Thoughtful, ambitious, and character-driven from start to finish, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a worthy sequel to 2011′s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
There’s so much to like about Chef, Jon Favreau’s return to small-scale film making after several years of working on big budget extravaganzas such as Iron Man and Cowboys and Aliens, that it’s hard to know where to start. But at its heart, Chef is a simple, intimate story of rebirth and reconnection between a father and his family, his creativity, and his own sense of self. Like a truly great gourmet dish prepared with heart and imagination, it’s many, many flavors blending together into something remarkable and worth experiencing.
Transcendence is a quietly intense and cerebral film that relies heavily on its visuals and the gravitas of its stars to hold audiences’ interest as it methodically unfolds. But its ambitions and its talented cast are not enough to overcome the shortcomings of faulty pacing and a muddled conclusion that leaves you wondering just what exactly the filmmakers were trying to say and what they were out to accomplish.
Along with the epic scope and apocalyptic imagery you might expect from a cinematic telling of the biblical story of Noah, director Darren Aronofsky brings tremendous humanity and depth of emotion to his interpretation of the story. It’s that commitment to depicting human feeling in the film that proves to be the most compelling aspect of Aronofsky’s work here, as brought to life by a dream cast of performers led by Russell Crowe, who delivers his most engrossing performance in years.
“I always said that he’d be the first to leave the group, and this is just another indication that I am right,” predicts Hilton.