V for Vendetta

The first issues of the comic, V for Vendetta, penned by Alan Moore were published the same year I was born.  Years later, the collected edition was my first meaningful foray into comic books when my 19th century British literature professor inexplicably put it on his reading list.  I don’t think he got tenure.  He did, however, recommend picking up Watchmen.  Solid advice from anyone.

The film, while entertaining, sanitized one of the main characters, V, and Moore saw another of his anarchic screeds turned into a family-friendly product.  One glaring omission in the film is the absence of V’s laboratory where he makes “hallucinogenics as cheaply as water.”  In Moore’s book, LSD is almost a character in a pivotal scene.  Of course, the film gave Moore an opportunity to engage in what seems like his favorite pass-time:  misanthropic grumbling.  Overall, the movie is a fun adaptation, but this time I find myself agreeing with most of Moore’s complaints.

Planet of the Apes

April 21, 2016

Released the same year Stanislaw Lem published His Master’s Voice, Planet of the Apes is a classic.  While Lem examines the limits of human intelligence as his characters attempt to decipher an extraterrestrial transmission that may contain instructions for a weapon (much like the 2016 film Arrival), this film explores similar territory by stranding an intrepid astronaut, Charlton Heston, on an unfamiliar planet.

Not Burt Lancaster.
“I’m an explorer.” Burt Lancaster.

Heston is no Burt Lancaster, but he delivers an immortal line at the end of the film as he metaphorically and literally pounds sand.  You may be familiar with the twist at the end of the movie, but few people realize that this scene is the origin of the idiomatic phrase “go pound sand.”

The film also inspired this earworm from The Simpsons: