Yesterday, I finished reading Planet of the Apes, by French author Pierre Boulle. It’s the novel which set all the films in motion, and as with most adaptations, what’s left behind in the translation to film is quite substantial. The apes in Boulle’s book are far more advanced than their movie counterparts. On their home planet of Soror, ape-kind enjoys a lifestyle very similar to humans on modern earth- cars, planes, technology, cities, business wear. For the most part, I can understand the changes they made. “Modern” clothing looked pretty silly on Zira and Cornelius in Escape From the Planet of the Apes. For comfort’s sake, why would any ape choose to wear clothing designed to fit a different species?
Airplanes are different, though. I think every ape would love to join the mile-high club.
…is ridiculous. Too much tasty content. But why do we have to wait until October for Deep Space Nine?
This one is just like that. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is an attempt to take the good parts from the original and its unfortunate sequel, smash them together, update the action to 2011 standards and tech, and splash it all over the screen. The fights are bigger, the bad guys badder, and the robots amped to eleven. It’s dumb fun for a while, and a real 3D showcase. It’s also too darn long by about twenty minutes or more, and shallow as a sink. It’s better than the last, on par with the original, and the last time I’m going to bother seeing these in the theater. Grade: C+
We are continuing our journey with The Doctor, nearing the middle of series/season three. Daleks have invaded 1930’s New York, and created a pack of pig men. Having failed to realize the “mannequin things” in the pilot episode were a version of the Autons from the classic Doctor days, we assumed these ridiculous pig people were also a version of something considered sacred by Who fans everywhere. Nope. They’re just silly pig men, originating in this two-part story arc. From now on, I’m simply going to call silly things what they are, rather than worry about their origins. Pig men are silly!
I’m brainstorming new Cavebabble topics, and keep gravitating to monsters and crypto-critters like sasquach, Nessie or the Mothman. I love tales of creatures like these, and would love to cover them. Time for some movie research…
Gasp in amazement at the lifelike beauty of Ugly Captain Cavebabble! Shiver with fright as you gaze upon Chicken Dragon Dog! This is what Amber does during our podcast recordings. There is no hope.
Film: Hunter Prey (2010)
Stars: Isaac C. Singleton Jr, Clark Bartram, Damion Poitier, Simon Potter, Erin Grey, Sandy Collora
Director: Sandy Collora
The listing above is the entire cast of this low budget science fiction film, shot in the Mexican desert with high-def digital cameras. Crash-landed on a desert planet, the surviving members of the Prometheus crew are tasked with tracking down an escaped prisoner. This standard science fiction plot is bolstered by the natural desolate beauty of the desert and sky- wonderfully brought to life in high definition. This is a step up from other B-grade fare, but suffers from pacing problems. There are a few nice plot twists, but I spent most the film wondering what Spartans from the HALO universe were doing in the movie. There’s even a perky A.I., with a voice similar to Cortana’s in those games. I still enjoyed the ride, though, more than I thought I would. B-Movie Grade: B-
Each week, I’m a little more enamored with Hong Kong director Johnnie To. Thanks to Netflix, several of his films are available to stream, and I’m eating them up like candy. If you’ve not seen movies such as Exiled, Election, Election 2 (Triad Election), and Vengeance, you won’t regret it. Well, at least not if you’re a fan of organized crime and gritty drama films. Think of them as a set of Asian Godfather movies, especially in the case of the Election saga. Violent? Absolutely. But also compelling and wonderfully filmed. Johnnie To is a very prolific director, which means I won’t be running out of material to watch any time soon. Can’t wait.