REVIEW: WAYNE’S WORLD 2

CAST

Mike Myers (Shrek)
Dana Carvey (This Is Spinal Tap)
Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Kevin Pollak (Mom)
Ralph Brown (Alien 3)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Kim Bassinger (Batman)
Jim Downey (Billy Madison)
Chris Farley (Beverly Hills Ninja)
Lee Tergesen (Shaft)
Drew Barrymore (Charlies Angels)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Jay Leno (EdTV)
Charlton Heston (PLanet of The Apes)
Heather Locklear (The Return of Swamp Thing)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Harry Shearer (the Simpsons)

Rock-and-roll fans Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar now host their public-access television television show, Wayne’s World, from an abandoned factory in Aurora, Illinois. After an Aerosmith concert, Wayne has a dream in which he meets Jim Morrison and a “weird naked Indian” in a desert. Morrison convinces Wayne that his destiny is to organize a major music festival. Wayne and Garth dub the concert “Waynestock” and hire Morrison’s former roadie, Del Preston. Their early attempts to sign bands and sell tickets fail, and Wayne wonders if the endeavor is futile.Wayne’s girlfriend Cassandra, singer of the band Crucial Taunt, has a new producer, Bobby Cahn, who tries to pull her away from Wayne and Illinois. After Wayne admits spying on her due to his suspicion of Bobby’s ulterior motives, Cassandra breaks up with him and becomes engaged to Bobby. Garth meets a beautiful woman, Honey Hornée, who attempts to manipulate Garth into killing her ex-husband, but Garth ends the relationship. Tickets are sold for Waynestock but no bands arrive. Leaving Garth to keep the rowdy crowd in check, Wayne disrupts Cassandra’s wedding before escaping the ceremony with her. Meanwhile, Garth has stage fright during the concert. Wayne returns to find the bands have still not arrived. In the dream desert, Wayne and Garth consult Morrison, who says that the bands will not come and that all that matters is they tried. They become lost in the desert. Finding this unacceptable, Wayne and Garth reenact the ending of Thelma & Louise, driving their car off a cliff while trying to find the bands. Finally, Wayne and Garth stage an ending in which the bands arrive and Waynestock is a success. After the concert, the park is covered with trash and the “weird naked Indian” cries. Wayne and Garth begin to remove the litter, promising to clean the entire park.Honestly if someone asked me if Wayne’s World 2 is worth the watch, I’d definitely say yes. This is always guaranteed a good laugh, just Garth’s story alone with Kim Bassinger as Honey Hornee is worth the look. I also love the scene where the guys end up in a gay bar and end up singing “Y.M.C.A.” song. Also Christopher Walken is in this movie, what more do you need to watch a movie? Christopher was such a great addition to the characters and made a great villain. It was great to see all the characters back together and this was a fun sequel, so if you need a good laugh, don’t hold back, this is a movie that is sure to tickle you’re funny bone.

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REVIEW: BEHIND THE PLANET OF THE APES

CAST
Roddy McDowall (Batman: The Animated Series)
Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur)
Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Linda Harrison (Batman: The Series 1966)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
James Naughton (Hostages)
 


This release was first broadcast by American Movie Classics (AMC) and is hosted by the late Roddy McDowell who played “Cornelius”. Included here is three plus hours of footage (in addition to the main documentary) that will be most welcome to fans of the series and a pleasant surprise to those like myself who are not that familiar with “Apes”. All five films in the series are covered and trailers included for all. Also here is the 1967 North American Theatre Owners (NATO) presentation as well as a fascinating screen test featuring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson, who was originally tapped to play Heston’s ape nemesis, but later bowed out due to health concerns.


All in all, this will appeal to two groups of DVD fans-those that love the “Apes” series and those who love behind the scenes and “the making of” type documentaries.

REVIEW: BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES

CAST

James Franciscus (Cat o’Nine Tails)
Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur)
Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Maurice Evans (Rosemary’s Baby)
Linda Harrison (Batman: The Series 1966)
Victor Buono (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?)
Paul Richards (Kiss Me Deadly)
James Gregory (Barney Miller)
Jeff Corey (Conan The Destroyer)
Natalie Trundy (Huckaberry Finn)

Following the events of Planet of the Apes, time-displaced astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston) and the mute Nova (Linda Harrison) are riding on horseback through the desert of the Forbidden Zone. Without warning, fire shoots up from the ground and deep chasms open. Confused by the strange phenomenon, Taylor investigates a cliff wall and disappears before Nova’s eyes.

Elsewhere in the Forbidden Zone, a second spaceship has crash landed after being sent to search for Taylor and his crew. Like Taylor’s ship, it has traveled into Earth’s distant future. However, surviving astronaut Brent (James Franciscus) believes he has traveled to another planet. He encounters Nova and notices she is wearing Taylor’s dog tags. Hoping Taylor is still alive, he rides with her to Ape City, where he is shocked to discover the simian civilization. He observes the gorilla General Ursus (James Gregory) leading a rally calling for the apes to conquer the Forbidden Zone and use it as a potential food source, against the objections of the orangutan Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans). Brent is wounded by a gorilla soldier and taken by Nova to the home of the chimpanzees Cornelius (David Watson) and Zira (Kim Hunter), who treat his wound and tell him of their time with Taylor. The humans hide when Dr. Zaius arrives and announces that he will accompany Ursus on the invasion of the Forbidden Zone.

Attempting to flee the city, Brent and Nova are captured by gorillas. Ursus orders they be used for target practice, but Zira helps them escape. They hide in a cave which Brent soon discovers is the ruins of the Queensboro Plaza station of the New York City Subway, making him realize that he has traveled through time to Earth’s post-apocalyptic future. After following a humming sound deeper into the underground tunnels, Brent begins to hear voices telling him to kill Nova. Entering the remains of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he finds a population of telepathic humans who worship an ancient nuclear bomb.

Brent and Nova are captured and telepathically interrogated, and Brent reveals the apes are marching on the Forbidden Zone. The telepaths attempt to repel the apes by projecting illusions of fire and other horrors, as they had done to Taylor and Nova. Dr. Zaius sees through the illusions, however, and leads the ape army to the ruined city. With the apes closing in, the telepaths plan to detonate their “Divine Bomb” as a last resort. They hold a religious ceremony, at the height of which they remove their masks to reveal that they are in fact still-intelligent humans who are descended from survivors of the nuclear wars. The nuclear fallout has mutated them by removing layers of their skin, but greatly increased their psychic abilities.  Brent is separated from Nova and taken to a cell, where he finds Taylor. The mutant Ongaro (Don Pedro Colley) uses his telepathic powers to force Brent and Taylor to fight each other to the death. Nova escapes her guard and runs to the cell, screaming her first word: “Taylor!” This breaks Ongaro’s concentration, freeing Brent and Taylor from his control. They then overpower and kill him. Brent describes the bomb the mutants worship and Taylor recognizes it as a “doomsday bomb”, capable of destroying the planet, marked with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega on its casing.

The apes invade the subterranean city, killing Nova and making their way to the cathedral. They are confronted by Méndez (Paul Richards), who raises the bomb into activation position before being gunned down. Brent and Taylor attempt to stop Ursus from accidentally setting off the weapon, but Taylor is shot. Brent manages to kill Ursus before being shot dead by the gorillas. The mortally wounded Taylor pleads with Dr. Zaius for help, but Zaius refuses, saying that man is only capable of destruction. In his last moment, Taylor brings his hand down on the activation switch, triggering the bomb. As the scene whites out, an ending narration says “In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe, lies a medium-sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead.”

A great sequel. This film will keep your mind occupied as the battle between apes & man reaches a surprising climax – recommended

REVIEW: PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

CAST
Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur)
Roddy McDowall (Batman: The Animated Series)
Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Maurice Evans (Rosemary’s Baby)
James Whitmore (Them!)
Linda Harrison (Batman: The Series 1966)
Lou Wagner (Chips)
Woodrow Parfrey (Dirty Harry)
Norman Burton (Wonder Woman 1977)
Billy Curtis (Adventures of Superman)
Astronauts Taylor (Charlton Heston), Landon (Robert Gunner), Dodge (Jeff Burton) and Stewart are in deep hibernation when their spaceship crashes in a lake on an unknown planet after a long near-light speed voyage, during which, due to time dilation, the crew ages only 18 months. As the ship sinks, Taylor finds Stewart dead and her body desiccated. They throw an inflatable raft from the ship and climb down into it; before departing the ship, Taylor notes that the date is November 25, AD 3978, approximately two millennia after their departure in 1972. Once ashore, Dodge performs a soil test and pronounces the soil incapable of sustaining life. After abandoning their raft, the astronauts set off through a desolate wasteland in hopes of finding food and water before their provisions run out. Eventually, they encounter plant life. They find an oasis at the edge of the desert and go swimming, ignoring strange and eerie scarecrow-like figures. While they are swimming, their clothes are stolen. Pursuing the thieves, the astronauts find their clothes torn to shreds, their supplies pillaged and the perpetrators — a group of mute, primitive humans dressed in torn clothes — raiding a cornfield. Taylor is attracted to one of the humans, whom he later names Nova (Linda Harrison).
Suddenly, armed, uniformed gorillas on horseback charge through the cornfield, brandishing firearms, snares, and nets. They capture some humans and kill the rest. Dodge is shot in the back and killed. Landon is wounded and rendered unconscious. Taylor is shot in the throat and taken prisoner. The gorillas take Taylor to Ape City, where his life is saved after a blood transfusion administered by two chimpanzees, an animal psychologist Zira (Kim Hunter) and surgeon Galen (Wright King). While his wound is healing, he is unable to speak. Taylor discovers that the various apes, who can talk and are in control, are in a strict caste system: gorillas are the police, military, hunters and workers; orangutans are administrators, politicians, lawyers and priests; and chimpanzees are intellectuals and scientists. The apes have developed a primitive society based on the beginnings of the human Industrial Era. They ride horses and have carts, rifles, and even primitive photography. Humans, who are believed by the apes to be unable to talk, are considered vermin and are hunted: either killed outright, enslaved, or used in scientific experiments.
Zira and her fiancé, Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), an archaeologist, take an interest in Taylor, whom Zira has named “Bright Eyes”. Taylor attempts to communicate by writing in the dirt, but Nova, who has been following him around, attempts to destroy his writing with her hands. The letters she doesn’t destroy are obliterated by Zira’s and Cornelius’s superior, an orangutan named Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans). Back in his cage, Taylor steals Zira’s pencil and notebook and uses it to write the message My name is Taylor. Zira and Cornelius become convinced that Taylor is intelligent, but upon learning of this, Dr. Zaius orders that Taylor be castrated. Taylor escapes and during his desperate flight through Ape City finds himself in a museum, where Dodge’s stuffed and eyeless corpse is now on display. When Taylor is recaptured by gorillas, his voice has recovered enough to growl, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!”
A tribunal to determine Taylor’s origins is convened by the president of the Assembly (James Whitmore), Dr. Zaius, and Maximus (Woodrow Parfrey). Dr. Honorious (James Daly) is the prosecutor. Taylor mentions his two comrades. The court produces Landon, who has been subjected to a lobotomy that has rendered him catatonic and unable to speak. After the tribunal, Dr. Zaius privately threatens to castrate and lobotomize Taylor if he does not tell the truth about where he came from. With help from Zira’s socially rebellious nephew Lucius (Lou Wagner), Zira and Cornelius free Taylor and Nova and take them to the Forbidden Zone, a taboo region outside Ape City that has been out of bounds for centuries by Ape law. A year earlier, Cornelius led an expedition into the Forbidden Zone that found a cave containing artifacts of an earlier non-simian (believed to be human) civilization. The group sets out for the cave to answer questions Taylor has about the evolution of the ape world and to prove he is not of that world.
Arriving at the cave, Cornelius is intercepted by Dr. Zaius and his soldiers. Taylor, now armed, holds them off, threatening to shoot them if necessary. Zaius agrees to enter the cave to disprove their theories and to avoid physical harm to Cornelius and Zira. Cornelius displays the remnants of a technologically advanced human society pre-dating simian history. Taylor identifies artifacts such as dentures, eyeglasses, a heart valve and, to the apes’ astonishment, a talking children’s doll. More soldiers appear and Lucius is overpowered, but Taylor again fends them off.
Dr. Zaius is held hostage so Taylor can escape, but he admits to Taylor that he has always known that a human civilization existed long before apes ruled the planet and that “the Forbidden Zone was once a paradise, your breed made a desert of it… ages ago!” Taylor nonetheless prepares to search for answers, but Dr. Zaius warns him that he may not like what he finds. Once Taylor and Nova have ridden off, Dr. Zaius has the gorillas lay explosives to seal off the cave and destroy the remaining evidence of the human society. He has Zira, Cornelius and Lucius charged with heresy. Taylor and Nova, at last free, follow the shoreline and discover the beach-covered remains of the Statue of Liberty, revealing that this “alien” planet is actually Earth long after a global thermonuclear war. Taylor falls to his knees in despair and anger, condemning humanity for destroying the world.
After all this time it still holds up as a quality slice of science fiction. The ever so slightly ropey special effects of the astronauts in space quickly gives way to the fantastic looking creepy landscape of the planet of the apes and its full steam ahead from there. The ape effects themselves are still good as well.

 

REVIEW: PLANET OF THE APES (2001)

CAST
Mark Wahlberg (The Perfect Storm)
Helena Bonham Carter (Dark Shadows)
Tim Roth (Lie To Me)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Estella Warren (I Accuse)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Elektra)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Kris Kristofferson (Blade)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes Original)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Glenn Shadix (Hercules: TLJ)
Linda Harrison (60s Batman)
Melody Perkins (Power Rangers In Space)
Martin Klebba (Project X)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck)
In 2029, aboard the United States Air Force space station Oberon, Leo Davidson works closely with primates who are trained for space missions. His favorite simian co-worker is a chimpanzee named Pericles. With a deadly electromagnetic storm approaching the station, a small space pod piloted by Pericles is used to probe the storm. Pericles’s pod heads into the storm and disappears. Against his commanding officer’s orders, Leo takes a second pod and goes in pursuit of Pericles. Entering the storm, Leo loses contact with the Oberon and crashes on a planet called Ashlar in the year 5021. He discovers that the world is ruled by humanoid apes who can speak human language and treat human beings as slaves.
Leo comes across a female chimpanzee named Ari, who protests the awful treatment humans receive. Ari decides to buy Leo and a female slave named Daena to have them work as servants in the house of her father, Senator Sandar. Leo escapes his cage and frees other humans. Ari sees them, but Leo convinces her to join a human rebellion against the apes. General Thade and Colonel Attar march ape warriors in pursuit of the humans. Leo discovers Calima (the temple of “Semos”), a forbidden, but holy, site for the apes.
Calima turns out to be the remains of the Oberon, Leo’s space station, which has crashed on the planet’s surface and looks ancient (the name Calima coming from the sign “CAution LIve aniMAls”, the relevant letters being the only ones not covered in dust). According to the computer logs, the station has been there for thousands of years. Leo deduces that when he entered the vortex he was pushed forward in time, while the Oberon, searching after him, was not, crashing on the planet long before he did.
The Oberon‍ ’s log reveals that the apes on board, led by Semos, organized a mutiny and took control of the vessel after it crashed. The human and ape survivors of the struggle left the ship and their descendants are the people Leo has encountered since landing. In the present, a battle ensues between the humans and the apes. A familiar vehicle descends from the sky and is identified immediately by Leo as the pod piloted by Pericles, the chimpanzee astronaut. Pericles was pushed forward in time as Leo was, and had just now found his way to the planet. When Pericles lands, the apes interpret his landing as the return arrival of Semos, the first ape, who is their god. They bow, and hostilities between humans and apes disappear.
Pericles then runs into the Oberon and Leo runs after him, followed by General Thade. Inside, Thade and Leo fight, with Pericles trying to help Leo, only to be thrown hard against a wall. Thade gets hold of Leo’s gun, but does not understand how to use it at first. Seeing that Thade is in the pilot’s deck, Leo closes the automatic door of the entrance, trapping Thade as he shoots the gun, the bullets ricocheting off the door harmlessly. Thade thrashes around to escape, but after all attempts to do so fail, he finally gives up. Leo then decides that it is time for him to leave the Planet of the Apes, so he gives Pericles to Ari, with her promising to look after him, also saying farewell to Daena. Leo climbs aboard Pericles’s undamaged pod and uses it to travel back in time through the same electromagnetic storm. Leo ends up crashing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Earth. He looks up at the Memorial, and sees it is now a monument in honor of General Thade. A swarm of police officers, firefighters, and news reporters descend on Leo, but on closer inspection, they are all apes.
This is a remake which managed to outdo all the production values of the previous ‘Apes’ films, but ended up with a film which feels like it was made for a straight-to-TV. We all make mistakes, and this one was was Tim Burton’s. There was no reason to remake what was (and is) a classic film.

REVIEW: TRUE LIES

 CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan The Barbarian)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens)
Tom Arnold (The Kid & I)
Bill Paxton (Agents of SHIELD)
Tia Carrere (Waynes World)
Art Malik (The Black Tower)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Grant Heslov (Congo)
Charlton Heston (Planet of The Apes)
Marshall Manesh (How I Met Your Mother)

Harry Tasker leads a double life, performing covert missions for the U.S government under a counter-terrorism task force called “The Omega Sector” using the cover of a traveling computer salesman. Albert “Gib” Gibson and Faisal assist him in these missions under the command of Spencer Trilby. However, Harry’s wife, Helen, and his daughter, Dana, believe he is a boring computer salesman who does a lot of “corporate” travel. Harry’s latest mission in Switzerland reveals the existence of a Palestinian terrorism organization group known as the Crimson Jihad, led by Salim Abu Aziz. Harry suspects that antiques dealer Juno Skinner has ties to Aziz. After visiting her, Harry is chased by Aziz’s men through a shopping mall and a large hotel, meanwhile missing the birthday party that his wife and daughter have arranged for him.Harry plans to surprise Helen the next day at her office to take her out to lunch but overhears her talking to a man named Simon. He uses his connections in Omega Section to learn that Simon is a used car salesman, pretending to be a covert agent to flirt with Helen. Harry and other Omega agents, disguised, kidnap Helen while she is at Simon’s trailer while frightening Simon to stay away from her. Harry, using a voice masking device, interrogates Helen and learns she sought adventure with Harry gone all the time. Harry arranges for Helen to participate in a staged spy mission, where she is to seduce a mysterious agent in his hotel room (in actuality, Harry himself, who hopes to surprise Helen) and plant a tracking bug on him. However, Aziz’ men burst in, kidnap both of them, and take them to an island in the Florida Keys.Aziz reveals he possesses small nuclear warheads hidden inside antique statues shipped by Juno and plans to detonate one to demonstrate his power, before ordering his men to torture the two. Harry, under a truth serum, reveals his double life to Helen but breaks free and rescues her. They secretly watch as Aziz prepares to detonate one of the warheads on the island in 90 minutes, take one of the warheads into downtown Miami by helicopter, and transport the remaining missiles by truck into the US over the unguarded Overseas Highway. Harry leaves Helen in a safe place as he attacks Aziz’ men, but Helen is captured by Juno and taken with the convey on the Overseas Highway. Harry is rescued by Gib and other Omega Sector operatives who had pinpointed the island’s location using a tracking bug planted earlier in Helen’s purse by Harry and Gib. Assisted by two U.S. Marine Harrier jets, the agents in a helicopter pursue the terrorist convey, destroying part of the bridge to stop the trucks. Harry rescues Helen from Juno’s limo before it falls over the destroyed section. The jets return to the mainland before the first bomb goes off, while Harry and Helen passionately kiss.After the detonation Harry learns from Gib that Aziz and his men have taken control of a downtown Miami skyscraper and have kidnapped Dana, threatening to detonate the second bomb in downtown Miami. Harry commandeers one of the jump jets to reach the skyscraper quickly, leaving Helen on the Highway barefoot and worried. Faisal poses as part of a requested camera crew for Aziz to make his demands, providing enough distraction for Dana to steal the control key and flee the room. Aziz chases Dana onto an overhead crane while Harry arrives. Using the Harrier’s ability to hover, Harry is able to rescue Dana from the crane but Aziz also falls onto the plane. During the encounter Harry banks the craft, causing Aziz to slip off the plane and become entangled on one of the plane’s missiles. Harry fires the missile through the now-empty skyscraper, destroying a helicopter with Aziz’ reinforcements and naturally killing Aziz. Harry, Helen, and Dana are safely reunited.A year later, the Tasker’s family integrity has been restored; Harry is able to balanced his career and quality times with his family, and Helen now also works for Omega Sector. Harry and Helen are called to embark on a new mission together, where they encounter “Simon” again, who is a waiter serving champagne and telling a female attendee at the event that he is actually a secret agent on a mission. Using her new skills, Helen intimidates Simon into leaving, just before a tango begins with Harry and Helen taking their places to complete their mission.
One of the big box-office hits of 1994, I was surprised to see True Lies didn’t inspire any genuine imitators. Just as well, I suppose, there’s only so much Bond “parody” you can see without the material getting tiresome. But True Lies’ charms lies in that it works as parody while still excelling as a straight action thriller. When it comes to pure direction, that’s proof James Cameron can be a genius.