Tag Archives: James Franco

In Theater: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

10 Aug

First things first: this movie creeped the bejesus out of  me. Rise of the Plane of the Apes was a big bag of unpleasent emotions. I was sad for the poor monkeys, then afraid that the apes (those rising in the title) would take over the world and we’d all die. Not a nice mix, personally. And despite my unpleasantness towards this movie, it still managed to take the weekend box office with $54 million

Now I wouldn’t say that this movie is redefining a genre. Even if you haven’t seen any of the other planet of the apes movies (of which there have been several), you get the gist: apes get smart and try to take over the world. In this movie specifically, the apes are an oppressed people, who get smart and rise up against their captors and tormentors, with the role of prominent tormentor going to an American accent wielding Draco Malfoy, or Tom Felton for you name sticklers.

But the animal lover in me was borderline depressed; the main monkey, Caesar, is adorable when he’s a little tiny monkey! When he’s a big ape who has to secretly live in James Franco’s attic, you feel sad for him. And when he’s an ape with a mean, cynical streak, you’re afraid of the damage he’ll do.

James Franco wasn’t terribly convincing; I like him better as a stoner on the run in Pineapple Express, personally. The thing with his character here is you don’t really know what his angle is. He’s a genecist trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, which, coincidentally, his father (played my John Lithgow) is suffering from. After an experiment gone wrong shuts down his research, he ends up with poor tiny Caesar, who has been exposed to the test drugs in utero. Caesar lives with Franco and JLith, and all is good–for a while. Then ish gets bad, someone finally realizes there’s a monkey living in Franco’s attic, and Caesar ends up with his motley crew of apes. You can guess what happens next: they try their hand at rising.

An obvious lesson one walks away from RotPofA with is this: maybe we shouldn’t mess around with genetics of apes/monkeys who might get really smart and take over the world, killing or imprisioning us along the way. Just a thought.

Is RotPotA the best movie you’ll ever see? That’d be a no. Is it terrible? Not exactly. It’s a pretty decent reboot, if you can get over the sad/scary parts. It’s also a solid action movie too. I don’t think James Franco will be getting another Oscar no for this, but I suppose stranger things have happened.

Have you seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes? What’d you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Why the Academy Awards were a Dud

3 Mar


Yep, this year’s award show is gaining popular consenus on one thing: it kind of sucked.

From The Carpetbagger:

“One of the worst Oscar telecasts in history.”

“Dead. In. The. Water.”

“James Franco played a guy who cut off his own arm. Why couldn’t he play a guy who likes Anne Hathaway?”

Viewers were disappointed (ratings were down from last year), and despite its hype as a young show hosted by young stars, it seems old and fuddy-duddyesque.

But what happened? Why did a show that seemed to have so much promise sink? Here are a few of the reasons I think this was a suckfest!

  • It wasn’t funny

If the best that the writers of the onstage material could do was throw Kirk Douglas out there to add some humor to the show, you know there’s a larger overall problem here. From the lack of any kind of actual monologue to presenters that just kind of came out, gave their award, and peaced, I thought the show as a whole was seriously unfunny.

Exception: despite many critics and fans calling the opening segment tired, I liked seeing Franco and Hathaway appearing in some of this year’s nominees. I also enjoyed the autotune the movies video.

Exception to the exception: What the heck was up with the segment ending with a Back to the Future shoutout? SO random!

  • There were many a missed opportunity

When Anne Hathaway started her not-so-thinly veiled version of “On My Own” directed at former Oscar host Hugh Jackman, tell me, was I the ONLY ONE that thought the viewing audience would be treated to a fantastical duet? I hope not, because that would’ve been awesome. And then to follow that non-starter with James Franco coming out in drag for no reason except “you got to wear a tux, so I’m wearing this dress,” I just thought there were missed opportunities to bring the funny back (see number 1).

  • There was an awkward flow to the show

Now, this isn’t anything that I feel was specific to this show, but I just thought that the whole paying homage to Hollywood in year’s gone by was a little bit confusing. It felt somewhat out of place to randomly mention movies and briefly show them on the big screen, and then transition into the awards that maybe that movie had won before, or maybe not. I wasn’t a fan of that.

  • There were no surprises in any of the awards

No upsets, no real surprises, nothing unexpected; as far as OMG moments, this show was unfortunately lacking. Despite Melissa Leo dropping the Oscars first f-bomb in its history, the Oscars were, well, boring. This aspect could’ve been offset if there had been stronger hosts…which takes me to:

  • Bring back the comedians/actors who can actually host!

No offense to Anne and James BUT…they just didn’t cut it. They’ve both shown that they have the capability to be funny actors, but this wasn’t an acting job (thought at times you couldn’t exactly be sure of that…was Anne “acting” super peppy and Franco “acting” aloof and uninterested?, or…not) and they both came across as not exactly what you expected or particularly wanted in hosts.

Hopefully, next year’s Oscar telecast can bring the viewers back, by spicing it up and bringing back the funny.

Do you think you’ll tune in next year? Who do you think should be asked to host the 2012 show? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Oscar says…You’re Invited!

9 Feb

If you haven’t seen, ABC has been pimping out the below Oscar promo videos pretty hard lately. Playing up to the “You’re Invited” tagline, which, incidentally, is the first time in its 83 year history that the Oscars has actually had a tagline, the spots show the “behind the scenes” prep going on as Anne Hathaway and best actor nominee James Franco get ready to host the show in just over 2 weeks.

Personally, I think these are great attempt to inject a little bit of both Hathaway and Franco’s personality into the hosting gigs. Who doesn’t love a good thwarted wardrobe malfunction?

What do you think of the promos and the tag line? Do these make you any more likely to tune into the telecast, even just to see how the opening goes? Do tell!