Reeling: Disneynature's 'Chimpanzee' (2012)

Disneynature's "Chimpanzee" is a remarkable documentary, three years in the making with many more spent in preparation. This motion picture is an alternately sad and heartwarming true-life adventure captured by superlative cinematographers slogging through an African rain forest to observe their subjects. It already claims an Oscar.

"Chimpanzee" (2012) Movie Trailer via YouTube

The tale is suitable for most ages (which, after much bawling and promises to tidy my room, includes me).

Any extreme violence is left off-screen, but next time I'll be watching with my plush Thumper doll nearby. Somehow his presence feels appropriate.

"Chimpanzee" begs to be seen in high definition. You'll miss out if you do not. A Cheetah suit is not required, but appreciated.

I have fresh empathy for our distant chimpanzee relatives and thank them for the cool new table manners.


Reeling: "Comes a Horseman" (1978)

We enjoyed "Comes a Horseman," a World War II era western I chose to revisit after 30+ years and share with The Sweetie®.

This is the tale of a ruthless cattle rancher / oil-baron-in-waiting (Jason Robards), matching wits and determination against underdog cowpokes (Jane Fonda, James Caan).

The film is entertaining, engrossing, and inadvertently puzzling. Our minds are engulfed in the mystery surrounding the numerous similarities of this screenplay to the television series "Dallas," which debuted in 1978, too. Neither production appears to be officially related to the other in strict plotting or behind-the-cameras lineage or source material, but one can't miss the coincidences, among them:

  • Robards' villain is named Jacob Ewing, phonetically close to Dallas patriarch Jock Ewing. Introducing Robards alternately as J.W. Ewing, as he is, can't help but suggest Jock's given name, John Ross Ewing, Sr. or J.R. Ewing.

  • Fonda's character is Ella, Ewing's desirable land owner prize. The "Dallas'" counterpart is Ellie, Ewing's desirable land owner prize.

  • Crusty Relatives: "Comes a Horseman" has beloved "Dodger." TV has beloved "Digger."

  • Actor Jim Davis, Jacob Ewing's evil henchman, was subsequently cast as Jock Ewing -- whom, I might add, looks EXACTLY the same!

What are the chances of that happening?
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