This Weekend At The Movies (Aug 5-7)

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

(MP’s Pick of the Week)

Directed by Rupert Wyatt. Starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tyler Labine and Andy Serkis as Caesar.

An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

So when I heard that this movie was being made with all CG apes, I was initially less excited and less hopeful for the movie. After all, one of the marquee qualities of the series has always been the special make-up effects used to create the apes. But thankfully, the company working on the visual effects is the quite reliable Weta Digital and upon seeing the trailer, I think they were right in going the CG route. When they announced Andy Serkis was going to be playing Caesar, the main ape, I was instantly 100% on board. Andy Serkis is someone the general population is not all that familiar with by name, yet im sure lots of people have seen his truly great performances. He has made a name for himself in the motion capture arena for his portrayal of characters like Gollum from Lord of the Rings and King Kong from Peter Jackson’s remake. He plays an ape again in this film but the role here is a lot different since Caesar is highly intelligent and aware of his emotions. If it were up to me, Andy Serkis would be a household name. I think the guy is one of the most amazing actors of today and it makes me happy that there is already talk of him getting Oscar recognition for his role as Caesar. Aside from Serkis, the movie has been gathering momentum with positive word of mouth and that delights me to no end. I have a soft spot for the Planet of the Apes series. I think the original is a great piece of classic sci-fi and its subsequent sequels are all fun in their own ways, though you can argue the sequels’ quality. I’m really looking forward to this new entry in the Apes franchise and really hope it delivers. I’ve been preparing for it by watching all of the original five Apes movies (leaving out Tim Burton’s remake). I’m quite interested in seeing how those damn dirty apes takeover to become the dominant species. This is definitely the movie to see this weekend.

THE CHANGE-UP

Directed by David Dobkin. Starring Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann and Alan Arkin.

A comedy in which a married father accidentally switches bodies with his best friend, leading to a series of wildly complex difficulties.

Growing up together, Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman) were inseparable best friends, but as the years have passed they’ve slowly drifted apart. While Dave is an overworked lawyer, husband and father of three, Mitch has remained a single, quasi-employed man-child who has never met a responsibility he liked. Following a drunken night out together, Mitch and Dave’s worlds are turned upside down when they wake up in each other’s bodies and proceed to freak the &*#@ out. Despite the freedom from their normal routines and habits, the guys soon discover that each other’s lives are nowhere near as rosy as they once seemed. — (C) Universal Pictures

The trailer for the movie doesn’t grab me the way I think it should since it stars two lead actors that I really like and director David Dobkin has put out quite a few movies that I’ve enjoyed, Wedding Crashers being his best and most funny. On top of that, the reviews for the film have been less than stellar. I’ve not heard it was terrible but that it just isn’t that funny and has some pretty outrageous gross out moments (though they do kind of give you an idea in the trailer with the poop squirt to the face gag). I still will check out the movie based on the cast but I may wait until it hits the dollar theater.

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