‘Apes’ a worthwhile franchise resurrection
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is now in theaters.
- “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
2011, Rupert Wyatt, U.S., PG-1
- New films
Director: Lone Scherfig.
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess.
The plot: Emma meets Dexter on their night of their college
graduation: July 15, 1989. And for the next two decades, every July
15 reveals how the two are faring in life and love.
Genre: Drama, romance.
Director: Craig Gillespie.
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell.
The plot: Teenager Charley Brewster guesses that his new
neighbor Jerry Dandridge is a vampire responsible for a string of
- Film roundup
‘COWBOYS & ALIENS’
★★ 1⁄2 (out of four)
I always appreciate it when a film makes an effort to show me
something I haven’t seen before, and I’m willing to forgive a great
many oversights in exchange for that spark of creativity. “Cowboys
& Aliens” (based on the comic book by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg,
but credited to no less than eight screenwriters) offers up an
intriguing blend of the Western, adventure and science-fiction
genres, and that alone is a novel enough concept to pique my
interest. The film has a lot of fun with the madcap mixup and even
includes several blink-and-you’ll-miss-them nods to such genre
staples as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Searchers,” and I can
honestly say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Perhaps
I’m being too lenient, but the fact that it’s an extremely flawed
film almost — almost — takes a backseat to the bold originality of
it central conceit.
‘HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS: PART
★★★ 1⁄2 (out of four)
There’s something to be said for a book franchise that has
almost single-handedly instilled a love of reading into a whole
generation of youths, and a movie franchise that has brought
genuine joy to hundreds of millions of people. In the end, the
positive residual effects of Pottermania easily trump the cynicism
and greed that went into its creation. And despite its status as a
studio product, I defy any old-fashioned, entertainment-seeking
moviegoer to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and
come away dissatisfied.
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
“Horrible Bosses” is a hard-R comedy filled with more than its
share of boundary-pushing humor and, admittedly, lapses in logic
and plausibility. It is not concerned with filmic issues like
editing and cinematography. It has but two goals: to engage you
with its characters and their plight, and to make you laugh. That
it succeeds so thoroughly on both counts leaves one no choice but
to declare it some kind of mini-masterpiece of comic timing and
momentum. Plenty of these sort of movies fulfill their roles and
deliver the goods — “The Hangover, Part II,” “Bridesmaids” and (to
a slightly lesser extent) “Hall Pass” are recent examples. But what
sets “Horrible Bosses” apart is its sheer, delirious energy. There
is not a dull moment to be had here, and it’s a perfect example of
how top-tier direction, writing and performance can elevate even
the most base concept to the level of what can only be described as
Until now, Pixar was never in the sequel business — save for the
“Toy Story” films, which proved that with the right cast and crew,
animated follow-ups could be much more than a cash cow. But with
the release of “Cars 2,” and announced sequels to “Monsters, Inc.”
and “The Incredibles” (with a fourth “Toy Story” entry rumored), it
is clear that the studio is now embracing the idea with gusto. This
decision has caused a fair amount of controversy, as Pixar has
always been rightly viewed as a haven for creativity and
originality — words that aren’t exactly synonymous with
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011 8:18 am
Updated: 11:56 am, Fri Aug 12, 2011.
Summer is winding down, and I find myself unburdened by the
bitter cynicism that typically plagues me this time of year. It’s a
pretty good time to be a moviegoer, relatively speaking, as it’s
rare thing indeed to look at a multiplex marquee and actually find
a handful of films that are worth seeing (“The Smurfs,” of course,
This week we’ll look at another strong late-summer release, and
slated for next week is “30 Minutes Or Less.” It should be good for
a laugh or two, provided you can come to terms with the fact that
it was apparently inspired by a horrific true-crime case that
resulted in a mentally challenged man getting his head blown off by
an exploding neck collar. I guess anything can be comedic fodder
these days ...
Friday, August 12, 2011 8:18 am.
Updated: 11:56 am.