When I went to see the third installment of this old movies series with a new spin, I was expecting no less than a top rate attempt to rekindle the hype of the first “Rise of The Planet of The Apes.” Although I really loved the plot, the actors, the scenery, and the special effects, I couldn’t help but feel slightly cheated at the end.
Andy Serkis was no less of a Caesar, reprising his role as the intelligent chimpanzee who speaks, and leads his army of apes across the countryside. The movie opens with the apes living in a peaceful society, until a military unit uncovers their location, and opens a barrage of firepower at them. The apes retaliate, killing all but four soldiers, who they release with a message-leave us alone.
One of the men returns to tell the Colonel (Woody Harrellson) of the apes location’, and they are attacked by the crazed colonel and his army, who are bent on destroying the apes the way a doctor would wipe out a virus. Caeser’s wife and oldest son are among the fatalities, and the charismatic leader becomes consumed with hate and revenge.
Caesar leaves with a small group of survivors, and they decide to head north and west. They part ways when Caesar tells Maurice(Karin Kanoral) that he must face the colonel alone. He sends the others ahead, but Maurice and a couple others refuse to let him go it alone.
They meet a young mute girl they later named Nova(Amich Miller), after her father is accidentally shot and killed by one of the apes. They decide to take her because she has no other parent. They soon find out the colonel is holding the others and using them to work for him with no food or water. Caesar is forced to turn himself in, and is temporarily shunned even by his own kind. As tensions between two human factions mount, the apes work together for a plan of action.
Out of the three movies, this one is the most philosophical. The leader deals with his inner beings to avoid being like his adversary, Kobo. In fact, hatred is still present through the gorilla Red(Ty Olson), an old follower of Kobo, and an ape with a slight attitude. My favorite simian was “Bad Ape”, a stranded orphan from a zoo, who has learned English quite well. Winter(Aleks Paunovic) is a disgruntled white gorilla, who later becomes a traitor to their cause. Rocket(Terry Notary) returns, as Caeser’s right hand “man”, and Judy Grier plays Corniella, his wife.
The movie leaves us with a sense of hope for the ape’s future. A new home, where humans don’t exist, and apes can live in peace. The only problem I had with this picture is the way it ended; one expected a big battle with the apes taking over mankind, but it was more of a fight for their own survival. Perhaps this is intentional, as to not imitate the previous 70’s series. There are little snippets towards the original series, using the same names and phrases, and even some plot lines, but this is a very different and unique series. It provides us hope for our own future and planet, warning us we can be our own worst enemies as a race.
All in all, I enjoyed the movie, although I didn’t think it was the best of the series. Dawn was much more internal, and explosive of a movie than its sequel, but War did offer a look at the next phase of the journey, if the producers so choose to write it.
4 out of 5 stars
BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
I must admit, when this movie came out, I thought this was just going to be one of those dull, superhero crossover flicks, like the Marvel ones, which my opinion, goes a little awry. I don’t mean to offend Marvel fans, I myself loved all of the Spiderman flicks, as well as the Xmen franchise. I’m not as keen on the Hulk, but the first one was a good movie overall.
But DC has yet to monopolize in the combined superhero flick, and this one was a good starting point. It starts where Man of Steel left off; Metropolis half destroyed from General Zod’s attack on the city. Bruce Wayne(Ben Affleck) is visiting from nearby Gotham City, which has been completely destroyed by the Krytonian invasion. I had reservations about Ben playing Wayne or Batman, because I didn’t feel he was right for the part. I was wrong, as we see a very different Affleck here than in Daredevil, more vengeful and bitter. Driven by the death of his parents, and hatred towards the newcomer, Superman (Henry Cavil), he’s on a path of self destruction; up against a fight he can’t possibly win.
Enter Lex Luthor (Jessie Eisenberg), who finds Superman’s weakness. He discovers there is a large quantity of Kryptonite, which he ships from halfway across the world. Batman locates the position of the truck, and sets out after it, only to be stopped by his would be foe, who tries to reason with him. Batman loses the initial fight, but he returns once he’s found out how to obtain the Kryptonite. When he does, he designs weapons to use against his caped adversary, including a krypto-tipped spear.
Meanwhile, Luthor abducts Superman’s mom, played by Diane Lane, as leverage. He enters the Kryptonian ship and starts a metamorphosis of a creature which has been long dead to their world. When Superman comes to Lex, he tells him he must kill Batman or she will die.
Once the two meet, they realize that they aren’t each others enemy, as the new threat surfaces. When Diane Prince (Gal Gadot) hears of the impending doom, she springs into action as Wonder Woman.
All in all, I thought this was a very well put together film. Its strength is in its actors; especially the doting butler, Alfred, played by the seasoned Jeremy Irons, and the overzealous editor Mr. White, played by Lawerence Fishbourne, and of course, Diane Lane as Martha Kent. The movie left a door open to a spinoff, as The Justice league no doubt won’t be far behind. I especially liked the way they tied two stories together.
What I didn’t like was the choice of villain in Jessie Eisenberg (Superbad, Zombieland). Although he was well cast in other movies, I felt he fell short in this one. He reminded me of a young, sniveling, greedy Donald trump who felt the world owed him, even though he was the richest kid on the block. He lacked the tenacity of Gene Hackman, or Kevin Spacey as Luthor that was portrayed in earlier films. I would’ve like to see a different actor, perhaps even Edward Norton (Fight Club, Incredible Hulk).
The other thing that bothered me was the constant dream flashbacks of Bruce Wayne’s past. I felt in this movie it was irrelevant and a waste of good film time. If you’re a fan, you know the back story of Bruce Wayne by now, and don’t need to be reminded of it. Let’s hope in the Justice League we don’t focus too much of past histories, or it’ll make for a very confusing movie.
This one was good, but I can’t give it any higher than a 6 out of 10, as I felt it needed a little more substance in the villain. And to me, it’s all about the villain.
The latest Bond film, SPECTRE, again takes actor Daniel Craig back to the roots of Bond, with Ralph Fiennes as M, and Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny. Directed by Sam Mendes, it is the most expensive Bond film to date, at 245 million dollars, complete with the infamous Austin Martin, this time a more souped up version, complete with rear machine guns and a flame thrower. Unfortunately, Bond steals the vehicle from MI6 headquarters before Q and his team load it.
Ben Wishaw returns as Q, as the usual humorous, but inventive scientist who actually performs some field work in this one. The new actor in this part always reminded me of my daughter’s ex-boyfriend. His high performance vehicle is the real star of this new movie, although it’s short lived in the main chase of the film.
Jesper Christenen also returns as the elusive Mr. White, whose daughter is the target of a man thought to be dead called Franz Oberhauser, aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld(Christopher Waltz). Lea Seydoux, plays White’s daughter, Dr. Madelline Swan.
Being a lifetime fan of Bond, I would have to say that it’s refreshing to see an old Bond villain return in a new style. Waltz’s portrayal of Blofeld is haunting and sinister, especially when he uses his mechanical torture device on him, equipped with a tiny drill just big enough to penetrate his skull, but not enough to kill him. This craziness is what Bond is all about, along with the fight against a huge, impossible to kill henchman. I still didn’t know if he survived or not after he was kicked off the train, but I’m willing to bet the answer was yes. It reminded me of the unstoppable Richard Kiel as Jaws, who just recently passed away.
The ending was equally as refreshing, knowing that Bond restrains himself from actually killing Blofeld. This leaves the door open for the next Bond film, as the next actor, whoever that may be. All in all, it was a great film, with a compelling story line, great actors, breathtaking scenery, and lots of action! The only thing that would have made it better would be more gadgets. 10 out 10!
FOR MY FIRST REVIEW: INTERSTELLAR
I held off going to this movie until I did my best of sci-fi series because I wanted to compare this with all the ones on the list, and let me tell you-it was worth it. It was probably one of the best science fiction movies I’ve ever seen, and the most realistic. There were a couple of that parts that had me shaking my head, but other than that it was excellent.
The main character Cooper(Micheal McConnaughy), is with his family on a dying Earth, until his daughter and he run across an underground complex that is run by what’s left of NASA. Dr. Mann(Micheal Caine) asks Cooper, who used to be a test pilot, to pilot a craft through a wormhole, and find a new planet for Earth to call home.
This film is loaded with special effects, but they are only eye candy for what’s really going on. This is really a story about humanity, how we treat each other as a species, and what we sometimes have to leave behind for the good of all. The acting is first rate, with Anne Hathaway and Matt Damon also in the cast.
The science of the movie is dead on, even up to the black hole sequence, where I did take a little issue with the time-space paradox, but the physics were there. The issue I had is how Cooper was able to communicate with his daughter in the past, and they conveniently explained this away with a fifth dimension. And how he was able to travel through it without a ship. Other than that, it was solid piece of sci-fi and a must see. It reminds me of my own book without the aliens, and also has similarities of 2001. #9 out of #10!