A Boy and His Dog

commentary a boy and his dog

A Boy And His Dog is an odd duck in the world of post-apocalyptic cinema in that it’s neither pure action nor pure drama. It exists somewhere in between the two extremes with a dark yet playful sense of humor courtesy of Harlan Ellison‘s source novella. It tells the story of a young man (Don Johnson) and his telepathic dog trying to survive in a world devastated by a global five day war. Food, water and companionship are priorities, but sometimes you have to settle for two out of three. Shout! Factory’s new Blu-ray release includes a sharp HD transfer, a previously-recorded commentary, and a brand new conversation between Ellison and and director L.Q. Jones as they rehash the film’s production and their nearly forty year old disagreements. This is a must-buy for fans of Ellison, misogyny or sci-fi in general. Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for L.Q. Jones’ A Boy And His Dog.

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Movies to See Before the End of the World: A Boy and His Dog

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: A Boy and His Dog (1975) The Plot: Vic (Don Johnson) and his telepathic dog Blood scavenge the ruins of America, eking out a simple life while hunting for food, sex, and the new American dream of not dying a horrible death after World War IV. Their journey soon leads Vic to a seemingly perfect underground society, complete with food, picnics, Americana, and ladies that don’t need to be struck on the face to sleep with you, but Blood smells something is amiss.

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

Back in ’82 this little movie came out about a boy who found an alien in his backyard. It was called E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Ever heard of it? He phoned home and whatnot? This was basically the movie that solidified Steven Spielberg as being not just a guy who was making great movies everybody liked, but as being the most important director in the world: the guy. When you see that Amblin Entertainment logo you know you’re in for a certain kind of movie designed to appeal to everyone, and it’s an image from E.T. that gets the job done. Russkies came out in ’87, when the outbreak of Spielberg imitator movies about kids going on adventures was in full swing. This one is about a group of kids who find a Russian naval officer who has washed up on the coast of their Florida town. Even Spielberg knockoffs as bad as Mac and Me still get mentioned when people start talking about the good old days of the 80s, when family programming was king, but I’ve never in my life heard anyone bring up Russkies. Considering two of the main three kids in this movie are a young Joaquin Phoenix (pre-hobo beard) and Peter Billingsley (pretty much the king of 80s nostalgia), how is this movie completely forgotten?

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Keanu Reeves’ The Day The Earth Stood Still remake got us thinking about other impending re-imaginings of science fiction classics. That in turn got us thinking about “classic” sci-fi films that should never get remade. Which in turn got us thinking about a few that probably should.

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