You can call Caesar, in a dark Czar. Please follow the leader.
Remember back in 2011 when FOX decided they were going to reboot the Planet of The Apes franchise, and everyone still had a sour taste in their mouths from the god awful Tim Burton adaptation. Well jokes on us, because 6 years later, not only have 3 incredible new Apes movies dropped, but this could honestly be one of the best trilogies of this century. War For The Planet of The Apes is the newest installment and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve always been a massive fan of this franchise and it really has revolutionized capture motion performances. These movies are story driven, which is rare these days and Caesar is truly a unique and special character. Rise of The Planet of The Apes really did a great job kick starting this franchise, but it wasn’t until Matt Reeves came on for directing duties, that this franchise really got some serious recognition. I can’t state this enough, Matt Reeves is going to do an incredible job at directing The Batman. I can’t wait to see what him and Ben Affleck can do together; I think it has serious potential to be the best Batman movie ever made. Only time will tell, but this review is about Apes not Batman, so let’s get into it.
So this movie picks up a little after the events of Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, and Caesar is still fighting the ape resistance against the humans. The Apes have grown in size, and are getting smarter with each passing day. The human resistance is still hell bent on killing all the apes and taking back their planet. After Koba (the bad ape from Dawn) tried to take down Caesar, now more than ever, all he wants is peace. He didn’t start this war, and he just wants what’s best for him and his ape family. When they are attacked at their home and countless lives are lost, well let’s just say Caesar goes off the deep end. If you’re going into this movie thinking it’s going to be non-stop action, you’re going to be sadly disappointed. Don’t worry there is some action, but this is Caesars swan song. This movie is not an action movie, it’s a story driven drama. It deals with humanity, loss, survival and what it’s like to feel hopeless and alone. I mean that for both the humans and apes in this case. The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) yes that’s all he’s referred too, plays the main bad guy who’s leading the resistance against not only the apes, but other humans as well. You see he’s a ruthless man, who wants to eradicate all the apes, because a new form of disease as been spreading, which causes humans to turn mute, and ultimately return them to their primitive state. Again the apes are being blamed for something that isn’t their fault. The irony of all of this is the humans are responsible for the way the apes are, and now blame them for anything that is wrong in the world. Nature and evolution can be a real bitch sometimes, so the colonel is killing anyone who has a trace of this virus, and that is why another human faction wants to put an end to him. He’s even convinced other apes to fight along side with him, and turned them against their own kind. Now it takes a pretty evil man to do something like that. It was a really interesting dynamic to see apes working along side humans, while fighting other apes. Woody was great in this role, he didn’t really need to say much to be intimidating, and I thought his scenes with Caesar were just fantastic, he really knows how to play a villain, and he was a great addition to the franchise.
Again Andy Serkis is phenomenal in the lead as Caesar, and maybe this time around he could get some Oscar recognition. It’s tough because its motion capture, but then when you actually think about it, and see the final product, it truly is remarkable how this whole movie comes to be. Especially when multiple people that are in scene are doing motion capture for the apes, and at the end of the day, you think you are actually looking at either fully CGI apes, or real animals. These movies have really brought to life, just what you can accomplish with motion capture, the apes are honestly just breathtaking. Not only are the apes incredible to look at, but so is the cinematography. The picture I chose for this review is from my favorite scene in the movie, because just how beautiful it looked. It’s snowing and the apes and the setting is just remarkable, there was something about having the apes roam around in a snow like climate that just made me appreciate what I was watching even more. Like those were three actors in that photo pretending to be apes, and that was the final product, it absolutely blows my mind.
The action we do get to witness comes at you pretty fast, it’s scattered throughout the film, but like I said before, this isn’t an action movie. I was okay with this movie being a slow burn, because it was the conclusion to everything that has come before it. They needed to finish off Caesar’s story and I feel that if this movie was nothing but apes fighting humans it would have taken away from something truly unique they had built for Caesar in the last 6 years. He’s a remarkable character, and one of my favorite movie characters in the last decade. You really just don’t see trilogies like this anymore, which focus more on telling a great story, they are usually just full of action and awful story lines. This is probably the best trilogy since Nolan’s Batman, and I would rank it 2nd behind in for trilogies of the century. I think they did such incredible things, not just from telling a great story, but what these movies have done for the film industry. I’ll miss Caesar and the apes, because with Reeves jumping ship and going to direct Batman, I don’t think FOX with put this franchise in anyone else’s hands. They rap everything up so well too, something that he deserved. I waited a few days to write this review, because at first I didn’t really know what to think about the movie, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how special this movie is. There really haven’t been any other movies like this, and I think we have these movies to thank for Disney finally going ahead and creating live action versions of some of our favorites. Jungle Book and Lion King don’t happen if these movies hadn’t come around, but that’s just my opinion. Never forget, apes together strong!
Check ya later.
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – War For The Planet of The Apes = 91/100
Goodbye 2016, hello 2017! At last, the year from hell is over! 2016 in many people’s eyes will go down to be an all-timer, in the worst way possible. For popular culture junkies like myself, I will never forget it. We saw so many influential people leave us, and movies disappoint us (I’m looking at you Batman V. Superman) that when the clock struck 12 on December 31st, we all rejoiced that it was officially the start of a new year. That being said it wasn’t all-bad in 2016; if you’re reading this, you probably love movies as much as I do. Movies are a great way to escape for a few short hours and be reminded just how extraordinary something can truly be. While there were many disappointments in 2016, I’d just like to thank certain films such as; La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, and Nocturnal Animals for restoring my faith in Hollywood, after what was a lackluster summer, to say the least. That’s all behind us now, and I’d like to share the ten films I’m most anticipated to see in the year 2017!
10 Stephen Kings IT director/ Andres Muschietti
Beep beep Richie! Are words that haunted me as a young child. The 1990 made for TV movie adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel brought the terrifying Pennywise the clown to life. Personally, I think the original still stands up today, and I’ve come to appreciate it more as I’ve grown older. Andres Muschietti is coming off a stellar directorial debut with Mama and hopes Bill Skarsgard who’s playing the infamous clown will bring the same magic as Tim Curry did in the 1990 version. I’m not usually one for horror movies, as I believe they have shifted in a weird direction, but there’s just something about this movie that feels right. Boasting a great young cast especially Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) and Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) makes this seem even more promising. I’ll admit that I was a little turned off from the photos of Pennywise so far, but I can’t let a few pictures determined how excited I am to finally see this movie on the big screen. My goal for this movie is for it to be successful enough that we get the adult sequel and that I don’t regret putting it on my list.
9 Power Rangers director/Dean Israelite
Nostalgia, Nostalgia, Nostalgia. Don’t judge me on this one; the original had a lot of my firsts. First toy I can remember, and certainly my first crush (thank you, Kimberly). When I first heard they were remaking the Power Rangers into a feature film I didn’t think much of it. The 90’s TV show can be summarized as a poppy, cheesy afterschool kids show. So it was hard to fathom how they were going to translate that onto the big screen. Lionsgate has really flipped Power Rangers a complete 180 degrees, with it looking very dark and gritty from everything we have seen thus far. For some, this is the biggest criticism of the movie, but I think it’s the perfect direction to take this franchise. The trailer gives off a very breakfast club meets Chronicle vibe and I’ve been intrigued ever since. The folks behind the new movie have been rolling out promotional images of the movie here and there and the new look Alpha 5, Zords, and even the rangers who are looking a little too Iron Man-ish have me thinking that they are taking Power Rangers in a whole new direction. The biggest surprise for me would have to be the casting of Bryan Cranston as the giant floating head Zordon. Why on Earth would he choose to be in this movie? Does it make me believe there’s a chance this movie could be good, well maybe but sometimes actors just need a payday? The thing I’m most excited about is without question is Elizabeth Banks playing the villain Rita Repulsa. At least from the trailer and all the images we have seen it looks like she’s all in on this role and I couldn’t be happier about it. This has all the makings of being a horrible crapfest, but that’s not the point of the list. I’m excited to see what this movie could be, and I’m even more excited to see just how bad this movie could truly be. IT’S MORPHIN TIME!!
8 War for the Planet of the Apes director/Matt Reeves
“The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since”.
First, it was just apes, then apes on horses and now you’re telling me apes on tanks?????! The apes are back baby, and this time it means war! This movie is going to be bittersweet for a lot of us, seeing how it will certainly be the last time we get to watch the great Andy Serkis do his thing as Caesar. This franchise has done so much for motion capture performances; it’s taken them to a whole other level. The first Apes was a great movie, the second was extraordinary and this could be the cherry on top of the trilogy sundae. This has all the makings to be a great trilogy, maybe even one of the best ever. Matt Reeves is back in the directors’ chair for the second time for this franchise and this time around he’s bringing Woody Harrelson. Who looks menacing as hell as the villain along for the ride. I loved what I saw in the first trailer and visually these movies just keep getting better and better. The apes look breathtaking and I just can’t say enough about what Andy Serkis has accomplished for the motion capture industry. These movies have done wonders for the lure of the planet of the apes, and with some rumors that this final installment might have some ties into the original movie, it intrigues me even more. I’m going to miss Caesar and I hope this movie will be the sendoff he deserves. Side note: I really hope they bring back Koba, that guy was awesome!
7 Kingsman: The Golden Circle director/Matthew Vaughn
I remember back in 2014 walking into Kingsman and not thinking too much about it. I heard it was a fun time at the movies and was based on a graphic novel, so I said to hell with it and gave it a shot. As soon as the opening credits hit and Money for Nothing, Chicks for Free by Dire Straights came on, I knew then in my heart I was going to love this movie. Kingsman was fun, full of incredible action (YouTube the church scene and you can thank me later) and it didn’t take itself too seriously. I love being surprised by movies when they go beyond your expectations; it’s just a really great feeling to have when walking out of the theatre. Now 3 years later, here comes Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and I couldn’t leave it off my list. Matthew Vaughn is returning and he’s on a little bit of a role with, Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class, and Kingsman respectfully. The entire cast is back but you’re telling me Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, and Channing Tatum are being added?! This only wets my beak even more. Not a whole lot of information is known about the plot or whom the new cast members are playing, with things being very tight-lipped around the project. What I expect from this sequel is more of the same, great laughs, really good action, and most importantly a great story and awesome new characters being thrown into the mix. This has serious potential to be one of my favorite films of 2017!
6 Dunkirkdirector/Christopher Nolan
In the latest Christopher Nolan movie, he will be heading to World War 2 to tackle the historic battle of Dunkirk. Let’s face it, when Nolan steps up to the plate it’s an event at the movies. He’s a filmmaker through and through and what you are watching is a spectacle you have to go see to believe. Whether it was the Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, or his latest film Interstellar the man knows how to make a movie. If you know history, well you know Dunkirk does not end well (spoilers) so I’m curious to see how Nolan is going to pull this one-off. We got a great war movie in 2016 with Hacksaw Ridge, but Dunkirk will be packing a little more of an emotional punch, seeing how brutal and violent that battle was. There’s just not much more to say about this movie, visually it will be stunning, tremendous acting and it’s going to be an emotional time at the movies. In the end, it’s Christopher Nolan doing a war epic, I’ll be there opening night.
5 Alien: Covenant director/ Ridley Scott
In space, no one can hear you scream, but they might have heard me yelling in the theatre as I sat and watched Prometheus. What was there not to be excited about, it was Ridley freaking Scott back directing an Alien movie, and boy did it not sit well with me.
The poster alone got me excited for this movie, because as a huge alien fan, it told me everything I needed to know about this movie. I think it was the best movie poster of 2016. Then early Christmas morning FOX decided to drop the trailer for the next installment in this franchise and OMG this movie is going to be bananas. It’s everything I wanted Prometheus to be, it looks like Ridley Scott is taking it back to what made Alien so successful, suspense, gore, horror, and most important of all ALIENS. The trailer is so well put together that I don’t need to see anything else to know that I’m going to enjoy the crap out of this movie. I want to be on the edge of my seat when watching an Alien movie. I want to be a little scared and this looks like it’s going to fulfill those needs. The cast alone is just out of the charts with talent, but the person who I think is going to steal the show is none other than Kenny Powers himself Danny McBride. Actually, James Franco is in this too, so maybe this is just some crazy high and it’s somehow a Pineapple Express sequel, there’s only one way to find out. Fun fact, Terry Hall from The Mighty Ducks is in this, I honestly thought he made one movie in his life. Who knew?
4 Logandirector/James Mangold
First off, props to Ryan Reynolds for leaking that Deadpool footage, because without doing so Deadpool is never made and without Deadpool, the world wouldn’t be getting a rated R Wolverine movie. This isn’t your grandma’s Wolverine here folks; it’s a whole new ballgame. This will be the most brutal, violent Wolverine yet, something we really haven’t seen since the mansion scene in X2. If watching that trailer synced to Johnny Cash’s Hurt didn’t get you fired up for this movie then something is wrong with you and you should see a doctor immediately. The trailer gave me all the feels and made me realize just how much I’m going to miss Hugh Jackman playing this role. This trailer really knocked me on my ass, and it’s something as a Wolverine fan I’ve always wanted to see. This is it for Hugh Jackman as the beloved character, it’s his kitchen sink performance you could say, he’s going to be throwing everything he’s got at this one, and for some, it’s going to be an emotional ride. He’s been playing this character for almost 20 years now (that’s insane), and this movie is going to be is swan song. I’m excited to see where this movie takes the X-men lure, and how it’s all going to play out in the end. Based loosely on the Old Man Logan story from the comics, this movie finds Wolverine teaming up with Professor X one last time to save a young mutant much like Wolverine from falling into the wrong hands. One thing that intrigues me about this movie is the Professor X storyline part, part of me thinks he will just be in Wolverine’s mind the entire time, and I can’t wait to find out if I’m right or not.
3 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol: 2 director/James Gunn
The gang is back! Marvel’s misfits are returning after the 2014 smash hit that up until this year’s Civil War I considered to be the best all-around Marvel movie. This time around Star-Lord is finally getting over his daddy issues and is in search to hunt down the man. Fully loaded with another awesome mixtape, the whole gang is returning but this time we are getting the ever so cute Baby Groot!. James Gunn is back directing (duhhhh) and he cares so much about these characters and franchise that I don’t think anyone else could direct this movie. The trailer alone sold me on this movie, it looks tailor-made for me, and with Chris Pratt promising this would be the biggest most epic scale movie we’ve ever seen on the big screen. I can only hope they follow through on that promise. The humor seems to be back, and the dynamic between the Guardians is something that’s almost rare in movies these days. It’s a massive science fiction, fantasy blockbuster that just feels right. Everything from the trailer looks like it’s popped right off the pages of a comic book and it just looks fantastic. I only have one concern about this movie, and it’s a little thing but I just don’t want them shoving Baby Groot down our throats for the entire movie.
2 Star Wars: Episode VIIIdirector/Rian Johson
The force will be strong with this movie. The Force Awakens did a great job bringing back Star Wars into our lives, all the beloved characters that people hold so dear in their hearts. It was the perfect way to set up this new universe with all the new characters and immersing them with the old. Everyone knows that this movie will be pulling on heartstrings whenever Carrie Fisher graces the screen, regardless of how much she will be in the movie. The Force Awakens did exactly what Disney and JJ Abrams wanted it to do, and that got everyone excited again about Star Wars. Now the real fun can begin with Episode VIII, and this movie is going to take Star Wars in a new direction, one that people really haven’t seen before. People are going to want this movie to be the Empire Strikes Back of the new trilogy, for me I just want it to be something new and fresh. Let Rian Johnson take this franchise to places it’s never been before and do things we aren’t accustomed to when it comes to the Star Wars universe. The director Rian Johnson knows how to make a great science fiction movie, Looper was such a unique and original story that I don’t think I would be as excited for this if he wasn’t sitting in the director’s chair. Obviously, everything is very hush-hush about this movie, but one thing is for certain and that is the return of Luke Skywalker, and I’m pumped to see Mark Hamill back on the screen playing the role that made him famous. I’m curious to know where they will take his character and ultimately just who has Luke become.
1 Justice Leaguedirector/Zack Snyder
OHHHHHH BABY!!!! Here we go folks; it really is due or die time for WB and the DCEU. Just like Eminem said, “if you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment, would you capture it,
or just let it slip”? If I were to say no other DCEU movie had come out, and this picture of the Justice League was released and this was the first thing we ever got to see from WB, people would lose their minds. That’s not the case, we have gotten three stinkers in a row now and time is running out for them to turn this ship around. There is so much riding on the success of this movie, and I’m just not talking about financial success here people. Let’s try to get a DCEU movie fresh on rotten tomatoes, shall we! Saying all that, we can all agree that Batfleck crushed it as the Caped Crusader. Now they are introducing the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg into the mix and from the trailer, it at least looks like they are on the right path. I just can’t be walking into Justice League a super confident person, because I have seen the three previous DCEU movies and I just don’t know which Zack Snyder will be stepping up to bat (pun attended). The Justice League is the greatest superhero team-up of all time, and we are finally going to get to see that on the big screen, something some people have been waiting to see their whole lives. A nice change in tone, shifting away from the gloominess of BvS will do wonders for this movie. People need to care about these characters and want to see more of them when they are done watching Justice League and have people talking about whether they will be more excited for the next DC or Marvel movie. For the love of god please don’t screw this up Zack Snyder that’s all I ask of you, sincerely the entire world.
Well, there you have it, my most anticipated movies of 2017. I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a tremendous year for movies. If I did this list for 2016 all of my favorite movies from the year wouldn’t have even made the list and that’s what I love so much about movies. You just never know what you are going to love and which ones you are going to hate until you see them.