War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Director: Matt Reeves

Writer: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Novel)

Starring: Andy Serkis, Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Ty Olsson, Amiah Miller, Sara Canning, Max Lloyd-Jones

 

Plot: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blockbuster of the Year

 

Story: War for the Planet of the Apes starts as two years have passed after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Caesar (Serkis) has had his ape herd in hiding with the humans desperately searching to finish the job on the apes.

The conflict between the humans now led by The Colonel (Harrelson) and the apes has intensified and after Caesar is pushed past his limits of peace he sends the ape herd to safety and goes on his own mission with his three most trusted allies Maurice (Konoval) often the voice of reason, Rocket (Notary) who would fight to the death to save Caesar and Luca (Adamthwaite) who sees his own kind betraying the apes to work for the humans.

Without giving too much more away we see how Caesar searches to find an end to the war be it peaceful or not, so his herd can just live in peace instead of watching out for humans wanting to kill them.

 

Thoughts on War for the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceCaesar is the hero of the previous two films, he leads the apes, he wants peace between humans and apes but this time he is pushed two far as we see a darker side of Caesar come out. We get a full story arc for Caesar through the films now but his nature has always stayed true, protect the apes from humans. The Colonel is the villain of the piece, he wants to eliminate all apes and he will not blink in his methods, he does have plenty of twists to his story arc too. Maurice has been by the side of Caesar since Rise and still his voice of reason when making any decision, the heart this character shows also brings the human child along too. Bad Ape adds the only comedy to the movie, but we didn’t need to much either, Nova shows the consequences of the war that has now been raging for 17 years has had on the Earth. Rocket is the loyal soldier willing to die. We do have other characters that don’t get flushed out as much but otherwise they do all fit their role in the film.

Performance wise, Andy Serkis completes his third outing as Caesar and shows just how fantastic he is, give this man an Oscar nomination. Woody Harrelson is a great villain and easily the best human villain the trilogy has seen, I saw parts that reminded me of what Negan is like in the Walking Dead where he comes onto the screen gives a speech seemingly never blinking and having you just want to hear more from his. The rest of the motion capture cast are all brilliant too and the humans we see are good too.

StoryThe story does continue on the Planet of the Apes saga, we get to see how the end of the last film effected the world with the military ruthlessly hunting down the apes now. We get to see just how far Caesar could be pushed with his arc being told perfectly, the film does also go in a direction I wasn’t expecting which I did like too. If you have followed and enjoyed the first two this will feel like the bow on top of the packet it is that interesting of a story.

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/WarThe action sequences are tied in with the war side of the film as most are the elaborate battle sequences which all work and do something different on each battle. The adventure side of the film does suffer now though as we do get part adventure but in the end, we just fall into focusing on the other elements of the film. the sci-fi side of the film does show the future world that apes look to control.

SettingsThe settings bring another fresh look to the trilogy, first it was the big city, then it was the woods and the city now it is the mountain range with snow being added into the mix, the settings all work and look great through the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are brilliant, the motion capture is fantastic and this film shows just how to use special effects to their upmost.

Final ThoughtsThis has completed one of the best film trilogies of modern cinema, sure we could knit pick a couple of moments but otherwise the emotional rollercoaster you go on will leave you needing to take a breath by the end of the film.

 

Overall: Brilliant, stunning and the best modern cinema trilogy.

Rating

 

 

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You’ve Got Mail (1998)

youveDirector: Nora Ephron

Writer: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron (Screenplay) Miklos Laszlo (Play)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton, Steve Zahn, Heather Burns

 

Plot: Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Romantic Comedy

 

Story: You’ve Got Mail starts as we see two complete strangers Joe Fox (Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Ryan) who chat online every night even though they are both involved in relationships with Patricia (Posey) and Frank (Kinnear). The two set up the rule of not knowing anything about the personal lives of each other and remain friends in New York City.

Kathleen owns a small book shop that is going to have a giant book shop open around the corner from it, Fox Books which just so happens to be run by Joe. When the two business rivals meet the tension between begins but when the two mail each other they still think they are talking to just any stranger.

When the truth comes out the love they feel towards each other online must go against the hatred they have for each other in real life.

 

Thoughts on You’ve Got Mail

 

StoryThe old story of falling in love with someone you have never met through conversation. The idea of not knowing who you are chatting to makes this story have this extra spark. We do get a smaller story about business how small family businesses can be closed by dominating force. I will say this story has now become outdated because of the next level of technology but the fantasy idea still works wonders for this film.

Comedy/RomanceThe romantic side of this story is all good showing how you could fall in love with someone you least expect. We do get small laughs throughout the film without them overshadowing the romantic story.

Characters/PerformanceJoe was the new age business man, he does care about people outside of work but is happy to squash them when it comes to business. Kathleen was one of the dying breed of shopkeepers who cares about their customers offering them the best service in New York. We do have supporting characters who are mostly all involved to advise our Joe and Kathleen.

This film has two brilliant performance from Hanks and Ryan who showed they have excellent chemistry together and you can see that in the romantic or the arguing scenes. I do think everyone else does everything they need to do working with the leads.actors

SettingsLooking in the settings we are have New York which is perfect choice because we get to see how small business would suffer next to the big store, it also plays into the effects of meeting someone even in the busy streets.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most enjoyable romantic comedies you will have seen, it is accessible for all and will bring a smile to your face.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy this sweet charming love story.

Ratingcard

 

 

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

sunshineDirector: Christine Jeffs

Writer: Megan Holley (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Clifton Collins Jr

 

Plot: In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business — a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service — with her unreliable sister.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charmingly Delightful Comedy Drama

 

Story: Sunshine Cleaning starts as we follow single mother Rose (Adams) who works as a cleaner just to make sure her son Oscar (Spevack) gets everything he needs while dealing with the teachers telling her he needs special attention.

Needing to put her son into a private school Rose works with police officer Mac (Zahn) who sets her up with a job cleaning up crime scenes with her slacker sister Norah (Blunt) and the two-start seeing the money fly in as Sunshine Cleaning business is born.

 

Thoughts on Sunshine Cleaning

 

StoryThe story being told here is a story that shows that people out there will work hard to make the life they want they may need to go through difficult stages of life to reach it. We see two sisters whose lives clearly haven’t gone the way they had planned them out both feeling like they are just grinding to make ends meet rather than having their chance to live. The story is put together perfectly to tell what is needed from the story that can be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/Drama The comedy drama mixes together to make light of the serious side of the story where we can get the laughs coming from everyday life rather than forced life situations. This story will make you laugh, smile and cry with the characters.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters of Rose and Norah are great examples of two sisters struggling through the whole story, we get good laughs from their father looking after Rose’s son but otherwise all the characters do end up feeling like they could all be everyday people. When you look at the performances Adams and Blunt are brilliant as the sister with chemistry to burn between them proving they are two of Hollywood’s heavyweights.

SettingsEach setting is a different crime scene in need of cleaning which is where our characters get to see just the different lives people have lived. The settings are just as important as the two relationship between the sisters which shows the struggles the girls are both going through.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the sweetest and nicest dramas you will see, it is filled with real life struggles everyday people go through.

 

Overall: Brilliant drama that people should go out there way to see.

Ratingcard

 

 

Captain Fantastic (2016)

capDirector: Matt Ross

Writer: Matt Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crook, Charlies Shotwell, Trin Miller, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Ann Dowd, Frank Langella, Missi Pyle

 

Plot: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Story

 

Story: Captain Fantastic starts as we meet Ben (Mortensen) who has been raising his six children Bo (MacKay), Kielyr (Isler), Vespyr (Basso), Rellian (Hamilton), Zaja (Crooks) and Nai (Shotwell) in the forest of Pacific Northwest away from society. Ben is teaching his children in his own way so they could be ready for the anything life be it, self-defence, educational material or just plain old music.

When Ben has to go back into the real world he takes the recently completed boy to man Bo but is only treated to tragic news about his wife. Ben reluctantly takes his children to his wife’s funeral against the orders of her family. Over this time, we get to see how Ben learns that everything he thought was correct might not actually be right for his children.

Captain Fantastic is a wonderful story that gives us the idea that we always know what is right for our own children might not actually be correct. We see how family wants to support any decision but there will always be that tension within. Viggo Mortensen gives a heavyweight performance that could easily being contention when Oscar season hits and all six of the children are brilliant in their roles. I will say this has moments of being slightly too slow but in the end each scene comes off fascinating to see where the characters will be going next.

 

Overall: Brilliant story, brilliantly acted and the real outside shot for the Oscars.

Rating93

 

 

The Good Dinosaur (2015)

good dinosaurDirector: Peter Sohn

Writer: Meg LeFauve (Screenplay) Peter Sohn, Erik Benson, Meg LeFauve, Kelsey Mann, Bob Peterson (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Marcus Scribner, Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin

 

Plot: In a world where dinosaurs and humans live side-by-side, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ice Age Pixar Style

 

Story: The Good Dinosaur starts when the asteroid that killed the dinosaur’s misses Earth, millions of years later dinosaurs still live on Earth. We meet a small family of dinosaurs where you have Poppa, Momma and children Buck, Libby and small dinosaur Arlo who doesn’t fit in with the rest of his family.

When Poppa dies, Arlo tries to step up only to find himself chasing the early human that caused the Arlo to fail that leads him to fall into the river and washed away from his family. Arlo has to find his way home but makes an unlikely friend along the way. The young human named Spot teaches Arlo to be brave as they have the adventure of a lifetime.

The Good Dinosaur gives us a fresh look at how dinosaurs could have lived on after the asteroid that killed them missed Earth, they all start acting like early humans. The story of adventure to survive against the odds needing to step up also really works well. Unfortunately, we just get a spin on Land Before Time and Ice Age which doesn’t give us enough fresh. This is a good film for the kids to see but doesn’t have enough for a wide audience.

 

Character Review

 

Arlo: Arlo is the smallest of the dinosaur siblings, he struggles to fit in with the rest of his family on their farm. One day he gets given a chance to prove himself only to fail leading to his father’s death, trying his hardest to step up he becomes lost in a world he has never faced before and it is now he learns to put his fears behind him. Arlo is a good leading character which is important to see a character needing to show how taking chances will make a difference,arlo

Spot: Spot is the young human boy that is alone in the world, he scavenges food wherever he can to survive, he becomes friends with Arlo as they search for a way home. Spot is a good sidekick character that is like a dog but works against the dinosaur character.spot

Butch: Butch is a father of his own T-Rex family that helps Arlo along his way home, they teach him to be brave no matter what. Butch is a good twist on the T-Rex character.butch

Thunderclap: Thunderclap is the leader of a group of pterodactyls that use the storms to help hunt critters, they become the villains of the story. Thunderclap makes for a generic villainous character.

Support Characters: The Good Dinosaur has a generic supporting character list which all works for story.

Director Review: Peter SohnPeter gives us a good film but only one for the family to watch together.

 

Adventure: The Good Dinosaur does give us a great adventure story for the characters to go through.

Animation: The Good Dinosaur has typical high standard animation you would expect from Pixar.

Comedy: The Good Dinosaur does a few laughs but is too serious to get enough laughs.

Family: The Good Dinosaur is one for the family to watch with the kids enjoying the most.

Settings: The Good Dinosaur creates beautiful settings for the adventure to take part in.
Suggestion
: The Good Dinosaur is one for the family to see with the kids. (Family Film Time)

 

Best Part: Twist on T-Rex.

Worst Part: Arlo and Spot get high.

Favourite Quote: Poppa ‘You’ve gotta make you mark’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Land Before Time, Ice Age

 

Awards: Nominated for 1 Golden Globe.

Oscar Chances: Likely to get a nod for best Animation

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Tiny but tough

 

Overall: Land Before Time Meets Ice Age with a dash of the Croods

Ratingcar