Tag Archives: H.G. Wells

Where the Wild Things Are: Synetic’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, reviewed.

The inhabitants of Synetic Theater's "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (Johnny Shryock)

This acrobatic Moreau is a rich sensual experience, one that deflates at the end but not before it has vividly dramatized Wells’s big question: Is physical suffering at best irrelevant and at worst necessary? Can we evolve by teaching ourselves to ignore it? By way of demonstrating his answer, Moreau takes a glinting blade and slices a red trail through his own forearm, ignoring the pain like he’s Peter O’Toole playing Lawrence of Arabia, or Gordon Liddy playing himself, or Gary Busey playing Mr. Joshua. (In Lethal Weapon, duh. Read a book, why don’t you.) We always hurt the ones we’re forcibly trying to improve.

My review of Synetic Theater’s new adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau is in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

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Colon? We don’t need no steenking colon! War of the Worlds Goliath, reviewed.

A Martian in a flu mask, from "War of the Worlds Goliath."

If I were designing the poster for War of the Worlds Goliath, the suspiciously colon-free, animated steampunk sequel to H. G. Wells‘ seminal sci-fi novel War of the Worlds, the tagline would be, “And this time, they wore their flu masks!”

Orson Welles‘ 1938 radio adaptation of the book is one of my favorite things ever. I still listen to it every single Halloween. I’m a big fan of Steven Spielberg‘s 2005 movie version, too.

The cartoon sequel, which I reviewed for The Dissolve, does not fare well in such venerated company. Or even, more importantly, on its own terms.