“Ten years from now, it will be the 1968 version that people are still renting.” So predicted Roger Ebert, after Tim Burton’s scattershot Planet of the Apes remake, released a decade ago this summer, did more to discredit primates than Charlton Heston ever could.
Whether the stench of that earlier experiment still lingers could help determine the future of a still-vital franchise, confidently revived this week in Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Summer is slowly winding down, giving Hollywood just a few more weeks to unload the last of its annual sequels, prequels and remakes before Oscar season begins in earnest. The bad news, for some: School will be back in session soon. The good news: August packs a promising lineup of big-screen spectacles, including:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Aug. 5)
The primates: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis
Sure, you've only got eight days of Christmas shopping left, but rather than subject yourself to the bustle of the department stores, take refuge in a theater. Happy holidays!
1. Vincent: A Life in Color
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: Dec. 16
It's last call for The Most Dangerous Man in America, a richly deserving Oscar nominee for Best Documentary at this year's Oscars, and opening weekend for The Greatest, Steve Carell and Tina Fey's underwhelming Date Night, and When You're Strange, Tom DiCillo's enlightening new chronicle of The Doors and their depressing, addiction-fueled demise. Here is what's playing at an indie theater near you.
With more rain on the horizon and thousands of comic-book fans descending on the city for this weekend's Wondercon at Moscone Center South, it might be an ideal time to curl up with a good book or escape to your local indie theater for a cinematic escape. Here's a sampling of the best movies currently in rotation.
One of the year's best films arrives this weekend in the form of Hot Tub Time Machine, a delightfully inane, raunchy comedy that puts the movies it will inevitably be compared to – last year's The Hangover, for instance – to shame. Elsewhere:
The revitalization of Disney animation over a 10-year period, culminating in 1994 with the smash hit The Lion King, as well as the subsequent disintegration of the working relationship between executives Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and the late Roy E. Disney, are the primary subjects of Waking Sleeping Beauty, Don Hahn’s fascinating new documentary that takes us behind the scenes at the Mouse House with remarkable candor.
Spring and March Madness have arrived, splashing the city with invigorating rays of glorious sunshine and enticing college basketball enthusiasts to patronize the closest sports bar. Where better to celebrate than a dark, air-conditioned theater? As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.
There is no denying the technical wizardry of 9, Shane Acker’s feature-length reimagining of his own Oscar-nominated short from 2005. Backed by producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), the young director has assembled a superior voice cast, led by the wonderfully expressive Christopher Plummer, to breathe life into a familiar post-apocalyptic fable distinguished by its exquisite artistry.
Does it detract from Pamela Pettler and Acker’s story that we’ve seen variations of it so often before, most recently in Terminator Salvation? It does, but hardly enough to dull the luster of its most innovative flourishes.
Adapted from a dark children’s novella by British author Neil Gaiman and directed by Henry Selick, who played a pivotal role in crafting the look of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline is a visual achievement of the highest order, an endlessly inventive spectacle that represents the first stop-motion animation feature ever filmed in 3-D. Judging by the results, it will not be the last.