Movie Review: Rise of the Plant of the Apes

Just plain fun.  That’s the best way to describe this perfect summer movie.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes has action, really good characterization and the best performance of the year.

That’s right, I’ll say it – Caesar the Ape (Andy Serkis and a lot of CGI) gives the best performance of the year.  It is heartbreaking, empowering and flat out exciting.  The rest of the apes as well.  It’s amazing that most of the human characters blend together – but the apes are all so unique.  James Franco does a good job as well, but it is Caesar’s movie.  Brian Cox is good, the kid who plays Draco Malfoy in the Potter movies plays a weirdly over the top villain (but it works for the movie).  Freida Pinto looks amazing, but her presence is rather pointless.

You wind up wildly rooting for the apes – and this turns into an all out brawl on the streets of San Francisco.  And it is a lot of fun.  Just watching the apes storm the city is breathtaking.  It’s saying something when your heart breaks when apes die, but you don’t even blink when the humans die.

Definitely worthy of the ticket price.  In fact, it may be my favorite movie of 2011 thus far.

Top 5 Heist Movies

To qualify – the movie must revolve around or culminate in aheist.  It can start with a big heist,but everything from there on out should be because of the heist (Riffifi). Somethinglike Goodfellas, where there is theLuftansa heist, doesn’t count because it is just a small piece of the puzzle.  I would include Bonnie and Clyde, as well as ButchCassidy and the Sundance Kid in that mix as well, where it is about thecharacters, not the heists they are pulling.

Top 5

Next 5:
  • Fast and Furious
  • Safemen
  • Three Kings
  • The Sting
  • The Saint

Honorable Mentions:
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • Riffifi
  • The Bank Job
  • Italian Job
  • Confidence
  • The Inside Man
  • Duplicity
  • Killing Zoe
  • The Lookout
  • Nothing to Lose
  • Reindeer Games
  • Ronin
  • Street Thief (documentary)
  • Swordfish
  • Takers
  • Taking of Pelham 123 (original, 2009)
  • Thief

Top 5 Haunted House Movies

To qualify for this list, a film’s antagonistmust be the dwelling or location from the film. So, something like Psycho doesn’t qualify, because although the horrorelements take place in one primary location – they are perpetrated by a human,not the house, or motel, itself.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Paranormal Activity
  • Darkness Falls

Bulderlyns Colorist – Dmitry Dubrovin!

And the Spoke Lane team keeps growing!  I’m really pumped to announce that, after an exhaustive (from NY to California and literally across the globe), we have inked a deal with Moscow-based artist Dmitry ‘Lemon5ky’ Dubrovin to color Bulderlyns, the young adult graphic novel which is currently in production.

Polish artist Igor Wolski is doing pencils, and Pawel is inking the book.  We’re into the 40’s (of about 150 pages)… all of which Dmitry can dive right in on.

There’s just something about his colors that stand out.  They have a depth and texture that most who are coloring digitally just can’t seem to match.  This guy rocks.  Here are a few of his samples:




Movie Review: All Good Things

All Good Things was something that came up as a recommend for me on Netflix and I remember it being made, but no waves were made when it eventually came out.  I can’t stand Kirsten Dunst, but I am a big Ryan Gosling fan.  And what a great first name.  I liked Jarecki’s docu Capturing the Friedman’s and dove right into this.

It was well made – and the style took you right back to the time period (70’s thru 00’s).  That was really surprising and a pleasant surprise.  I actually researched this case, about a guy who is accused (but never convicted) of killing two women, after I heard about the movie.  Why?  Because I’m obsessed with serial killers and the first wife was actually from Long Island.  I’m also obsessed with Long Island.

The film was okay.  That’s what I’ll say about it.  The story was engrossing, but mostly based on Gosling’s performance.  I knew where it was going, so I was waiting for the explosion – or how they would do it.  And watching this guy simmering beneath the surface from Gosling’s performance was really something.  But the story itself was slow moving (I’m guessing intentionally)… and not as much of a mystery as I was hoping.  They basically paint him out to be the killer and leave no room for other culprits.

For those that are interested – he’s accused of killing the first wife – but her body was never found and she’s actually still considered a missing person (not a dead body).

My R.E.M. Re-Watch Movie List

As I prepare to push forward with my first feature as a director, R.E.M., there are a handful of films that I am going to re-watch a few times.  Either they have the look and feel that I would like, the pace is equivalent, they take place in similar worlds, etc…

They are (and the list will continue to grow):