Sunday, 21 April 2013



There are numerous reasons to rent a particular film. It's the next big thing, everyone's recommended it to you, it won a bunch of awards, or they shot it in your home town. Maybe it's the one film from a favourite director's filmography, maybe you've a major crush on someone in the cast. My main reason for disinterring this wacky sci-fi comedy from 1991 is simply to see the credit "Music composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith" on screen again. I've been a Goldsmith fan for many years, I saw him in concert three times; I have about 140 of his soundtrack CDs on my shelves, and he remains the only composer whose albums I would buy blind: without knowing anything about the film or the music. Sadly, Goldsmith too often ended up writing terrific scores to films which didn't deserve them and didn't deserve him: for every Alien or The Omen, there's a Sleeping With The Enemy or a Congo.

Or a Mom And Dad Save The World, a silly but colourful load of pantomime piffle which looks to be a cheerful sci-fi adventure comedy for all the family, yet it unaccountably leaves the kids at home and concentrates on Dick (Jeffrey Jones, 45 at the time) and Marge (Teri Garr, 44). At the far edge of the galaxy is the planet Spengo, where idiot Emperor Tod (Jon Lovitz) of the planet Spengo is about to unleash his Death Ray upon the planet Earth when he sees Marge exercising: he falls in love and abducts the couple (in their car) across outer space to Spengo. Dick is locked up with the rightful King (Eric Idle) while Tod plans to marry Marge; he escapes and meets up with a desert tribe of idiots in bird masks....

It's twaddle, some of the pre-CGI optical effects are pretty hokey, and the plot is mostly cribbed from the Flash Gordon movie, but it's generally good natured clowning and impossible to get too angry at. The best things about it are probably the production design and costumes, where they've obviously spent a few dollars (lots of people in dog and fish costumes), and obviously the Goldsmith score, which was an added treat as there's a fair whack of music that's not including on the soundtrack album. (That said, I doubt there would be much interest in an expanded edition.) Amiable, occasionally amusing, but hardly essential viewing.


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