Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Movie Reviews and Quiz Answers!

Not one but two movie reviews for you today! And the answers to Friday’s short quiz.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I’m not a big fan of the Apes movies and went into this one with very low expectations. Much to my surprise, I thought it was an excellent film.

The synopsis is a bit misleading – this really isn’t about the apes taking over. This is Caesar’s story – his near human intelligence and relationships with those around him - and it sets the stage for future films. I doubted the plausibility of the plot, but it really works. There are a few things that make you wonder, but not enough to stop the forward progress of the plot.

The film boasts many actors, including Tom Felton (Draco from Harry Potter) as an abusive jerk, but it’s Andy Serkis who dominates. He really deserves an Oscar nomination for his role as Caesar. Serkis conveys so much through his movement, expressions, and eyes – it’s just incredible to watch. And no green screens were used – Serkis was really in the scene, wearing his computer suit and acting opposite the other characters. (Watch out ILM – WETA has you beat for special effects now!)

While the pacing is slow and steady, saving the big action scene for the end, be prepared – it’s a dark journey. Caesar suffers both physical and emotional abuse. James Franco’s father, John Lithgow, suffers from Alzheimer and Dementia. This film does deal with some pain. It’s an excellent movie though.

Oh, and when the credits start to roll, wait fifteen seconds for the final scene. Trust me – you don’t want to miss it!


Green Hornet

Finally caught this on NetFlix and I can see why critics didn’t like it. This is one quirky film. Some people don’t like Seth Rogen. (I’m not a fan.) It’s also the smallest-scale superhero film you’ll ever see. I expected it to suck, but you know what – it was really damn funny! The two leads are hilarious. Not a great film, but it was worth the price of a rental.


Ready for the Quiz answers???

What was the band Blue Oyster Cult’s original name back in the sixties?
Soft White Underbelly

Which movie franchise boasts the most film titles?
This will surprise you – Godzilla! Twenty nine movies, with a reboot in the making. And BOC did a song called Godzilla - how cool is that?

When did the first VCR appear on the market?
1972 – and I did a post about the history of VCRs and DVD players HERE

How many movies have made over a billion dollars? And can you name them without cheating?
Ten! And only two not in 3D.
1. Avatar (2009) $2,781,505,847
2. Titanic (1997) $1,835,300,000
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) $1,119,102,868
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) $1,065,896,541
5. Toy Story 3 (2010) $1,062,984,497
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) $1,033,201,000
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) $1,023,833,768
8. Alice in Wonderland (2010) $1,023,285,206
9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) $1,007,133,000
10. The Dark Knight (2008) $1,001,921,825

How did you do on those? See Planet of the Apes? Find Boba Fett’s Carbonite Crunch anywhere?

98 comments:

The Happy Whisk said...

Good Morning, Alex. Happy Monday. I think it's Monday by you. Anyway, here's hoping it's a productive and fun week.

Namaste.

Jessica Bell said...

Wow. I expected all those movies to have made over a billion except Toy Story 3. That's so weird. You'd think the first in a series would do better!

iZombie said...

i got every answer wrong, i was in the ballpark... but wasn't playing. i am looking forward to the apes movie, i am more interested if they make any original references to the classic 70's films?

jeremy

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jessica, I guess they just continue to build an audience.

Jeremy, the line "Damn dirty ape!" comes into play.

mooderino said...

I felt I'd seen the whole Rise movie just watching the trailer. And Franco as a top scientist was a bit of a stretch for me. Is there a 3D scene of faeces flinging?

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino

MOCK! said...

Quirky is the perfect description for Green Hornet. I did like the flick but especially enjoyed the way they handled the villain reveal and obligatory flashback "putting it together" scene near the end. Very funny.

MOCK! said...

...and I run rather neutral on Seth Rogen.

Huntress said...

Before reading your review for Apes, I had no interest in seeing it. Now, well...um, yes, I think I will. Thanks for another great and honest review.

*still waiting for the next Star Trek*

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I used to watch "Planet Of The Apes" when it first started out on TV when the children were small, as for the big screen I haven't.

Happy movie watching,
Yvonne.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Over a *billion* dollars!? I had no idea that *any* movie had done that!

We're in the wrong industry, Alex. :)

I'll have to catch Apes. I enjoyed the original...well, I enjoyed the surprise ending, anyway.

Laila Knight said...

Thanks to you I will now have to watch Planet of the Apes. Didn't see Green Hornet yet...glad to hear it didn't suck.

As you know, I didn't answer the questions, but I could kick myself because I should have known Avatar would be right up there...my favorite movie. :)

Christine Danek said...

I'm still looking for the Boba Fett Carbonite Crunch. That would be so awesome.

Ellie Garratt said...

Now I shall definitely have to see Rise of the Planets of the Apes. Thank you for the great review!

Ellie Garratt

Jules said...

Since you approve the effects I'm looking forward to the Ape movie. Besides I loved the originals. And I got the DVD answer. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Moody, afraid not! And the trailer is really misleading.

MOCK, I'm neutral on Rogen as well, but I thought he fit this role. It was quirky but fun.

Huntress, I really didn't want to see it, but it was exceptional. Just dark.

Elizabeth, we just need our books made into movies, that's all!

Laila, don't kick yourself!

Ellie, I was impressed.

Sarah Pearson said...

I've been looking forward to the Planet of the Apes film ever since I heard the trailer without seeing it, which meant I was already interested before I knew it involved apes :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is on our list to see. Glad it's good.

Jemi Fraser said...

Godzilla???? I'd never, ever have guessed that. Funny stuff!

I enjoyed the original Ape movies when I was a kid - looking forward to this one :)

Suze said...

'went into this one with very low expectations. Much to my surprise, I thought it was an excellent film.'

I'd venture to say that is a rare occurrence-- and a rewarding one, too!

Man, 1972 for the first VCR. I honestly never would have guessed it to be that early.

msmariah said...

Great review of Apes. I too was surprised how much I liked it. I went in there w/ low expectations, but they really pulled off the emotional aspect of the story.

It just doesn't seem right that Star Wars isn't on the list anymore and Alice in Wonderland is. I wonder if they take into account inflation?

Rusty Webb said...

Wow. I'm usually better at trivia. I actually didn't bother to even guess at the movies. I would have guessed some of them, but not all.

I wanted to go to the movies this weekend but couldn't talk anyone into going with me.

Old Kitty said...

I got the Underbelly!!! Yay!!! Ooooh Godzilla!! yay for Godzilla! I love the this franchise!!

I'm so glad the Planet of the Apes prequel is glorious! I didn't like Caesar in the later Apes films (original 1960's thankee very much) but looks like this would make me see him in a different light! Yay to Mr Serkis - he's fab!!

Take care
x

Talli Roland said...

I actually want to see the ape one! I've seen the trailer a million times now, and it looks quite good!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Fun movie trivia. Apes movies creep me out. Think I'll stay out of the theatres for that one.

Karen Lange said...

I did not do well on the quiz; even my guess for the VCR was off. Good thing you are here to keep us informed! Didn't spot Carbonite Crunch anywhere...

Ciara said...

I didn't love the Green Hornet. It was okay. Wow, I would have never guessed Godzilla.

Melissa Bradley said...

I've been surprised about the apes movie. Maybe I will see it. Still think a good machine gun wins out over speed and muscle.

I could not stand Green Hornet. I tore it to shreds in my review.

Loved the quiz. I wasn't even in the ballpark, though. LOL

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, the Godzilla answer surprised me!

Suze, I can enjoy just about any movie, but this one really surprised me.

MsMariah, it was very emotional. And I bet the inflation-adjusted list is very different. Plus tickets for 3D movies are higher.

Rusty, I'm not for going by myself either. Fortunately my wife likes most of the same types of movies.

Kitty, they really did a good job developing Caesar.

Karen, keep looking.

Ciara and Melissa, I imagine most people didn't like Green Hornet.

Charles Gramlich said...

I really liked the original movie. Not many of the ones since. the last one, with Mark Wahlberg, was awful. This looks much better.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Loved the original movie.

L.G.Smith said...

Ha! I got one tenth of one question right on your quiz.

I'll probably catch The Apes movie on Netflix when it comes out. I actually liked the trailer for it.

SharleneT said...

Apes is on the list for next weekend -- so, right now, I'm green with jealousy. Have been seeing previews, though, and definitely thought it would be a good film. Really appreciate your thoughts. I was so far off on the quiz that I'm wondering what button I need to push in my brain to bring back the 70s and 80s... and, with #89 already on my ToDo List, I'm just going to have to wait to look them up. (Not that I don't trust you, but you opened this can of worms...) Come visit when you can...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I knew most of the top movies, but I didn't know Godzilla was the biggest franchise.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

So many movies, so little time. I still haven't seen any of the superhero flicks that have come out over the summer! Epic failure.

Stephen Tremp said...

I didn't know that many movies topped the billion dollar milestone. I liked the Godzilla movie (have it on DVD too) with Matthew Broderick. What a great concept. A freak of nature monster destroying Manhattan, dispappearing into the waters, then reappearing to do it again. Very cool. But looking forward to the new one. I can see a series coming from this.

Clarissa Draper said...

Now I want to see green hornet! Thanks for the quiz answers. I was wondering about those.

julie fedderson said...

Go, go, Godzilla! Wow, apparently I was right when I thought I was the only person who had never seen Titantic. I can't even fathom a billion dollars.

TS Hendrik said...

I'm two for two on agree with your reviews (except that I do like Rogen). Apes was great.

Budd said...

I didn't do so well on the quiz, but I nailed Godzilla. Wait, that didn't come out right.

Mason Canyon said...

I had wondered what you'd think of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Good to know it's worth seeing and I like the little hidden scenes at the end. Caught an episode of the Green Hornet TV series last week. Had forgotten what it was really like. :)

Mason
Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

Empty Nest Insider said...

I saw Andy Serkis on a talk show just monkeying around. He really captured all the mannerisms without any makeup or special effects. Julie

Lydia K said...

Alice in Wonderland? I didn't expect that at all!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

man, i really wanted to hit up Apes and Cowboys and Aliens, but vacay just got in the way. Sigh

Pat Tillett said...

Thanks for the reviews!j Maybe I will see Green Lantern now, I was avoiding it. For sure, I now want to see the Apes movie.
I got the BOC answer right, but that was all. I'm really surprised that Toy Story 3 made that much money.

Tina said...

I'm not a fan of the ape movies, either. I can't sit through ANY of them without falling asleep. We enjoyed the Green Hornet as a family. I'll freely admit that I give super hero movies a lot of leeway, as in I'm not really looking for any reality or the response to such. I go in knowing I'm watching a cartoon set to life. Now if I'm going to watch a Merchant-Ivory flick, I expect everything to rock.
Tina @ Life is Good
P.S Missed the quiz...sigh. This competitive girl would have rocked it :-) But now I've read all the answers...

Matthew MacNish said...

I want to see this so badly!

ali said...

Sweet! Now that you've given APES a thumbs up, I can go see it! ;)

Thanks Alex!

Donea Lee said...

Ummm...yeah. I sucked at the quiz. Even suckier? I never saw Avatar in theaters...(I know, I know...I have no more words about that.) Didn't really want to see Planet of the Apes, but your review might change my mind. Thanks!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Charles, it's ten times better than that one!

LG, at least you tried.

Sharlene, can't help you with the button. Eat some Pop Rocks and see if that doesn't bring back some memories.

Jeffrey, you need to get out more.

Stephen the new one boasts the director of Monsters!

Julie, and it made almost two billion.

Budd, I won't tell anyone if you don't...

Mason, I remember the series!

Julie, he was really impressive in the film.

Sarah, there's always this weekend for a double feature.

Pat, I was suprised as well, but Toy Story III was in 3D, and got it a lot of extra money.

Sorry, Tina!

Ali, I'm flatered!

Donea, not saying a thing...

Copyboy said...

I've always been a huge ape fan so I'm glad it does the originals proud. Green Hornet? Really? haha

Tonja said...

Toy Story 3 was so good. Seriously.

Nicki Elson said...

Interesting trivia. I'm surprised the first Pirates isn't on there too. Glad to hear you liked Green Hornet---I haven't seen it, but it looked like a nice change of pace from a typical superhero thingy.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Well, the only one I really answered was Blue Oyster Cult, lol! I did know several films on the billion list but didn't answer it.

I think I'll watch Apes on DVD. Hubs and son watched Green Hornet. They weren't overly impressed. :-)

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

Ting Kubby said...

I really enjoyed Green hornet, still haven't seen Rise of the planet of the apes yet, hopefully it's better than the last remake.

The Golden Eagle said...

No, haven't seen Planet of the Apes.

I wouldn't have guessed some of those titles; Alice In Wonderland in particular. :P Though I do think it's a good movie . . .

Jamie Burch said...

I thought it was a great movie, too! Total surprise because it's nothing like the previews. But...we left right after! So I missed that last scene. I knew we missed something! We were having a long discussion on the way home trying to see how the earlier movie with Mark Wahlberg was linked. It just seemed like there should be something more. Oh, well. :)

Amy said...

Great review of the Rise of the Apes! So glad I went to see it over the weekend - well worth it.

I would have thought The Dark Knight would have done better than Toy Story; that's insane! Not surprised over Avatar though, that one was great. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Copyboy, better than the originals!

Nicki, it's a change of pace all right.

Ting it's a lot better than the last one!

Jamie, the last one isn't linked at all, but that final scene did lead in to the next movie.

Amy, Avatar was awesome!

M Pax said...

Go, go, go Godzilla ... tying into BOC. :) I used to have that on vinyl. Once upon a year ...

Looking forward to seeing the apes then, and green hornet. I like funny and quirky.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hiya Alex! Thanks for the reviews. I won't waste my time with the Ape movie then. As far as the rest, whoa! Where is all that money coming from? Wish the little people had some so as to create circulation in our economy! :/

♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Godzilla? That's interesting. Seems the monkeys have done well on screen.
Fun quiz, Alex. (I failed but I'm okay with that.)
xoRobyn

Jamie Burch said...

Thanks, Alex! :)

Arlee Bird said...

I've heard plenty of good buzz about Rise of Planet of the Apes. I'm looking forward to seeing it after it comes out on DVD.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, don't laugh - I still have that vinyl record...

Robyn, there are no losers here!

Lynda R Young said...

Rise of the Apes (terrible title) sounds surprisingly good. I had avoided the Green Hornet too, but I might watch it after all.

Catherine Lavoie said...

Might be seeing Rise of the Apes tomorrow. It's not my usual fare but a lot of people have been saying good things. Thanks for the review! :)

Chuck said...

Alex, I saw the Green Hornet (on DVD) just this past weekend. My wife's choice, I went along like a good boy. I agreed with your review 100%. It was the lowest budget superhero (and I use that term loosely) movie you will ever see. Rogen was good in the role for what it was, but Kato stole the show. It was campy and funny and probably forgetable soon...but dude, that leaf in the coffee was badass!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, I was really surprised.

Catherine, it wasn't mine either, so you'll probably enjoy it.

Chcuk, superhero films don't come any smaller. My wife wants me to make her fancy coffee like that. I don't even drink the stuff, let alone know how to make it!

li said...

Hi Alex! First off, congrats on my airplane blog quiz - I'll give you 5 out of 10 (the Zero was close, it's a Val dive bomber but few people can ID Japanese planes). And that's pretty darn good! You get a big ATTABOY.
I was only able to guess 3 of the 10 movies. Dismal. :-)

Kelly said...

I have never seen a Planet of the Apes movie, but might see this one since it seems different than I thought. And has James Franco in it. :)

Ella said...

Thanks Alex for the great reviews! I have to be in the mood for movies like Green Hornet, but I bet it is worth the time and rental! POA sounds amazing and I be Serkis will be nominated! Wow, no green screens...cool! John Lithgow can act, so I know his performance could also get a nod! Thanks for sharing; I sure wish I could find that ice cream. I just might have to make my own ;D

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Planet of the Apes is probably next week's movie (Captain America is this week). I'm a huge fan of the apes movies (minus the Tim Burton remake) so I'm really looking forward to it. I don't think Serkis gets enough kudos for his acting, both in and out of the computer suit.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Li! Half right isn't bad. Really thought that was a Zero though.

Kelly, you've neve seen any of them?

Ella, the acting in Apes made the movie.

Jamie, he doesn't, and he was just amazing in this one.

Will Burke said...

I've got mixed feelings on the Tom Felton bit. I'm glad that he'd still working, but I'd like to see some diversification. From interviews, he seems like a really pleasant fellow, and I fear that he may be damned to the "Mr Wrong" role of Romantic Comedies. It would be better to sink his money into a catering business. I'm pulling for ya Tom!

Pk Hrezo said...

Oh wow.. Godzilla! Man, I loved Godzilla as a kid. We used to watch those bad movies and I was the only one in the fam who ever wanted Godzilla to beat King Kong. lol

Alison Miller said...

Something similar to that last question was just on 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show. I'm really sad Star Wars is not in the mix. :/

Thanks for the share on Green Hornet. I was debating about that one.

Christa said...

Yeah, I couldn't get behind the Green Hornet bc of the Seth Rogan factor. I kept wanting him to get off the screen so I could actually see good stuff happening. Also not a fan.

Aleta said...

Greg and I saw the Movie "Rise of the Planet Apes" and much like you, I had very low expectations. I was very surprised and wouldn't mind seeing it again! I thought they did an excellent job with movie... showing compassion on both sides, the need for freedom and belonging. I also enjoyed the communication between the various types of apes. Oh and when Caesar first spoke, the look on that guy's face was PRICELESS!

Samantha Vérant said...

Hmmm. What would Boba Fett do for a billion dollars. No, wait. Who is Boba Fett and is carbonite crunch safe? My head is done in. It must be nap time!

Liz Fichera said...

That's interesting about the APES remake. They're billing it (at least where I live) as a remake, not a new story with new twists. The original APES movies totally creeped me out but I was looking forward to this new one.

I agree with you on the Green Hornet movie. I'm glad I rented it instead of seeing it at the movies. Worth the price of a rental for some of the funnier scenes.

Rhonda @Laugh Quotes said...

I need to get out more. I didn't even know there was a new planet of the Apes movie out there. I also did know any of your answers. Oh well. thanks for the fun.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pk, I wanted Godzilla to win as well!

Aleta, yes it was! Caesar was more human than half of the humans. Excellent movie.

Liz, it did have some funny scenes!

Rhonda, stick with me and I'll teach you some useless pop culture stuff.

Nancy Thompson said...

So I got only one answer right? Ugh!

I've never been a sci-fi girl, but I always dug those Ape movies, 'cept the Mark Wahlberg one. But I love James Franco! I'll have to check out Rise. And yes, Andy Serkis is phenomenal.

Kelley said...

I wanted Rise of the Apes to be good because I like the actors and whatnot, but I was worried it wouldn't be. Thanks for the review :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Alex I can't view my own blog , have you any suggestions as what it can be,

Yvonne,

Hart Johnson said...

I actually really want to see The Planet of the Apes, though at the moment we're broke. Interesting it's only 10 movies... I've seen 6 of them and have intentions to catch 2 more of them at some point... I think I am past my Toy Story days and Transformers isn't really my thing...

Michael Di Gesu said...

Interesting facts on what these movies grossed. Billions? Hmm. Makes you think.

Thanks for the movie reviews.

L.J. Sellers said...

I had mixed feelings about Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but on your recommendation, I'll see it. Thanks. (I gave up on Green Hornet about halfway through.)

Susan Oloier said...

I never would have considered watching either of those movies. But--after reading your reviews--I think I will put them in the Netflix queue.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Wow. Avatar makes sense although I never thought of it. VCR? I was right without looking! Woot! Finally, Rise was originally just called just Caesar, so that makes sense. Green Hornet was funny, but horrible. :)

Claire Goverts said...

It was nice to hear your take on those movies. Apes looks interesting, I've been wanting to see it anyways and your review makes it sound more interesting than the trailers I've seen.

I recently saw Green Hornet. It was a fun movie, though Seth's charachter was a bit to spoiled brat for part of the movie.

tfwalsh said...

I bombed out on the quiz...hehe. Hmm that's what kept me from watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes - the pain the ape goes through..hmm but it does sound good.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nancy, go - you'll enjoy it.

Kelley, I really thought it would be awful...

Yvonne, all I can think is browser or server issues...

Hart, would it surprise you to know I've seen all ten?

LJ, it wasn't for everybody!

Maurice, you nailed the date! And I can live with that description of Green Hornet. Maybe not horrible...

Claire, I shoul've mentioned that! You're right, he was spoiled.

TF, there is pain...

L'Aussie said...

Like the sound of this Planet of the Apes. I heard recently that the latest Harry Potter made the most money in the first month of release than any other movie.

Denise

Enid Wilson said...

The quiz is too hard, so I resort to cheating...

Chemical Fusion

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Denise, I think it did!

ediFanoB said...

Like you I'm not a fan of the former Planet of the Apes movies.

It seems this one is indeed different.
There are more and more positive reviews like your one. Even German newspapers like it.

Karen Peterson said...

I'm glad to hear about Planet of the Apes. I have always liked the idea behind the franchise, but just haven't been in love with any of the films. This one actually looked pretty good.

And I wonder if part of the reason you enjoyed Green Hornet was because you went into it with such low expectations. Sometimes that really helps!