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QUICK REVIEW: War for the Planet of the Apes

Howdy ladies and gents its review time once again and today I get to talk about another film which was one of my most anticipated films of the year, War for the Planet of the Apes. Now of all the films I was looking forward to this year including Logan, Guardians 2, Spider-Man and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars Episode VIIIWar for the Planet of the Apes was easily in the top 3. Back in 2011 Rise really blew me away with its interesting story, characters, and action, and then Dawn came out 2014 and completely floored me with the character-driven story, drama, and visual effects. And since the first trailer dropped last year I’ve been beyond hyped to see if this film would deliver the epic third chapter that this trilogy needed and the simple answer is yes. I am telling right now War for the Planet of the Apes is a great film and it deserves your attention.

So the story can be described as the following:

“After the apes suffer unimaginable losses when they are discovered by a military group, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel.”

What I loved about this story was not only how it was a continuation of the path laid out by the previous films, but also how it presented a darker, more dramatic and personal tale. This was a story about power, emotional conflict, family, leadership and making choices based that could have major ramifications both in the short and long-term. I liked how the film presented both sides of the argument for why both the apes and humans should survive over the other, and something else I loved was how the film made me feel. I felt emotions in the last film, it here it was on a higher level, I felt on edge throughout as the tension and suspense was so well executed, but on top of that the emotional material in this film was so good, so many key moments had me shocked, laughing, happy and very sad. This film is very story and character focused and while they are certainly moments where the action kicks off, it is not an action film as some of the trailers suggested, but more so a drama with action elements incorporated, so anyone expected an action-focused film maybe end up being bored and disappointed in certain moments of downtime.

As for the cast, they were all really good. Firstly let’s start with Andy Serkis as Caesar who since the first film in this series has impressed me with the performance capture and here he does his best work not only with the physical material but also with his voice, with more coherent sentences it has allowed for drama and depth in his performance. Caesar has to deal with a lot when it comes to being a leader and family man, dealing with demons from his past and present and making decisions that not only affect him but his apes too, and it’s fascinating to see how it plays out. Then there’s Woody Harrelson as The Colonel was magnificent, he was frightening, ruthless and had a presence on-screen that made you feel like the air had left the room, Harrelson killed it in the role. Also, Amiah Miller as Nova was really good, she did well to act in this film with no dialogue and having to act through facial expressions and physical movement. And everyone else who played apes in the film was really good especially with Karin Konoval as Maurice, Terry Notary as Rocket, Ty Olsson as Red, but it was Steve Zahn as “Bad Ape” that stole the show. At first, I thought he may piss me off because of his odd and quirky personality, but he ended up being so funny and endearing.

When it comes to the presentation it is fantastic. One the visual side of things the film looks amazing with some great cinematography and action sequences, but also some wonderfully framed shots of interior and exterior locations, I striking use of light and colour considering the state of the planet at that point in time, and of course, the CGI for the apes is insanely impressive. Somehow the filmmakers improved even further than they did in Dawn back in 2014 with the Apes looking more realistic than before where you could almost mistake them for really good animatronics. And the film score from Michael Giacchino is incredible, he not only borrowed some of the key themes he crafted in the previous film but also created new material for this film which was well suited for every scenario, whether a scene called for fear, mystery, tension, drama or anything else, he had all based covered to a tee.

In conclusion, what can I say other than War for the Planet of the Apes is a really great film that I think you should check out. The film gave me everything I wanted and then some and I wasn’t expecting to leave the cinema so filled with emotions, but that is really a credit to the talent of Matt Reeves, Andy Serkis and everyone else who made this film possible. Easily in my top 3 films of 2017.

So have you seen War for the Planet of the Apes and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Ant-Man Review

Howdy people of the internet, today I return to give you a new film review and this is for Marvel Studios’ latest film, Ant-Man. Now, this film has had quite the history with the directors behind it, script rewrites and a less than stellar hype from fans and the general public about there being an Ant-Man film. But now the film is out and the early response has been pretty positive, so it is good? Well I can’t hide my excitement for this film as I thought it was awesome and I’m going to tell you why in this review!

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I am going to keep this review as clean and simple as possible.

When it comes to the story it goes a little like this:

“Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.”

The story in this film is actually really good. The film’s also bizarre and self-aware and it makes the experience more enjoyable. What makes this film work so well is that is that it isn’t like a typical superhero film, much like last year’s Captain America: The Winter Solider and Guardians of the Galaxy, this film adopts a style puts that first and then incorporates the superhero elements later. Ant-Man is a heist film and it has all of those quirky, smart and inventive aspects that makes films of this genre so fun to watch and speaking of fun, the film is also hilarious. I know that is to be expected in a Marvel film and some have gotten sick of it, but here it really works. There is a constant sense of fun, quirkiness and just randomness that makes the film great to watch. But beyond the humour there is heart, like the best of the Marvel films there’s genuine emotion and drama to draw you in and make you root for the good guys. I have to commend not only Peyton Reed for directing this film in such a great way, but also for the script done by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd as it is very witty and unique. If I had any negatives it’s that some of the plot elements do fall into that “I’ve seen it before” department, but beyond that the film’s very good. There are also some nice references to the comics and other MCU films from the past and future and they’re great, make sure you stay for the post-credit scenes! Don’t be a donut and leave early! 😀

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When it comes to the cast they’re all pretty good. Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. What I liked about Scott is that he’s a great guy who wants to do good but has ends up in bad situations and doesn’t commit to doing good deeds, and it’s interesting to see him go on this journey and change for the better. Rudd, he’s just great in this film. Rudd naturally excels in comedy and he uses that to his advantage as he’s really funny and has great timing with his jokes, but in addition to that he brings a lot of charm and depth to his character with the more dramatic moments. Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym. I knew that Douglas would be important in the film but I didn’t expect him to have such a significant presence because this film felt like a passing of the torch, but Douglas had so many great lines and he continues to show why he’s such a great actor as he’s emotionally versatile and just kills it in every scene he’s in. Oh and his relationship with Rudd is great too. Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne was really good too. She’s strong, confident, but also defensive and complicated emotionally because of her father and I love what Lily did with this role. Her and Douglas have a great dynamic because of their family based relationship, and Lily and Rudd also had pretty good chemistry and their banter was lovely.

Corey Stoll was really good as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Darren is a man with class, style and charm at face value, but he’s also sneaky, dangerous and obsessed with power and success. Stoll plays this character with just the right amount of villainy and craziness. You could argue that his character was a bit cliché and stereotypical, but I thought he was one of the stronger and more memorable villains of the MCU. Then there’s Lang’s heist team consisting of Michael Pena as Luis, Tip “T.I.” Harris as Dave and David Dastmalchian as Kurt. The strongest of the three is Pena as Luis, this guy is seriously one of the most strange and funny people ever. The guy’s so energetic and jokes and Pena just oozes charm and humour. T.I. and Dastmalchian are also pretty good and have their individual moments to shine. Bobby Cannavale did well as Paxton and it was good to see Wood Harris as Gale too and finally Judy Greer was good as Maggie and Abby Ryder Fortson is just one of the most adorable and hilarious child actors ever as Cassie.

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As for the presentation is pretty damn good. Visually the film is really cool, the cinematography is well-done and the use of special effects used to craft the action sequences, suits and the miniaturised world that Ant-Man and Yellowjacket inhabit is so unique and interesting. The creativity behind the shrinking and growing of the Pym particles was great and there’s some really interesting, unexpected and hilarious uses of the powers. The soundtrack crafted by Christophe Beck is also very nice too, it has a great sense of charisma, sass and style, it had the perfect sound for a heist film but also for a 1960’s spy film.

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In conclusion Ant-Man was pretty badass. I had hoped it would be good and that the early reviews were a good sign, but the film exceeded my expectations so much. It was full of all the regular great superhero codes and conventions but beyond that it had heart, style and stood alone perfectly from the rest of the MCU films while also existing within the same world. Marvel continue to prove that they are far still incredibly creative and versatile and I would highly recommend this film as it is SO much fun and really entertaining.

Rating: 8.5/10 (Very impressive)

So what do you think of Ant-Man? Did you love it, hate it or think it was okay? And how do you think it compares to the previous Marvel films? Do you think it’s the best solo film since Iron Man like some claim or do think differently? Sound off your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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