Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review - Movie catch-up - August

Only two movies to talk about this time - and with the up-coming vacation drawing near (1.5 weeks!!) it's possible Bob and I won't make it to any more movies this month.  But the two movies we have seen were:

Cowboys and Aliens * * * *

With both Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford starring in this movie, I was determined to see it no matter what!  A mash-up of sci-fi and western, horses and spaceships, it was sure to please.  And in my opinion, it did!

Did it have plot holes in it large enough to drive a Mac Truck through?  Why yes, yes it did!

Was the Aliens motivation weird and nonsensical?   Kinda!!

Did all the little villagers accept and understand the whole concept of Aliens without even batting an eye?  Totally Darn-Tootin' right!

Do I care about ANY of that?  NO, no I really do not!!  Because it was a fun, hilarious western movie with sci-fi elements and starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford!  Ergo, it was awesome!

Bob said the best thing about it was that the theater was dark and full of air-conditioning.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes * * * * *

This "re-boot" of the Planet of the Apes series is quite possibly the best thing to happen to the franchise since Charlton Heston first uttered those famous words, "Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

This movie comes almost exactly 10 years after the Tim Burton / Mark Wahlberg version which was released in late July of 2001.  And for reasons that I've never completely understood, the Tim Burton remake seems to be almost universally reviled and hated.  I don't know why - I've always loved it.  Whatever.

But Rise of the Planet of the Apes blows that one completely out of the water.  James Franco, as I'm sure you know unless you've been living under a rock, plays a scientist trying to cure Alzheimer's, a cause close to his heart as his father (played by John Lithgow) has been stricken with the disease.  During ape trials, one female ape, (nicknamed Bright Eyes in one of the many nods and references to the original series), gives birth, and when the program shuts down and the apes are all slated to be destroyed, Franco sneaks the baby home and raises it as part of the family, soon discovering that Caesar (played by Andy Serkis using motion capture) has inherited his mother's vast intelligence.

The story is emotional and endearing, and as a viewer you quickly grow quite attached to Caesar, and strongly empathize with the young ape who is intelligent enough to realize that he's somewhere between a pet and a person, but not quite fitting into either world.

Before we went to see the movie, during one of the previews on TV, Bob asked me why I thought the apes were so angry, referring to the scenes on the Golden Gate Bridge, and I told him I wasn't sure; but in the movie, it all flows very seamlessly together. And ultimately that is why I love this movie.  Everything makes sense.  Everything flows together, people's reactions are appropriate to the way humans interact with each other and with animals.  There's no big stretch to understanding why the apes on the bridge are angry and attacking helicopters and policemen.  There's a reason, it makes sense, and it's totally understandable and BELIEVABLE!

It's also a little bit terrifying, in the very subtle and quiet way the film uses to show the beginning of the demise of the humans (Stay through the first half of the credits at'll know when it's safe to leave), because you can actually imagine that happening.

Overall, this now takes the top spot as my #1 favorite movie of 2011.  It's emotional, funny, thought-provoking, and just a plain-old all-around amazingly-awesome movie which you should totally go see right now.

I already want to go see it again.


OK - That's it for this edition!  The upcoming movies that I'm still looking forward to are:

Conan the Barbarian - (Jason Momoa!)
Fright Night (Colin Farrell, David Tennant!)
Abduction - (Taylor Lautner - Don't say it, I know.  I know!)
In Time - (This looks A-Frickin'-Mazing!  Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Cillian Murphy, & Johnny Galecki)
The Three Musketeers (Milla Jovovich & Orlando Bloom)
Contagion (Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet)
Anonymous (Political thriller theorizing that Shakespeare didn't exist. Vanessa Redgrave & David Thewlis).
Immortals (Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto - Looks awesome!)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr. Hooray - The boys are back!!)
Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (I am such a sucker for this theme song!)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Daniel Craig and, oh who cares? It's Daniel Craig! Hopefully this will rock!)
Another Earth (I've heard such good things!)

Wow - That's a crazy long list!  What about you?  What have you seen recently, and what are you looking forward to?


  1. I don't get a chance to see movies that often any more. I have to wait until they come out on DVD, but I really want to see Cowboys and Aliens. I love your review for it! I want to see Fright Night too. I adore David Tennant. I didn't know Daniel Craig was going to be in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Now I'm much more interested in it. I've seen the European version of the film. It was... harsh. It's true to the book, though.

  2. @Christine RainsHiya! Re: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I've read the book, (the whole series, actually), but I haven't seen the European film...although I would like to I think. Hopefully the US version will be as good as the book was, but maybe not quite so graphically "harsh"?

  3. Cowboys and Aliens - does exactly what it says on the tin. It has cowboys and it has aliens. It also has some great special effects. You don't really need much of a plot, which is just as well, because there isn't much of one, but it doesn’t matter. It's a fun movie and it kills the time in an entertaining fashion.

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes - WAAAAYYYY better than I thought it would be, and from the trailer and clips I'd seen, it looked like it was going to be pretty neat. Loved this film - a good, solid 8/10 for being entertaining, intelligent, and not too long. Excellent performances from a cast that was class acts all the way.

    Conan the Barbarian - Looking forward to this one.
    Fright Night - Loved the 80s original and think this one looks like a decent remake
    In Time - Don't know anything about this one, but since you say it looks amazing, I thin I'll have to look it up!
    The Three Musketeers - You can't go far wrong with this and from the trailer it looks like a rip-roaring rollercoaster ride!
    Immortals - Looks all kinds of awesome and then some! I adored 300, so this is top of my To Watch list!
    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - The first one wasn't much cop, but I still want to see where they take it with the sequel...
    Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol - Deffo gonna see this.
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Was bored by the original one, but the trailer for this looks fantastic. Hope it rocks as much as the trailer promises.

  4. @diaryofadomesticgoddess Hi Kell! I love when you comment because, in addition to getting to read your commentary, I also end up learning something! After reading what you said about Cowboy and Aliens above, I was left with the vague impression that on your side of the globe DVD's come in tin boxes? But then that didn't make sense as the movie just came out and wasn't on DVD yet. (Yeah, I'm a little slow today...). So I Googled "what it says on the tin" and learned all sorts of things I never knew before!! Fantastic!

  5. Glad to be of some educational use as well as entertainment - LOL! ;)