Today’s Movie Review – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

As a child of the ’90s (for the most part), I missed out on many of the original Planet of the Apes movies. And since most of them were, from what I have seen, cheesy movies with bad costuming, I don’t think that I have gone back and watched even the original Planet of the Apes from 1968. I think my basic understanding of the plot comes from one of two sources: the horrible 2001 Tim Burton reboot and the classic Simpsons episode “A Fish Called Selma,” where Troy McClure (RIP Phil Hartman) gets back in Hollywood’s good graces by marrying Selma and playing Charlton Heston character in the stage musical version of Apes. Some of the best songs ever in a Simpsons episode, even if you can’t really find them on the internet anywhere.

Nevertheless, I am fully invested in the series reboot. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favorite movies of 2011, and I saw a lot of movies that year. I don’t usually like James Franco, but he brought just the right amount to that film, but the true star was Andy Serkis as Caesar, the main ape of both films. The art of motion capture doesn’t really receive enough credit in today’s movie landscape, but maybe that perception will start to shift with the great “mo cap” performances in Dawn, though Serkis was nominated for, and won a few, minor film awards for his performance as Caesar in the first movie and other previous movies, including a couple of the Lord of the Ring films.

(Minor spoilers ahead) Continue reading

Today’s Movie Review – Transformers: Age of Extinction

Sometimes, movies come along that are just meant to be fun, a chance to escape from the often mundane day-to-day life that we often finds ourselves. We shouldn’t expect these movies to be good, and if we do, we will probably be disappointed. Not every movie will be worthy of praise from those that love movies, but just because we watch a movie that some “film snob” views as beneath their perfect film taste. All of the Transformers movies have been like this, and Transformers: Age of Extinction is no different.

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Today’s Movie Review – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Note: Instead of reviewing movies as I see them, I will simply publish a new movie review every Friday with a movie that I have seen recently or one that is on my mind. I don’t know if I’ll be seeing a movie every week, but I have seen enough movies that I haven’t reviewed that I can fill in the gaps. Spoilers are contained below, so if you haven’t seen the movie, please feel free to come back after you have.

Wes Anderson’s movies are quirky and probably not for everyone. Sometimes they are a little too quirky and of the wall, but ultimately things seem to come together in the end. His latest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, definitely meets this criteria, and is probably best enjoyed by fans of his work. While not his best movie – I personally think that The Royal Tenenbaums wins out – it was enjoyable and a fine piece of film making.

Like many of Anderson’s movies, the story takes place in a fictionalized version of our world: The Grand Budapest Hotel is in the Republic of Zubrowka, a “European alpine state” that appears to be located in the Eastern Bloc in this world, as it is rife with war and poverty. The hotel was once grand, but is now old and run down, and the story centers on Young Writer (Jude Law) seeking out some history about the hotel. He meets the hotel’s current owner Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), who tells him the story of how the hotel came to be in its current state. Continue reading

Some Big News

With less than two weeks to go until I am done with school forever,* there are a few things about my short-to-intermediate future that I am ready to announce here.

*I reserve the right to return to school at a later date, but only as an instructor or administrator.

First, as you may know from my previous posts on the subject, I am currently looking for a job in Salt Lake City. While I wish this was an announcement of me or Kim finding a full-time position which would hasten our departure from Illinois, it is sadly not the case. Despite my efforts to the contrary, I have been unable to locate a suitable position. Part of the reason it seems is that I live in Illinois and people don’t want to interview me and are instead focusing on local folks first. If that’s the case, then I guess I should just move my happy self to Utah already and get on with it…which is what will be happening. though not for a while.

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