Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I needed some veg time after finishing up a grad school paper yesterday and found myself going to see a mindless film on a random rainy Tuesday.  Given what’s out right now, I decided to see the 416th ( eighth actually ) “Planet of the Apes” film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes .  Here’s the trailer: Surprisingly, while I was looking for mindlessness, I actually watched an allegory about the motivations for war.  The barometer of film reviews, Rotten Tomatoes, noted that Dawn received a 91% positive review rating !  Even Glenn Beck chimed in on the film, reiterating the allegorical look at why people go to war portrayed through the lens of an Apes movie — they have to try to make this franchise fresh somehow, right? The trailer kind of gives a lot of the plot away, so I won’t spoil any of the surprises it didn’t mention.  However, issues of power, control, politics, revenge, and “the other” echo throughout the film in a way that tells a story about human nature that younger viewers can easily understand and appreciate.  While there’s an anti-gun message imbedded in the film here and there, it’s not enough to get hung up on. However, there are a lot of apes in this film.  Unlike the first reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes , the apes are not just side characters, they dominate large swaths of the film.  If your sci-fi sensibilities are average, I’m not sure how you’ll take to the film.  I thought it was a solid B .  As for the casual lay movie goer, I think you may get something out of it too — 91% positive reviews does say something.

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Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


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The US Navy Has Frickin’ Laser Beams!

This summer, the US Navy will deploy its latest weapon system :  a laser beam ! While only to be used for “asymmetric” threats, it’s still pretty cool that the military believes such a weapon is deployment-ready!  The article indicates that the weapon’s not so good in bad weather, but for small potential threats in a calm environment it’s good to go. In two years, an EM rail gun may begin to replace the conventional big-guns on other ships.  The issue with the rail gun is that it requires tons of electricity — probably not a problem on a nuclear carrier or sub. It’s unusual these days to see the US occasionally act like an old Cold War superpower — spending billions on weapons we’ll likely never have to use against a near-peer power, but still making and deploying them anyway!  If we’re going to have wasteful government spending , at least make frickin’ laser beams with it!

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Super Slaughter

Outside of the Pacific Northwest, last night’s Super Bowl XLVIII was not very exciting.  I predicted a 27-24 Broncos victory , contingent upon whether or not Seattle could produce a pass rush against Peyton Manning.  Well, no pass rush was necessary for the kind of beat-down we haven’t seen in a Super Bowl since 1993:  Seattle 43, Denver 8 .

It was clear from last night’s “game” (using the term lightly) that Seattle came to play; Denver didn’t know what hit them. So, given how awful the game turned out to be, how were the commercials? See for yourself .  I liked the Hero’s Welcome, Radio Shack’s 1980s homage , and Turbo Tax prom ad the most. 

To paraphrase Jimmy Kimmel , these Super Bowl commercials are getting too commercial.  Because they try to be so outrageous, they’re getting predictable (if that makes any sense).  That’s why I shined the spotlight on the three ads above — I love soldier-coming-home stories, as a Gen Xer I love 1980s nostalgia, and I thought the prom analogy for the Super Bowl was really clever.  All that, plus 24 is coming back .  Sweetness.

The evening was also darkened by news of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 46.  Great talent and personal demons have long been tied to one another in the entertainment industry.   Hoffman was incredibly talented and perhaps his story will stir our consciousness on the issues which underlie people’s use of heavy drugs.

 

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The Kronies

Upon hearing about this on The Blaze this evening, I had to add it to the echo chamber. Satire, beautiful satire!

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The Kronies


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An Obama, Not a King

Today marks America’s observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the life of the 20th Century’s most important civil rights leader.

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