Graveyard Cinema

                                                       By Dark Soul
War for the Planet of the Apes:  Reviewed by AL J. Vermette




5 Gravestones

    This film is the third in the new re-boot Planet of the Apes series.  It was without a doubt the best of the
three movies in the series and one of the very best movies I have ever seen. In fact, this movie should be in
the running for best picture at the Oscars and Caesar for best actor. Yes, this movie is really that good!
Forget that this film is about apes fighting for the right to survive and led by a talking chimp, this is a
straight up high drama with a great story and acting even if most of the cast are not human.

    Picking up where Dawn of the Planet of the Apes left off, the entire ape community is now at war with
the last members of the human race. Only wishing to be left alone in peace, their leader Caesar must take
his people far away before they are attacked.  But before he could, they are raided and his son and mate
are murdered. Vowing to avenge them, he sends his people off to find a safe place to live while he and a
small group of apes seek his mission to kill the man who murdered his family.

    Once again Caesar is played by actor Andy Serkis who performed the chimpanzee with stunning grace
giving the CGI overlay a complete and utter real character. One could hardly believe that this was not a real
chimp performing and his work, although not in rubber make-up as in the original films but under the
computer generated skin of that of Caesar, was nothing less than amazing.  Woody Harrelson plays the
leader of the human army seeking to wipe out the apes before the world comes under their control.

    Like its two predecessors, War for the Planet of the Apes plays out super real giving the storyline true
plausible actions as if this could really happen. It even gives a hint into maybe a forth movie and pays a
nod to the 1968 classic explaining why all the humans in the future are without speech and the planet is
ruled by intelligent apes. If you never in your life ever seen a Planet of the Apes movie, this is the one to
start with. For this goes far beyond just science fiction as a movie with a love story, action, revenge family
honor protecting one’s home and loved ones. God I hope that there plans for a fourth installment!


Kong: Skull Island




5 Gravestones

    When a research team is joined by Vietnam War soldiers for a mission to an uncharted island in the
South Pacific just after the war in 1973, little do they know the terror lying in wait for them. For this is the
island of Kong, along with other big and creepy monsters and as the soldiers and scientists fly in on army
choppers they soon discover who is the lord of this land.

    When going into the movie, I didn’t really know what to think. I made no attempt whatsoever to catch this
movie in the theaters upon its release because after seeing the first movie in this new series, the
disappointing 2014’s Godzilla, well let’s just say I didn’t think much of it. However although they are setting
up for a King Kong vs Godzilla crossover, this movie was worth every minute of its running time and very
glad I caught this on DVD.

    Playing out as though the 2005 film remake never happened with the big ape being discovered in
1933, being brought back to New York City where he gets loose and runs amok in the streets of the city,
climbs the Empire State Building where he is shot and killed by bi-planes in Kong’s classic death scene.
But here the movie takes place in 1973 and mainly on Skull Island, the home of Kong where scientists who
are trying to prove that the Earth is in-fact a hollow ball and within it lives all sorts of giant monsters and that
the island is the Hell Mouth.

    Keeping the beasts at bay is Kong, the God of the island, but when the army and egg heads invade his
homeland, they are met with all of Kong’s fury. Attacking the choppers like swatting flies, Kong leaves the
team stranded on the island to face other creatures and killer monsters besides himself.

    The special effects in the film are very good and Kong himself looks great although he walks upright
more like a man than an ape. It reminded me of the 1976 Kong remake where he walked upright there too.
Although Kong dose have a little interaction with the film’s female lead, there is no love affair between she
and the big ape even though she was very pretty to have monkey around with. This is also the biggest King
Kong we have ever seen as he is scaled up to be able to match up with Godzilla when that movie is made.
This Kong would be nearly half as tall as the Empire State Building that he is so known for climbing and
falling from.

    With this being way better than Godzilla from three years ago, I have a little more faith that when Kong
and the Big G do go at it, that it will be the all-time slug fest that we fans are waiting for. And if you sit
through the closing movie credits, you will get to see a short scene for them setting up for Godzilla and
other classic monsters making a return in this series.


Alien: Covenant




4 Gravestones

    After 20 years since Alien Resurrection and the last time we saw Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, ten
years since the Xenomorph battled the Predators in their two crossover films, the Alien is back again and
after almost 40 years director Ridley Scott is back behind the camera again too. Alien: Covenant, the
sequel to Prometheus and prequel to the rest of the Alien series, tells the story of the Covenant, a
colonization ship bound for a far off planet called Origae-6 with two thousand colonists sleeping in pods
and 1,140 human embryos all ready to call Origae-6 their new home. After the death of their captain, the
crew think that a new planet they discovered may in-fact be a better fit for them since its closer.

    Upon landing, they soon discover that they are not alone for the Robot left from the doomed ship
Prometheus is living on the planet and has been working on his own Frankenstein like science projects in
creating a new life form. They fall right into his trap as he uses them to birth the very first Xenomorph
creatures.

    Although this movie messes up the timeline for the Alien vs  Predator films seeing that the creatures are
created in our future which works for the rest of the series, but don’t work for the last two movies that
contained both alien creatures. Oh well, its Scott’s return to the series and working with a Xenomorph after
38 years. The movie comes in at a two hour time frame but we don’t see that much Alien action even
though we do get to see a new creature that precedes the Xenomorph. Still it’s not a bad monster movie
and when we do see the creature, unlike the original 1979 film, we do see a good deal of it. The movie
has good set up but sadly it does play out much in the end like Scott’s first Alien and even the creatures
death is the same as in 1979. Yeah it gets blown out into deep space again. Still it was good to see the
Alien back in action after a ten year sleep even if it was not battling with the Predator.
Love horror movies?

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