their own distinct tastes and opinions, and the right to share them, so as long as that is done non confrontationally (as it was here) then it's all good.   :cheers:

I won't go on and on about it, lest it seem like I have some kind of crazy stalker grudge against Goddard, but over the years I have personally talked to a couple of the cast members, as well as three of four of the crew that worked this show, and few had anything kind to say about the man, his direction, or his management of this production. At best he comes across as someone who was in way over his head, and who lacked the necessary skills, talent, and experience to be able to make good on his promises and ambitions. At worst...well, I won't even say. He ended the show with few friends on that set though, and a reputation that didn't exactly lend itself to picking up more work behind the cameras from that point on, but lets leave it at that.

The film is what it is, and people are free to like it or not, as they see fit. I guess I've just heard and read too much about the making of this film to be ever able to truly see it unhindered from such knowledge, and minus the baggae of it being, in my eyes, such a missed, even botched, opportunity.

But again, to each their own.


Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: ChunkeeOne on December 23, 2011, 03:43:09 AM
Oh this was just as bad & good as we all remember. I know someone who still has the castle of grey skull chilling in his garage. And I am very happy to still have a picture of myself, wearing a Dick Tracy shirt slurping jello through a straw at the table with... you guessed it, my He-Man toy and his green tiger sitting center view. Everytime I look at  kids' toys now and think, "What in the crap are they teaching kids in these shows today?!?" I think back to He-Man and the "Snorks", "Fraggle Rock" and the "Thundercats" and then shut my trap.

Title: Re: Masters of the Universe
Post by: CalrissianFoxxSteele on October 04, 2012, 12:08:38 AM
Courtney Cox working at a chicken restaurant with homoerotic quick shots of an oiled Dolph Lundgren= box office gold.