“Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.” – “Dreams” by Langston Hughes The passing of a loved one is an opportunity to face your own mortality; not to wallow… Continue reading Hold Fast to Dreamers
“All that blue. Nothing but blue as far as the eye can see . . .
Bill gazed out of the window from his seat: 7A. He would rather have had an aisle seat, but the only ones available were in the exit row and at his advanced age he didn’t feel comfortable with all that responsibility.
As he downed the last of his orange juice, he couldn’t help but think about how many people would die if the plane . . .
They’re right. I’m too morbid…”
A party open to the public for Dark Regions Press. Come check out the operation and offices, meet the staff, enjoy free food and drinks and take advantage of the final leg of the big Summer Sale and get 33% off any in-stock titles. 4pm – 9pm on July 18th, 2014. 6635 N. Baltimore Ave.,… Continue reading APPEARING July 18, 2014: Dark Regions Press Open House
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Twentieth Century Fox
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the highly anticipated sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). I saw the movie before reading Todd McCarthy’s review in The Hollywood Reporter, where he sums it up with: “Dawn is to Rise of the Planet of the Apes what Empire Strikes Back is to Star Wars.” In fact, I was thinking this the whole time I was watching the movie (when I wasn’t so engrossed in the story and the action that I forgot that I was supposed to be thinking about a review).
So what makes this such a damn good movie? Characterization. And story. Since this is part of a prequel series to the original Planet of the Apes (1968), it is intriguing to see how the apes start to organize, form a civilization, and speak. The first encounter between apes and humans is jaw-dropping. The plot is pretty straightforward and a bit contrived in places – is this particular dam really the only way to restore electricity to San Francisco? Sociologically, it seems plausible: a series of unfortunate misunderstandings and a bit of deceitful mayhem by an angry few blow up into a major feud with no forgiveness possible.
Overall the special effects and action scenes are excellent and the 3D animation is subtle but effective. You feel the intensity and the pain and anguish of the characters, something that many latter day movies lack in the overly CGI world.
Andy Serkis as Ceasar is incredibly convincing. He’s not playing a human in an electronic apesuit – he’s playing an ape that is becoming more and more aware of what it means to be an ape. The result is by turns wonderful and chilling. The entire cast deserves credit for bringing the full range of primate emotions to life with nothing spared.
There is a lot to ingest in the subtext and in the nods to previous films and great works of science fiction. Every scene has at least a hint at some sociopolitical commentary — whether about guns, racism, animal welfare, religion, or the atrocities of war — and many embedded references to past masters to keep geeks happy. Even the music invokes parallels by incorporating themes from the original Jerry Goldsmith score and elements from classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey (who could forget those choruses when the apes encounter the monolith… and Strauss swelling during the hog kill scene?)
The movie succeeds in pulling heartstrings. You want to love the apes, but you feel for the humans, and in the end, we realize that we are all the same, but it is no a happy realization. Like the first Star Wars trilogy, this is setting things up for an epic showdown. Let’s just hope the third installment doesn’t have any ape-woks.
2013 mgv2>publishing, 25 pages
In her debut poetry collection, Event Horizon, Valentina Cano paints with dark and light free verse to create short yet powerful poems which she terms as “Debris”. These illuminations and dislocations give insight into the sometimes troubled, but self-encouraging mind of a promising young poet.
In poems such as “Regarding Anxiety” and “Compulsions”, Cano explores the mental confines of worry, anxiety, depression, and pain. Meanwhile, her thoughts find way to escape the dark “Disorders”, allowing the self to immerge triumphant. This theme is illustrated in “Compulsions”:
. . . My mind cowered
and pushed anything to hide behind.
To hide from the marching,
full like a tick.
A scream turned the night into day,
the thought into a concrete wall.
Valentina Cano’s poetry is intensely personal, very moving, and well worth exploring. She summarizes the collection with the last verses from “An Ill Head, Dreaming”:
If I could find it,
this hospital that quarantines shadows,
then I think
I could learn to breathe again.
Gulping air in a waterfall of light.
Catch her reading here: Valentina Cano
Prince of Europe
By Elton Elliott & Doug Odell
350 pages, $19.95, 2009
The first entry in the Nanoclone Trilogy (Prince of Europe, Bishop of Rome, King of Jerusalem) sets up the intriguing premise: What if some mad scientists cloned the most radical, power-hungry leaders of history? And what does an ancient secret society and mystical artifacts have to do with mysterious pink fog in Scotland?
Although the writing is a bit dry at times (there is a lot of plot to cover here), this novel lays out some interesting ideas and attempts to weave modern day science and ancient beliefs together in a cascade of plot punches that will leave the reader with a lot to think about.
Looking forward to the rest of this fascinating series. Get it here: http://www.mvp-publishing.com/Preview-Prince-of-Europe.html