Unfortunately, Westley Piddle doesn’t have a cinema, cineplex, or multiplex…only a Muttplex. But it’s showing some great movies…
🐾🐾🐾🐾= as good as it gets on the subject. Drop everything, sniff out, scramble to catch up and ‘watch NOWS’!
🐾🐾🐾= entertaining or informative. Worth putting on your short-watch list.
🐾🐾= Average entertainment, will pass casual viewing time but does not exceed expectations – even modest ones. Ultimately forgettable.
🐾= Seriously! There are many far better movies out there on this subject. Don’t bother unless it’s a rainy afternoon with absolutely nothing better to do.
This week at the Muttplex we are looking at three titles that have been written and designed to inspire us to question the world around us – that might even make us half-consider trying to save the planet, ourselves. Two do that. One don’t. Simple as that. Trot on then…
Planet of the Humans (2019) – directed by Jeff Gibbs
Planet of the Humans: a documentary that dares to say what no one else will – that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who are selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. (courtesy IMDb)
My take: Like most other hindlegs I am a bit blasé about saving the planet – after all, wot can little me do all on me ownsomes, right? Specially as there are so many bright, well-meaning green experts leading the way, right?. Wrong! After watching Planet of the Humans that tells the story of how modern society is pinning its hopes on some happy, just-in-time deux ex machina green revolution combo of wind power, biomass and electric cars: I am now not so sure. In fact I’m frightened. Truly frightened by wot a load of poop this self-congratulating narrative is finally shown to be; funded by the Oil&Gas brigade, timber conglomerates, and endorsed by famous loud hailers – erh, Al Gore anybody?! How the corporate-funded environmentalists are spinning it to us with their complete double-breasted insincerity and not even blinking as they spin. Watch this film and be alarmed. Very alarmed.
Beware! There are scenes of animals so tragic, so desperately sad, that will never ever be witnessed against an Attenborough voice over.
The Perfect Planet (2021) – Huw Cordey, BBC
The Perfect Planet: Planet Earth is perfect. Everything about our world – its size, its distance from the Sun, its spin and tilt, its moon – is perfectly suited to our existence, and our planet’s natural forces perfectly nurture life. [This series] analyzes, in five episodes, how the forces of nature, including the power of the Sun or even humans, drive and shape life on Earth. (courtesy IMDb)
My take: Except that it don’t do any of that! It is imperfect. Only gave it 2 paws for production values. But I scrubbed off the other 2 paws coz of the production values. And that’s at the core of the problem of this series. Again, we are treated to a superbly packaged, sugar-dusted, sweet as honey promo on how pretty nature looks, and how cute’n’queer are all thems fourlegs, and spindly legs, and all other ‘legs’ are wot live on it. Along with the soothing lozenge of Sir David A’s narrative guiding us into his familiar world of planet Eden – anthropomorphizing poor furry creatures thru cheekily edited, happy little tales of their lives. Nah, mate. Nah!
Wot The Perfect Planet don’t do is provide something fresh, vital and totally relevant to a planet suffering human heatstroke; a call to action to make us sit up from our comfy sofas and really want to take a stand. All it does in the last few minutes of the last episode is get Sir David to scritch on about how this is our very last chance to save our… blah, blah, blah. Dog-dammit! We know all this. Shuddup, yer boring! Do something different (that stands out from the last 5 or 6 identical-formula BBC/Attenborough series); instead, gut punch us with the hard facts of our perfect planet’s finality. That’s why Planet of the Humans works so well and hits you right where it should: in the plum bobs – at a faction of the length, pretty pictures and prod. budget.
Can’t Get You Out of My Head (2021) – directed by Adam Curtis, BBC
Can’t Get You Out of My Head: Love, power, money, ghosts of empire, conspiracies, artificial intelligence and You. An emotional history of the modern world by Adam Curtis. (courtesy IMDb)My take: There is so much to absorb, deny, acclaim, and be slack-jawed in shock over the content of this six-part series, hitting almost 8hrs visual/sonic blitzkrieg that I won’t even try. Suffice to say, it opened my eyes to preconceptions and events in recent history that I have never thought of questioning, condoning – maybe even supporting. Adam Curtis has turned it all upside down. I can fall flat on my face and wriggle on my belly now towards the opinion that this is the best documentary series I have seen since The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski. Thank you so much BBC for delivering the right goods at a time when we really and desperately need them.