REVIEW: PLANET OF THE APES (2001)

CAST
Mark Wahlberg (The Perfect Storm)
Helena Bonham Carter (Dark Shadows)
Tim Roth (Lie To Me)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Estella Warren (I Accuse)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Elektra)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Kris Kristofferson (Blade)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes Original)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Glenn Shadix (Hercules: TLJ)
Linda Harrison (60s Batman)
Melody Perkins (Power Rangers In Space)
Martin Klebba (Project X)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck)
Anne Ramsay (Mad About You)
Michael Jace (The Fan)
Lisa Marie (Ed Wood)
Deep Roy (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
Kevin Grevioux (Underworld)
Todd Babcock (Gods and Monsters)
In 2029, aboard the United States Air Force space station Oberon, Leo Davidson works closely with primates who are trained for space missions. His favorite simian co-worker is a chimpanzee named Pericles. With a deadly electromagnetic storm approaching the station, a small space pod piloted by Pericles is used to probe the storm. Pericles’s pod heads into the storm and disappears. Against his commanding officer’s orders, Leo takes a second pod and goes in pursuit of Pericles. Entering the storm, Leo loses contact with the Oberon and crashes on a planet called Ashlar in the year 5021. He discovers that the world is ruled by humanoid apes who can speak human language and treat human beings as slaves.
Leo comes across a female chimpanzee named Ari, who protests the awful treatment humans receive. Ari decides to buy Leo and a female slave named Daena to have them work as servants in the house of her father, Senator Sandar. Leo escapes his cage and frees other humans. Ari sees them, but Leo convinces her to join a human rebellion against the apes. General Thade and Colonel Attar march ape warriors in pursuit of the humans. Leo discovers Calima (the temple of “Semos”), a forbidden, but holy, site for the apes. Calima turns out to be the remains of the Oberon, Leo’s space station, which has crashed on the planet’s surface and looks ancient (the name Calima coming from the sign “CAution LIve aniMAls”, the relevant letters being the only ones not covered in dust). According to the computer logs, the station has been there for thousands of years. Leo deduces that when he entered the vortex he was pushed forward in time, while the Oberon, searching after him, was not, crashing on the planet long before he did.
The Oberon‍ ’s log reveals that the apes on board, led by Semos, organized a mutiny and took control of the vessel after it crashed. The human and ape survivors of the struggle left the ship and their descendants are the people Leo has encountered since landing. In the present, a battle ensues between the humans and the apes. A familiar vehicle descends from the sky and is identified immediately by Leo as the pod piloted by Pericles, the chimpanzee astronaut. Pericles was pushed forward in time as Leo was, and had just now found his way to the planet. When Pericles lands, the apes interpret his landing as the return arrival of Semos, the first ape, who is their god. They bow, and hostilities between humans and apes disappear.
Pericles then runs into the Oberon and Leo runs after him, followed by General Thade. Inside, Thade and Leo fight, with Pericles trying to help Leo, only to be thrown hard against a wall. Thade gets hold of Leo’s gun, but does not understand how to use it at first. Seeing that Thade is in the pilot’s deck, Leo closes the automatic door of the entrance, trapping Thade as he shoots the gun, the bullets ricocheting off the door harmlessly. Thade thrashes around to escape, but after all attempts to do so fail, he finally gives up. Leo then decides that it is time for him to leave the Planet of the Apes, so he gives Pericles to Ari, with her promising to look after him, also saying farewell to Daena. Leo climbs aboard Pericles’s undamaged pod and uses it to travel back in time through the same electromagnetic storm. Leo ends up crashing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Earth. He looks up at the Memorial, and sees it is now a monument in honor of General Thade. A swarm of police officers, firefighters, and news reporters descend on Leo, but on closer inspection, they are all apes.
This is a remake which managed to outdo all the production values of the previous ‘Apes’ films, but ended up with a film which feels like it was made for a straight-to-TV. We all make mistakes, and this one was was Tim Burton’s. There was no reason to remake what was (and is) a classic film.

REVIEW: PURSUED

CAST

Christian Slater (True Romance)
Gil Bellows (House at The End of The Street)
Estella Warren (The Cooler)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
Conchita Campbell (The 4400)
Kevin McNulty (Stargate SG.1)
Tyler Labine (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Sarah Strange (Men In Trees)
Chelah Horsdal (Hell of Wheels)
Saul Rubinek (Memory Run)
Camille Mitchell (Caprica)
Kirsten Robek (Elektra)
Kevin McNulty (Elektra)
Scott Hylands (Elsewhere)
Enid-Raye Adams (Good Boys)

2628467,VwhFldAt9VSesTlQO1wAKSzAvqPs01Lbqbf5kCRIWjxM1xxB7m5A6C93P67YzOOjlZaKygcQDjJaG9r5Npl0GQ==Wall Street’s leading headhunter Vincent Palmer isn’t just extremely good in finding the ideal executives for corporate top jobs and offering them a deal hard to resist. His special knack is making them sign even if they really don’t want to. Such a hard nut is Benjamin ‘Ben’ Keats, who invented a brilliant persons tracking device and is committed to his partners and staff to use it to launch their firm VizTrack on the stock exchange. Vincent pulls all seductive stops with Ben, his wife and daughter, in vain. Then he hints even murder is in his repertoire. Ben checks out that’s true but decides ti fight back.

The-Stickup-2002Pursued is a good mystery\thriller with some silly moments. Christian Slater  does such a excellent job, you root for him.  The other main character is Ben Keats, played by Gil Bellows. Unfortunately, Ben is a two dimensional character who is a little too laid back. There are a couple of plot missteps like Ben getting a speech about secret cameras that could be in a pen and then the next scene is Ben getting a pen and he doesn’t check for a camera. It’s like he forgot the whole speech. The climax is exciting but a tad goofy. In the end: It’s worth seeing for a great, hyped up performance by Christian Slater and a lot of other tension filled moments.

REVIEW: I ACCUSE

 

CAST

John Hannah (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Estella Warren (Driven)
John Kapelos (Justified)
Brad Grass (The Lost Daughter)
Aaron Pearl (Godzilla)

688029_001Living in the small farming community of Rickerby, twenty-four year old Kimberly Jantzen is a single mother working as a gas station pump jockey while she works her way through nursing school to eke out a better life for herself and her daughter, Lizi. In some circles, she is considered white trash. fortress-2-01One night after a few drinks at the local pub, she gets into a physical altercation with Billy, her now ex-boyfriend, their fight and break-up because she caught him cheating on her. At the hospital emergency room to deal with a serious cut to her hand the result of the fight, she is treated by her family physician, Dr. Richard Darian, one of the wealthiest and most respected people in town. However, under heavy sedation which Dr. Darian warns her that she may have hallucinations and/or amnesia, Kimberly is certain that Dr. Darian raped her, she unable to fight him off in her drugged state.cinemax-fortress-2-re-entry1Believing she will get no justice going through Rickerby’s police, she files charges against Dr. Darian with the metro police. After a physical examination, it is determined that she did have intercourse recently, and semen is found on her panties she provides for DNA testing. In Kimberly’s eyes during the subsequent investigation, Dr. Darian is able to manipulate every move to his own benefit, in the process having the town rally around him while they shun her for trying to ruin his good name and reputation. The question becomes how far she will go to regain her soul, regardless of whether those measures will result in the justice for which she is looking. 113106_28This little-seen, low budget Canadian film is the true story of Dr. Schneeburger, who drugged one of his female patients and then raped her. From the real-life accounts of this case that I have read, plus a documentary, ‘I Accuse’ is a rather accurate dramatisation of this shocking crime. A lot of the filming was actually done in Saskatchewan, where it all took place, so that helped make things seem all the more realistic. I enjoyed ‘I Accuse’ a lot, it was a realistic re-enactment of a most unusual case.

REVIEW: DRIVEN

CAST

Sylvester Stallone (Bullet To The head)
Burt Reynolds (In The Name of The King)
Kip Pardue (Thirteen)
Til Schweiger (This Means War)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Estella Warren (The Cooler)
Cristián de la Fuente (Basic)
Stacy Edwards (Superbad)
Richard Zeppieri (Earth: Final Conflict)

Halfway through the (Fictionalized) 2001 Champ Car season, rookie driver Jimmy Bly has already won 5 races. His brother/business manager Demille is seems more concerned with working out endorsement deals and press engagements than racing, putting tremendous pressure upon Jimmy. His success has also drawn the ire of the reigning champion and series points leader Beau Brandenburg, who believes he’s not doing as well as he should because of his fiancée Sophia becoming “a distraction”. He breaks up the engagement and he regains his winning ways.

As Brandenburg returns to form, Bly’s paraplegic team owner Carl Henry is concerned that Bly is becoming more prone to driving errors. He sees parallels to his former driver and Champ Car Champion, Joe Tanto, whom he convinces to come out of retirement to mentor Jimmy. Joe agrees and is brought in to replace Jimmy’s teammate, Memo Moreno. To complicate matters, Joe’s ex-wife Cathy Heguy is now married to Memo, the driver that Joe replaced. Despite all this, Joe and Memo are still friends. Joe’s comeback race is extremely close, with Jimmy leading and Brandenburg a close second. Jimmy can’t seem to pull away from him so Carl orders Joe to pit and holds him there until the leaders are about to come by, despite Joe’s protests. At the last second, Joe leaves the pit just in time to block out Brandenburg, allowing Jimmy to win the race. Jimmy’s brother/manager takes a dislike to Joe’s mentoring, implying that Joe should just act as a blocker. After the race, Joe urges Brandenburg to reconcile with Sophia because she has started an affair with Jimmy, which is causing him to further lose his form on the track, resulting in Jimmy crashing out in Japan.

At a party in Chicago, where the prototypes of next year’s cars are being introduced, Brandenburg gives Sophia her ring back, apologizes for his behavior towards her, and they reconcile, much to Jimmy’s indignation. Sophia apologizes to Jimmy, but he is so upset that he takes one of the new cars and races it out of the convention center. Joe hops into another of the new cars and chases him down the streets of Chicago, eventually bring Jimmy back to his senses after they stop driving. In the coming race in Germany, Carl decides that bringing back Joe isn’t getting the results he wants, so he reinstates Jimmy’s original teammate Moreno while making Joe mentor Jimmy from the pit lane.

In the next race, it’s another close one with Jimmy and Brandenburg fighting it out for first. Bly needs one more win to take the championship, and Moreno is instructed to block for Jimmy, and keep out of his way. Cathy gets on the radio and convinces Memo to go for the win, and, as a result, he collides with Bly in a horrific crash that sends him flying through the air and crashing into a lake on the far end of the course. Jimmy does a quick u-turn and drives his car to the lake and dives in after him. Brandenburg does the same and the two of them rescue Memo just as a burning tree having caught fire in the crash collapses into the burning car igniting the fuel on top of the water and it explodes.

Carl, angered by Jimmy’s decision to stop and rescue Moreno instead of fighting on for the championship argues with Joe who was examining what’s left of Memo’s car. He decides to replace Jimmy with Brandenburg for the coming season and negotiates a deal with Jimmy’s brother who will now represent Brandenburg. Demille tries to get Brandenburg to sign the new contract but he rips it up and Sophia punches Demille in the face for the way he treated her previously. With Memo now hospitalized, Joe is racing again as Jimmy’s teammate. Initially, Jimmy was barred from competing due to an foot injury he sustained while rescuing Memo but Carl finally decides to clear him for the race after Jimmy passes Carl’s strength test.
At the final race of the year in Detroit, Jimmy and Brandenburg are contenders for the championship. In the final laps, Joe has taken the lead but by avoiding an accident, goes flying through the air, landing safely but damaging his front suspension. He can no longer contend for the win and the two leaders pass him on the final lap. It’s neck and neck coming down to the finish. Jimmy is starting to have a mental lapse, but then he hears Joe’s words of wisdom and in a long slow motion sequence, we see Jimmy beating Brandenburg by just a few inches as Joe crosses in third while doing doughnuts in his now out of control car due to its damaged suspension breaking. Jimmy is the new champion and he, Tanto and Brandenburg, celebrate together on the podium drinking champagne.
08A masterpiece it aint, but better than i expected and easy to watch.

REVIEW: TANGLED (2001)

CAST
Rachael Leigh Cook (Antitrust)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
John Rhys Meyers (Dracula)
Estella Warren (Driven)
Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos)
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The movie opens with David (Shawn Hatosy) being wheeled into the emergency room following an accident. Claiming that he and his girlfriend have been kidnapped, a frantic David is interviewed by police detectives, Anders and Nagle (Lorraine Brocco and Dwayne Hill). Because David claims memory loss, the police ask him what time he remembers waking up the day before. A flashback to the day before begins. David and his girlfriend, Jenny (Rachel Leigh Cook) get up and eat breakfast. They receive a hang-up call from Alan (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) who, unbeknownst to them, is observing them from across the street. David and Jenny quarrel briefly before David leaves the apartment to go to the store. Alan slips in while Jenny draws a bath. Alan surprises Jenny as David returns. Alan and David fight; David then retrieves a gun and the two men struggle over it. A shot is fired in Jenny’s direction. She hits the floor. The film resumes in the present when David tells the detectives that he has known Alan for quite some time, having met him in college. Another flashback begins. David and Jenny meet in their junior year of college and strike up a friendship. David is smitten with Jenny, writing poetry for her and spending hours discussing literature with her. Although Jenny enjoys their friendship, she makes it clear that David’s romantic feelings are not returned and dates many other men.
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David invites Jenny along to a family function. While there, they encounter Alan, who has also been invited. Jenny and Alan feel an immediate chemistry with each other. Alan returns to school shortly thereafter and moves into an apartment. While David and Jenny help Alan move in, they discover that Alan is in possession of a very large amount of marijuana. Alan claims to be holding it for someone who left the country and hides it in a cookie jar. Alan soon asks Jenny out. Jenny accepts the date and soon the two are a couple. David resents this and begins avoiding both of them. Eager to broker a reconciliation, Alan tricks Jenny and David into accompanying him on a trip to the woods. In the woods, Alan brings Jenny and David into a long-abandoned mansion. Alan demands that Jenny and David reconcile; when they initially refuse, Alan cuts the palm of his hand. Horrified, Jenny and David apologize to each other. Alan then takes them on a tour of the property, telling the story of the former owner, a wealthy man with two sons whose rivalry ends in murder.
The three end up staying the night in the abandoned house and have a menage a trois of sorts. When they return to school, Alan sets David up with Elise (Estella Warren), a girl who has no interest in literature or poetry. David, who is still in love with Jenny, reluctantly begins seeing Elise. Shortly thereafter, Jenny receives a call from her estranged father who suggests a dinner date. She asks Alan to accompany her. Alan, who is beginning to feel suffocated in the relationship, balks. David offers to go in his place. Jenny’s father never shows up for the dinner and David takes a disappointed Jenny home. David makes a play for Jenny’s romantic affections; Jenny angrily rejects him and runs into her apartment where she finds Alan and Elise in bed together. Jenny breaks up with Alan. Alan begins stalking her, begging her to take him back. After a confrontation in the library, David and Alan fight with David punching Alan in the mouth. Alan threatens David before leaving. That night, someone throws a large rock through Jenny’s window. Convinced that Alan is responsible and fearing for her safety, Jenny asks David to let her stay with him. David eagerly assents. The next day, David witnesses Alan being led out of his apartment in handcuffs. Someone tipped the police about Alan’s supply of drugs. Later that night, Jenny declares her affections for David and the two sleep together.Alan is sentenced to eighteen months for drug possession and is institutionalized for a time after his release. Meanwhile, David and Jenny, who have become a couple, graduate from college and move in together, being careful to get an unlisted number.
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The film resumes in the present. The police, who had already found Alan’s car, find Jenny and Alan, both of them clinging to life. Detective Anders briefly puts David under arrest, feeling that he is responsible for what happened. David swears his innocence and asks for an opportunity to finish his story. David claims that Alan kidnaps both he and Jenny, tying both of them up and driving them back to the abandoned mansion. Once there, he leads Jenny into the house, leaving David tied up in the car. David manages to free himself and runs inside to rescue Jenny. Once inside, he hears Alan demanding that Jenny tell him that he and their relationship had meant something to her. When Jenny does as she is asked, Alan, convinced that she was the one to call the police, asks her why she set him up. At this point, David reveals himself. The two fight and accidentally knock Jenny over the balcony. Convinced that Jenny is dead, Alan rushes down the stairs past David who follows closely. While Alan kneels over an unconscious Jenny, David pulls out his gun and trains it on Alan. It is then that he reveals that he, not Jenny, was the one who called the police. He tells Alan that he resented the fact that Jenny always rejected him in favor of inappropriate men and that he felt that Jenny would finally see that he was the best partner for her if Alan was out of the picture. He then shoots Alan several times. After the shooting, David leaves the mansion in search of help for Jenny. He is hit by a car and taken to the hospital. As he finishes his story, a comatose Alan is wheeled into the hospital, followed by Jenny who has recovered well enough from her injuries to walk unassisted. Jenny corroborates much of David’s story. The detectives opt not to charge David with a crime. After David is released from the hospital, he and Jenny look in on Alan who is still unconscious.
Jenny tells David that she had been wrong about both Alan and David and that she is glad that she is with David. She asks him to take her home. The two leave the hospital. As they leave the hospital, another flashback begins. It is then revealed that David manipulated Elise into going to Alan’s apartment during Jenny’s dinner with her father and that he, not Alan, had thrown the rock through Jenny’s window. 
Although this movie is fairly predictable and runs through the love triangle issue in Hollywood routine style, it has a lot to boast as it is beautifully shot, some great scenes, witty dialogue and an incredible soundtrack. The actors are charismatic and very watchable. And the story is well-paced.