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Showing posts from January, 2013

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #350: Planet of the Apes

The movie with the iconic ending where Charlton Heston damns them to hell, the original “Planet of the Apes” (1968) was one of the first science-fiction franchises of the second half of the 20th century. It started with one movie featuring talking apes and then spawned four sequels, two TV series, a Tim Burton remake and then a re-energized prequel with the ever-versatile James Franco. Not bad for a film with a very Z-movie concept and a Twilight Zone ending.
Seeing the original Franklin J. Schaffner version for the first time was like seeing a dusty old blueprint for a building I had seen many times before. I had seen the Tim Burton remake while living in Peru, and while there I also saw one of the sequels, “Escape from the Planet of the Apes,” on TV. Unfortunately, I had also already seen the big twist ending of the original movie when the American Film Institute did one of their specials on great movies. They should really stop giving the ending away when they re-examine a film lik…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #355: Sunshine

The proof that there are no movie genres British filmmaker Danny Boyle will not tackle, his science-fiction thriller “Sunshine” aims to go where no sci-fi movie has gone before: the inside of the sun. Impossible? Most likely, but then again that is why they attach the word “fiction” to science.
This is a movie to watch on a cold winter afternoon, which is exactly what I ended up doing when I first saw it. I missed out on this film when it first came out in 2007, so I had to make-do and rent the DVD. This was back when I was living off campus at the university of Sherbrooke, in Québec. No roommates, so this was just me in my tiny apartment during one of my days off, unless I would go to the campus’ film club that specialized in cult movies. Seeing “Sunshine” for the first time, I thought it could eventually end up on a cult film list.
Like most outer space adventures, “Sunshine” is set on a single ship with crewmembers who have to learn to live with each other for months. Their ship is …