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Atomic Blonde – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  July 28, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  1 hour 55 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  6.0 out of 10

A non-spoiler review.

What you need to know about Atomic Blonde:  We are back to the 80’s just before the Berlin Wall is torn down.  Spies from all sides are trying to gain access to a list of agents from the US and UK.  MI6 has deployed their best operatives to collect that list so not to fall into enemy hands. 

What works:  80’s soundtrack that is in some cases, updated or remastered.  Charlize Theron is amazing as is James McAvoy.  Charlize just doesn’t age.  The fight scenes were very well choreographed, some of the best I’ve seen in some time.  Excellent stunt work.

What doesn’t work:  The story moves forward with such a fervor that you can’t recall all the characters and who they work for.    The plot is simple and thin.  There is little to keep you engaged unless you love Charlize Theron, action, and 80’s tunes.  The use of titling the chapters with spray paint eventually gets annoying.  There are scenes that could have had better development and others that could have been cut short.  The movie feels longer than its actual running time.

Overall this is a summer action movie built around Charlize as she kicks some serious butt.  Kudos goes out to the stuntwoman who doubles for Charlese as some of those stunts are amazing.  However, this will be a summer dud and I bet the film will be done in 4 weeks.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Atomic Blonde a 6.0.  Be sure to grab something from concessions to help pass the time.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Trailer Snark (July 28, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

The Emoji Movie (Columbia Pictures) – Animation/Adventure
Rated PG
Tag Line:  Welcome to the secret world inside your phone.
Starring: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris
Plot: Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji.
Running Time: 86 minutes

Chris: I LOL and then ROFLMAO. J/K
Jess: *Throws Up*
Jim: It’s far to soon to rip off Inside Out. How dated is this going to be in a few years?

Atomic Blonde (Focus Features) – Action/Mystery/Thriller
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman
Plot: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Jim: All hail Charlize Theron, the Scariest Beautiful Woman ever. Looks like a worthy addition to Mindless Summer Fun at the Movies.
Chris: Charlize is looking like the clear winner by default this week. Hoping she kicks both Al Gore and the Don in the tush in this film.
Jess: Looks fun, like “The Long Kiss Goodnight” and I enjoy Theron and McAvoy!

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Paramount Pictures) – Documentary
Rated PG
Tag Line: Fight Like Your World Depends On It.
Starring: Al Gore, Barack Obama, Donald Trump
Plot: A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture comes the follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Jess: I am a bad person because I never saw the first one and I love this kind of stuff. I like to stay as informed as I can and see all sides, even if I don’t believe all I hear. I’d watch this at home if I ever got around to the original.
Jim: I found the first one interesting and informative. This looks to be the same, although pervaded with more of a sense of dread.
Chris: Al Gore (private) jets around the world leaving this carbon imprint one more time. Celebrate!

Tickets Purchased:  Three for Atomic Blonde

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – July 26, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Secret Empire #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: It was foretold by Ulysses, it’s haunted Spider-Man’s nightmares for months, and now the moment has arrived: It’s time for Miles Morales to kill Captain America! Unless Natasha? Rated T+

Why we love it: Secret Empire keeps coming out on time and it has really helped the narrative keep the momentum going as it heads into the final stretch. Will the truth behind Ulysses’ vision be revealed in this issue?

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Greg Land

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART FIVE! BATCH H is finally ready for a test drive. Its targets? Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Domino, Warpath and the Hulk! With a genetic cocktail of the most powerful enhanced beings on the planet coursing through its veins, how can anyone stand a chance?! Rated T+

Why we like it: It’s looking like Batch-H is going to be sticking around even after WMD ends and it could be making its first appearance towards the end of this issue. Kick ass series to boot.

 

The Indie One: Redneck #4

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren  

What it is: In an attempt to stop the chaos engulfing their family, Perry and Bartlett revisit Bartlett’s past but digging up old wounds sometimes opens new ones. What exactly is Bartlett’s big secret?

Why we like it: Donny Cates is absolutely crushing this book. I was instantly hooked. Not a huge fan of the art, but it’s serviceable.

The #1 One: Heavenly Blues #1

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words: Ben Kahn
Art: Bruno Hidalgo

What it is: People live. People die. The ‘good’ are pleasantly escorted off to Heaven; while the rest unceremoniously rots in Hell. Hell – a world where torture isn’t retribution, it’s just hazing. Isaiah Jefferson fancied himself a dashing rogue; the greatest thief of the Great Depression, but a cruel betrayal left him dead in the dirt. Erin Foley was a scared grifter desperate not to be another child fed to the violent maw of the Salem Witch Trials. When they’re given the chance to leave Hell and spit in the face of judgment, can they face their demons and become the master thieves they were meant to be? Heavenly Blues reunites the team behind Shaman to deliver a mystical heist mash-up from beyond the grave.

Why we like it: Digging the concept and the artwork. Willing to check out Scout’s latest offering on a slow week for new #1’s.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Edge of Venomverse #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Roland Boschi
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: THE SYMBIOTIC SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE! Robbie Reyes was just an average, ordinary super hero with a flaming skull? ?right up until he found himself bonded with a dangerous extraterrestrial symbiote! Don’t miss the first daring drive of the HOST RIDER! Rated T+

Why we like it: Another great character design ruined by a ridiculous name. Did they just go with the first name they could think of?

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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Valerian – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  July 21, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  2 hours 17 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  6.2 out of 10

SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW

What you need to know:  The full title of this movie is, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”  Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and his partner Laureline (Cara Delevingne) must track down those who are threatening the city of a thousand planets known as Alpha.

What works:  Beautiful backgrounds and imagery.  Visually the film has a stunning color pallet.  Very interesting creatures and worlds.  The soundtrack was good as well.  The costumes and special effects steal the show.

What doesn’t work:  Lets by shortening down the title to just, “Valerian.”  Then, lets cut 30 – 45 min from the movie.  Although I did not view the film in 3D, clearly there are scenes that are intentionally included specifically for the 3D effect.  When not seeing the film in 3D, these scenes just add fluff that extend the run time of the movie with adding little substance.

When watching the film, you will get flavors of Men In Black, Star Trek, Star Wars, Avatar, The Fifth Element, etc.  The three creatures that sell information are a cross from the worms in MIB and the Ferengi from Star Trek Deep Space 9.  The ship belonging to Valerian has a Millennium Falcon feel.  There is a trash compactor type scene that clearly resonates with Star Wars.  The multidimensional market place feels like something from The Fifth Element or Bladerunner.  The “Mull” race look very similar to the race in Avatar.  I could go on, but when the movie tags the line that it is a movie unlike anything you’ve seen, well, give me something that doesn’t pull from so many films.

Ethan Hawke has a small role that is over the top and as quickly as he is introduced, he is dismissed.  Herbie Hancock is in the film, but why?  Rihanna is in the film only to showcase her singing and dancing talents, certainly it isn’t for her acting skills.  Dane DeHaan plays the role of Valerian and I swear I felt he was trying to be Keanu Reeves with his delivery and tone.  Valerian is this playboy-esc character who tries to convince Laureline that he is committed to her and wants to marry her.  This feels so contrived and silly that I can only attribute this to appeal to adolescents.

I could continue with what didn’t work for me, but I’ll stop here.

Summer of 2017 hasn’t given me many duds, but this is one of them.  I think tweens will enjoy the film and if you are into 3D movies, this may be a movie to catch on a rainy day.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a 6.2.  It may be worth seeing in 3D if you are going to see it at all.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Dunkirk – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  July 21, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  1 hour 46 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  YES
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  9.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

What you need to know about Dunkirk:  It is World War II.  Belgian, British and French troops have been pushed back to the North Sea at the French seaport of Dunkirk.  Their only escape is to await evacuating ships to rescue them across the English Channel.

What a movie!  Dunkirk isn’t your ordinary WWII film and it isn’t told as such.  The story is told from three perspectives; land, sea, and air.  Although the story follows roughly seven characters, we know little about them, we have little background and in some cases, we don’t know their name.  What we do know is that they are in a bad situation with little hope.  I don’t believe you ever see an enemy face, but you know they are there.  I can’t recall a WWII movie where you didn’t see one enemy person.

From the land perspective, troops want off the beach and on the ships/boats to be brought to the UK.  From a sea perspective, we want ships/boats to reach those troops so they can be evacuated.  From the air, how can we defend the ships/boats and our troops on the beaches.  The story is riveting and I find it unique that it is the events themselves that drive the story and not so much the characters.  There is no need to show the faces of the enemy because their presence is felt throughout the film and it builds suspense and anticipation.

What works:  Excellent casting and acting.  A WWII movie based on true events captures you and keeps you wondering what will happen next.  In IMAX, this movie was outstanding as you feel as if you are there and the emotions of those in the movie transcend the screen and pop right into your chest.  This is done by a well written story that focuses on the events, a score that builds anticipation, and sound effects that plant you in the middle of the action.  Lack of digital special effects and use of practical effects allows the viewer to remain in the story and not distracted by the any short coming of distracting digital effects.  I’m certain there are many digital effects, but they are used in all the right places and in the right ways that allow you to believe you are there.  Actors Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan, and Fionn Whitehead were outstanding!

What doesn’t work:  There are two issues I had with this film.  First, there is not a single leading or supporting female role in the film.  Although it didn’t stand out to me while watching the film I can only attribute it that during WWII, women were not on the front lines or on ships.  It isn’t that there aren’t any women in the film, they just appear as minor extras.  Secondly, the way the story is told you move between the three perspectives of the film.  There is a flashback or two and you are left wondering if it is a flashback or just a change of perspective.  It is confusing at first, but the story reveals itself in short time.

With the summer movie releases going into its final month, this is a strong contender for best film of the summer.  An outstanding story written and directed by Christopher Nolan.  Look for his name to appear for an Oscar nomination for best director.  The acting and cinematography were amazing.  The score was very much a character in this film, the intensity and build-up of anticipation are greatly influenced by the score.  This is as well an emotionally rounded a film as one can get.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Dunkirk a 9.5.  It is worth seeing in IMAX and I strongly encourage viewers to seek out an IMAX show time.  Well worth the price of admission and a jumbo popcorn combo.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Trailer Snark (July 21, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Dunkirk (Warner Bros) – Action/War/Drama
Rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language
Tag Line: Surrounded.
Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Hardy
Plot: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Running Time: 106 minutes

Rob: I am have soft spot movie about that era. Maybe the only subject in history class I ever did well at. I need know if they’ll make it off the beach.
Chris: Probably my most anticipated movie of the summer, next to Spider-Man.  An epic true story of the Greatest Generation’s sacrifice for a better world. 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (STX Entertainment) – Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language
Tag Line: A universe without boundaries needs heroes without limits.
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen
Plot: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Running Time: 137 minutes

Chris: I am ashamed to say I am unfamiliar with the comic series.  But in spite of Luc Besson’s talents, I felt like I was watching a video game trailer and not a real movie.  This one might just have to wait.
Rob: With all of the SiFi movies coming out, this one looks to be the most fun and most beautiful visual effects. I’ve actually been waiting for this one to come out.

Girls Trip (Universal Pictures) – Comedy
Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, pervasive language, brief graphic nudity, and drug material
Tag Line: You’ll be glad you came.
Starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Plot: When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.
Running Time: 122 minutes

Rob: This looks like a funny movie. Not my choice for the big screen though and maybe if its on TV on one of the wife’s channels that she watches.
Chris: Ummm….R Kelly is going to love this one!  OK, that was uncalled for.

Landline (Amazon) – Comedy
Rated R for sexual content, language and drug use
Tag Line: 1995. When people were harder to reach.
Starring: Jenny Slate, Jay Duplass
Plot: In 1995, a teenager living with her sister and parents in Manhattan discovers that her father is having an affair.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Chris:  “Take a better look cool guy. I’m a California Raisin.”  LOL.  Yeah, this one looks good….even to this 80’s kid.
Rob: Amazon is doing some a amazing things with the movies they’re putting out. It seems like they’re going with the joy and heart breaks of being a regular family back in 1995. Back in the good old days. (yes folks from the 80’s, I’m a 90’s kid).

 

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Dunkirk and One for Valerian

 

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The Big Sick – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  July 14, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  2 hours
After Credit Scene:  (during credit images)
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.8 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

This is a charming movie based on a true story.  I loved the trailer for the film, but I have to say that I felt that this was not a comedy, but a drama/romance with moments of comedic elements.  I laughed as much during this movie as I did in Spiderman Homecoming.  Judd Apatow produced this movie and it has his touch.  He understands what day to day elements of life resonate with the audience and The Big Sick is no different.

Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) is a Pakistani looking for a career in standup comedy.  His Pakistani family does not support his desire to be a comic and are very traditional.  Kumail falls in love with Emily (Zoe Kazan) who is your traditional American female.  Emily becomes sick and Kumail reaches out to Emily’s family to come to her aid.  Her parents are played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano and are great on screen together. 

What works:  Very good casting and acting.  A good story is told and keeps the viewer wondering what will happen next.

What doesn’t work:  The film deals with sad and depressing story lines and is far more a drama than a comedy.  A viewer may expect to experience a film where laugh after laugh will come, but the film doesn’t deliver in that capacity.  The love story is far more thought provoking than comedic and this viewer came away feeling a bit more depressed than happy.

Those that I’ve spoken with that are looking forward to seeing the movie felt as I did that we were going in to see a comedy.  You may find the film funnier than I did, but the tragic elements of the film overshadow the comedic elements for me and it didn’t deliver as much as I had hoped.  With this said, the story is still heartwarming and well told.  Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are excellent actors that anchor this story when it is needed most.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give The Big Sick a 7.8.  It is worth seeing in the theater and a drink.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – July 19, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. We experienced a glitch in the Matrix which is why this week’s entry is a day late. But we’re back online, just in time for new comic book day. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I will be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Secret Empire #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: The unworthy, the untrusted, the unstable – this is their day! BEWARE THE SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we love it: Secret Empire continues to rule the top spot. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of this series at the Crank File. Last issue was absolutely jam packed with crazy reveals and new mysteries, and the stage is set for what will be a memorable second half. Love this Thor cover too, some of Mark Brook’s finest work.

 

The Mainstream One: Batman #27

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Davide Gianfelice 

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF THE JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part three! The war has spread to every corner of Gotham City, and while Batman battles back the forces of Joker and Riddler, an unlikely criminal becomes the pivotal key to its potential resolution, but it could cost him everything.

Why we like it: Tom King is the master of taking offbeat characters and casting them in a twisted light. Last year he did it with Vision, last month it was Elmer Fudd, and this week it’s D-lister Kite Man. If you’re wondering who Kite Man is, you are not alone. The Silver Age was a weird time for Bat-villains. The same period that gave us memorable characters like Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and the modern Clayface also spawned oddities like Calendar Man, Crazy Quilt, and Kite Man. I don’t know much about Kite Man other than the Charlie Brown reference, but I can guarantee this will be the greatest Kite Man story ever told. Which isn’t saying much, but I’m also willing to bet it’s going to be a great read.

 

The Indie One: Spencer and Locke #4

Publisher: Action Lab
Words: David Pepose
Art: Jr. Santiago

What it is: The end is nigh, as Spencer and Locke square off against Locke’s crime lord father, Augustus, with a child’s life hanging in the balance! Can Locke survive against these overwhelming odds? Does he even want to? And who killed Sophie Jenkins? Find out here in this explosive finale!

Why we like it: I really wanted to like this series better. The detective noir angle was well executed and I enjoyed the Calvin and Hobbes callbacks, but the dark tone keeps this series from being a spiritual successor to my favorite childhood comic. Still, I hung on for three issues and I’m pretty much committed to reading the finale, but I won’t love it. Mr. Watterson, if you’re reading this, please let us have more Calvin and Hobbes.

 

The #1 One: Astonishing X-Men #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: ONLY THE X-MEN CAN SAVE US! An ancient evil is attacking the world’s most powerful minds. It will have them by the time you finish this sentence, and a moment later, it will have us all. A band of X-MEN discovers the truth behind the threat, but there is no time left. PSYLOCKE, OLD MAN LOGAN, BISHOP, ARCHANGEL, FANTOMEX, ROGUE and GAMBIT will attempt to save a world that hates and fears them. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE THE X-MEN. From blockbuster writer CHARLES SOULE and joined by a roster of superstar artists beginning with JIM CHEUNG. ASTONISHING X-MEN. It’s the X-book you need. Rated T+

Why we like it: Love the cast of characters, love the creative team. This could be the X book I’ve been needing since Extraordinary ended. Naturally, with this being a Marvel book, Astonishing is being released with a ton of variants. There’s a couple of good looking ones, I like the Artgerm and Jim Lee covers but they are 1:100 and 1:1000 incentive variants that will set you back $100 and $1000 respectively.

  

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #24

Publisher: DC
Words: Amanda Conner
Art: John Timms
Cover Art: Frank Cho

What it is: ‘THE PARENT TRAP’! Harley has faced every challenge even she could possibly imagine, but can she survive?a visit from her parents?! And in ‘Harley Loves Joker’ part eight, the duo’s new headquarters comes with some unforeseen complications!

Why we like it: Tough call this week. DC has two cover B’s that could have made it here. Cho gets the nod for the insane amount of detail in the line work. This cover is part one of a two-part connecting cover, with the second part revealed on the next issue. The other cover B that didn’t make the cut was a gorgeous Joshua Middleton piece for Aquaman #26. You’ll know it if you see it. And if you see it, I’d advise you to grab it as well.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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War for the Planet of the Apes – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  July 14, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  2 hour 20 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  9.2 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third movie in the franchise and the best of the three.  If you have not seen the previous movies, I suggest you do as this movie references characters and story lines that one will want to be familiar with to understand who the apes are and why the humans are hostile.

Caesar, the leader of the apes, is being hunted by humans lead by The Colonel (Woody Harrelson).  He must decide between his own quest or that to save his people.  Human kind is as fractured a species as are these advanced apes and the two clash to save their own kind.

What works:  Amazing cgi of the apes.  When there are closeups of the apes, the innate detail has the viewer wondering if the image is of a true ape or completely computer generated.  The motion of the apes appears true which furthers the complement to the cgi effects.  The story is well thought out and pulls the viewer into its world.  Outstanding character development, because you care about these characters or despise them.  The voice work is outstanding, although many times you are hearing ape grunts and coo’s.  Still, very believable.  You’ll pull for the humans and you’ll pull for the apes, you stay engaged in this film to the very end.

What doesn’t work:  When the cgi is on it is ON.  However, there are moments from afar that the cgi could have been a bit more refined.  It is a stretch to fault any of the cgi, but this is the only fault I found with this movie.

This is an outstanding movie.  I believe that War for the Planet of the Apes is the best movie of this summer, but it won’t be as financially successful compared to Spider-man: Homecoming due to the broader appeal Homecoming will have over this Apes movie.  Have no doubt that you will ride an emotional roller-coaster in this film and it is well worth the price of admission.  It is a wonderful installment in the trilogy of Apes movies and I hope they continue the franchise.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give War for the Planet of the Apes a 9.2.  It is worth seeing in the theater and a popcorn combo.  If you are on the fence about seeing this movie, take the chance and check it out.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

Apes Poster

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Trailer Snark (July 14, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

War of the Planet of the Apes (Twentieth Century Fox) – Adventure/Drama/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for violence, language, and disturbing images.
Tag Line: For freedom. For family. For the planet.
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson
Plot: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.
Running Time: 140 minutes

Jim: These movies have some of the most unbelievably realistic effects I’ve ever seen. Almost too realistic. So real that, at times, I forget that I’m looking at things that aren’t there. Which, admittedly, takes a little bit of the fun out of it for me. That said, the movies are very well-made, and this looks like a worthy addition. And I’m looking forward to Steve Zahn play an ape.
Chris: Woody has a knack for playing a great bad guy.  He really makes you dislike him so well.  The last two entries in this franchise were very good and I have no reason to think this one won’t be some popcorn crunching fine entertainment!

Wish Upon (Orion Pictures) – Horror
Rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing images, thematic elements and language
Tag Line: Be careful what you wish for.
Starring: Joey King, Ryan Phillipe
Plot: A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Chris: I was expecting to see a trailer I’ve seen a million times before, advertising a decidedly C-grade horror film, but was actually surprised to find myself enjoying the pacing and feel.  This one has potential to be a little horrific gem.
Jim: The premise manages to overcome the bewhiskered predictability of yet another horror movie trailer. A good rental.

Lady Macbeth (Roadside Attractions) – Drama
Rated R for some disturbing violence, strong sexuality/nudity, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton
Plot: Set in 19th century rural England, young bride who has been sold into marriage to a middle-aged man discovers an unstoppable desire within herself as she enters into an affair with a worker on her estate.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Jim: A great trailer that makes this movie look very absorbing. And all hail movies made for grownups!
Chris:  Is this Lady Chatterley of Lady Macbeth?

Blind (Vertical Entertainment) – Drama/Romance
Rated R for language including some sexual references, and brief drug use
Tag Line: Love….unexpected.
Starring: Demi Moore, Alec Baldwin
Plot: A novelist blinded in a car crash which killed his wife rediscovers his passion for both life and writing when he embarks on an affair with the neglected wife of an indicted businessman.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Chris: This movie has Lifetime Channel written all over it.
Jim: Alec Baldwin is very talented and very funny. Whenever I see him in a drama these days though, he just comes off as…too creepy. Demi Moore is a beautiful woman but has never impressed me as an actress (except for the occasional flick like “Disclosure”). Pass.

Tickets Purchased:  One for Lady Macbeth (Jim) and one for War of the Planet of the Apes (Chris)

warofplanetofapes