Only one new wide release will try to get its paws on you this weekend, but a pair of smaller indies offer very enticing outside-the-box options.
Three years ago, little-known director Rupert Wyatt rebooted the ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise with ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘, which took the advanced primates back to the moment of their evolutionary turn. For the sequel, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘, ‘Cloverfield’ and ‘Let Me In’ director Matt Reeves has taken the helm. The prequel-sequel is set ten years later, after the majority of the human population has been wiped out. James Franco’s character has not returned, but Andy Serkis reprises his role as the alpha ape Caesar. In ‘Dawn’, Caesar comes across a group of surviving humans trying to revive San Francisco and humanity. Neither the apes nor the humans trust one another, but quickly learn that they need each other despite the lingering tension. Human co-stars include Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and a couple of Reeves’ friends: Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
IFC has placed Richard Linklater’s new film on five screens. ‘Boyhood‘ is an experimental 166-minute drama that Linklater filmed over a 12-year span with the same cast. Typically, something with a synopsis like that might be a documentary, but not in this case. The story follows a young boy through meaningful moments in his childhood. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette play the parents of this relatively new young actor. The grand idea behind this picture has piqued my interest.
Shortly after appearing together in ‘Need for Speed’, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots re-team alongside Pierce Brosnan and Toni Collette for the adaptation of Nick Hornby’s ‘A Long Way Down‘. The ensemble dramedy assembles their characters on a fateful New Year’s Eve when the four randomly meet on a London rooftop, each there with the goal of committing suicide. The movie follows them through highs and lows as they lift one another up and collectively find their wills to live. Sam Neill and Rosamund Pike co-star. We lovers of Hornby’s books and films (and TV show) ought to be excited for this release.