Planet of the Apes Revelations

War For The Planet Of The Apes Revelations

With War for the Planet of the Apes set to debut tomorrow. It is the perfect time to head out and pick up the prequel from Titan Books. Written by Greg Keyes War for the Planet of the Apes Revelations picks up shortly after the events of the 2014 film. I certainly hope this won’t come as a spoiler but Caesar’s clan of apes isn’t so exactly sure that what Koba attempted to pull off was the wrong thing.
Planet of the Apes Revelations - Koba

So of course with some apes feeling that Caesar might in fact be a little too forgiving of the Humans. I feel it’s more than safe to tell you that Koba’s revolution isn’t quite finished. Or at the very least in Planet of the Apes Revelations there is still the very real threat of dissent.
Planet of the Apes Revelations

In addition if you remember at the end of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The community of humans was able to send a signal to a military group. With the end of the film painting a rather and the unevitable war between apes and humans. This is in fact exactly where Planet of the Apes Revelations picks up, just moments after the end of the film.

Keyes does a wonderful job with not just the cast of characters we’ve met through the films but also introducing new ones. Case in point, Ray, an oranguatan who is both friend and companion to the Son of Caesar, Blue Eyes. Much like in the films with Maurice, Ray kind of steals the show in the book, providing wisdom beyond his years and counsel.
Planet of the Apes Revelations

As I said, Caesar has his hands full with possible treachery and dissension within his ranks. Which is why of course Blue Eyes and Ray get the majority of attention in the book. However it also introduces us to a main protagonist from the upcoming film. Colonel McCullough who is of course played by Woody Harrelson and at least in Planet of the Apes Revelations you can’t help but kind of understand where he is coming from. While some elements of his personality are very much like Caesar – he is obviously the dark side of that.
Planet of the Apes Revelations

So do you need to read Planet of the Apes Revelations before seeing War for the Planet of the Apes? Having not seen the film for myself yet I am still confident in saying that the answer is a negative. But Keyes really does a great job expanding the cinematic world we’ve been introduced to in the first two films. I’ve read his previous prequel novel for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes entitled Firestorm. He won’t let you Apes fans down and the best part is you can head out right this minute and pick up the book for yourself!

Now you know about Planet of the Apes Revelations why not check out Jason Edmiston’s “Trophies”?


Image courtesy of Jason Edmiston’s deviantART Page.

Sweethaven

1980’s Sweethaven from Popeye Is A Malta Tourist Attraction?!

I was taking a break from a Retroist video podcast that I’m working on to view some random videos on YouTube. Then I came across a video about abandoned movie sets.

[Via] Yesterworld Entertainment

In 1980, a film adaptation of the cartoon Popeye hit the theaters. It got mixed reviews from the critics, but many people, myself included, fell in love with the film. One of the interesting things about this movie was the setting; an old fishing village in Malta called Sweethaven (though the movie doesn’t say it is in Malta). Most of the film’s budget went to the construction of this unique set. Like most movie sets, Sweethaven was slated to be destroyed after filming ended. In fact, the prime minister of Malta, at the time, wanted it destroyed. Members of Malta film community convinced him to keep Sweethaven for tourism purposes. I know what you’re thinking…Popeye film set as a tourist attraction? I wrote a post a while back about this film & the character and worried that both were going to be forgotten, but I may have been wrong.

Sweethaven

Map courtesy of Bing Maps

Sweethaven

Aerial shot courtesy of Google Maps

Popeye’s movie set has become a theme park! People have weddings here! Simply put, the place is gorgeous. There are people running around in costumes as well. I don’t want to spoil it here so go on to the Popeye Village website to see the amazing photos and packages they have. I have got to convince my wife to take a trip there.
Sweethaven

Retroist Scoreboard: Back Through The Stargate

That week that I’ve dreaded – a week with really thin new releases – has finally happened, but it has brought with it a release that lets me talk about some of my favorite past releases and one of my all-time favorite composers (who, sadly, is no longer with us).

First off, meat and potatoes: Intrada has opened the iris and reactivated the Stargate for the first time, musically speaking, in many years.  The label’s latest release is a 2-CD compilation of the Stargate SG-1 scores composed by Richard Band.  Now, there’s a name that has come up a lot in the Scoreboard, because he’s done the music for a great many beloved B-movie favorites.  He’s also the brother of prolific producer Charles Band, so you see their names together a lot on Full Moon Productions’ library of horror movies.

Intrada has, thankfully, graced this release with a “flipper cover” – meaning that you can put the booklet into the CD case backwards and show completely different cover art much more in line with past SG-1 soundtrack releases.

Don’t blame Intrada for the “trying too hard to be ultra-modern” cover you see above, by the way – it was almost certainly mandated by MGM, which has rebranded the most recent DVD re-releases of the Stargate TV franchise with a very similar design.  Breathe easy and flip your booklet over when it arrives – after reading it, of course, because Intrada promises some seriously informative liner notes by soundtrack journalist Jeff Bond.  For those interested, the SG-1 episodes represented here are all from the show’s first two seasons, and they’re some good ones – Cold Lazarus, In The Line Of Duty, In The Serpent’s Lair, and Singularity.

The composer most often associated with SG-1, however, and who single-handedly took on its spin-offs, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe, was partly responsible for getting Richard Band access to Cheyenne Mountain in the first place: the late, great, Joel Goldsmith.  As you almost certainly guessed from the name, Joel was the son of Jerry Goldsmith, and alas, neither of them are with us any longer – Joel died in 2012 after a brief but intense battle with cancer, robbing us of a musical talent that could easily have gone mainstream.

Joel Goldsmith was also responsible for one of my all-time favorite television soundtracks, the music from the troubled early 2000s TNT live action series based on Top Cow’s Witchblade comic.  Troubled because of it’s star’s addiction issues, the series suffered setback after setback until the network saw no other choice but to cancel it.  Goldsmith later released a fantastic CD of highlights from the series through his own label, Free Clyde (named after his dog).  Unlike a great many “private labels”, Free Clyde actually licensed its material through the studios in question, as it would also do for the scores to the two direct-to-DVD Stargate movies, Stargate Continuum and Stargate: Ark Of Truth.

The Witchblade soundtrack was formulated on a psychedelic bed of prog rock, and Goldsmith had no problem occasionally breaking into song, allowing the background music to comment on the characters and the action.

The highlight of this soundtrack was easily the Gauntlet Suite, which wore its prog rock inspiration on its sleeve with its sheer length and mind-blowing variety of styles and sounds within a single track.

The Witchblade soundtrack is still available from its original publisher, BSX Records, and can be streamed or downloaded via Amazon.  Not to brag too much, but I got my copy when it was first released…back when Mr. Goldsmith was still around to sign them for admiring fans like myself.


(Cyberman not included)
So how did Goldsmith and Band come to know each other?  They had gotten their start at the same time – and literally on the same project, though the movie in question has, perhaps, a less than stellar reputation?


I am also not ready for some football.
 

Yes…Band and Goldsmith got their first professional composing credit on the low-budget ’70s sci-fi horror flick Laserblast.  Saddled with a tiny budget that afforded them little more than the synths and equipment they already had, the two friends made the best of it…and yes, they shamelessly released Laserblast on CD as well, so we can finally hear the movie’s opening music without Tom Servo singing “There’s a place in France where the ladies have no pants…” over it!

 

Well, maybe you liked that part of Laserblast‘s return to the spotlight as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  The Laserblast soundtrack is an interesting listen if you’re okay with its very ’70s tendency to go almost atonal.  Best of all…you can still buy the Laserblast soundtrack or download it via Amazon.

Fast-forwarding back to the age of Stargate, I’m hoping that this new Intrada release sells well enough that the label might consider revisiting the franchise musically, possibly featuring more of Goldsmith’s work.  There are so many incredible musical moments, like this one from a Stargate Atlantis episode that questioned the wisdom of “enhanced” interrogation techniques and anonymous intel, that need to be on CD.

And, of course, we never got an official Stargate Universe soundtrack at all, a gap in the Stargate musical library that needs to be filled.

So really, this new release of Richard Band music from Stargate SG-1…is the culmination of a partnership and friendship that lasted decades.  Surely the SG-1 team themselves would approve of those kind of squad goals.

Last Jedi Trailer by way of the Apple IIc

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer By Way Of The Apple IIc!

That is something you will not normally read, right? The Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc . Because as a matter of fact, who would think that is even possible? Thankfully for all of us fans of retro as well as movie buffs, one artist decided to do that very thing. Moreover this Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc manages to make it even more awesome!

The artist in question I should add is Wahyu Ichwandardi or Pinot as he is known on Twitter. Furthermore he had this to say on his Twitter channel on remaking the trailer using solely 1984 technology.
“It’s not just about a nostalgia journey, but also a tech history lesson. Kids have access to the old tech to experience better, beyond. And show it to my children.
New tech old tech, we just need to respect the tool to create something beyond its original task.”

Last Jedi Trailer by way of the Apple IIc

I think you will absolutely agree with me, that Pinot just said something very wise. In addition to something incredibly true. Pinot by the way also used two other bits of 1984 technology as well. Broderbund’s Dazzle Draw which is a bitmap paint program that was developed by David Snider. Who you might know better as the designer for the groundbreaking 1982 pinball simulation David’s Midnight Magic.

In addition, Pinot of course had to animate the Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc…by hand.

He did this by using none other than the Koala Pad. A drawing tablet released by Koala Technologies. Naturally. In fact, Pinot was kind enough to comment on Rob O’Hara’s 2012 post just a few days ago.

Animating The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc took 48 140KB double density disks. As well as 288 image files with a total of 6MB. Obviously a whole heck of a lot of work went into bringing this labor of love to fruition.

However I think after you see the work for yourself you will totally agree on two things. It was totally worth it and Pinot has created something incredibly beautiful!

[Via] PinoDita

Having reveled in The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc. Why not take a few moments and really see how much work Pinot put into the project?

[Via] PinoDita

Thunder Road

1986’s Thunder Road Was Inspired By The Road Warrior!

I feel I should clarify how Thunder Road wasn’t exactly inspired by 1981’s The Road Warrior. In all honesty I should say Thunder Road totally copied elements from Mad Max creator, George Miller’s epic post-apocalyptic film!

[Via] Warner Bros.

Now before I jump into Thunder Road proper. This is the point where I remind you that in my youth my father didn’t exactly curb what movies we were watching because of ratings. In 1981 for example some parents might have certainly questioned taking a nine-year-old with them to The Road Warriorr. My Father of course was a single parent and when a film came along he wished to see he would take me. As long as he thought I could handle the subject matter that is.

Having said that I can also add that the young man at the box office gave us a questioning look when we bought our tickets.
Thunder Road

Anyway, a mere five years after The Road Warrior blew audiences away. Milton Bradley delivered Thunder Road! These following images as well as information about the game comes courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

Instead of Max Rockatansky’s last of the V8 Interceptors. Players in Milton Bradley’s board game use the Avenger.

Thunder Road

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.


Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

Furthermore, players in Thunder Road have two additional road vehicles. The Eliminator is of course inspired by Pappagallo’s “Lone Wolf” custom built vehicle from the 1981 film.

Thunder Road

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.


Thunder Road
Thunder Road

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

The last road vehicle, The Doom Buggy, is naturally based off some of the marauder dune buggies from The Road Warrior.

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.



Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

Players have one other vehicle they can count on during the game. That would be the Thunder Chopper, which appears to be their answer to the Gyro Captain.

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.


Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

So you might be wondering how Thunder Road plays out, right? Each player selects their colored vehicles and then attempts to accomplish one of two things. Destroy every vehicle of your opposing players by shooting or ramming into them. Or on the other hand you can simply try to outdistance them, leave them behind you.

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

It is important to realize that there are two game boards that connect to make up the highway. The first car to reach the end of the second board then takes the first piece and puts it in front. Woe be to those vehicles of course that were on the flipped first board. As they are now completely out of the game!

[Via] Spaced Cobra TV

Now here is the part where I sadly have to tell you some bad news. While the game is available out there on Ebay…the prices are nuts. Ranging anywhere from $60 dollars for an incomplete edition to $250 for a complete version.

Thanks to BoardGameGeek it appears that there has been quite a following built up around this 1986 board game. And I highly suggest you follow the link to check how players have modded the game and pieces to fit in with the Mad Max universe.

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

In that Mad Max: Fury Road inspired game of Thunder Road…I believe I can make out Coma the Doof Warrior!


“Leading us into battle was Coma The Doof Warrior. Blind since birth. Coma wore a mask made from the dried skin of his murdered mother’s screaming face. His fire breathing weapon played the music of mayhem, It whipped us into a bloody battle rage”