Showing posts from August, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) PG-13

It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (starring Mark Wahlberg) hit the big screen. While that film got mixed reviews, which is certainly understandable, I enjoyed it and it cleaned up at the box office. A lot of people were quite skeptical when first trailers for this reboot were released. It appeared to be way too CGI-driven and cheesy. While this film obviously relies heavily on CGI, it's anything but cheesy.

Having now seen all seven Planet of the Apes films, I must say that this one ranks among the best. If not the very best. This time around, inexperienced director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) is at the helm and boy does he knock this opportunity out of the park. Rise stars James Franco (127 Hours, Pineapple Express), who's fresh off his Oscar-nominated brilliant performance in Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. Franco, to be honest, isn't all that spectacular in this film but he doesn't have to be. The real star …

Get your popcorn ready...

Once again, I will now give a rundown of some recent DVD releases. It's been somewhat of a rough 2011 campaign for films, but I have my fingers crossed for a good finish. Here's a little grading scale to consider...

See in theaters and/or buy your own copy and/or rent without hesitation, because i said so
A+ = Perfection
A = Amazing
A- = Terrific
B+ = Very good
B = Good stuff, but not great

Rent, then mock me for recommending, and then apologizing for taking it too far
B- = Worth seeing
C+ = Decent
C = Nice effort, but can't quite recommend

Stay away, unless you like bad movies with nothing more to offer than one or two half-witted fart jokes or a side-boob. Your call
C- = Watchable to a degree
D+ = Stay away, maybe a few memorable scenes

Find a copy, then set ablaze for your amusement, then go to jail for arson
D = Very, very bad
D- = Amazingly horrible
F = An abomination

American: The Bill Hicks Story: Bill Hicks is considered one of the funniest and edgiest comedians ever. …

Cowboys & Aliens (2011) PG-13

I think we can all agree that this film appeared intriguing on paper. Cowboys, aliens, James Bond (Daniel Craig), Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and the director of Iron Man (Jon Favreau). However, historically westerns don't go over well with audiences and everyone seems to be sick of alien flicks that don't involve Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Aliens), myself included. The Alien vs. Predator films were all-time fails. Battle: Los Angeles was one of the worst alien films in recent memory. The remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still was an abomination. And last years Skyline was laughable to say the least. But there were some recent films that gave us hope that maybe, just maybe, we can actually sit through an alien film without wanting to smash something extremely valuable. Most notably was 2009's smash-hit District 9, which was amazingly awesome entertainment at it's best. Cloverfield was very enjoyable and quite fresh, despite a head-scratching ending (which has grown on…

Stake Land (2011) R

The vampire genre has come a long way since 1922's Nosferatu. There have certainly been some great vamp films as of late. It's worth mentioning 2008's Swedish game-changer Let the Right One In and it's American remake Let Me In. Another film that you vamp fans need to check out is 2009's Korean thriller Thirst, which is a vampire film like you've never seen before. It's extremely well-made and awesomely grotesque. I don't categorize I Am Legend as a vampire film, mainly because they turned the vampire-zombies from the amazing book (by the same name) into monster-like gang-bangers. I still like that film (starring a very effective Will Smith), but I'd recommend 1964's The Last Man on Earth which is a much better adaptation of Richard Matheson's thrilling book. And of coarse there's the first Underworld film. The franchise has since spiraled out of control, but the first film was fresh and rather sexy (thanks to Kate Beckinsale).