And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968)
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Everyone wants free trolly rides, but some apes are more willing to take what they want than others.

Everyone wants free trolly rides, but some apes are more willing to take what they want than others.

…is the seventh film in, and second reboot of, the Planet of the Apes franchise, even though the last one was officially marketed as a “remake.” It wound up being an incredibly stupid mistake that exposed Tim Burton for an idea-starved thug he’d become by then and apparently staked this entire franchise through the heart. But let’s be honest with ourselves and admit these movies hadn’t been “relevant” for years. Most intelligent fans trace the decline of the franchise back to the moment they stopped being about Planets full of Apes and became all about justifying the existence of said planets to fools who won’t take these movies seriously no matter how many prequels you roll out.

Ten years after that debacle, a hit-starved 20th Century Fox unearthed the franchise’s corpse and removed the stake, like many a Hammer horror victim. I didn’t expect much going in, being long-since burnt out on reboots. Director Robert Wyatt didn’t help things by explicitly compared it to Batman Begins. You could go either way with that one. Everybody wants to be the goddamn Batman, but not everyone has the chops. I can remember thinking, “From the writers of The Relic? Are you fucking kidding?” So before we do anything else, I’d like to personally apologize to Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, one writer to two others.

Guys: I’m sorry I doubted you. Your movie’s awesome. In fact, it’d be prefect…if it didn’t insist on featuring James Franco. Continue reading



X2: X-Men United (2003)

I went into this farce with no expectations.  In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a natural pessimist. So much of a pessimist I was prepared to write X2 off completely, like all the idiots I criticism for their blatant hypocrisy, dismissing “comic book” movies without daring to sully their eyes by actually viewing  one. Then the maintenance man comes by at nine in the morning, screwing my sleep schedule all to hell. And he tells me I should see this movie. It apparently, “kicked serious ass.”

So off I go to Target. Twenty minutes, two cigs, and one neutered anti-theft device later, I returned the proud (if ambivalent) owner of X2, second in what will no doubt be the epic superhero movie trilogy to end all epic superhero movie trilogies. For, like, ever.

As if. I say “ambivalent” whenever I’m faced with something like this…like almost any movie from the summer of ’03…with one notable exception…something that makes me feel anything but united. I love glitz and glamor as much as the next Red Blooded American Male, but I’m getting mighty tired of leaving a movie feeling hollow and gypped. After all, didn’t they used to make movies with something more than a few hundred million dollars of special effects? Something that engaged its audience? That challenged us? Was that just a dream? I swear they were still doing it a few years ago… {More}