WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Review SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Review

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WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Review SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Review

by Lisa Johnson Mandell

War for the Planet of the Apes Review — Let My People Go (to see it)

war for the planet of the apes review spiderman homecoming reviewI wasn’t excited to see War for the Planet of the Apes, expecting it to be just another unnecessary, gratuitous sequel in a summer that’s jam packed with them. Then the film began.

I was captivated from the start, and remained awed throughout. It seems the third time’s the charm for this latter-day reboot of the Apes franchise. It’s consummately grand and original.

Co-writer/director Matt Reeves (10 Cloverfield Lane, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) has elected to tell this tale from the apes’ perspective. They would like to live in peace in their forest, but the aggressive humans persist in attacking them, wanting more than just to dominate — they want to enslave.  They need the apes to build a great wall to fend off the hoards of rival humans who are about to invade. 

So it’s the humans who are warring for the Planet of the Apes, while the apes just want to escape to the dessert and abide far from their enemies. If the plot sounds familiar, you’ve read it before–in the Bible, to be exact, when the Children of lsrael attempted to flee Egypt. There’s even a plague, and the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) is a truly hateful despot, not unlike Pharaoh.

Andy Serkis as Moses, I mean Caesar, gives a performance so moving you can’t help but hope Oscar will bend to recognize his motion capture performance. The special effects are so real you soon forget that these noble creatures are on a different rung of the evolutionary ladder.

A bit dark, intense and violent for children under 12, War for the Planet of the Apes is surprisingly fulfilling for older audiences. It’s destined to become a classic.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 20 Minutes

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review — We Don’t Need Another (Super) Hero

war for the planet of the apes review spiderman homecoming reviewI know fans of the genre, and Spider-Man in particular, are gushing over this film, saying that for the first time filmmakers get high school Spider-man right. But for those of us who feel aracnidally saturated after reboots with Toby Maguire, Andrew Garfield and now a young and incessantly goofy Tom Holland, I have to say “meh.”

Really, is it the film itself that they rhapsodize over, or the fact that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) make brief appearances? There’s plenty of fan fodder for Avengers lovers, but for those of us less Marvelously inclined, it feels more like a rollicking kids’ feature. Send the under 12 members of your family in to see it while you watch War for the Planet of the Apes.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 13 Minutes

Get times and tickets for both films at Fandango.com.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Review SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Review

 

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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