I am – Hercules!!
It’s critic-filmmaker Richard Schickel’s hour-long documentary about ‘50s and ‘60s sci-fi movies, featuring interviews with Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron and Ridley Scott.
(By the way. If you’re keen to see “Forbidden Planet” in gorgeous HD, HDNet Movies is satcasting it this Friday night 11:35 / 8:35 PT.
… an immensely entertaining hour that enhances TCM's status as a prime location for film aficionados. … perhaps not surprisingly, it's Spielberg who essentially dominates the proceedings. Not only does his childlike enthusiasm remain undiminished, but he can recall with absolute clarity his experiences viewing, say, "Invaders From Mars," which "undid my world." …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… With the docu's opening sequence, a shameless advertisement for Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" (how's that for product placement?), we can predict the future: These "Skies" will belong to Spielberg. Our predictions come true as he waxes on, rehashing his childhood and pointing out how important '50s sci-fi films were to him. … Where Schickel could have gone for the broad view (how about some other voices, for starters, or some contemplation of sci-fi's historical significance?), he decides not to. These three auteurs are obviously, at this stage of his career, world enough for him.
The Buffalo News gives it three stars (out of four) and says:
… With so many series in the 2005-06 TV season focused on science fiction, including ABC's "Invasion," NBC's "Surface" and CBS' "Threshold," the documentary also can be viewed as a research project that prepares viewers for the future. … It may not be as much fun as playing "whack-a-mole" and probably could have gone on twice as long. But "Watch the Skies!" is a very watchable hour that has enough Pilates for the brain to increase your enjoyment watching several sci-fi films airing Tuesday on TCM …
The Toledo Blade says:
… Not as entertaining as the clips, maybe, but a lot more enlightening, are interviews with a number of heavyweight sci-fi filmmakers … Cameron's outlook isn't nearly as rosy as Spielberg's. He says that his impressions of interplanetary relations as being mostly violent encounters are simply a reflection of human nature. He describes it as his "Whack-a-Mole Theory," referring to the carnival game that involves quickly bashing the heads of mechanical moles with a mallet as they pop up from their holes. In similar fashion, he says, a galactic civilization reacts like that to other civilizations as they rise up to present potential threats.
8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Tuesday. Turner Classic Movies.