Thursday 8 September 2011



I'm heading to Cineworld, in West India Quay, which sits in the shadow of Canary Wharf, the business hub of London. My destination is a seat, somewhere in the middle row, in what will hopefully be quite an empty cinema.

This is not a film I planned to see. These summer films come along and they never really interest me. Transformers 3? Conan? I don't really care. My friends often criticise me for not watching enough blockbusters. They're not wrong, I should. I mean, occasionally there's magic. I'm not pretentious about movies, I just hate boredom. Most summer movies seem to be about bits of metal. Metal guns, metal monster-y things, metal buildings collapsing. I prefer people.

But the word of mouth on 'Apes' has been decent. I've heard this phrase a bunch times: "It's actually pretty good." And yesterday I met a guy called Michael, who loved it. He said "You really start to care for the Apes". That interested me.

I like the promise of the big-budget. The possibilities of the Hollywood tentpoles are exciting. I love being swept away in big stories, big visuals. But most directors aren't Spielberg. Most studios don't have the patience to make greatness, adequate will do.

I'm in the right frame of mind for this movie. At my worst, I can write off films before I see them. I sit in an isle seat waiting for an excuse to leave. I love movies, but I'm demanding. I can't tolerate the terrible.

I'm expecting to enjoy this. I'm in that frame of mind. I'm having a clear day. No work problems. No personal issues nagging away at me. I'm in prime movie watching condition.


I enjoyed it. Great summer films capture the what ifs. What if New York was demolished by a big storm? What if a giant meteorite came crashing towards the Earth? What if Apes got so strong and clever, that they could team together and take over our cities?

With 'Apes', They do the groundwork. We get a human story, something we can relate to. We see Caesar (the ape) growing up. We seem him being taken away against his will. And in the end, we see him fully grown -- he finds his true home: out in the wild with the other Apes.

I nearly got lost midway through, when James Franco's boss got power hungry and evil, and also when the dude working in the Ape place was evil and mean to them just for his own amusement. You always get this with the big movies: good and evil spelled out in simplistic, hollow caricatures. It almost ruined it for me, but the film was too good.

For these absurd films to work, I need something I can believe in. That's why we all love Jurassic Park, we relate to the wonderment, the hope, the fear of large dinosaurs. The Transformers series is harder to follow, too much metal flying around -- and the girl' are too hot.

'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' is a solid 7 out of 10 for me. Enjoyable. And I like Freida Pinto. Here is a picture of her, for your viewing pleasure.

Care to share?


  1. I didn't see this one, though it did look good. The Hubby went to see it one night by himself and he loved it, though he likes pretty much every movie, so I don't usually value his opinions much.

    I'm not a huge science fiction lover, so I don't know if I'll see it or not. I'm quite a logical thinker, which isn't very compatible with the genre--like you, I need something to relate to.

  2. I also saw the movie last nyt, absolutely great. I was all carried away and was so emotional for the Apes, I was like 'kill the wick'd humans' lol as thou I was an Ape!

  3. I really loved the "groundwork", as you call it - that we got at least one hour of building up the story and the characters, investing ourselves into Ceasar, before the obligatory action sequence was launched in the end. I think the motion capture acting triumphs in this movie. Ceasar was fantastic! And I loved the way the line "No" was delivered. Such a relief after the build up!

    However I would disagree about Freida Pinto. You put up a picture of her as "viewing pleasure". Not sure if that is a joke from your side, but it actually captures pretty well her role in the movie. There wasn't a single female character in this movie that was interesting or important. It's actually pretty sad to see, even if it doesn't surprise me anymore. I wonder if it ever will change though.

    I still enjoyed the movie though. But definitely not because of ms Pinto.

  4. Hey Jessica - I'm very aware of the inequality of roles in Hollywood, and I am a card-carrying advocate of changing the role of gender in the industry.

    That being said, I am still allowed to fall in love with pretty actresses every now and then..

  5. I forgive you. ;) I just felt that I needed to say something because her absolutely pointless character bugged me. She was just there to be pretty and your publishing of the picture with the same kind of purpose bugged me. But just a little. You're an awesome blogger and I believe you're an advocate,not just on the paper but in reality.

  6. Nice post, as usual, Kid! Enjoy reading your writing.

    I too enjoyed RISE much more than I expected. The punch of the ending of the original PLanet of the Apes leaves me a difficult audience member to reach for any APE entry. I want that moment repeated. RISE doesn't repeat the punch, but thanks to Andy Serkis' performance and outstanding CGI, there is a lot of humanity in this one. Or so I felt.