Space Race?

The Cannonball Run Quad

After watching Cannonball Run for the first time in years I was wishing someone would make a space/superhero version of the same concept. It would have a minimal plot and rely mostly on nostalgia of course. So there would be some great space race from point A to point B and all kinds of genre people would be tossed in as characters that were mostly plays on a role they were famous for. Here are some of my ideas that I am sure would make anyone with taste roll their eyes at.

William Shatner and Patrick Stewart play retired commanders who decide to join forces for the race, but bicker over who is the Captain and who is the crew.

Angela Cartwright and Billy Mumy play siblings who constantly get lost during the race.

Alan Tudyk, Harrison Ford and George Takei play rival pilots trying to one up each other with crazy maneuvers.

Adam West and Burt Ward play two former co-workers who once had the coolest ship around and they decide to bring it out for the race. Since it’s forty years older and so are they their chances of winning aren’t good.

Lynda Carter plays a warrior who decides to get an edge with an invisible ship. While the ship is invisible she can be seen flying through space in a sitting down position.

Katee Sackhoff and Dirk Benedict play a father-daughter team who constantly argue over the new ways of flying vs. the way it used to be done.

Sigourney Weaver is a confident pilot with a steady ship, but she keeps hearing noises and seeing shadows of something in her ship.

I see Ron Pearlman as an intergalactic cop trying to stop everyone.

Somehow Bruce Campbell, Erin Grey and Sam Jones would have to worked into the film as well.

So there are my ideas for a truly pointless film that I would love to see. Feel free to add any other racers you would like to see in this film that will never happen.

Upcoming stuff and junk

Reasons I have not written much this week.

1-Busy at work

2-I ordered the Laurel and Hardy essential  collection and it  arrived. Add to that getting Cannonball Run for $4 at Wal-mart and the All-Star game earlier this week and I have not been watching many horror or sci-fi films.

Since I have not done much on amusement work I will aim to do that next week for sure. I’ll aim to have some kind of shorts post out over the next two days so there’s something fair for you to take a gander out.

So hang in there as more will be coming soon.

Amusement park haunted houses

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I can’t say that I have been to a lot of haunted houses, but I have been to a couple although not recently. Maybe when my kids get older I’ll take them to one. Anyway when I was a kid from like 1975-1981 my dad’s work (a major tool company that rhymes with smack and wrecker) had a carnival just for families of employees. I went every year and in the first few years they had a haunted house which I remember thinking was pretty cool when I was 6 or 7. It had lights that turned on and off, some skeletons, a spinning tube you walked through and a few other things that your smaller carnival haunted houses have. Anyways it left an impression me and I made haunted houses out of Legos and Lincoln Logs for my army men and cowboys to go through. Even though I have not gone to many I still have always had an interest in them. Other people must too as they are still around, people go to them and every once in a while a show or movie pops up with one of them in it. That will lead us into amusement park week. So get ready to be amused of something like that.

Feel free to add any haunted house or amusement park memories that you have.

Planet of the apes 2001 vs. Rise of the planet of the apes

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The negatives-

POTA 2001-The main human character was so lifeless we had no connection with him. The humans dressed like hipsters rather an oppressed people. The plot was overall predictable.

The Rise of the planet of the apes-The film takes a while to get going. James Franco’s acting may have been fair enough, but a little bland. If you have problems with CGI then this film may bother you.

The positives-

POTA 2001-Despite the outcome I give Burton credit for attempting to revive POTA. The Apes makeup was generally good. Most of the visual effects were very nice.

The Rise of the planet of the apes-The plot is strong and really sets up the series to move on and add other chapters. John Lithgow and Andy Serkis were both fantastic. The film takes time to really make us care and understand about the changes going on with the characters.

Final word-

Tim Burton said his film was a re-imagining and not a remake. Rise set out to reboot the Apes series. POTA 2001 takes on the story from the 1968 film. Rise has more in common with Conquest from 1972 in that it shows the origins of the Apes uprising. To me Tim Burton made a dumbed down action fiction that failed to show respect to the original series. Rather than adding any original ideas or views this film tries to rely on the effects. Visually it’s great, but the human characters give us nothing to make us care about them. Rise focuses on storytelling and showing how the human society starts the changes that will cause the apes to become more than they are. Special effects come into play later, but character development is the center of this film and it’s handled fairly well.

Results-The rise of the planet of the apes revived the apes series as it managed to be respectful enough to the original but added enough new ideas to make it a new chapter in the world of Planet of the Apes. Planet of the apes 2001 came across as a misfire that seemed more interested in the visuals than the actual story.

There you go

 

Apes in other places

 

Like any other popular series the Planet of the apes was subject to spoofs and being pulled into other shows as an influence of a backdrop.

They had a spot in the sci-fi spoof Spaceballs.

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A Planet of the apes musical took place in the Simpsons.

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 had an Apes inspired character in Professor Bobo.

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Even Cher appeared with Apes.

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In earlier seasons of Welcome Back, Kotter you may notice Arnold Horshack carrying this lunchbox.

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Feel free to add any other references that you know of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to the planet of the apes-Flames of doom

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Did I hear an ice cream truck?

1975

In this ape city an argument is going on about humans. General Urko insists humans should only be for labor but Cornelius and Zira say much can be learned from studying humans. Zaius has the final say and leans towards the chimps getting a few humans for studying. Meanwhile a space capsule comes down in the water-splash!!! Astronauts Bill, Jeff and Judy make it to sure and begin traveling across the animated desert. They also realize it’s thousands of years in the future. Out in the desert they run into storms, flames that destroy their supplies and they find a plant..one plant. Life, it’s life! They soon see a Mount Apemore of sorts and wonder who would make ape faces on a mountain? Oh, well they march on and the earth opens up and swallows Judy before closing again. Huh? Maybe inner earth needed women. The two dudes move on and near caves they find people. Most are scraggly looking guys, but a dark woman named Nova has dog tags of an astronaut named Brent-Ron Brent. Bill and Jeff relay that Brent’s nametags say he was born 100 years after they left earth. They ask Nova where Brent is but before they can do much else the apes are coming. The apes have smoke bombs and jeeps-apparently they have both American and European jeeps and the steering wheel is seen on both sides at different times. The apes go after the cave people trying to grab a bunch. Jeff and Nova stumble into a hole and fall down to some place beyond where the apes are searching. Jeff isn’t so lucky as he gets knocked out and tossed into the cage with other guys and hauled back to ape city. As with most of these episodes this is the cliffhanger ending.

The negatives-The animation is about as cheap as can be. While the backgrounds are alright the animation is minimal with only mouths or single figures moving while the rest of the picture sits there. Picky apes fans are going to ask how can Nova and Brent be here when Brent was killed and the planet blew up? How can Urko be in a world where Brent was when he wasn’t there in the second film? It’s implied this is New York again like in the films yet Urko was in the TV series which was set in California. Although having jeeps could explain Urko moving across country yet it doesn’t explain why the apes here have jeeps and the apes in the films and TV series had only horses.

The positives-Despite being a Saturday morning cartoon they don’t sugarcoat the ideas of slavery and oppression. Despite some continuity issues the show still tries to maintain the feel of the films and the TV series and for the most part is works. They finally have a female astronaut who survives the space travel although they do make her slightly whiny.

The series only lasted 13 episodes from September to November of 1975 although the episodes were shown over and over until September of 1976.

 

 

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Talking humans? Absurd!

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Who wrote Urko is a Jerko on the bathroom walls?

My history with the Planet of the apes

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Unlike a lot of other people my first ape memories are not of Charlton Heston or the other movies, but rather of the short lived 1974 TV show. I was four then so I guess my ten year old brother begged to see it and it was on. I have faint memories of apes on horses and two guys and a chimp running around a lot. Around this time out neighbor gave me a Christmas present that was an Apes play set with plastic trees, Apes figures and Army guys. I played it to death I’m sure.  After that  the next time I remember anything Apes related was around 81-82 when a local channel started showing these Apes movies on Sunday afternoon. I watched and enjoyed them but I didn’t find out until a few years later that these were not the Apes theatrical movies, but rather some of the episodes of the show slapped together as a movie. So I still had not seen the movies. Flash forward to Halloween 1992 and I finally saw the 1968 classic and loved it. During the rest of the 1990′s I saw the other theatrical films and the TV series when the sci-fi channel showed it. In 1998 AMC showed an Apes fest with all the films over and over plus Roddy McDowall hosting the documentary Behind the planet of the apes which was awesome. I was a huge Apes fan by that point, but when Tim Burton’s film was coming I was not excited because I figured it was going to be bad and it was (more on this later in the week if I get to it). After that film died down Apes went back to being about the late 60′s and early 70′s again until the franchise was revived a few years ago. This time it was done right plus the Apes franchise had a future again. Which us brings us to this week. The Apes franchise has held up alright over the years keeping a fair amount of solid fans and it’s good to see the idea being revived again in the reboots. Hopefully fans of the older films can appreciate the new films and likewise hopefully younger fans getting into the Apes via the new films can appreciate the older films. Oh and don’t forget the TV series it had some good ideas here and there. I will review one episode each of both the 1974 series and the short lived 1975 cartoon this week as well.

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