EARTH II (1971)
Article #1253 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-19-2004
Posting Date: 1-16-2005
Directed by Tom Gries
Featuring Gary Lockwood, Anthony Franciosa, Scott Hylands
A space station called Earth II must cope with a Chinese satellite harboring nuclear warheads.
I think the movie gods are trying to teach me a lesson for taking potshots at yesterday’s movie CHOSEN SURVIVORS. This seems to be its polar opposite; instead of taking place underground during a nuclear holocaust, this one takes place in the new frontier of outer space where hope of a new vision of humanity reigns supreme. Instead of having unpleasant characters yell at each other all the time, this one has pleasant people talking nicely to each other in normal tones of voice. And instead of a hysterically dark view of human nature, this one gives us a bland feel-good view of man and his future. Unfortunately, the key word here is bland; this movie not only courts blandness, it’s married it and made a lifelong commitment to it. It also, like many science fiction movies of the era, borrows a lot of its style from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (also note the presence of Gary Lockwood), and like so many others that tried the same trick, it has no clue as to why that style was appropriate for that movie and deadly for others. One example of its wrongheadedness; whereas the extended docking sequence in 2001 was shot like with a ballet-like lyricism to the strains of “The Blue Danube Waltz”, this one is shot flatly to the strains of some anonymous elevator music. I’m not sure whether it’s a theatrical release or a TV-Movie; IMDB lists it as the latter, but also points out that it had a theatrical rating (G, or course). I’m opting for TV-Movie, myself; this one has “pilot for potential TV series” written all over it. I’m just grateful it wasn’t picked up.
By the way, the main character is named David Seville. Despite this, the Chipmunks do not show up. This is a pity; they would have helped this one immensely.