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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

If you’re looking to compare 1968’s “Planet of the Apes” with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” don’t even bother.  The former from 43 years ago is a crowning achievement of the Science Fiction genre.  Astronauts from Earth crash land on a planet ruled by apes.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set in present day San Francisco.  Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who’s desperately scrambling to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease through genetic therapy.   The experimental drugs are used on chimp apes & gorillas.

People will remember this movie for Ceasar (Andy Serkis).  The motion capture performance by Serkis adds a dimension of reality never before seen in a film.  This chimp shows every emotion from sorrow, happiness, fear & of course rage. Extremely well done special effects by WETA.

The tone of this film is dark & grows darker with each act.  There’s a spotlight on animal cruelty which automatically puts you on the sides of the apes.  The abuse is simply captivity.  These beasts should be in the wild & not locked up in rusty cages.  As the movie progresses, the friction between humans & apes escalates.

As you see in the movie’s trailer, the apes escape, revolt & run rampant through the streets of San Francisco.  The movie is thought-provoking & well made. It is worth seeing.  But for me personally, I prefer the Charlton Heston version.

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To heighten drama, medical advances are catapulted forward at lightning speed.  Crucial steps are missed & experimental drugs fall prey to corporate greed.



Your Highness, You’re No Princess Bride

I was curious.  Could “Your Highness,” be the period piece comedy,  to make a run at one of my top 5 favorite films of all time,  “The Princess Bride?”  Not. Even. Close.  “Your Highness” always goes for the cheap laugh.  I get it.  I love raunchy rated “R” comedies.  “There’s Something About Mary,” kills me!  “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,”  I am one of the Sorrow Suckers! In those movies, I actually cared about the characters.  Not so much in “Your Highness.”

James Franco & Danny McBride play brothers.  McBride is jealous of his heroic, svelt sibling.  The weird thing here, Franco displays intense physical affection for his own brother.  That’s pretty messed up.  I say, who cares if two men are gay?  But brothers?  I just don’t get it.

Kudos for filming in Northern Ireland.  There’s gorgeous scenery.  On the other hand, it looked like smaller scenes were filmed inside Medieval Times.  British accents are tough.  Natalie Portman pulls hers off perfectly.  McBride & Franco flat out butcher Brit accents.

I love to laugh. Comedies are what we all need.  What you have here is a stoner comedy at its core.  Don’t over think it.  This movie tries to get laughs for all the wrongs reasons.  Hehe, they keep saying the “F” word.  Hehe there’s boobies.  Hehe there’s gay humor.  Hehe there’s a penis.    There’s an uber cringing moment when a horny pot-smoking oracle talks about  sexually abusing James Franco’s character as a child.  The bar has been lowered here.  At the very least, it’s in terrible taste to do child sex abuse jokes.  It’s a cheap shot. There’s too much other stuff to make fun of in this setting.

If you’re looking for a movie with charm, wonderment, sword fights, miracles, heroics, true love…..you’d better rent “The Princess Bride.”

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