Ruby’s Movie Reviews – August 2011

September 15, 2011

So this is a bit late. What can I say? I’m slack as hell and never gonna change! But that’s part of my charm, right???

I had been looking forward to this film for some time. I saw the trailer a while ago online and couldn’t wait to finally see it. Daniel Craig as a tough (sexy) cowboy who doesn’t remember who he is, combined with the likes of Harrison Ford AND aliens? It was too good to be true. I took mum to see it as she was just as eager as I was, and it surpassed our expectations! Thankfully it wasn’t in 3D (have I told you just how OVER 3D films I am now?) and instead relied on a great story line and awesome special effects as well as fantastic casting.

The year is 1873 and a man wakes up with no recollection of how he wound up in the middle of nowhere, who he is, nor where the fancy metal cuff got onto his wrist. He quickly learns he is a wanted man and as he’s about to be carted off to be tried for his crimes, the town is attacked by aliens who steal people away, leaving the town devastated. The remaining citizens then go after the aliens to retrieve their loved ones and get rid of the evil aliens. It sounds a bit ridiculous, but I am telling you now, it is fantastic. I also loved how authentic it was, there was no need to glamourise that era of make it trendy by being a bit steampunk (which is something I normally love, but it would have been tacky if done in this particular film).

When I first saw the trailer for this I was a little bit sceptical. After all, the remake of Planet of the Apes by Tim Burton was an absolute travesty and he’s a damn good director so I kind of assumed there was no hope. But then the reviews started rolling in and they were all excellent so between that and the fact James Franco is a dreamboat, so I went to see it with neutral feelings, hoping for something amazing but accepting of the fact it might completely blow.

Fortunately, it was EXCELLENT! The CGI as mind-blowing, to the point where you were absolutely certain that most of the apes (particularly the orang-utan’s) were real. The story line was pretty simple but very well told and as hopes, James Franco was his usual charming self and John Lithgow’s did a terrific job as his aging dad who was the catalyst for much of what happens in the film.

I really hope they don’t make a ”sequel”  as the ending explains how the world becomes the Planet of the Apes in the 1968 classic. But based on its success and the way Hollywood can;t leave a good thing alone, I’m sure one will be in production soon.

Now this is a film I never thought I’d see, let alone love. I saw the poster for it back when HP: DH2 was out and I recall slinging off at it and saying “I’d rather die than see that”. This is a definite case of  “don’t judge a book by its cover” because the poster did not reflect the beauty of the film one bit, and believe me, Red Dog was one of the most wonderful films I’ve seen in years. It’s very, very Aussie but not in an alienating way that only Aussies will get. It was just really authentic without going overboard with the cliche’s or the “zany” Australian style of film making that can make our films hard to market overseas.

Red Dog is the main character and is a kelpie whom the residents of the rural town of Dampier fell in love with in the 1970s. They retell his story to a truck driver who happens to stop by their only pub as Red Dog has been found gravely ill (don’t worry, this is the very first scene so I didn’t just spoil the film horribly for you). They recall his grand adventures which include his wanderings through Western Australia‘s Pilbara region, as well as the many wonderful ways that he impacted their lives.

I really don’t want to go into more detail because I want everyone to go see it and enjoy it for themselves. Ignore the lame movie poster and take some tissues because it gets really bloody sad, more than once. I really hope this film does well because it deserves to be shown all over the world and appreciated by anyone who loves dogs or just enjoys well-made Australia movies. I seriously got a tear in my eye from just reading the synopsis of the film, which means I’m probably going to have to see it again. Oh darn!


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  • Did you ever see the Conquest of the Planet of the Apes? It kind of feels that this entry into the Planet of the Apes universe was a remake of Conquest.