DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES || July 11th, 2014

Boyhood-poster Director Richard Linklater is making quite a stir with his new film, “Boyhood”, a drama that he has been filming over the last 12 years. Why would a drama take so long to film? Because he has been leading his leading boy age along with the storyline. Following the same characters as they literally grow up on screen, Linklater is taking film-making to a whole new level and critics and audiences are responding in kind, as will I. Forget makeup to age a character, allow them 12 years to age instead. THEATER
DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes-poster Not only is “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” one of the best sequels ever made, it is also the most accomplished CGI ever created for film. Andy Serkis receives top billing as he revisits his motion capture role of Caesar the ape. Set sometime after “Rise”, the simian flu has killed off most of the human population, with Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke leading the small San Francisco survivors who need a dam, which the apes are living on, to continue living. Providing some of the most conflicting and emotional sequences of the year, this franchise is well its way to being one of the best ever made.

Affluenza-poster Nicola Peltz is on a roll lately, first with the huge hit of “Transformers: Age Of Extinction” and now this small independent drama, “Affluenza”, where she strings along two young men. Having never heard the term before, I looked it up and Wikipedia defines it as the “inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions because of financial privilege”. Watching the trailer you get a strong sense of that, as the leading character stays with his rich aunt and uncle for the summer and experiences the local rich people around him, including his cousin, played by Nicola.
THEATER
BatteredBastardsOfBaseball-poster Here is something new: you have heard of theatrical releases getting a simultaneous day-and-date Video On Demand release, but now there is a simultaneous day-and-date Netflix release as well, from a documentary produced by the company. Now, Netflix is known for its television content like “House Of Cards” and “Orange Is The New Black”, but many people do not know they have been producing documentaries as well, including “The Short Game” and “The Square”. “The Battered Bastards Of Baseball” is another one of those releases about the impossibly true story of the Portland Mavericks baseball team.
PASS
ABronyTale-poster This subculture of men that love My Little Ponies is creepy no matter how you slice it. But in this documentary, “A Brony Tale”, voice-actress for the cartoon, Ashleigh Ball, attempts to uncover a little bit of what makes these guys tick. First of all, she is very cute and seeing her reaction to things is probably the best part of this trailer. Also, seeing the many different types of guys out there that like the show really makes me feel less bad about my choices in life.
25% MAYBE
ClosedCurtain-poster “Closed Curtain” offers an interesting tale to go along with it. Film-maker Jafar Panahi has been banned by the Iranian government from making a film until 2030, yet he defies them by making this film anyways. Right there, I have now become more interested in the real story than the film. However, filmed in one location with closed curtains, as the title suggests, this is an interesting take on guerrilla film-making, offering drama and the comedy that comes out of the drama. I do wonder how the Iranian government feels about this.
50% PROBABLY
TheEmptyHours-poster A coming-of-age game of seduction is what this foreign film is described as. Set on a coast in Mexico, “The Empty Hours” sees a seventeen-year-old boy running a rent-by-the-hour hotel where he meets a young woman who frequents the hotel to meet her lover. As he keeps her waiting, the young woman and the boy bond, beginning the game of desire between them. Not hugely interesting, there is something about that film that feels rich and desirable in and of itself.
50% PROBABLY
AFiveStarLife-poster Films like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “It’s Complicated” are designed for a certain age demographic of people. Now, I am not saying people of all ages cannot enjoy them as well, but for the most part, these films appeal to a much older person. “A Five Star Life” feels like one of those films as well. If you ever wondered how hotels get their star ratings, there is a glimpse at that in this film as the leading lady travels the world to rate hotels, but sacrificing a normal life for this lifestyle becomes the crux of the conflict in the film.
PASS
Honour-poster “Honour” may be an intense thrill ride of a film but I will never know because the trailer for the film is one of the worst things I have ever seen. Set up in a horrible formula of action, action, one liner, repeat, the only thing I can assume is that the entire film is like this. Paddy Considine stars as a bounty hunter, hired by a Muslim family to hunt down their daughter and stop her from running away with her boyfriend and bringing dishonor to their family. With the charming and emotionally distraught Considine, I can already tell you how this film ends.
PASS
KidnappedForChrist-poster Step one in a character driven documentary, clearly define who and what your characters are. “Kidnapped For Christ” fails to do so, because even by the end of the trailer, the white haired guy speaking to the camera is a complete mystery to me. Is he helping the young people escape that have been kidnapped and sent to Mexico to be “saved” or is he the leader of this strange cult? Two things amaze me coming out of this trailer: 1) if this is real why are they letting cameras into this commune and 2) why do religious parents still think you can pray the gay away?
PASS
LandHo-poster One thing is clear after seeing the trailer for “Land Ho!”, I want to visit Iceland. With outdoor lakes set against majestic mountainous backdrops, the film could be one huge travel commercial for the country and I still might want to see it. Also carrying a worthwhile message that you are never too old to keep living your life, this buddy road movie breaks the barriers of its age demographic in mind and allows younger people to feel a sense of connection as well.
25% MAYBE
ALongWayDown-poster Not often are the days where an independent film matches unique story with great casting, but “A Long Way Down” finds that balance. Lead by Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, and Imogen Poots, the film places its characters all on the roof of a building on New Years Eve, read to jump off and commit suicide. Together, they convince each other not to and decide to make a pact to stick together, at least until Valentine’s Day. Rosamund Pike and Sam Neill also star.
RENTAL
MadeInAmerica-poster Just when I thought I could not respect Jay Z anymore, he comes out with this documentary, “Made In America”, chronicling a music festival that brings all different walks of life together. Made by Ron Howard who also finds himself on-screen, there is something electrifying about these men coming together. With positive messaging about breaking down barriers and seeing Jay Z act like a regular guy, it really lays out the ideals of music and succeeds in breaking down the celebrity stardom barriers.
25% MAYBE
Pantani-poster Reminisce with me for a second: there was a time when sports were two people or a group of people simply competing for the fun of it. Two men got on a bike and decided to race each other. The progression of man has gotten to the point where corporations and conspiracies get involved and turn the sport into something ugly and that is the sense that I got from “Pantani: The Accidental Death Of A Cyclist”. Whether it is trying to make that statement or not, that is what I got from it and it is sad to think how convoluted our world has become.
PASS
Rage-poster Continuing the Nicolas Cage Will Do Anything Tour, “Rage” is basically the equivalent of Luc Besson’s “Taken” in which Cage’s daughter is kidnapped and he sets out to get her back. Instead of single handedly going after her, “Rage” sees Cage sent back into the his mafia ties, aligning with them despite having put those days behind him, and ultimately reenlisting. The problem is Nicolas Cage is one of my favorite actors, no matter what he does, so even if it means seeing this not so great looking film, it is the price I pay for enjoying his work.
50% PROBABLY
RoadToPaloma-poster Jason Momoa of “Game of Thrones” fame finds himself writing, directing, and acting in this heavy drama titled “Road To Paloma”, in which he plays a Native American on the run from the law after avenging his mother’s death. Backed by WWE Studios for some reason, the trailer makes the film look rather slow and with the avenging having taken place seemingly before this film happens, most of the action falls off screen. I guess when your character is killed off one of the biggest shows on television, they will let you do just about anything.
PASS
TheWindow2014-poster Reading one sentence and seeing thirty seconds of the trailer, I am pretty sure I know how “The Window” ends. This week’s entry into the poor production quality bin, the film sounds just as bad it  looks, with poorly written dialogue and cardboard deliveries, just in the first thirty seconds alone. The main character has a nightmare that he kills someone and then finds out there is a serial killer going around in real life killing people in the same way. I am not going to bother watching the rest of the trailer and I could be 100% wrong but I am guessing he thinks that his dreams are a window to finding the killer and in the end, you find out he is the killer. If that is not the ending than it is probably even worse than that.
PASS

THEATER

  • Affluenza
  • Boyhood
  • Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

RENTAL

  • A Long Way Down

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • Closed Curtain
  • The Empty Hours
  • Rage

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • A Brony Tale
  • Land Ho!
  • Made In America

PASS

  • The Battered Bastards Of Baseball
  • A Five Star Life
  • Honour
  • Kidnapped For Christ
  • Pantani: The Accidental Death Of A Cyclist
  • Road To Paloma
  • The Window

HELL NO

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