Thursday, August 07, 2014

Ponderings on PotA

Let us forget that the horrible Tim Burton version of Planet of the Apes ever existed.  We have the five original movies plus the OK (from what I remember) TV series, an excellent comics adaptation, and now we have the first two installments of the _____ of the Planet of the Apes reboots. These are enough Apes related goodness to keep a PotA fan going.

After recently watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Colbinski pointed me in the direction of a recap of the original movies I wrote. This got me to thinking about the story this new reboot is attempting to tell compared to the story the original told. It makes me wonder if the producers have an overarching theme for the rest of the series. The originals had five installments although the follow-up, short-lived TV series, is often presented as movies. Those five were:

Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Escape from the Planet of the Apes
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Battle for the Planet of the Apes

The first two originals had humans as the heroes. The third shifted protagonists to the apes that went back in time and landed in 1970’s America where they met. The fourth chronicled Caesar’s revolution (subtext in this attempted to mirror the social unrest that was occurring in America at this time) and then the final installment, perhaps the worst of the lot, but not without its moments, showed the remaining humans and apes living together and how the apes eventually took over waiting for the events of the first one to occur many years later. As a young’un watching these, I always enjoyed and was enthralled by the circle it created, even if it used time travel, mind readers, nuclear bombs, terrible NYC geography, and other outlandish claims to get there.

With minor spoilers for the new movie, I’ll just say that Caesar the Ape is the hero of both and this is the opposite of the originals. I would like to see this inverse continue for the new movie series and see if they can make another circle of a full, complete story. As Dawn ends with Caesar resigning himself to
war with humans, I see the third movie portraying the world where Apes dominate. Hollywood being
Hollywood, I gather that they want to keep Casar as the lead although it may do the series some good to jump ahead in time to a world where Apes have really taken over.  This can show the shabby treatment of the remaining humans, perhaps being treated as humans currently treat primates – zoos, experiments, inferior, etc. This would allow the tone of the series to change form Ape heroes back to human heroes, jyst as Escape allowed Cornelius and Zira to be the heroes. Killed in the end but still the heroes and that movie paved the way for the original Caesar.

This brings us to the fourth movie in the reboot.  I would like to see this follow-up on the Easter Egg provided in Rise about a lost manned spaceship to Mars. Have the lost ship land on Earth under ape rule and we can ressuruct a bonafide hero like the Taylor character from the original. This would provide a human hero countering the Caesar of Conquest. The fifth movie of the reboot can be humans, led by the astronauts of the fourth movie, trying reclaim civilization, perhaps with some newfound humility and lessons learned. Or maybe during a kick-ass battle scene, which is much more likely. It may also be interesting for the movies to span out from the northern California area and let us see how the rest of the world is faring. Maybe provide an explanation of how intelligent apes came to be in other parts. Did the virus that killed humans also move to apes all over the world and allow them to become like Caesar’s crew in the Redwoods?

I’m glad to see what they are doing with these reboots so far. I’m sure Hollywood will do its best to disappoint me in these future installments but one can hope that they continue the quality and thoughtfulness they have so far. No mind readers, please.

IPA Taste Tourney April 2014 Results - Please Excuse My Tardiness

Well, I plum forgot! The beer has been drunk and a winner has prevailed. It all seems so long ago now.

Because I take my beer drinking seriously, I take copious notes of my endeavors and have the results ready.

1-Dogfish Head 61 vs. 8-Big Eddy Imperial IPA
Dogfish Head is smooth yet earthy. It goes down easy and always leaving me wanting another sip or glass. The grape musks takes the sting away from the hoppiness but adds layers to it. A very well-balanced and good tasting beer.  In comparison, an Imperial IPA is a bit too much. Big Eddy has a rich thick honey taste and fills you up like home cookin’. Subsequent to this taste tournament I was able to sit down with Big Eddy and enjoy it on its own merits. But this is a competation and against DFH 61, it was really no contest.  Dogfish Head 61into the semi-finals.

2 - Great Divide Hercules Double IPA vs. 7 - Fegley's Brew Works Hop'solutely Triple IPA
Hop'solutely Triple IPA is another beer that may be a bit too much.  Having said that, the trusty IPA glass works wonders. The transition from bottle to glass takes the edge off. With the edges smoothed out it is incredibly drinkable. However, Hercules, even though it is from Colorado, comes across as a traditional west coast IPA. Powerful, strong, and with a presence. The hops are heavy in this Double IPA and it linger son your tongue. Both of these are well made and both have punch.  Hop'solutely  hads the heavier hands and that wasn’t quite what I was looking for in this round. Hercules moves on.

3- Ass Kisser Double IPA vs. 6 - Brewery Ommegang Hop House Pale Ale
Two brews tasting for first time although Ommegang has the more familiar pedigree. Ass Kisser provides a faint caramel aroma and goes down the gullet is easy fashion. Hop House is smooth and light. The hops are prevalent but not overwhelming. Well-balanced and well-crafted. This is a tough choice. Hop House at a disadvantage because it is not a true IPA and it is going against a double hopped one. Ass Kisser survives to be drunk another day.

4 - Breckenridge Small Batch 471 Double IPA vs. 5 - Stone Ruination IPA
The most difficult decision of Round 1. Both are excellent IPAs that I will partake in a plentiful way in the future. Stone always seem to get the short straw in these tourneys but both Stone IPAs featured here are great beers. This time Breck 471 is just better.


 Dogfish Head 61 vs. Ass Kisser Double IPA
The balance of 61 prevails. It comes off as smooth, full yet light taste compared to the double hoppiness of Ass Kisser. Both are eminently drinkable and have fragrant beers that go great in the IPA glass. As mentioned above 61 always makes me want another. To the finals!

 Great Divide Hercules Double IPA vs. Breckenridge Small Batch 471 Double IPA
A double versus a double. Two Colorado beers that have a lot in common with California west coast IPAs. Looks like we are playing on even ground. Close match, here. Toe to toe. Both are strong, powerful and have excellent presence.  Breck 471 has that something extra. It stays with you like a tender kiss. It lingers and provides a memory. This is some beer. Breck 471 moves forward.


Dogfish Head 61 vs. Breckenridge Small Batch 471 Double IPA
Extremely tough final. Two different IPAs yet they compete ferociously with one another. The smoothness and flavor of 61 climbs ahead then the power and persistence of Breck 471 begins t break from the pack. These two beers make me glad I am a beer drinker. Both I can drink again and again. As a result of this final I have a new favorite beer: Breckenridge Small Batch 471 Double IPA.  Everything seems right about this beer. The level of hoppiness, the flavor, the aftertaste, the slow buzz that creeps up on you like pulling a blanket up to your chin on a chilly night. Breck 471 envelopes you and is comfortable to drink.

This was the third IPA taste Tourney.

Previous winners: