Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-movie-review An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.


Despite being a movie fanatic, I often find myself being very cynical with certain movie ideas. Although I had not seen any of the original Planet of the Apes franchise, the concept always seemed very cheesy to me. It seemed like a concept that they would not be able to get by with today. As such, I did not have high expectations for the movie but I must say, I was blown out of the water. The realistic modern take on the concept made the story believable and engaging in ways that the original franchise likely did not.

To put it into perspective, you may remember a time when comics, cartoons and movies were almost entirely held in fantasy. There were many loopholes in logic but it was “okay” because it was pure fantasy. In cinema today there is a much greater emphasis on realism – even when the movie is based in fantasy. Personally, I love it.

I think the best examples of this are the original Batman movies (everything before Batman: Begins & The Dark Knight). Most people would agree that those original movies were quite cheesy and lacked the serious and realistic focus of the new iterations by Christopher Nolan. In his take on the Batman franchise, characters are well-developed and their back-stories explained well. Nolan focused less on the superhero aspect of the movie and more on the story itself and it pays off big time. It is always effective to increase believability for an audience – we can believe in a Bruce Wayne, someone who has access to a lot of resources – it’s a lot harder to believe in Superman. But that’s enough about Batman.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes combines these somewhat indescribable characteristics that make it a very compelling movie. They pulled off a “smart animal movie” in a way I did not think possible. You will feel sorrow, anger and happiness – for an ape. So watch the movie and enjoy.

P.s. stick around at the end of the movie – there is a surprise ending that is sure to please.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

pirates-of-the-caribbean-on-stranger-tides-review Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.


The 4th movie, in what may people wrongly believed to be a trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was surprisingly quite good. My expectations for the movie were very low going into it as there have been few instances of franchises that can make it this far without completely selling themselves out into misery. This movie was unnecessary in terms of adding to the on-going plot of the franchise, however, it now seems clear to me that Disney wants to continue Pirates as an on-going series of somewhat unrelated adventures. At the end they even create the opportunity to make a 5th.

I am okay with this for 2 reasons:

1. It doesn’t seem like a complete money grab. Sometimes a franchise will sell its rights to the highest bidder so you end up with a product made by a random 3rd party. In this case though, the integrity has been largely maintained. Although some of the actors no longer return (namely, the lovely Keira Knightley and her male counterpart Orlando Bloom) Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush do and they are able to keep the originality alive.

2. The franchise now seems to be taking a turn towards somewhat un-related yet epic adventures. This is okay with me because it largely resembles a James Bond-style approach to a franchise. Instead of trying to continue to build a story-line outwards (or, now very frequently, backwards with prequels) you can create a series of “mini-stories”. This approach is very effective for big-budget Hollywood movies. Much more effective than trying to force an on-going story line for a large number of sequels and prequels.

All in all, the movie was very fun and I hope to see at least a couple more Pirates movies. As long as they keep Depp at the helm and maintain the series integrity by creating epic short stories, you will always find me in the theatres watching them.

Fast Five Movie Review

fast-five-movie-review Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent.


I am going to keep this movie review very short. There are only a few things you need to know about Fast Five.

1. This movie is by-far the best of the series

2. It has some of the best action sequences I have seen in a long time

3. It has “heist movie” elements which are amazing (particularly if you like heist movies)

4. The story is nothing special but the movie is thoroughly entertaining and an absolute must-see

Mindless but mind-blowing entertainment

If you were getting bored of the “Fast” series, do not worry. Although the movie contains many common elements of its predecessors, it also introduces a number of new elements. Introducing heist components works well with the successful series and fans of movies like The Italian Job will enjoy the style of this movie.

The acting leaves a lot to be desired but remains bearable – even pretty good at times. Re-introducing old cast members adds to the experience and nostalgia. The support casts serves as one of the strongest points for the movie.

Although many of the action scenes remain over-the-top, their entertainment value cannot be denied. The stunts and effects in Fast Five are among Hollywood’s best. Few straight-up action movies are worthy of a 5 star rating but Fast Five earns it for its improvement over its predecessors, its heist-movie elements and its ultimate entertainment value.

Oh, and stay after the credits. Trust me. – D. Michaelangelo

Once you’ve seen the movie, come on back and we’ll chat about the ending.

Spoilers from this point on ——————————————————>





I could not believe what happened after the credits!!! Letty is alive??? Although I will miss the series, I was excited for this movie because it was a nice ending/wrap-up. Unfortunately it looks like they will be continue to milk the series (either that or the Letty thing completely throws off the neat ending). I am a fan of tidy endings. What do you think?