Friday, May 10, 2024

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

My ViewKingdom of the Planet of the Apes  (2024)  PG-13  Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes place many years after Caesar’s reign when a young ape goes on a journey that will make him question everything he’s been taught about the past, especially the history of humans. A human woman (Freya Allan) becomes the key to the young ape’s quest, though he learns she has her own plans. I am a big fan of the Planet of the Apes trilogy that started with the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes. They were well written, the acting was top-notch, the special effects were terrific, and the stories were captivating. It took us back to a world I had discovered along with Charlton Heston and a certain leather bikini-clad woman, making the story new and compelling. Now comes along a new film, one that takes place 300 years or so after our adventures with Cesar. What we get is a mess. We have a new ape to follow, a young chimp named Noa (Owen Teague), who is trying to be an ape like his father. But there are some bad guys that, for some reason, invade Noa’s family’s camp, kill a bunch of apes, and take others for hostages. Noa then, for some reason, becomes involved in saving the life of a human, and the adventure begins. This is a film that is two and a half hours long, and almost nothing happens. Sure, there are a few fights, a few chases, and lots of walking/talking, but it doesn’t accomplish a lot other than possibly setting up another film in the future. So I suggest you go back and watch the trilogy, or even Chuck Heston yelling at those ‘dirty apes’ instead of seeing this film. Just don’t watch the 1971 film Escape from the Planet of the Apes. It’s pretty bad, and no Heston.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Website  Now playing in theaters nationwide. 

My ViewMother of the Bride  (2024)  TV-PG  Mother of the Bride begins when Lana (Brooke Shields) is given the happy but shocking news that her daughter Emma (Miranda Cosgrove) is getting married. Things get complicated when she arrives at the destination wedding and discovers that the man her daughter is marrying is the son of a man (Benjamin Bratt) who broke her heart in college. This is your pretty ordinary rom-com with lots of shenanigans that you can see coming a mile away. We all know that by the film’s end, everything will work out alright, and everyone will be happy and dancing. Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt have some nice chemistry going, but not enough to overcome a script that takes no chances, making this film seem too sweet for its own good.   My Rating: Cable  Mother of the Bride Website Now playing on Netflix.

IndiefestThe Last Stop in Yuma County  (2023)  R  A traveling salesman (Jim Cummings) is out of gas and stranded at a rural Arizona rest stop restaurant, which isn’t due for a gas delivery for a few hours. A bad day gets worse when two bank robbers walk into the restaurant and have no qualms about using violence to get what they want. However, the robbers are about to discover that the locals aren’t afraid of a little violence. Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right? Well, for this cast of characters, this is a day that is filled with bad luck and even worse decision-making. As you watch this fun and tense film, you realize that something bad is going to happen, you just don’t know how bad. Jim Cummings plays a traveling salesman who isn’t very good at his job. Jocelin Donahue is the waitress who has to man the diner by herself but seems up for the job. In walks two bank robbers who just want to get gas and get back on the road but can’t until the gas truck comes by. Here’s the rub. We, the audience, know that the gas truck isn’t coming; it’s been in an accident that no one knows about. So, while more and more people arrive at the diner, we know no one is probably going to leave without something big going down. I loved this film from the moment the first song played over the scene of the gas truck on its side in a ditch to the last frame (which I won’t describe). It’s a fun film filled with funny moments, but there is drama too, and the tension keeps ratcheting up as the time keeps slipping away. Full of wonderful characters and a storyline that keeps you guessing, The Last Stop in Yuma County is a time well spent at a dinner that has the slogan ‘Rhubarb Pie You Will Die For.’    My Rating: Full Price  The Last Stop in Yuma County Website    Now playing in select theaters. 

Forgotten Film: Mountains of the Moon (1990) R  The story of Capt. Richard Francis Burton (Patrick Bergin) and Lt. John Speke (Iain Glen) go on a perilous expedition to find the source of the Nile. This is a story of two men who find companionship and friendship in the lust for adventure and glory, only to have that friendship fall apart because of jealousy and miscommunication once they return to civilization. The two actors are perfect in their roles, and the story is full of adventure and intrigue. They are two men who were best friends when times were rough and scary but became enemies when things got back to where matters were no longer life and death, just who got the credit.    My Rating: Full Price  Mountains of the Moon Info  The film is available on disc. 

My View: Poolman (2024) R  Poolman is the story of Darren Barrenman (Chris Pine), a man who loves his hometown of LA and fights to protect it while caring for the pool in his apartment complex. Darren is hired to uncover the truth behind a shady councilman, and he enlists his friends to help him get the dirt on the politician. Darren is about to uncover a hidden truth about his beloved city. Poolman is a film that needed about ten rewrites before they started filming because the script/plot is incredibly weak and meanders around a story that never comes to life. I think that Chris Pine (who wrote and directed the film) thought that if he created a wild and wacky character, the film would fall into place. Unfortunately, nothing works in this film, which is sad because the cast is stellar, with Jennifer Jason Leigh playing Darren’s girlfriend, Danny De Vito playing his friend helping Darren make a documentary, and Annette Bening as his not-so-great therapist. But nothing works in this film as the jokes fall flat, the mystery is confusing and not very creative, and Pine, as a director, has no sense of pace. So, if you want to see a long-haired, slightly confused hippie, watch The Big Lebowski instead. Because the pool should be closed, at least for the season.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again Poolman Website   Now playing in theaters.

Indiefest: Evil Does Not Exist (2023)  Takumi (Hitoshi Omika) is a widowed dad to Hana (Ryô Nishikawa), living in the woods outside an isolated village in Japan. Takumi is a self-labeled ‘jack of all trades’ kind of man who helps his fellow community members while trying to live as simply as possible. Takumi and the rest of his village’s life are disrupted when a company comes into their community and tells them they are building a ‘Glamping’ compound so the city folk from Tokyo can experience outdoor life while having all the comforts of home. Takumi and his village realize that if the company builds a compound, the environmental impact will ruin their way of life, especially destroying the local water source that they so dearly value. The film is from Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, who brought us the two-time Oscar-nominated 2021 film Drive My Car, one of my favorite films of 2022. Evil Does Not Exist is a film, like Drive My Car, that won’t answer all the questions that it poses. When two company representatives (Ryuji Osaka and Ayaka Shibutani) try to hire Takumi as a consultant to win him over, we never find out if Takumi sees through their ruse or if he will take the bait. This is a film about relationships. The relationship between Takumi and the rest of his fellow villagers. The relationship between Takumi and his daughter, who adores her father, and is a willing student learning all that her father can teach her about the wonders of the forest. And it’s about the relationship between man and nature. The forest is a character in this film, often dominating the lens, as we frequently lose sight of Takumi or his daughter because of the forest. Evil Does Not Exist is a film that, when you leave, you will have more questions than answers, but isn’t that the way with nature? Often it’s a mystery that can’t be solved.  My Rating: Full Price  Evil Does Not Exist  Now playing in theatres.

Weird Credits: From Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes:  Apes Vocals Editor

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: The Strangers: Chapter 1 (2024) R  The Strangers: Chapter 1 takes place when Maya (Madelaine Petsch) and her boyfriend, Ryan (Froy Gutierrez), are on a road trip in the Pacific Northwest. Along the way, their car breaks down, forcing them to spend the night in an isolated Airbnb. Maya and Ryan are about to be visited by three masked strangers. This is a relaunch of The Strangers film series, the first of three films shot consecutively and directed by Renny Harlin.  The Strangers Website   The film is in theaters on Friday, May 17th. 

Until Next Time!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.