Look, I'm okay with a little rain every once and a while, but this has gotten biblical already. Today was a particularly shocking day, what with blasting winds and all. It is supposed to clear up this afternoon through Saturday, but I'll believe it when I see it.
Yesterday I recieved a box. Inside the box was a package. Inside the package was an envelope. Inside the envelope was a plastic protector. Inside the plastic protector was a book I had ordered a couple of weeks ago on eBay. The plastic protector I could understand. The box I could understand. Why all of the middle packaging was necessary is anybody's guess.
In Defense of Apes
The real problem with collecting film music for many is that often there is good music associated with otherwise mediocre or downright lousy movies. Jerry Goldsmith practically made a second career out of shitty movies (he was so prolific that even if one only counts the shitty movies he scored, it's a longer list than almost anybody else outside of Max Steiner and Ennio Morricone). Because I am intimate enough with the language of film music, I can often relate to scores for films that I either haven't seen or dislike. This is certainly the case with Goldsmith's music for the Rambo trilogy. I have never seen, nor do I ever intend to see, these movies. I just can't take Sly or the jingoistic bullshit that goes with him. I do, however, love the music.
Interestingly, the first thing that I heard from people when I mentioned that I was putting together a Planet of the Apes mix is that it sounded like a pretty strange idea. It is, although mostly because of the nature of the music in my opinion. As a franchise, POTA was actually not quite as bad as so many would have you believe.
The general rule of consensus about the Apes movies is that the law of diminishing returns was a constant specter. I do not believe this to be true. I think that while none of the sequels ever managed to match the power and poetry of the first one - it is one of the few movies I can stomach Charlton Heston in, mostly because he plays a misanthrope so well - the series made an attempt to do something innovative. If it failed, it is because of an ever-lowering budget and a lack of attention to detail.
The first sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, is the closest that the series ever came to retreading the same material. James Franciscus goes through the same crap at the beginning of the movie that Heston did, and the Doomsday ending was meant to effectively cut off any sequels at Heston's request. Interestingly, this gave rise to one of the best "Aw shit, how do we make a sequel now?" solutions, sending three chimpanzees back in time so that the series could then explore how the Planet of the Apes came to be. Escape from the Planet of the Apes is actually a very taut and well-told story. Rather humorous and light at the beginning, it gradually becomes more and more serious as everything that the government does to prevent the rise of the Apes inadvertently causes it. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is perhaps the biggest disappointment. Not so much because the film is bad. It isn't. In fact, it is a great allegory. The problem is that the end of the film was softened so that Fox could maintain a the "G" rating that the previous Apes films had somehow managed to squeeze out of the MPAA, despite all of the full frontal male nudity and swearing in the first film. The Ape revolution was meant to be darker and would have led much more directly to the world seen at the beginning of the first film. The final film in the series, Battle for the Planet of the Apes was just silly. I never caught up with the television series.
Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
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