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Eagerly anticipating this week ... (31-17)

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (31-17)
Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky (2017)


In the Loop (2009) or, Modern Warfare

The cross-Atlantic political communication is at the heart of this poster for Armando Iannucci's In the Loop

When the British minister of international development messes up in a live radio interview by referring to an imminent war in the Middle East as "unforeseeable", he becomes cannon fodder for war-mongering American allies.

Despite shaky photography that is all but pleasant and a gallery of almost entirely unendearing characters (mainly gutter-mouthed spin doctors), In the Loop is a political satire that wins because of its mix of well-written verbal jokes, crude tongue-in-cheek gags and absurd comedy, which proves irresistible and provokes numerous good laughs for the not-easily-offended audience.
The swearing is a bit much at times, as is the wall-to-wall dialog, but good acting performances and an original and disillusioned vision of modern politics hold one's engagement throughout despite these misgivings.
In the Loop is written by Jesse Armstrong (Veep (2012), TV-series), Simon Blackwell (The Thick of It (2005-12)), Tony Roche (Veep (2012-15)) and co-writer-director Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It (2005-12)), with Ian Martin (The Death of Stalin (2017)) contributing dialog.

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: Reportedly 612k £, or approximately 788k $
Box office: 7.7 mil. $
= Mega-hit
[In the Loop premiered 22 January (Sundance) and runs 105 minutes. The film was made in a lengthy hiatus between the filmmakers' 2nd and 3rd season of their related political satire TV-series The Thick of It. Shooting took place in England, mostly in London, and in Washington, DC and in New York from May - June 2008. The first cut of the film was 4.5 hours long. The film opened #27 in 8 theaters to a 191k $ first weekend in North America, where it peaked at #24 and in 90 theaters (different weeks) and grossed 2.3 mil. $ (28.9 % of the total gross), becoming the film's 2nd largest market. The largest was the UK with 3.5 mil. $ (45.5 %), and the 3rd largest was Spain with 611k $ (7.9 %). The film was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar (due to the film being perceived as directly based on The Thick of It), lost to Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious. It was also nominated for 2 BAFTAs, 6 British Independent Spirit Awards, winning one, a National Board of Review award and many more honors. In the Loop is certified fresh at 94 % with a 7.8 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of In the Loop?


I Love You, Man (2009) - Rudd, Segel and others achieve laughs aplenty in Hamburg's feel-good bromance

The sweet mugs of the three endearing stars of John Hamburg's I Love You, Man sell the film all on their own

Peter is a middle-aged, engaged man, whose fiancée doesn't think that it's very cool that he doesn't have any real friends or a best man. This makes him seek out 'man-dates' for a friend and best man, until he meets the eccentric Sydney Fife, a cougar-chasing bachelor, who owns a 'man-cave'.

I Love You, Man is the 3rd feature from great New-Yorker co-writer-director John Hamburg (Along Came Polly (2004)), based on a script by Larry Levin (Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)). Rashida Jones (Cuban Fury (2014)) as Peter's fiancée and her girlfriends are a bit taxing at first, and the film has a vomiting scene with Jon Favreau (Chef (2014)), which is incredibly gross.
But you should disregard these minor drawbacks, because I Love You, Man is also perhaps 2009's funniest film: Paul Rudd (Knocked Up (2007)) and Jason Segel (New Jersey Turnpikes (1999)) as the two budding friends develop a relationship that involves much hilarity, and in particular Rudd is funnier and dopier here than he has ever been before.
I Love You, Man also has a substantial list of funny side characters (Thomas Lennon (Lethal Weapon (2017), TV-series) and Lou Ferrigno (Ping! (2000)) stand out) and is also commendable for its total accept of homosexuals, (Andy Samberg (Take the 10 (2017)) plays Peter's gay brother), which is an implicit, extra quality of this feel-good comedy, which is a bit of a laugh riot.

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 40 mil. $
Box office: 91.6 mil. $
= Minor flop
[I Love You, Man premiered 13 March (Austin, Texas' South by Southwest Film Festival) and runs 104 minutes. Hamburg based his script on Levin's which was a broader and less adult in tone and written 11 years before the film went into production. Shooting took place in California, almost entirely in Los Angeles, from April - May 2008. Rock band Rush appears in a live show performance in the film and were pleased with their inclusion in the film. The film opened #2, behind Knowing, to a 17.8 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it stayed in the top 5 for another 2 weeks (#4; #5) and grossed 71.4 mil. $ (77.9 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 6.8 mil. $ (7.4 %) and Australia with 3.4 mil. $ (3.7 %). The film had a home video sale of more than 22 mil. $, which, if counted into the equation, would make it count as a box office success. I Love You, Man is certified fresh at 84 % with a critical average of 6.9/10 at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of I Love You, Man?


I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) - Carrey/McGregor are pure magic in incredible true story romcom

Love can be found in the strangest places, as one song puts it. An infectiously happy poster for Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's I Love You Phillip Morris

Con artist Steve Russell leaves his wife and child after a near-death experience, deciding against spending more years as an unhappy closeted homosexual. His cons brings him to incarceration, where he finds true love in fellow inmate Phillip Morris.

Ewan McGregor (Angels & Demons (2009)) gives a tender performance as Morris, and Jim Carrey (Me, Myself & Irene (2000)) is simply grand as Russell in this incredible romcom biopic. His authenticity does veer a bit in some of the very emotionally charged moments in the film, but this is not necessarily a fault in the performance; it may rather be a sign of the character's trickster personality. - When someone makes it a cardinal point in their lives to con and delude, they may find it difficult to be sincere - and appear sincere - even when they try to be so.
I Love You Phillip Morris is a highly unusual film based on a wild true story, which is both life-affirming and very funny.
It is the directing debut of writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Focus (2015), both), who previously wrote and produced features and TV-series, based on Steve McVicker's non-ficion book I Love You Phillip Morris: A True Story of Life, Love, and Prison Breaks.

Watch a panel board interview with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor in support of the film here

Cost: 13 mil. $
Box office: 21 mil. $
= Big flop
[I Love You Phillip Morris premiered 18 January (Sundance Film Festival) and runs 93 minutes. Filming took place from April 2008 - ? in Miami, Florida, Los Angeles, California and in Louisiana, including in New Orleans and in Louisiana State Penitentiary aka Angola. While most of the events in the film seem to be true, the timeline has been altered. The film's distribution was fraught with problems, as distributors objected to gay sexual material, there were legal troubles and downsizing of the strategy; the film didn't see general releases until 2010 and didn't begin its limited North American release until December 2010, (when it had already generated 18 mil. $ at foreign box offices.) It opened #27 to a 112k $ first weekend in 6 theaters in North America, where it peaked at #23 and in 100 theaters (different weeks) and grossed a paltry 2 mil. $ (9.5 % of the total gross), making it only the film's 4th biggest market, which is what slayed the film's prospects of turning profitable theatrically. The 3 biggest were the UK with 3.4 mil. $ (16.2 %), France with 2.9 mil. $ (13.8 %) and Italy with 2.7 mil. $ (12.9 %). The film was nominated for 2 Cannes awards. I Love You Phillip Morris is certified fresh at 72 % with a 6.6/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of I Love You Phillip Morris?


The Lost City of Z (2016) - Gray's grand, adventurous Amazonia epic

One of the tantalizing, beautifully realized posters for James Gray's The Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z is written and directed by James Gray (The Immigrant (2013)) and based on the non-fiction book by David Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Mayhem and Obsession (2010)).

Ambitious, adventure-seeking British officer Percy Fawcett is contracted by London's Royal Geographical Society early in the 20th century for a mission to the Amazon jungle of Bolivia to make surveys for mapping the area. This leads him on a quest for the mythical, ancient city of Z, which swallows up his life.

For every exploration and jungle-fascinated person out there, The Lost City of Z is an offering that should not be passed up. It is a grand work, an epic and a mighty good film.
Centrally stands Charlie Hunnam (Queer as Folk (1999-00)) as Fawcett. An inspiration both for Gray's visual direction and for Hunnam's performance may have been Luchino Visconti's masterpiece Death in Venice/Morte a Venezia (1971)) and Dirk Bogarde's supreme performance in it. Hunnam's incredibly well-shaped body moves with a calm grace, and his character is withheld in a remarkably composed state for most of the film. The story veers off to Fawcett's duty during WWI for a time, and in these scenes, I found myself struggling to believe in the cool composure of the man, coupled with the relatively well-looking company of soldiers he serves with in the trenches, which doesn't align with my understanding of the war.
Sienna Miller (High-Rise (2015)) is good as Fawcett's strong wife; Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea (2015)) is good and appropriately well-cut himself to be believable as their oldest son; Robert Pattinson (How to Be (2008)) is well cast as Fawcett's exploratory companion, and Angus MacFadyen (Assassins Run (2013)) brings a chill down one's spine as a wolf in sheep's clothing. The impressive cast also has Murray Melvin (Barry Lyndon (1975)) and Franco Nero (Bad Inclination/Cattive Inclinazioni (2003)) in tiny parts, and Ian McDiarmid (Sleepy Hollow (1999)) as a leader in the RGS.
Darius Khondji (Funny Games (2007)) is behind the absorbing photography. There are thrilling jungle scenes that quench the hunger for exoticism and Indians, but I found that the best scenes of the film are those taking place in the RGS in London, where Fawcett's ideas of a civilization among the South-American 'savages', which may well predate Western civilization, raises ridicule, outrage and eventually makes for a reevaluation of the world and human beings. The epic, incredible story doesn't follow the usual three act structure, as Fawcett travels out and comes home more than once, but especially for fans of epics, this will simply be part of the treat that is The Lost City of Z
Gray's film stands in the territory of films such as Apocalypse Now (1980) and Cobra Verde (1987), which was also the scene for Ciro Guerra's recent masterpiece Embrace of the Serpent/El Abrazo de la Serpiente (2015). It does not achieve the great or masterful, but it is still very worth seeing and a huge undertaking impressively well done.

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 30 mil. $
Box office: 17 mil. $ and counting
= Not certain yet, but looks like a huge flop
[The Lost City of Z premiered 15 October (New York Film Festival) and runs 141 minutes. Plan B Entertainment sent Gray a copy of Grann's book before it was published. Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch were considered for the lead but both dropped out for other commitments, though Pitt remained onboard with his Plan B Entertainment company, acting as an executive producer. Filming took place in Colombia and in Northern Ireland, UK, including in Belfast, starting in August 2015. The film opened #28 in 4 theaters to a 110k $ first weekend in North America, where it peaked at #10 and in 866 theaters (different weeks), grossing a disappointing 8.5 mil. $ (50 % of the total gross). The international performance was similarly underwhelming; the 2nd and 3rd biggest markets where France with 2.5 mil. $ (14.7 %) and Spain with 1.8 mil. $ (10.6 %). The film enjoyed the luxury of a release in China, its 4th biggest market at 1 mil. $ (5.9 %), a highly unimpressive turnout. The film has yet to open in Australia (24 August), South Korea (21 September) and Argentina (28 September). It looks like it is continuing Gray's long history of flops (none of his 7 films have been theatrical hits), which makes it quite a gamble that Pitt has chosen Gray to direct his coming starring sci-fi movie Ad Astra. The Lost City of Z is certified fresh at 87 % with a 7.4/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of The Lost City of Z?


It's Complicated (2009) - Meyers' delightful romcom star vehicle

Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin make a terrific bed couple on this luxurious, instantly likable poster for Nancy Meyers' It's Complicated

After having been divorced from each other for 20 years, Jane (Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia! (2008))) begins an affair with her newly remarried ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin (The Cooler (2003))), which she balances with a budding romance with a sweet architect (Steve Martin (Cheaper by the Dozen (2003))) and her her relationship with her three grown children.

It's Complicated is the wonderful 5th film from great Pennsylvanian writer-director Nancy Meyers (The Parent Trap (1998)). It is a super-funny all around good experience with all three abovementioned stars giving terrific performances in each their own way. John Krasinski (Leatherheads (2008)) is good in a supporting role as a son in law, and Hunter Parrish (All Nighter (2017)) makes for first class eye candy, although the film maybe overdoes its lust for eye candy a bit in other instances. Meyers goes in for the lush Santa Barbara high-style living that her well-off Jane character enjoys, where everything seems beautiful, large, clean, well-functioning and new.
It's Complicated is polished alright, but it is also a great, fun film.

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 85 mil. $
Box office: 219.1 mil. $
= Box office success
[It's Complicated premiered 10 December (Westwood, Los Angeles) and runs 120 minutes. It was shot in New York and California from April - August 2009. The film opened #4, behind hold-over hit Avatar and fellow new releases Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, to a 22.1 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it stayed in the top 5 for another 2 weeks (#4; #5) and grossed 112.7 mil. $ (51.4 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were Australia with 14.1 mil. $ (6.4 %) and the UK with 13.8 mil. $ (6.3 %). Roger Ebert gave the film a 2.5/5 star review, translating to two notches harder than this review. The film was nominated for 3 Golden Globes, a BAFTA and won a National Board of Review award for Best Acting by an Ensemble. It's Complicated is rotten at 57 % with a 5.8/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of It's Complicated?


In the Electric Mist (2009) - Tavernier's great Louisiana detective adaptation

A sparse, not too auspicious poster for Bertrand Tavernier's In the Electric Mist, which does, at least, reveal its star and Louisiana setting

We follow sheriff detective Dave Robicheaux as he works for justice in New Iberia and New Orleans, Louisiana. Prostitutes are found dead, and a murder from the olden days of segregation haunts the recent misdeeds.

In the Electric Mist is an adaptation of James Lee Burke's (Dixie City Jam (1994)) In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead (1993) from his 20-novel long Dave Robicheaux book series, written by Jerzy Kromolowski and Mary Olson-Kromolowski (The Pledge (2001), both) and directed by great French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier (Daddy Nostalgia/Daddy Nostalgie (1990)).
I really liked this film, which is brimming with local lore and local linguistics so thick that it is often difficult to understand what exactly is being conveyed.
Tommy Lee Jones (U.S. Marshals (1998)) is eminent and shares especially good interplay with Justina Machado (Body of Proof (2011), TV-series), who occupies a nuanced FBI agent role, who also ends up incurring some guilt in the swampy - both literally and figuratively speaking - reality that is portrayed here.

Watch 3 minutes of the film here

Cost: Unknown
Box office: 7.9 mil. $
= Unknown (but should likely count as at least a big flop)
[In the Electric Mist premiered 7 February (Berlin International Film Festival) and runs 117 minutes. It is the second Robicheaux novel to be adapted, following mega-flop Heaven's Prisoners (1996) starring Alec Baldwin. Shooting took place entirely on location in Louisiana. Something went wrong on the film, leading to its not getting an American release; it was only shown twice one evening in Burke's hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana and was then released straight-to-DVD in North America. Tavernier released a book accounting making the film; Pas à Pas dans la Brume Électrique [Step by Step into The Electric Mist] (2009). The film made the vast majority of its gross in his native France; 7.2 mil. $ (91.1 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were Spain with 355k $ (4.5 %) and Belgium with 249k $ (3.2 %). If the budget was around a modest 5 mil. $, which seems likely, (though it would be far less than the budget for the first Burke adaptation's 25 mil. $ budget), the theatrical performance would rank the film as a big flop. It made in excess of 1.9 mil. $ on home video sales in North America. Be aware that the North American DVD release is a 102 minute studio cut of the film, whereas we in the rest of the world have gotten the 112 minute director's cut, which is what this review is based on. In the Electric Mist is fresh at 64 % with a 6.1/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of In the Electric Mist?


Inglourious Basterds (2009) - The Movies take revenge on Nazi scum

The stars stand out on the stylish poster for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds

A group of Jewish American soldiers known as the Basterds and a Jewish French cinema owner, who has had her family obliterated by the Nazis, join forces to blow up her cinema at the night when it will contain Hitler, Goebbels and more top Nazi leaders.

Inglourious Basterds is the 8th feature from Tennessean master writer-director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction (1994)). It is his first major film, (that is, not counting his first, My Best Friend's Birthday (1987), which I have yet to see), which I at first viewing thought was a bad movie. On second viewing I have revised this opinion some, though I still can't profess to really like this war dramedy exploitation escapade that puts a fictional end to the Nazis of WWII, and I will definitely call it overrated.
Brad Pitt (Babel (2006)) is good as Basterd leader, lieutenant Aldo Raine, and he is featured in most of the film's funny moments. The title of the film is a reference to Enzo G. Castellari's The Inglorious Bastards/Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato (1978), but Inglourious Basterds is not a remake of the latter film, and the strange title, which deliberately contains two spelling mistakes (an extra u in inglorious and an e instead of an a in bastards) may be a way of setting the newer film aside from Castellari's, or of securing it against any copyright liability in connection with the older film.
Inglourious Basterds has some good ideas in it but is terribly overlong and demonstratively pompous. Christoph Waltz (Our God's Brother (1997)) won his first Oscar for his energetic, endlessly aggravating performance as psychopath pedant colonel Hans Landa. Co-starring actor-filmmaker Eli Roth (Rock of Ages (2012)) directed the Nation's Pride propaganda film in Inglourious Basterds.
Tarantino's wrestling with WWII is opulent, enjoyable, bloated and tense.

Related posts:

Quentin Tarantino: 2012 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED III]
2012 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED II]

Django Unchained (2012) - Tarantino's gutsy, colorful 'Southern' 
Top 10: Best car chases in movies reviewed by Film Excess to date 
Death Proof (2007) - Tarantino's awesome, rubber-burning Grindhouse homage 
Desperado (1995) - Rodriguez' second Mexico actioner is a sexy, latino fireball (actor) 

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 70 mil. $
Box office: 321.4 mil. $
= Big hit
[Inglourious Basterds premiered 20 May (Cannes) and runs 153 minutes. Tarantino wrote the first script in 1998 but struggled with the film's ending and made Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Death Proof (2007) and other smaller projects in the meantime, believing that Inglourious Basterds would be a masterpiece. Casting the previously widely unknown Austrian-German actor Waltz, Tarantino has said, "gave me my movie." Shooting took place from October 2008 - February 2009 in Paris, France and in Germany, including in Brandenburg's Studio Babelsberg. SPOILER Tarantino has stated that he used his own hands in the scene where Diane Kruger (Mr. Nobody (2009)) gets strangled. The final draft script for the film was leaked online prior to the film's release. Promotion of the film in Germany required digitally altering posters to remove the swastikas, which are illegal to flaunt in public but allowed in works of art such as in the film itself. The film opened #1 to a 38 mil. $ first weekend in North America, Tarantino's best opening up to that point. It spent 5 consecutive weeks in the top 5 (#1-#2-#2-#2-#3) there and grossed 120.5 mil. $ (37.5 % of the total gross). The film also did terrific business abroad; its 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were France with 24.9 mil. $ (7.7 %) and Germany with 23.5 mil. $ (7.3 %). It became Tarantino's highest-grossing film until beaten by his next, Django Unchained (2012). Roger Ebert gave the film a 4/4 star rating, translating to two notches higher than this review. The film was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning one for Waltz as Best Supporting Actor. It lost Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Editing and Sound Editing to Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker and Cinematography to James Cameron's masterpiece Avatar. It was also nominated for 4 Golden Globes, winning one, 6 BAFTAs, winning one; it won Waltz the Best Actor award in Cannes, a David di Donatello award, was one of National Board of Review's Top 10 Films of the Year, along with many other awards and honors. Inglourious Basterds is certified fresh at 89 % with a 7.8 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Inglourious Basterds?


War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) - Reeves and Co. astonish with truly spectacular film that finishes the Ape circle

Without giving much away, this poster for Matt Reeves' War for the Planet of the Apes indicates the seriousness that marks the film

War for the Planet of the Apes is the 9th movie in the Apes franchise, following the 5 in the original series (1968-73), Tim Burton's unsuccessful reboot of the original film, Planet of the Apes (2001) and the two previous entries in the new 'trilogy', (which may not be a trilogy because more chapters could manifest depending on the performance of War), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It is written by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard (2007)) and New-Yorker master co-writer-director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield (2008)), who also directed the previous film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

When ape leader Caesar's wife and oldest son are killed by the evil human colonel and his forces, he leaves his group on a quest for revenge that takes huge tolls and teaches him more about himself and the colonel.

It seems unlikely that War is as good as it is. Following the somewhat disappointing Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I missed Dawn and have still to watch it. War for the Planet of the Apes is the only Apes sequel or reboot to reach the height of the very first film, which broke new ground for science fiction in terms of scope and technical elements (effects, costumes, makeup and prosthetics) and showed its possibilities with a thought-provoking - and much copied - story of humans, exploration and apes with deeper, underlying, very timely themes of racism, segregation, democracy, science, religion and doom.
In War for the Planet of the Apes, we meet a perverted, militarized, fascism-resembling army gathered around a colonel who has sacrificed his own humanity in a quest to save the human species. - The type of wrong decision that makes a leader dangerous. Elements of the story are as universal as they are thematically timeless: War and destruction; fight for survival against the stranger, the other kind or race and its progeny vs. peaceful co-existence and a respect for earth and the universe and the sufferings and losses of others.
The powerful narrative is told in a cinematography (by Michael Seresin (Foxes (1980))) with a delicious kind of texture and depth to it, combined with a sound universe and with a great, grand score (by Michael Giacchino (Star Trek Into Darkness (2013))) that seem to have a direct line to the original classic film. War doesn't have a single showy camera tracking or an unnecessary cut; it is fixed, most of the time, on the faces of the apes and humans involved in the scene, and its relaxed pace feels assured in the strength of these faces, lines spoken and the underlying narrative. There is something a bit old-fashioned about this, but in the best way possible: It takes its time to tell its compelling story in its own pace, and again and again scenes astonish and show real depth that would have been lost with any other, faster, flashier, more 'current' approach.
Of course a primary part of the spectacle that this huge film also contains lies in these very faces, especially in the faces of the apes, which in War seem to have more humanity and relatable emotion to them than the faces of the humans, who are for the most part unwise brutes. It is impossible to overstate the brilliance of the visual effects accomplishments in War for the Planet of the Apes, especially in creating the faces of the ape characters, which are modeled using acting performances from a talented cast. It is inevitably impossible to ascertain for an outsider, just how much of the greatly affecting performance onscreen is thanks to the actor involved and how much to the team of visual effects wizards who crafted the ape, but Andy Serkis (Wild Bill (2011)), who has made it into his personal specialty to give life to later animated characters in this way, (he was Gollum, King Kong and Captain Haddock, among others), is certainly deeply felt in his truly great lead performance as Caesar, a portrayal that is as dramatic as they come, simply, and deserves great recognition. The other ape performances that go over and beyond what I have ever seen before and truly touch audiences include Steve Zahn (A Perfect Getaway (2009)) as Bad Ape, Judy Greer (Californication (2007-12)) as Cornelia and Karin Konoval (The Quality of Life (2008), TV movie) as Maurice. War also has a terrific child performance from Amiah Miller (Lights Out (2016)) as Nova and Woody Harrelson (Play It to the Bone (1999)) a magnetic lump of muscle and mean determination as the Colonel.
For those familiar with the original film, War ties neat strings that lead up to the universe that meets Charlton Heston's astronaut Taylor in the first film, which must be some 20-25 years after the events of this film.
War for the Planet of the Apes is a rare science-fiction film that is both compelling, breathtaking, deeply moving and meaningful. Furthermore, you are guaranteed to regret it, if you miss seeing this in a cinema, so make sure that you don't!

Related posts:

The Apes franchise: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) or, Ape 3.1: Mad Apes!
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) or, The Final Ape!  
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) or, The Ape Uprising   

Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) - The enjoyable if farfetched second Apes sequel
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - Decent follow-up to the SF milestone  

Matt ReevesCloverfield (2008) or, It Tore Her Head Off!

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 150 mil. $
Box office: 186.4 mil. $ and counting
= Too early to say
[War for the Planet of the Apes premiered 11 July (UK and Ireland) and runs 140 minutes. Bomback and Reeves were given a longer period to write the script for War than they had been given for Dawn, and they saw and were inspired by countless classic movies, including all the Apes films, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Great Escape, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Apocalypse Now and others. Shooting took place in British Columbia, Canada, including Vancouver, from October 2015 - March 2016. The film opened #1 to a 56.2 mil. $ first weekend in North America, significantly lower than Dawn's 72.6 mil. $ debut, and took a sharp 62.9 % drop in its second week, dropping to #4. The film has yet to open in several major markets, including Germany, France, Japan and South Korea, but it has not gotten a Chinese release, a major problem for such an expensive film, which is suffering an underwhelming performance in North America. Reeves and Bomback are already booked to write and direct The Batman, starring Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons and Joe Manganiello, which should shoot in spring 2018. War for the Planet of the Apes is certified fresh at 94 % with an 8.1/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of War for the Planet of the Apes?

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (30-17)

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (30-17)
Luca Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name (2017)