Nic Cage is on Fire!

A couple of trailers to light up your day

As my friends will tell you, I have begun an almost religious journey into the world of Nic Cage. Once I would avoid any film with his presence, but now I have seen the error of my ways, and I am seeking out all things Cage. So, with joy, I bring you a couple of trailers for upcoming Nic Cage films.

Look out for a new page I’m hoping to add to my blog. A Cage Page.

Until then – watch the great man in action.


The Apes Rose… and it was good

Finding myself at the lovely Stratford Upon Avon Picturehouse, I saw RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

I really wasn’t bothered about the film. The trailers hadn’t impressed me, and I probably wouldn’t have seen it if not for some gentle peer pressure and the promise of a drink.

You know what? It’s really good.

One of the strengths of the film is the relationship between our hero, Will Rodman (James Franco) and his father Charles, (John Lithgow) who is suffering from Alzheimers. Into this is brought a young chimpanzee,Caesar, who has been genetically modified to be much more intelligent than usual and then Freida Pinto as Will’s love interest. The relationships all feel real, and have substance.

Despite what you’ve seen in the dodgy trailers, the effects work is superb throughout. Obviously Andy Serkis has become THE expert in motion capture, and that knowledge goes a long way.

The story is strong, and Caesar’s gradual rise to power is believable.

Essentially, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is a very well constructed, highly enjoyable film. A perfect popcorn movie.

Review: Project Nim

If you only see one primate movie this week…

Well, it has been a while since I managed to see a film in a cinema, so I went out of my way today to see PROJECT NIM.

From James March (who brought us MAN ON WIRE), Nim is a chimpanzee who is raised by humans, taught sign language and forms the basis of an experiment intending to investigate not only whether he can learn the complexities of language, but to understand the use of language in human society.

The film consists largely of interviews and archive footage from the 1970’s and 80’s. All of the major players in Nim’s life are present, and they all speak candidly about their actions.

Nim is first placed in a fairly normal family, before being moved to a more isolated home. At the age of five, it was decided that the experiments should stop, and he was placed with other chimps for the first time in his life.

It becomes clear early on, that it is human ambitions and emotions that cause Nim the most damage, not his own animal nature. However, the story really isn’t as simple as that.

Of course, the basic moral question over using a chimp this way is asked, but the more interesting questions are also here; how much does he actually learn, how much we learn from him and just how human he becomes.

This isn’t a simple film following the life of a chimp, but an in depth look at how we as a species view ourselves.

There are some warm-hearted scenes, as well as some very funny moments. However, it is the heartbreak that will stay with you.

Review: Captain America

What I think of ‘the first Avenger’.
Just a quick post for CAPTAIN AMERICA…

I must say that I enjoyed CAPTAIN AMERICA quite a lot. The first half of the film in particular stands out. I found it atmospheric, and interesting. Considering it’s another bloody origin movie, that’s not a bad achievement at all!

The second half, however, is all over the place. It almost felt as if part way through, everyone suddenly remembered that this is ‘a superhero film’ and so everything was thrown at the screen. The finale isn’t particularly memorable, and is more of a prelude to THE AVENGERS than perhaps our hero deserved.

With THE AVENGERS in mind, there are a few interesting nods to the greater Marvel universe, and they all work well.

Flawed, but enjoyable. However, if you’re choosing between this and SUPER 8 this weekend, pick the latter.