Outside of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories, “The Lost World” (1914) is probably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best known work. I take a look at the first ever adaption of that novel. It’s a silent movie released in 1925, and it stars some well-known stars from that era. It even contains some of the stop-motion work of the great Willis O’Brien, who would later go on to do the special effects work for “King Kong” (1933). But does all this talent translate to a good movie? Let’s find out.
Story: The Guardians of the Galaxy (played by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Baustista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper) are on the run from a race of gold-skinned, uptight aliens; the Ravagers, led by the blue-skinned Yondu (Michael Rooker); and Gamora’s vengeful sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan). They bump into Peter’s long lost father, a powerful celestial being known as Ego (Kurt Russel). With Ego is his assistant Mantis, a childlike empath played by Pom Klementieff. Ego wants Peter (the leader of the Guardians, played by Pratt) to join him on the planet he created to help accomplish the immortal Ego’s life purpose, but Peter and Gamora (Saldana) are suspicious of Ego’s intentions.
I’m doing something a little different today: a review of a short. A two-and-a-half minute short, to be more specific. Silent (2014) was made by Moonbot Studios, which was responsible for the beautiful and touching Oscar winning 2011 animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. That earlier short showed a clear love of film and storytelling through gorgeous animation and references to Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) and The Wizard of Oz (1939). It was also happy and sad in all the right ways. It’s not the best short ever, but if you can, look it up and you’ll have a good 15-minute escape. I wish I could say the same for Silent. Continue reading →