If I had to describe it in one word: Awesome. If I get two words: Super-Awesome.
But I must admit up front that I am super-biased. Why?
1. I am a discerning dude who loves the appropriate kind of movie destruction – and I think destruction by Apes is very appropro.
2. I love James Franco (but I am not gay)
To dispel all suspicions to the contrary this film is not a remake of any of the old Planet of the Apes films, it is a reboot – this story has not been done before.
Notwithstanding this hyper-technical factoid, any type of remake, reboot, revisit of prior films poses all kinds of risks of a major letdown. Fortunately, I myself have no stake in the original series.
You have to take this film for what it is. It is not high art. There are gaps in the plot. But overall it is an exciting and enthralling film.
As a foundation, it effectively offers character sketches of the three strong lead actors: James Franco as a passionate, flighty, and somewhat socially inept scientist bent on helping the world; John Lithgow as a father struggling with Alzheimer’s, and Caesar the lead ape, the movie is really about him and they really did a great job humanizing this ape.
And then the film added some themes that I really like: humans tampering with the natural order, existentialism, and animal rights.
Finally, as one would hope, the apes (I am so tempted to call them monkeys but they aren’t), kick major ass – they tear things apart, they ride horses, they defeat the SWAT team – you can’t go wrong, here. I mean if you are not into the ape carnage, still see it for Franco and Lithgow.
OVERALL RATING: 4/5 DISHES
The very funny Whitney Cummings once told Howard Stern how annoying it is that actors think they’re funny just because they can read lines written by comedians. Judging by the new promos for this year’s Oscars, Whitney’s got a point. I have absolutely no clue why the Academy thought hiring two non-comedic actors to host an awards show would be a good idea, especially since even the greatest comedian has trouble keeping the audience entertained. Watch the extremely unfunny promo below, and try not to fall asleep.
I woke up from my long Turkey vacation to discover that Anne Hathaway and James Franco are hosting this year’s Oscars. When I first read this I had to check my calender to confirm that it was December 1 and not April 1, because this ridiculous decision has to be a prank, right? So what were the suits thinking? I can only guess, but here goes. Because Hollywood is so insanely focused on the ridiculous 18-35 demographic for ratings purposes, it only makes sense to choose two very young celebrities to host an aging awards show that is desperately in need of a pick-me-up. Anne Hathaway makes sense because she’s an A-list actress, and her previous performance with Hugh Jackman at the Oscars proves she can carry a tune for at least 10 seconds. As for James Franco — he’s a complete mystery. I read an article about how he’s a heartthrob, and how the students swooned over him during his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, but I have no idea how that makes him worthy of hosting the Oscars. Also, I don’t mean to be rude — but I find the guy really boring in interviews. And furthermore, the Oscars should be hosted by a comedian. I realize that Hugh Jackman was incredible during his Oscar stint, but he compensated for the comedy by carrying the show with his own performances. Can Anne and James do that?