Quotes of Note – Halt and Catch Fire: “The 214s”
July 21st, 2014 | By: Bert Ehrmann
John Bosworth: “The future’s coming whether we like it or not. But it ain’t written anywhere that it includes any of us. Getting there ain’t free, there’s a cost.”
Gordon Clark: “He cleared out, he’s gone.”
Cameron Howe: “He’s not gone, this is just how he lives.”
Gordon Clark: “On purpose?”
Planet of the Apes: A chronology of the future
July 11th, 2014 | By: Bert Ehrmann
At 46 years old, The Planet of the Apes franchise is the oldest film series with new movies still coming out. Apes has been rebooted twice and spans seven films with an eighth, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, currently in theaters. Incredibly, in terms of story the current series of films ties in with the original.
Charlton Heston as Taylor
Planet of the Apes started in 1968 with an anti-hero fighting for mankind and now that plot has come full circle with another anti-hero in the new films not fighting for mankind but apekind. In the first film Charlton Heston plays George Taylor, an astronaut on a mission to explore deep space who accidentally crashes on a far-off planet thousands of years in his future. On this strange planet Taylor finds that the people there are like the animals and it’s the apes that are the top species on the planet and hold dominion over the men.
Taylor, who lost everything in the crash including his ship, is found by the apes and is thought to be an abomination, a thinking man that can speak. In Ape City Taylor, who’s from, no kidding, Fort Wayne, Indiana, must defend himself on trial for being a freak where if found guilty the punishment is a lobotomy.
In all this Taylor isn’t the hero. Back home he was a guy who didn’t particularity fit in with anyone or like the human race. In many ways he was using this millennia long journey in a rocketship to escape the worst of humanity. But what he finds on this world of apes is much worse than he left. He left a planet where people starved and mankind made war with mankind. What Taylor found in the stars was a race of man that had devolved to the point where they were treated like vermin, something to be trapped and shot for eating crops.
1968 Planet of the Apes
He’s the last guy you’d expect/want defending mankind’s legacy but it’s exactly that task that falls on Taylor.
Four sequels would follow this original, with the series slowly devolving into more action-adventure fare than focusing on one man defending the legacy of mankind. There was also a series reboot by Tim Burton in 2001 that didn’t find much traction but another reboot a decade later titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes would.
In that movie the character of Caesar is an anti-hero too, just not a human one.
The apes revolt in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Here, Caesar, a chimpanzee played by motion capture specialist Andy Serkis, is given a treatment in utero that makes him as smart as any man. Raised by his creator Will Rodman (James Franco) in secret, as Caesar grows to adulthood and gains in intelligence he realizes that the treatment apes receive at the hands of man is unacceptable and leads an simian revolt to escape from our cities and live in the wilds of the countryside.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster
Which doesn’t sound too anti-hero to me, except that Caesar is leading the revolt against all mankind, good and bad, and the drug that causes the apes to gain in intelligence also has the by product of killing most people who are exposed to it.
It would be easy to twist the story of Rise of the Planet of the Apes around so that Caesar comes off as the villain, not the hero, since he’s the leader in the start of the destruction of mankind. And that’s why I think that movie’s so interesting. Take a step back from Rise and you realize that the movie marks the holocaust of most of mankind and us losing our position as top species on the planet to a bunch of dirty apes. It’s a horrifying idea, yet by the end of that movie we’re rooting for Caesar and his posse of apes to escape San Francisco to the safety of the nearby forest.
The newest Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes place a decade after Rise when mankind is all but ruined and must seek help from the apes. Which, oddly enough was also the plot to the last of the first apes films Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).
Space: Above and Beyond Review #9: Choice or Chance
July 9th, 2014 | By: Bert Ehrmann
Originally aired November 26, 1995
Continuation of “Hostile Visit,” in this episode a captured 58th faces imprisonment, torture and execution at the hands of the Silicates who are working with the Chigs. But the Silicates made one mistake; they didn’t capture all of the 58th.
Hawkes and McQueen on the run
“Choice or Chance” is another great episode of SAaB after a few disappointing ones. In “Hostile Visit,” the 58th took a captured Chig bomber, attacked one of their planets and were shot down after delivering their payload. “Choice or Chance” opens with an escape pod from the wrecked bomber literally crashing into the planet with most of the 58th injured and Cooper Hawkes and TC McQueen being the only two who are able to escape into the wilds of Chig held territory.
Those who can’t get away are captured by the Silicates who are allied with and are running the Kazbek Penal Colony for the Chigs. There, it’s revealed that the Chigs have taken prisoners from their attacks on human colonies and Nathan West finally finds Kylen, his girlfriend missing since the pilot episode.
“Choice of Chance” deals with the POW experience soldiers sometimes face. Much of which here is culled from the experiences from the Vietnam War and especially experiences from, what’s all but a footnote now, the first war in Iraq. Paul Wang is separated form the other survivors and is tortured by a Silicate named Elroy. Like POW fliers of the first Iraq war who after being beaten had to give canned taped testimonials on how they thought the war was wrong, Paul must do the same at the hands of Elroy.
Elroy tortures Wang
Played by Doug Hutchison who’s had a career at playing bad guys from The X-Files to The Green Mile and even Lost to name a few, Elroy is terrifying as a soulless machine who literally has no limits when it comes to forcing Wang to do and say what he wants. Interestingly enough Elroy was originally a model of robot to act as a comedian with a catch phrase, “Your boy Elroy!” before the Silicates rebelled against the human race.
With the Silicates that you can kill them, as the 58th did to many of them in “Dark Side of the Sun” and Wang does to Elroy at the end of the episode. But since they’re machines with many models that all look alike much like cars you can meet virtually the same Silicate later on that looks and acts basically the same as ones you’ve met before but is a different robot off the production line. Elroy returns in a few episodes later in the season.
The formidable 58th
The other members of the 58th do have a bit of story from McQueen and Hawkes going “Rambo” on the Silicates, Shane Vansen and Vanessa Damphousse being held together and doing the old “we’ll pretend to fight so we can trick the guards to get out” routine and Nathan West escaping the prison along with captured colonist girlfriend Kylen who isn’t who he thinks she is. But what holds this episode together is the Wang/Elroy story.
Looking at this episode now what’s odd with it, but was a staple of similar shows of that same period, is that while the characters go through some substantial change in this episode — Wang is pushed past his limits with Elroy and is a different person when he returns to the Saratoga, Nathan West goes through turmoil to the point where he questions his whole reasoning behind why he’s a Marine — but by the next episode most of this growth and change is totally forgotten and we’re onto the next adventure.
Paul Wang’s service number is 9483034828.
Elroy’s full name is “Elroy-L 1327.”
The Chigs nickname for humans is “Red Stink Creatures.”
McQueen was a POW during the AI War.
Wang awaits his fate
‘T.C.’ McQueen: “It’s frightening how much pain an in-vitro…a human body can stand. You’d like to believe the body would break before the will. I held out three days. Once when they were doing stuff to me I heard screaming. It sounded far-off. I remember thinking, that poor bastard. What must he be going through? Then, when I came to, I realized the screams were coming from me.”
Elroy: “This war is being run by a bunch of Harvard white guys.”
Elroy: “Your boy Elroy!”
Paul Wang (About Elroy): “Hey eyes were like the living dead. They’ve got no souls.”
The Chig bomber is shot down by a missile and its escape pod falls from space and crashes into the ground and not one of the 58th are killed in all this mayhem?
How does Commodore Ross know that the place the 58th are being held is called the “Kazbek Penal Colony?” We only know it’s name from an on-screen title. I suppose this info could be common knowledge, but it seems like the Saratoga is pretty far behind the lines for Earth forces to know this sort of information.
The Chigs reveal another awesome piece of technology here — they’re able to perfectly duplicate a person and mimic their speech and mannerisms. To the point that one of the main characters is fooled by someone he’s known for years. It would seem that if the Chigs had this sort of tech they could quietly infiltrate our ranks and destroy us from within. But, unless memory fails me, much like the weapon in “The Enemy” this would never be seen again.
Silicates stalk the 58th
Damphousse and Vansen are prisoners
Damphousse, Vansen and a Silicate
Vansen in pain
Elroy tortures Wang
The formidable 58th
Hawkes and McQueen on the run
Wang awaits his fate
The battered but not beaten 58th
McQueen takes a hit
The Last of Us Remastered / PS 4 Bundle
July 6th, 2014 | By: Mo Alexander
If you never had the opportunity to play one of the best “Zombie Horror” flick style games, OR you are trying to find that one game to make you pick up a PlayStation 4, you are in luck.
Sony is releasing a PlayStation 4 / “The Last of Us – Re-mastered” bundle on July 30th.
This game is from one of the very few developers that actually do justice to the PlayStation line. The Last of Us on the PlayStation 3 was staggering, with excellent visuals, a solid story line, and a “twist” ending that left some fans going “Whoa…”.
So, if you haven’t tried it out, or even “Wikipedia’ed” the ending (DONT!), either pick up a copy this July, or buy the bundle. You wont be disappointed.