1. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Fox, 3,500 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I recently wrote a post addressing Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman’s criticism of the reboots of comic book franchises. I wonder what he thinks of this film, the second attempt to reboot the Planet of the Apes franchise in ten years.
Tim Burton’s 2001 remake, Planet of the Apes, was disappointing critically but tripled its production budget, making it a fairly sizable hit. Usually that would be enough to warrant a sequel, not a reboot. But a reboot is what we get.
The film hews closer to the original series of films than the Burton remake, but updating the concept to go along with the times. Gone is the pardoxical aspect of apes from the future teaching the primative apes and jump starting the rebellion. Now, an experimental drug designed to treat Alzheimer’s is thing that advances the ape’s intelligence. Their treatment at the hands of humans is still what causes them to revolt.
I like this version of the origin better than the original, and the cast is top notch. But, really, is it necessary?
2. The Change-Up (Universal, 2,913 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated R): Busy summer for Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. This is the second film this season for both. Third this year for Bateman. They’re quickly becoming this era’s Gene Hackman and Michael Caine.
Ah, a body switch film. Not the most original premise in the world. The most original thing about this time around is the fact that the switch comes into effect due to urinating into a magic fountain. That’s new.
Anyway, Dave (Bateman) is a father of three and envious of the still single Mitch’s (Reynolds) swinging lifestyle. Mitch is envious of Dave’s wife and good paying job. After a boy’s night out and said public urination, the pair wake up to find each other trapped in each other’s bodies. Hilarity, hi-jinx and uncomfortable situations ensue.
You pretty much know what you are going to get in this film. Whether it will be any good depends on Reynolds and Bateman. Both are charming actors (although Reynolds’ hair in this film is quite distracting. I don’t know what’s going on with that) but the true test will how well each actor captures the other’s personality.