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Killer Elite (2011)
Killer Elite: Your Usual Statham Dose
In Killer Elite, Jason Statham plays Danny, a mercenary-for-hire who is thrust back into the action when his old friend Hunter (Robert De Niro) is captured. In order for Hunter to be released, Danny needs to eliminate British S.A.S. agents who are supposedly guilty of murdering the sons of a powerful sheik in the Middle East. Spike (Clive Owen) is dispatched by an underground council to intercept Danny and his crew. When two killers are let loose, who wins?
As expected, Killer Elite excels in action just like other Jason Statham movies. For every five minutes, there's a shootout, or a guy's head gets bludgeoned. It actually goes to great lengths to make the kills spectacular and unconventional. However, it is also this concentration on action that prevents the film from being more than average. Conversations are not really that deep, and personalities of the main characters were not really that fleshed out. For example, we get how Danny is as a person, but more background on Spike would have been interesting. Who is he really, and why did he become the way he is? Moreover, the nature of killing could have been explored more. After all, the title is Killer Elite.
Cast of characters is quite an assortment. Statham is a tried-and-tested lead while everyone knows Owen can pull off a villain anytime. All films become better just because of Robert De Niro's presence. Yvonne Strahovski plays Anne, Danny's love interest. It is good Yvonne's getting decent exposure in Hollywood, but she was heavily underused.
At the start of the story, it says that Killer Elite is based on a true story. It may have been a highly sensationalized version, but at least we can be assured that there is a grain of truth to what they are showing. Somehow, films based on real life are able to remind us that complicated situations need not be concocted by the mind but are everyday things. Shady decisions are really made for country prosperity.
Killer Eilite shows that everyone is a potential killer. Killing is also messy, and not just in the literal sense. It leaves tracks, makes a lot of people investigate for information, causes psychological problems and traumatizes children. Contrary to the tagline "May the best man live," there is no best man. Everyone just lives or dies with their mistakes.
Verdict: Watch if you are action hungry. Abstain if other things are more important for you in a movie.
Real Steel (2011)
Real Steel: Humanity's Nature Stripped Like Parts
Set in the near future, Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a former world-class boxer in a world where humans have been replaced by robots as participants in the boxing sport. Supported by Bailey Tallet (Evangeline Lily), the daughter of his former trainer, he spends his time using these robots to earn a living and to possibly relive his glory days as a fighter, but his efforts go nowhere. His situation gets interesting when his son, eleven year-old Max (Dakota Goyo), reappears in his life and gives him the strength he needs to regain what he had lost.
Real Steel reminds viewers of all the boxing films that they have watched. Only this time, there is a twist. The fighters are like skinless Terminators ready to claw anyone that gets in their way. Action scenes are decent enough and camera movement is not shaky and distracting. The clinking of metal is like the cracking of one's jaw. The pain! A funny part of the film is when the robot dances. Yes, it actually does THE robot dance.
Cast assembled for Real Steel is pretty impressive. Hugh Jackman really knows how to play the good-looking asshole with the golden heart. He pulls off another Wolverine, except this time, he's a dad. Hollywood has been missing him lately and it is very good news that he is back with a bang. With her dirty work clothes, Evangeline Lily still manages to remain beautiful and elegant. Her character is easy to love, and after watching her in this film, I have decided to get my hands on all 6 seasons of Lost and watch them until my eyes pop out. Dakota is just an adorable kid and I am sure that he will grow up, smile, and break a lot of hearts.
In films, we learn a lot about ourselves. What better way of education than to watch something with... robots in it? Yes, you read that right. The presence of these machines actually help flesh out certain things about mankind.
1) As Charlie said in the junkyard while he was explaining the evolution of boxing, "people wanted more carnage, more show." It was Roman gladiators back then, it is cockfighting now, and it will be robot battle-to-the-death in the future. Somehow, people enjoy watching violence so much that creative ways are made to sustain this "hobby." Barbarism is unfortunately, still alive and well.
2) Man's love for entertainment. Instead of using these robots for something more useful (like planting, or construction), they are used for sports purposes. Now, it can be said that this is a film limitation given that everything about that supposedly future time still seems to be set in the present, but one can also argue that man just does not know how to use his ideas properly.
3) There will always be value in human ingenuity and skill. Even though the robots are doing the fighting, it is the people behind them that matter, and that is highlighted especially towards the end of the film.
4) Nothing bonds boys better than toys. Essentially, Real Steel is a about a reconnection of a father and son with the robots in the backdrop. We witness through these machines how Charlie and Max put aside their differences and accepted who they are to each other.
The only thing that I found confusing about Real Steel is why Atom was so good. Is it only shadow movement, or does he actually understand? He comes close to the IRobot concept a few years back, but the film never really tackles the depth of this robot and explains why he is the way he is.
I'm not a fan of boxing, I'm definitely not a fan of robots, and I only had 30 minutes of sleep when I watched this. Still, I loved every second of it. I know I recommend a lot of things but if ever you plan to start listening, you better do it now. Whether you watch movies every week or have not watched anything for a year now, Real Steel is a 2011 film you should not miss.
What's Your Number? (2011)
What's Your Number Is Worth A Dial
What's It About?
What's Your Number takes us into the story of Ally Darling (Anna Faris), a recently unemployed woman with no life direction (Sounds bleak? It actually gets bleaker). As she helps her sister Daisy (Ari Graynor) get ready for her wedding, Ally realizes that she has slept with a total of 20 guys without finding the right one. Because of a study that says women who reach up to this level are bound not to get married, she sets on a quest to track down these past lovers and give them another chance. With the help of his playboy neighbor Colin (Chris Evans), she finds them one by one, only to realize that it's not as simple as she thought it would be.
What's Interesting (And Not)?
What's Your Number has the usual things that romantic comedies have: an awkward girl out to take on the world,a hot guy who seems to be a jerk but is a gentle soul inside, a bunch of annoying (but thankfully attractive) family members and friends, a problem, a moment where the connection between the guy and the girl is established, the inevitable conflict and the realizations that end in tears and laughter. If you say that there seems to be nothing new in this film, then you would be right (Elizabeth Reaser's The Ex-List has a fairly similar concept). However, there is a reason why this is called the formula: it actually works. Things might be predictable and there might not be anything mind-blowing but it is still an entertaining ride. What's Your Number is generally funny, and it's not the forced type of funny. Anna Faris is always a treat to watch. Her antics make me laugh, smile, and laugh some more. Simply put, she brings the sexy in being silly. Chris Evans seems to be ageless so far. I am sure ladies will be relieved that his bulky Captain America look was not photoshopped after all. With the lighter mood and romance angle, this is more familiar ground for him, and it shows in his chemistry with Faris. Cameos do not hurt the film either. Brief appearances of Zachary Quinto and Martin Freeman are pleasant additions. Oh, and let us not forget that ridiculously amusing basketball scene!
What's the Verdict?
It is not just about a love story, or a comedy, or Chris Evans spending half of the time without a shirt, but figuring out who you are, and finding that person you want to celebrate that discovery with. It doesn't get sweeter than that. Again, you can find a LOT of this in a LOT of movies but why not look for this in "What's Your Number?"
Come on, flex those finger muscles and dial!
No Other Woman (2011)
No Other Woman: That Boy is Mine, Period.
Folks, we find ourselves once again confronted with a local drama with a very general title: No Other Woman. Should we watch or just move along?
No Other Woman is about Ram (Derek Ramsay), a struggling businessman out to prove that he's better than his father, who left him when he was still a child. Married to the supportive Cha (Cristine Reyes), he finally gets a break when a resort gets interested in sourcing furniture from him. However, complications arise when he becomes attracted to Cara (Anne Curtis), the carefree daughter of the resort's owner.
Although I took a jab at the film title earlier, it actually helps us identify right away that the movie is about a love triangle. More than the love triangle concept, it tackles the issue of adultery. If there's one thing that Filipino cinema is good at, it is knowing that the target audience loves drama. The plot is somehow predictable but many people will be able to relate to this movie, which will translate to box office success. The film does not sensationalize the consequence of starting an affair but shows how it will always lead to betrayals and heartaches. The relationship between Ram and his father was mentioned frequently during the movie but oddly enough, I feel it wasn't given resolution.
One feature that is hard to miss out in No Other Woman is the dialogue. The character conversations make you listen and cringe at the same time. For example, the emotion of the story is fully conveyed in the words they say to each other, and it would be impossible for someone not to understand what is going on if she just listens. However, there are some questionable items that the scriptwriters should take note of. There is a scene where Ram and Cha are in the balcony; Ram is being dramatic about how his father-in-law is never satisfied about what he does and suddenly the word "bayag" flies into the air like it's the most logical thing to say. Almost every sentence involves a simile or a metaphor, and although some are really effective, others seem forced. From using seafood to picking the right type of bed, this movie takes the cake in saying something else than what is actually meant.
Seeing the trio in action with their ripped bodies and perfect faces kind of reminds me of an FHM shoot. However, it would not only be mean to say that No Other Woman is just a venue to show how hot these stars are but also untruthful. There is actually meat to their performance, and although their acting will not win them any awards, it can elicit enough sympathy from the viewers. Cristine Reyes is my favorite lead in this film. I think she is able to pull off the simple housewife attitude plus her transformation into a devious little bitch. For some reason, I did find myself sniggering at her dramatic monologue near the end of the movie, but hey, maybe that is just me. Anne Curtis, on the other hand, has really grown as an actress. I can hardly believe she started out in GMA's teen show T.G.I.S where she couldn't even speak straight Filipino and had shaky acting ability. Special mention should be given to Carmi Martin, who plays Cha's mother. She is the comic relief, and she does well in easing the tension with her hilarious lines and expressions.
So, after all that explanation, should you watch "No Other Woman?" Well, if you're looking for Grade A material, try another movie. If you're looking for heavy drama and you are a fan of these actors, then by all means, watch it. You won't be disappointed.
Revenge: Watch Out for the Woman on Fire
There's no need to beat around the bush about ABC's Revenge. If you're looking for a new TV show to watch this fall, then this should be one of the top candidates.
Revenge tells the story of Amanda, a young woman hell bent on bringing down everyone in the Hamptons who took his father away from her when she was just a little girl. Now calling herself Emily, she picks them off one by one, and will not rest until everyone gets what they deserve.
I like how this show is self-aware that revenge is something so messy it is hard to know what's right or wrong in the process. It puts a Confucius teaching at the start of the episode which goes like "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." Narration is also used, which helps develop the ominous mood in the air.
Great shows come from good casting choices. Emily Van Camp is perfect as Emily. She blends seamlessly with the rich crowd and yet stands out with her pretty face and dark intentions---the embodiment of innocence and deception. Although her methods are questionable, she is obviously the protagonist of the show. After all, we have enough straight arrows on television so it is wonderful to finally have someone complex like Emily. Madeleine Stowe plays her nemesis Victoria Grayson, also known as the Queen of the Hamptons. As shown in the first episode, she is a force to be reckoned with. With smiles as devious as they come, Emily will have a hard time if she is to dethrone Victoria.
Directed towards a young audience, the plot is very promising. A lot more needs to be fleshed out, which is something viewers want in a production. I am hoping that the "villains" of the show get more character development since we cannot have everything on black and white for a good story to exist. Given the premise, Emily can only exact revenge on a certain number of people before the show ends. This means that unless the conspiracy thickens even further and we find out that more are responsible for putting her father away, Revenge can only last for a short time (two seasons maybe, three seasons max) without it being overextended.
Which shows are like it? Revenge reminds me of Dexter with its morally-challenged title character, except this is with more scheming and less brutal murders (well, at least for now). It definitely has a touch of Gossip Girl (with the Hamptons and all, and Connor Paolo being it), but in this one, we know things are going to get ugly pretty fast, and it's not the oh-no-my-make-up-is-ruined kind of ugly. The first scene brings me back to the pilot episode of Damages where they give the audience a taste of the future without compromising suspense. This is a good tactic to shake things up. I just hope all questions raised will be answered in time.
Revenge is a fresh take on the high society life. The mixture of deadly betrayal and the elite lifestyle has got me looking forward to the rest of the season. No matter how hairy things are going to get, one thing is for sure, and that is the objective of the show: revenge. Wouldn't you want to watch something that still holds mystery even though you know perfectly well what you're getting yourself into?
New Girl (2011)
New Girl: Is There Anything New Here?
TV comedies --- they're so many that you can't possibly watch them all unless you're unemployed and don't sleep regularly. The real question right now is which one has something new and exciting to offer.
How about New Girl? New Girl is about Jess (Zooey Deschanel), a woman who moves in with three guys to deal with her break-up issues.
It is not every day that someone as well-loved as Zooey Deschanel gets her own TV series. She may not be up there with the Oscars people but she has legions of fans that will support whatever material she appears in. Thankfully, these fans will not be disappointed. She takes on her character Jess with such familiarity. Jess is without a doubt one eccentric lady, but one whose innocence and frivolity get to you. I find it odd that she would be dumped by her ex Spencer (Ian Wolterstorff), but let us just assume that he was intoxicated during the time he made the decision and was not thinking very clearly. =)
The show relies on awkward humor to keep you watching, and for the most part, it works. I am happy to say that it doesn't have a laugh track. I think we have enough of those already and it gets in the way of determining whether a comedy is actually funny or just supposedly funny. Regarding Zooey's support, her crew of guys seem to have interesting personalities, but given that the pilot is only 20 minutes long, it is not enough to determine whether they will be a good complement or just bring disaster. The concept of the show is likable, although not the most original. Somehow, I can't help but think about Ryan Reynolds' Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place in the late 1990s. One thing that I hope New Girl can overcome is becoming repetitive. Aside from Jess going on random dates and the guys helping her, what else can happen?
To answer the question I posted earlier, no, there isn't something new about this show except we get to be treated to a regular dose of Zooey Deschanel (which is good if you're a fan but sort of worthless if you aren't). However, don't get me wrong. I liked watching the pilot episode of New Girl. I didn't find myself gasping for breath or falling off my seat, but it definitely has its funny moments. Jokes were not as flat as I expected them to be. Many people were skeptic about the show's future but since that it has already been given a full season order, I expect it to at least last another season.
Give it a shot, folks. And keep your fingers crossed. We want more of our Zooey!
The Secret Circle (2011)
The Secret Circle: Did Somebody Say WITCH?
The Secret Circle follows Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson), the new girl in the town of Chance Harbor. Now living with her grandmother (Ashley Crow) due to the sudden death of her mom, she wonders why there are a lot of strange things happening around her. When 5 school kids take her to an isolated place in the woods, they explain that she is a witch, a revelation that leads to more questions than answers.
While watching the pilot episode, I understood why the show was able to break opening records in the CW network. The Secret Circle is a nice blend of supernatural drama and suspense, a formula that works given the Vampire Diaries' immense success. The characters are interesting enough to care about; the kids are central to the plot but the activities of the grown-ups get your attention as well.
When you have a new show, the one thing you absolutely need to do is get your audience hooked. The Secret Circle is able to do this well. Although nothing that will change your life happens in the premiere (a burning vehicle, magic-induced rain and a person drowning without even swimming) and at times it becomes slow in pace, the events put in place are exciting incentives for you to catch the next episode. Like Cassie, you would like to know what is really going on.
The show's presentation of magical powers is also refreshing. From my understanding, a witch needs to channel the energy inside her and concentrate so that she can alter the environment. Like in most things, there is strength in numbers. It's not as simple as a point-and-shoot type of ability but not as complicated as bloodletting (well, at least not yet). Even with a fantasy show, things have to remain grounded in reality to make it more believable. In terms of special effects, I am not yet completely sold. The forest scene was beautiful to look at but I think the storm could have been handled much better.
Britt Robertson is no stranger to this type of role, having starred in the CW's short-lived show Life Unexpected. She has this quality about her that makes her a strong female lead. Delicate and fierce at the same time, Cassie Blake is one girl you should not mess with. Thomas Dekker will be bringing fans from his previous shows Heroes and Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Given his experience in playing various teen characters, his portrayal of Adam won't be a problem. Among all the kids, I like Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) the most. She's the type of bad girl you can't help but root for. I hope she is given more story and background in the succeeding episodes. With veteran actress Natasha Henstridge rounding up the cast, The Secret Circle is looking pretty solid acting-wise.
I realize now that the Secret Circle reminds me of Marvel Comics' The Runaways. The kids are on a path of self-discovery through their little group while the adults have their own plans for them. At the core, this show tackles being independent, growing up with these gifts, learning to control them, and dealing with the consequences of their actions.
The Secret Circle is obviously targeted towards a young audience so it is almost certain that usual elements of teen romance and anxiety will be present. However, with witchcraft being at the center of it all, it will be enough to keep older viewers interested. Besides, I don't think there's enough of a cheese atmosphere here to repel a wider audience. If magic is your cup of tea, look no further. If not, then I advise you to still stick around. After all, the pilot gives enough to wet the appetite. When witches are involved, you just don't know what's going to happen next.
Fright Night (2011)
Fright Night: Does It Pack Enough Bite for Everyone?
Fright Night revolves around Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin), a high school student adjusting to life as a popular kid as he deals with his relationships with his girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots) and former best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). One day, he discovers that his next door neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, and things just spiral out of control from there.
Yes, this is a teen movie. However, before you shun this, there's one more word you should remember: vampires. Truthfully, without vampires, this would have been another production that we could have rightfully ignored. Fortunately, because of their inclusion, the film becomes accessible to young audiences but at the same time still gives enough incentive for other viewers. We are treated to an interesting blend of character self-discovery, romance, creature mayhem and liters of blood.
Physically speaking, vampires have many interpretations. For Fright Night, how the vampire looks like is captured effectively; not too monstrous, not too sexy, and definitely not sparkling. Effects are pretty decent. The film was able to visualize how tasty a human being can be (Not that we should try being cannibals anytime soon, but I'm just saying). Through the screen, you can feel the crunch of every bite that goes through the human flesh.
The film's take on vampires is traditional. It does not deviate that much from popular culture. For example, if you've been exposed to other material before, you would find the ways on how to kill a vampire very familiar. Although this does not make the film more unique, the simplicity is actually fun. For once, you don't have to worry about a vampire feature you may have missed out. That being said, the origin of Jerry was not explained that well. It was simply narrated. I understand that the focus of the story is how this boring neighborhood deals with such a being, but having a little more background would have been better.
Anton Yelchin has had many key supporting roles before such as Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation (2009) and as Chekov in Star Trek (2009). This time around, he is put in the spotlight and he shows that there is star quality behind his name. British actress Imogen Poots (Centurion) is a relatively new face in American cinema, and after her performance in this film, it seems she has a brighter future ahead of her (and will have a lot more internet searches once guys get to watch this). Fans of Doctor Who will be delighted to see David Tennant (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) play Peter Vincent, the celebrity vampire "expert" whom somehow reminds me of every Russell Brand character out there. Tennant shows his versatility as an actor and serves as the comic relief for the film. Colin Farrell (Alexander, The Recruit) proves that even though he is not the top go-to-guy for big budget Hollywood films, he can still play a villain right. Jerry the Vampire is the hunky neighbor, suspiciously calm fruit eater and 100 percent psycho killer.
If there's one thing that Fright Night could have improved on, it would have to be the number of suspense moments. I understand it is not supposed to be as scary as Paranormal Activity or a movie involving apparitions and ghosts, but it should at least have had a lot of scenes where the audience is left white and suddenly gripping the handle bars of the movie house chair. It is, after all, named Fright Night. What we get instead is heavy action something that may sit well with some but leave others finding it too generic.
Fright Night is a valiant effort to fuse the problems of teenage anxiety and vampires trying to make you their next snack. The film is not for everyone, but is recommended specifically for those who just can't get enough of these creatures of the night (or teen movies, for that matter), people who miss all of the crazy things that they did back when they were young, or anyone looking for entertainment with a supernatural twist. I have to admit that there are lot of useless vampire, werewolf and zombie movies coming out nowadays. Thankfully, this is not one of them. Please give this one a shot if your schedule allows it.
Män som hatar kvinnor (2009)
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo: A Crime Drama Like No Other
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo takes us into the investigation of one Harriet Vanger, who disappeared when she was just 16 years old and has been missing for the last 40 years. Still distraught about Harriet's case, her uncle, Henrik Vanger, hires troubled journalist Mikael Blomksvist to find out what happened. Along the way, he teams up with Lisbeth Salander, an eccentric hacker genius, and what they uncover is far worse than they could have ever imagined.
What is beautiful about this film is the simplicity of how it was made without it appearing cheap. It is proof that the lack of special effects doesn't make a film dull. In fact, it only makes other aspects shine. The movie is dialogue-driven, and a lot of things are explained through the conversations. It is quite unfortunate that I do not understand Swedish (and I had to use the subtitles while watching it) because I feel it would have been a better experience if I did.
Of course, behind these dialogues are the two leads Blomkvist and Salander. A recipe for a good movie is comprised of a compelling story, characters viewers can sympathize with and care about, and the interactions among these characters. For the most part, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is able to accomplish these things. Because of the film, I now understand why Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows) has suddenly been propelled to the spotlight. Indeed, her performance as Lisbeth Salander is incredible. The late Stieg Larsson would have been proud of her interpretation of his title character. Salander is arguably the most unique female protagonist the industry has seen for a long time. From her looks to her personality, we see her as complex yet somebody we can understand, talented and so sure of herself and yet at the same time so awkward. Michael Nyqvist portrays Mikael Blomkvist with an air of confidence and authority that is just fitting for the character. We can understand why Salander, not big on trust, eventually warms up to him. If Salander is the loose cannon, then he is the straight arrow that holds the film together.
As a fan of the book, I believe this adaptation was able to give sufficient justice. Like in all adaptations, many elements of the story were changed. However, most of these changes were done for a smoother flow and for a more viewer-friendly experience.
Later this year, David Fincher will be making a Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even with stars Daniel Craig and Robin Wright attached to the project, it must pack a wallop so they can surpass the high standard that this Swedish production has set. Truly, this film has made me want to venture more into European cinema and find all the wonders it has to offer.
The Verdict: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dark, gritty, excellently-done crime drama that others will try to emulate but probably won't be able to. That being said, it is not for everyone and not for the faint of heart. There is a reason that this is Rated R. The movie is very long compared to the running time of most movies coming out recently. Thus, in order to fully enjoy and appreciate this gem, one must be patient. Everything shall fall into place and in the end, you will discover that it was one of the best ways to spend 150 minutes of your time. Trust me when I say that watching the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an intelligent, heart-wrenching, unforgettable experience.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Man's Overconfidence is Deadlier than Anything Else
Ever think that if you're attacked by an aggressive ape, throwing a banana can distract it? Think again.
In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in an effort to cure Alzheimer's disease, Will Rodman (James Franco) and the company he works for develop a drug that greatly enhances the intelligence of apes, paving the way for a world run by them.
The thing with prequels is you generally know how it's going to end. That is why it's a prequel it sets up the stage for the events which occur in the previous movie. What matters here then is the presentation of the story, and Rupert Wyatt was successful in that aspect. We gradually see how Caesar grows from a smart baby ape to an independent leader of his kind. All in all, the movie was far from boring. Although the first part of the film might be a bit dragging for those who do not like all talk, the second part has enough action (not mindless violence) to make up for it. The special effects were done well. It was such a treat to watch the showdown between humans and apes in great detail.
What is likable about this science fiction feature is that it does not go far from our planet to show us one what-if doomsday scenario. We don't have to look for an alien invasion because they are already here living among us APES. It takes the general idea that apes are smarter than your normal animal and transforms them into a force to be reckoned with. The film makes us shudder to think if such a thing is really scientifically plausible.
I have neither watched Planet of the Apes (2001) nor the originals so I cannot compare them. Regardless, I believe that Rise of the Planet of the Apes is simply rich with meaning. It tackles the need for equality and treating each other with respect, being free and belonging, and the difference between asking permission and taking the initiative. In a way, apes are shown to possess more humane qualities than the people around them; these creatures are aware of what's going on while men try to shoot at anything they don't understand. Throughout the film, we realize that the apes' taking over is just a product of people's desire for more. Man's overconfidence is, without a doubt, deadlier than anything else and is in fact the real enemy.
On another note, the movie is further proof that fictional pharmaceutical companies doing experiments mean BAD things are going to happen. One minute it's your neighbor, then the next it's you.
James Franco, aside from possibly playing the most handsome scientist in Hollywood history, has once again proved that he has the skills to play just about any type of character. Although Rise centers on the presence of the apes, he carries this film with ease. Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire fame plays Franco's girlfriend and veterinarian, Caroline Aranha. I expected her character to have a more significant part but she was mainly there to flesh out the relationship of Franco and his ape friend. David Oyelowo's character Jacobs is shaky at first he seems concerned about the safety of the tests, and then he suddenly forgets all about protocol. Of course, Andy Serkis deserves praise for yet another memorable performance. Forget about Gollum; everyone who watches this film will remember the amazing ape that is Caesar.
The title of the film bothers me the most though. It's too long, and they should have just made it "Rise of the Apes" and people would have still understood the connection. Well, there you have it. If one can't think of anything else to dislike except the title, then it must have been one hell of an experience watching it.