James' Review of Seven Alone
[i]Taylor: "A planet where apes evolved from men?" [/i]
Oops, that's a spoiler. Hell, even the title is a spoiler. But everybody already knows anyway. [b]
The Planet of the Apes[/b] has been around a long time, in book form, this film from 1968 and it's 4 sequels from the 1970s, live action AND cartoon TV series and even suffered a remake by Tim Burton, who should've been able to pull it off but failed. I've seen all but the [i]Return to the Planet of the Apes [/i]cartoon series (well, I probably did as a child; and will again since it's being released with a special Apes DVD set in March and [u]separately[/u] for those of us who've already bought everything else) and I must say that this single film is all we ever really needed. The rest is certainly a bonus, with varying degrees of success, but this first film is usually a mind-bending experience for the first time viewer whereas everything else is just revisiting the same material. It also has a wonderful sense of adventure that was lacking in the remake and most of the sequels. The TV series wasn't bad, but you could get the same effect out of an episode of the original [i]Star Trek[/i] or [i]Bonanza [/i]TV shows. I suspect the cartoon series will be much like the Filmation [i]Star Trek[/i] cartoon TV series. Anyway, I know it doesn't show, but I can't get enough of these apes. Even if they'll never be able to match this film I've love to see a sequel to Burton's version (different director, however). Maybe we'll see that. You never know. But I'm insane, because I'd also like to see a sequel to the Lost in Space film from the 90s. :p
Next, I thought I'd suffer like the settlers of the mid 1800s did when they were traveling across the US. [b]Seven Alone [/b](a DVD movie that cost me $1 and had another film on the reverse that must be equally as "good" :( ) does an excellent job of convincing you there was no quirky country charm to these people, they were always sick and they hated their kids, leaving them (age newborn to 13) to fend for themselves, fought injins all the time, had no family dog (wtf?), and prized colored window glass above all else (well, save "the Lord").
They also travelled dangerously long distances even though they already had a pretty nice setup where they were. This film is painful to watch since it looks so much like a [i]Little House on the Prairie[/i] episode that was rejected by Michael Landon for being too depressing and lacking authenticity. It is apparently based on true life material, but I'll just say I'm glad I didn't live during that time and know these annoying people. Certainly, if this couple had had the proper protection this film might've been called "Three Alone". :p But then again, it may've been called "Five At Home" since they perhaps would've had the money to keep their as[i]s[/i]es planted instead of eating dust from the Donner Party just ahead of them on the trail. I especially loved the wrap up in the last 2 minutes. All hope was lost and then...well, you know. :D Only thing missing was the commercials making you wait for that ending. To think I could've bought a candy bar with that dollar. :(