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Cowboys and Aliens and Apes, oh my

It’s been a long time since I posted a movie review (or anything else, right?) but that doesn’t mean I’m not out there, eating popcorn and loving the big screen.  Not as much as the little screen lately though – more about that later.
 
Meanwhile, my favorite movie of the year so far is Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it did everything I asked of it: stayed faithful to and meshed perfectly with the original; had awesomely believable apes, and nicely drawn main characters; gave us more than a few unexpected twists; and James Franco.  Oh, and not too much schmaltz. (Full disclosure, my family went through a heartbreaking experience with dementia recently, so it’s pretty tough to satisfy me with a dementia subplot. This movie actually did a pretty good job of it, except for the fact that Lithgow hammed it up a little too much. Maybe I was already maxed out on him from Dexter, but seriously, I’d like to see him tone it down just a bit)
 
Anyway, plenty of wild action in Apes, and I fervently believe that about 97% of it is actually possible. That’s not saying much, since I want to believe, but still – good movie!
 
On to Cowboys and Aliens, which was a success by the sheer force of the star power. Daniel Craig? I automatically like anything he’s in because I get to look at Daniel Craig.  Hans Solo? Check.  Adam Beach – why isn’t he in more movies, and why isn’t he the lead? Sheesh…
 
Anyway, the plot is silly but it holds together for ¾ of the movie. The special effects are spectacular right up until we see the aliens (sigh, why can’t we do this right?)  The whole thing breaks down in the last 15 minutes, except the Daniel Craig factor, so all in all, it’s still a win.
 
On to Captain America – it was better than I thought it would be. I’m not sure what else to say. Like Apes, it had a couple of surprises, so that was cool. And it had amazing special effects in the sense that the transformation from wimp into super-bodied hero was very convincing.
 
All three deserve(d) to be seen on the big, big screen. So I guess I should’ve reviewed them sooner, right?
 
True confession – the movie I had been most anticipating in 2011 was Dream House. Yes, I know that’s disturbing. But serious, how can you go wrong with a creepy haunted house and Daniel Craig (sensing a theme?) and Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts?  However, according to early reviews, I found out that you can in fact go wrong. Very wrong. So, sadly, my popcorn moment is not to be, and I’ll catch it on the small screen.
 
And by small screen, I mean our 46” TV. Not my wonderful, wonderful new iPad 2. And also not my unexpected and terrific birthday present from last week, aka an 11” Macbook Air. (Or Mac Air-book? I still can’t quite figure that one out).  More about them in a future post. Suffice it to say, I’ve never had an Apple product in my life, and now – well, I get it. Unbelievably faster and funner than my boring old PC laptop.
 
Since I’m mentioning Apple at such a bittersweet time, I should also say that I have always admired everything about Steve Jobs – intellect, creativity, poise, genuineness. But the grace with which these last few months progressed, and the fact that he spent the last few weeks with his family – well, now I would name a constellation after him if I could. Hopefully someone, somewhere has already taken care of that.
 
Kate
 
p.s. Next up? TV stuff. And news about the re-pub of my historicals and time travels, this time in electronic format. Yay!!
 

 

 

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