Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

An ape on a flagpole observing the destruction. I couldn't resist this image.

It’s been ten years and one really nasty genetically-engineered plague since the first movie in this new series, and the world just isn’t what it used to be. Caesar (Andy Serkis of the Hobbit / Lord of the Rings franchises) and his followers, settled comfortably in the redwood forests near what’s left of San Francisco, haven’t seen a single sign of a human for two years now and are reasonably sure they’re all gone.

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Robocop

Alex stares at his new hand and his old, trying to tell left from right.

It will shock no one when I mention that I haven’t seen the original Robocop movie, or indeed any of the sequels or TV series it inspired. One of these days I’ll sit down with a list of all those movies you’re supposed to see before you die and my Netflix account and see how far I can get. I am informed, however, that this version is both less bloody (it’s PG-13, after all) and less cyberpunk than the original, and Detroit actually doesn’t look like such an awful place to live even before Robocop is on the job.

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Planet 51

Skiff is the one on the left, and he's right to look nervous.

Yes, I was the only grownup in the theatre without a kid in tow. This is my first time reviewing a movie aimed at the younger set, so it was kind of an experience. And I wasn’t really sure what to expect — some people kept saying it looked silly, others that it looked good and they wanted to see it. As it turned out, it was actually pretty fun, once I got over the idea that all the other adults were looking at me funny because I was there by myself.

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Lawless

Guy Pearce looking frighteningly perfectly groomed.

A while back, a family in Virginia was looking through some old papers and found some newspaper articles from the 1930’s that mentioned some relatives of theirs — namely, the Bondurant brothers, Forrest, Howard, and Jack. The family knew they must have made and sold a little moonshine, since back then in Franklin County, where they lived, everyone made and sold a little moonshine. That’s just what people did. I think half the people within a hundred-mile radius must have died of something alcohol-related, or they wouldn’t all have been able to stay in business.

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The Dark Knight Rises

Not quite a remake of the famous Batman-Catwoman dance scene, but close.

Back when all this started, seven years ago, I had a hard time imagining what, exactly, Christopher Nolan might do to the entire concept of Batman once he was allowed to play with it for a while. Not that I have anything against his filmmaking, far from it, but somehow he didn’t seem like the right person for the job, given that I mostly knew him from movies like Inception and its only somewhat less confusing cousin, Memento.
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II

The kids are all right. I miss the beaded bag of holding, though.

So yeah, everyone who was ever in a Harry Potter flick is back, basically, unless the character was killed off, and sometimes even then. I think I got all the important people in the tags, at least, though I’m still working on why Helena Bonham Carter managed such high billing when she hardly says a word, and half the time, when she does, it’s when she’s really Hermione. They use that disguise potion again, which is no surprise. The only surprising thing is that not everyone uses it all the time.
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Kung Fu Panda 2

The Furious Five strike a pose.

This might be the decade of the comic book movie, but it’s certainly the century of the sequel. Or at least the weekend of the sequel. I’m sure that movie offerings on holiday weekends used to be a lot better than they seem to be these days. Really, though, I shouldn’t complain too much, since it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. I just have to complain about something, and the kids in the theatre were surprisingly well-behaved.

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