Last day of July, it is hard to believe really. But movies keep being released and Netflix keeps posting more films as well.
I saw War for the Planet of the Apes in the theatre this past week and it didn’t disappoint. The reviews have been good all around for this third installment of the rebooted series. The performances are good and Andy Serkis plays Caesar very well with equal leader and parent. A leader wishing for peace for his kind but one who has very human struggles internally and externally to contend with. My minor quibble with this is how they are trying in their own way to connect with the original POTA from 1969. Some is clever like an explanation for how humans become mute. Others though like Nova and Cornelius are more troublesome since the timelines just wouldn’t sync up. At least not from the original. Caesar and the Lawgiver were long since dead and buried for centuries before Taylor ever crashes into their world. But besides these minor issues this is not just a shoot em up film with endless battles. There are aspects borrowed from Apocalypse Now, channeled in many ways by Woody Harrelson. Also The Great Escape and further Schindler’s List. Add to that a little political commentary about building walls and there is a film that covers much territory. This reboot was well worth viewing and the effort.
I also caught on Netflix Toni Erdmann which was a German film nominated for Best Foreign Film and was at TIFF. It is a father and daughter film with an aging Dad and his older busy daughter. She is working on an outsourcing deal which will cut many jobs with plenty of office politics. He wants to get a glimpse into her life. I heard that Hollywood wants to remake this. It troubles me where I imagine that they would take it. The story here is subtle and touching and you have two complex people just sorting through things. There are some very funny moments. And moments that at times you think are just improbable. But I enjoyed it and wished I had seen this at TIFF. It didn’t win the Oscar. Worth checking out as well.
I read a glowing review of Valerian and it surprised me. This was not on my radar. But maybe it should be. Not sure.
I did start Miss Sloane with Jessica Chastain last night too. So far so good. She plays a driven, hard hitting lobbyist. It has the look and feel (and actors from) The Newsroom.