War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third installment of the Planet of the Apes franchise by Twentieth Century Fox. Picking up a few years after the harrowing events of the previous film, this film puts us right into the conflict between the smart Apes and the destructive humans fighting to reclaim their supremacy.

Caesar, played by Andy Serkis, has to lead his people to safety as a group of unidentified soldiers plan to attack the Apesโ€™ stronghold, and the evil Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson, who leads the soldiers has hidden plans of his own.

The story is really not about the war between apes and human beings. It’s about Ceaser’s internal journey and the conflict of not becoming like Koba, who was the negative character in the previous film. The character of Ceaser is maturely evolved across the franchise. The focus is more on Apes and the story is told from their perspective. Apart from the existing characters like Maurice and Rocket, a new character is introduced Bad Ape, which is played by Steve Zahn. The arrival of Bad Ape brings a little humor to this dark and emotional film.

After watching the previous two films of the franchise, it is normal to expect an epic battle sequence at the end. But it doesn’t happen that way. The film also feels slow and little lengthy at few times in the second half.

The motion capturing done for creating the apes is so outstanding that you never feel that it’s the CGI. The apes look very real like a human being. The cinematography is remarkable and gives an epic feel to the story. The background score does justice to the crucial emotional moments throughout the film.

Overall, War for the Planet of the Apes is a great ending to the trilogy. It is an emotional, thought-provoking and brilliantly crafted film. Hail, Caesar!

Rating: ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Starring:  Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Sara Canning, Ty Olsson, Terry Notary, Devyn Dalton, Aleks Paunovic, Alessandro Juliani, Amiah Miller, Chad Rook, Karin Konoval, Gabriel Chavarria

Music: Michael Giacchino

Cinematography: Michael Seresin

Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a sci-fi, horror web series created by the Duffer Brothers. The story revolves around the disappearance of a young boy and the struggle of his mother, his brother, a police chief, and his friends in order to get him back.

Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) gets disappeared after he encounters a supernatural creature. His traumatized mother Joyce(Winona Ryder) along with Jim Hopper(David Harbour), who is the police chief, start searching for him. The investigation slowly uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments and terrifying supernatural forces. The most interesting characters are Will’s three best friends Mike(Finn Wolfhard), Lucas(Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin(Gaten Matarazzo) who fearlessly try to find Will with the help of Eleven(Millie Bobby Brown), a young girl with psychokinetic abilities.

The show grips you from the first scene itself. As the story is based in the 80’s, we don’t see much of high tech gadgets and labs. Still, it is a pretty good sci-fi story. Not too much of VFX used, which makes it more real and believable.

Stranger Things is one of the best Netflix shows till date. It is a great blend of sci-fi, thriller, horror and drama. It is just perfect. You have to binge watch the series to satisfy your curiosity.

Rating – ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Science fiction, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

Created by: The Duffer Brothers

Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery

American Gods

American Gods is a fantasy-drama television series based on the novel of the same name, written by Neil Gaiman. The story focuses on an ex-convict named Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle)  who starts working for a mysterious man called Wednesday (Ian McShane) and is drawn into a big bloody battle.
With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Taking a plane back home to her funeral, Shadow finds himself next to  Wednesday, who knows everything about Shadow and offers him a job. Wednesday appears to be a con artist but he is someone bigger. Two other characters are also introduced, Bilquis(Yetide Badaki) and Mad Sweeney(Pablo Schreiber), who are also an important part of the story.

During the first half of the one-hour long episode, many things happen but you never get an idea what is the story all about. You start getting some idea only during the last 10 minutes. This is a long time to get viewers attention in this highly competitive web series market.

American Gods is not a gripping story but has some good vfx scenes which gives it a fantasy touch. Only good actors and meaty one-liners couldn’t make the show entertaining. It also needs smart writing which is clearly missing in this show. 

Rating – ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ kisses

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Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Action

Developed by: Bryan Fuller, Michael Green

Starring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber, Ian McShane

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is an average attempt to reboot the Arthurian myth. The movie is the journey of Arthur to take back his throne after it was taken over by his wicked uncle Vortigern by killing his entire family.

Arthur, played by Charlie Hunnam, is a witty and smart guy. He grows up in a brothel, learns martial arts but, is unaware of his royal lineage. Vortigern, played by Jude Law, is hungry for power and will do anything to keep the throne.

Arthur is helped by a group a people who want the cruel Vortigern dead too. An enigmatic young woman called โ€˜The Mageโ€™,  played by Astrid Frisbey is the only female character in the team. She uses her dark magic powers to help Arthur.

The most important scene of the movie where Arthur pulls out the sword ‘Excalibur’ from the big boulder isnโ€™t that effective. It is further ruined by David Beckhamโ€™s bad acting cameo.

On an emotional level, you donโ€™t feel much for Arthur and for his struggle to become the King. The story defies logic at many places and you just cannot ignore them. The director, Guy Ritchie brings in his stylized slow-motion action sequences which we have already seen in Sherlock Holmes.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a VFX heavy film with lots of action and dark magic creatures. Go for this film with fewer expectations and you might enjoy it.

Rating – ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ and half  kisses

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Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Action

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Eric Bana, ร€strid Bergรจs-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen

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Sandy Wexler

Sandy Wexler is a satirical homage to Adam Sandler’s real-life manager, Sandy Wernick, who worked as a talent manager in Los Angeles during the 1990โ€™s.

Sandy, played by Adam Sandler, is a weird and lonely guy with a good heart. He treats his clients like family and never gives up on them. Everything changes when Sandy falls in love with his new client Courtney, played by Jennifer Hudson, who is a talented singer. 

The story is narrated in bits and pieces by famous Hollywood actors in a fun and comic way. You will also see some familiar faces from Sandlerโ€™s other movies like Kevin James, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider and Nick Swardson doing small yet important roles. 

Sandy Wexler is not a full on comedy. It is an emotional and light-hearted love story at its core. You won’t laugh your heart out but it does have a few fun moments through the mishaps of Sandyโ€™s clients who are trying to make it big in the industry. Even though the film stays flat from start to end, Adam Sandler has tried his best to make this mediocre story entertaining.

You will need some patience and popcorn to complete this 2-hour long film. Watch it only if you are an Adam Sandler fan.

Rating:  ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ kisses

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Genre: Drama, Comedy

Directed by: Steven Brill

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Hudson, Kevin James, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider, Colin Quinn, Nick Swardson, Lamorne Morris