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Reviews for the week of August 13, 2001.

Monday:
Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes
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I'm sure your all familiar with the 1968 Charlton Heston film The Planet of the Apes and it's sequels...and if you aren't there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with your brain.

Tim Burton and Danny Elfman are back with their rethinking of the legendary film, after seeing it you very well can't call it a remake and you can't call it a sequel...so what is it? I'm still not quite sure, but it was interesting to see, even if you just see it because it's SO different from the first film. Not just the ending, but everything about the film.

The sets, the makeup/costumes, the props...all top-notch leading to a very surreal feeling for the film. Danny Elfman's score is wonderful, although it's not at all like anything he's done before. The plot and the dialouge were...well good, but some of it was just corny.

Well it goes without saying that Mark Wahlberg is NO Charlton Heston, in fact it sounds rather evil to be using their names in the same sentence. But in any case he did do a good job, and was a nice choice for the role. Tim Roth was interesting as the villian, as he managed to sound NOTHING like himself. His character was indeed hateable. He wasn't even pleasant to watch and go "Wow, he's really evil". Basically, you just wanted him off the screen.

Now on with some of my complaints: Number 1, a lot of the stuff they said was REALLY corny...but we can get past that, can't we? My next complaint was with the little love-triangle going on between Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Wahlberg and that Darryl Hanna wannabe Estella Warren. First off, Estella Warren's character and Mark Wahlberg's had no grounds for a romance, there was VERY little interaction between the two (this may very well be because she had almost no lines during the film at all....I constantly question why her character was even present), but there seemed to be tension between her and Helena Bonham Carter's character Ari. On the other hand, Ari and our hero had a lot of interaction. Of course, in the end Mark Wahlberg leaves, giving Ari a kiss, and just before he leaves he walks over to "The Quiet One" and gives her a passionate kiss. It made NO sense at all...it didn't even make sense for her character to exist.

This movie is very dark and also very interesting, the whole "world" was done with such detail, it's very surreal. It's chilling to think that in this modern world, that WE the humans could be so powerless, and that's what is so terribly faciniating about this film, seeing what we think is powerful and in control as the helpless side. So go see it, it doesn't hurt just to watch it. And don't get too excited about the new 'shocking' ending. It's no more shocking than the first, but it's still very good.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Wednesday:
Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket
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Kubrick truly wins again with his dark and disturbing depiction of war in Full Metal Jacket. You can't put the power of this movie into words... it left me with a sick feeling in my stomach. Now that is true power, when a movie touches you so deeply that it makes you feel physically ill.

The film follows Private Joker (played flawlessly by Matthew Modine) through the Vietnam war. From when he begun his training to when he became a cold, hard marine. Although the film follows a few characters, each one of them slowly sinking into madness...

There are many anti-Vietnam movies Apocalypse Now, there was Platoon and even Good Morning Vietnam but this isn't your average anti-Vietnam protest film, instead of just simply stating "The war is bad" we look at it from a different perspective, instead of the whole war and the effects of it on our two countries...we look at how it changed the minds of the soldiers.

The marines start to develop inhuman characteristics, and in the end it seems none of the survivors escaped with their sanity. It's refreshing to see a film that focuses on what war does to man's mind rather than what happened to the countries... Instead of focusing on all the lost lives, we concentrate more on how it twists and turns the subconscious of the marines.

All in all, this film is powerful. Brilliantly done, the actors were superb, the script was wonderful...but nothing can compare to the film's ending. The screen goes dark and we hear a slightly speedier version of the Rolling Stones "Paint it Black." Everything adds up to a flawless film. You really couldn't ask for more. The anti-war message is strong, but in a much darker tone.

My Rating = Four Stars

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