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“War for the Planet of the Apes” is a superb finish to the trilogy.
Rarely is the third movie in a trilogy the best one, but “War for the Planet of the Apes” is just that. Concluding the sci-fi tale of evolved apes battling what’s left of mankind, this summer movie raises the bar for tent-pole entertainment. Nuanced acting from leads Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson, a complex score by Michael Giacchino, and production design that could rival “The Revenant” help make this one of the year’s best. Of course, it all starts with a smart script by director Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback which builds character through action, ensures its villains are sympathetic, and seamlessly blends the set-pieces into the character’s journey.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” secures Peter Parker’s future by returning him to school.
The reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise may be its third start in just 15 years, but this latest one wisely returns Peter Parker to high school. His vulnerabilities as a teen struggling to find his place in the world deepen the narrative and make him susceptible to the evils of the adult world. This one really sticks to the wall too with a likable new lead (Tom Holland), diversity in its casting, and a sympathetic, down-to-earth villain (Michael Keaton). “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is just that – a return to school, a return to greater stakes, and a return to the ubiquitous Marvel fold.
“Baby Driver” is quintessential escapist entertainment for the summer.
Writer/director Edgar Wright is expert at comedy, but who knew that he could ace action/adventure so triumphantly? His new film “Baby Driver” is very likely the summer’s quintessential escapist entertainment. Wright’s screenplay concerns a getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who listens to his own musical mix tapes while chauffeuring thieves during their heists. The songs help him synch his moves behind the wheel. Wright synchs his action to music as well, choreographing his actors, action and locations in one of the best shot and edited movies in years. Think of it as a car chase musical, a breathtaking ride at your local Cineplex.