Movies make me happy: Reviews

Movies make me happy: Reviews

the dude, big lebowski

The Dude in the Big Lebowski

A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later. ~ Stanley Kubrick

I absolutely love movies, even though I absolutely hate the way people behave in theaters.  It drives me crazy so I watch most of my movies at home these days.  Although, there are some films that need to be seen on the big screen, and sometimes, I miss it enough to sneak out to a matinee after a film has been out for awhile and have a good old fashioned movie experience.  Don’t even get me started on the costs!

Movies make me happy so I decided to put together a post, one I can add to from time to time to review the films I go to see at the theaters, I hope you enjoy it and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Director – Matt Reeves

movies, make me happy, be happy

War for the Planet of the Apes

I had heard great things about this movie and I really enjoyed the first two so I thought I would go check this out while of vacation last week.  First off, if you haven’t seen the first two films in the series go see them first, this is certainly a well-connected trilogy and I don’t think the third film would work as a stand alone, even if you know the old 70’s Planet of the Apes film.  A quick bit about the franchise.  I loved the original Planet of the Apes, I saw it as on a child on TV and absolutely fell in love with it.  Caught a couple of the follow-ons in theaters as a kid.  Loved the TV series and have watched most of those old movies on TV dozens of time.  Even got to meet Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter in costume at a car show once in New York.

The first movie was a classic and amazing film, the rest were B-grade scifi fun films, cartoonish and goofy at times.  Tim Burton took a shot at a restart and the film was absolutely terrible caught somewhere between trying to be a good film and catch some of the magic of the old films.  It missed.  The most recent restart of the series has been a revelation, I really enjoyed the first two films and think they did a magnificent on both of them.  Things brings us to the third film, War for the Planet of the Apes.  On the surface this looks like your typical summer blow stuff up action blockbuster, it’s not! Even the good buzz around the film had me thinking it was just a really good summer blockbuster and hey, I love films like Independence Day, so what the heck.

I was deeply surprised by this movie.  Sure, there are some good action sequences, but this is a great film.  The story is excellent, flows well and introduces us to some amazing ideas and characters and has a lot to say underneath.  Matt Reeves does a wonderful job of utilizing motion capture technology and the actors are physically fantastic.  This film keeps your attention, entertains you and makes you care deeply about the characters.  Well worth the ridiculous cost of going to the movies.


Director Luc Besson

valerian, Cara Delevingne


I have to start discussing this film by discussing The 5th Element, one of Luc Besson’s best films.  I didn’t go to the film in the theater because it starred Milla Jovovich and she really doesn’t like me, it comes back to an incident that occurred between me and her in Knoxville while she was on tour for her “album” but that’s a story for another time.  It was a choice I regretted as I’ve come to really love the genius of that film and Besson’s work on it.  There’s a great cast, the story is a hell of a lot of fun and it’s a film that I watch again and again.  No, there’s a little bit of an on the nose, good vs evil message, but this is a film for fun not deep thought.  As such, it does a magnificent job, Milla is fantastic in this film, maybe that sincere compliment will repair our relationship.

I’ve been seeing mixed reviews for Valerian, they have ranged from the promotional awesome, to the over critical horrible.  I honestly didn’t have high expectations for the film, but Luc Besson is a director who looks at the world differently and sometimes, like with The 5th Element, The Professional or La Femme Nikita, he does some amazing work.  So on a hot day it was worth the gamble of a matinée price in the air conditioning.

The movie’s primary star is Cara Delevingne, she’s a beautiful girl with a great body, assuming you can ignore the caterpillars on her forehead.  I know, that’s not nice, some people love her big dark eye brows, I’m just not one of them.  She’s in the film for her look, she’s not a great actor and her constant eye-roll and scowl seem to be her one acting skill.  But she’s generally easy on the eyes as is her co-star and again, that seems to be their draw, young pretty people.

The movie is visually amazing, the opening scene, that sets the stage for the story, is absolutely visually stunning and emotionally evocative.  The scene really made me happy.  Unfortunately, the visuals are absolutely the highlight of the film.  The city of a 1000 worlds as a concept is great, the quick descriptor though is really just a tease and I wish they would have gone deeper into the idea of the city and explored it somehow.  The story moves through fairly linearly and the action sequences are ok, but the whole film is really carried along as a feast for the eyes.  But where The 5th Element was inventive and the story interesting with some great characters, Zorg, Ruby Rhod and The Diva, Valerian looks spectacular but feels utterly linear and two-dimensional.  Wait for it on TV.


About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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