Must See Movie Releases of the Week (Oct. 24)

October is winding down, but the film release slate is strong for the week of October 24. This weeks Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and limited theatrical releases include some notable films and some under-the-radar.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES:

The recent Planet of the Apes franchise has been outstanding. Matt Reeves has taken this franchise to a new level, War is the proof in that. War is as complete of a movie as you can get in a trilogy. Naturally sequels tend to water down, but War may the best of the three. The evolution of Ceasar has been thorough and compelling. In the film, we see Ceasar as an established leader that’s grown older, but wiser. The apes are facing their biggest threat, a ruthless out-of-control Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Many apes will die, but it’s up to Ceasar to guide them to safety.

The cool thing about the Apes movies is that they have had a natural progression of the characters. They went from wild and semi-villainous, to being the ones you root for, while the humans have gradually turned into the villains. These movies have a lot of underlying messages. From political to the human treatment of animals. These are smart films. War is as emotionally impactful as it’s visually startling. Tears will be shed from the pure emotions that the story will make you feel. Whether this is the end of the franchise or a new start, War for the Planet of Apes is one of the best films of 2017. An absolute must-see blockbuster that feels a lot more like a finely crafted indie drama.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Blu-ray Special Features Include:

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves

–    Graveyard

–    Turncoats

–    Barrier Wall

–    “I Owe You One”

–    “A Great Man”

–   “Do Not Lose Hope”

–   Snowfall

–   The Colonel’s Speech

–   Malcolm and the Dinosaurs

–   “I Am Like Koba”

  • Featurettes:
  • “Waging War for the Planet of the Apes” – In-depth documentary on the making of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

–  “All About Caesar”

–    “WETA: Pushing Boundaries”

–    “Music for Apes”

–    “Apes: The Meaning of it All”

–   “The Apes Saga: An Homage”

  • Concept Art Gallery

MOVIE RATING: 9/10

BLU-RAY/DVD FEATURES: 9.5/10

War for the Planet of the Apes is out now on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD

Interview: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Directors Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth has a sequel. Unfortunately for us the weather is getting worse, but the movie sequel is just as educational and important, if not more, than the first. An Inconvenient Sequel’s filmmakers Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen stopped in Chicago on their press tour and I had a chance to speak to them. Joining me in the interview are Chicago film critics Jon Espino of The Young Folks and Pat McDonald of Hollywood Chicago. Two very good journalists that I enjoy interacting with. We were all part of the roundtable with Jon and Bonni and the following is what was discussed about the film, global warming and Al Gore. Check it out below:

“I question this all the time, having spent two years with Al Gore, is the work potentially more vital that he’s doing now than he could have done as president? It’s a better question to ask if he hadn’t done it, would anyone else have and where would we be?” — Bonni Cohen

MY TAKE:

I never know what the folks I interview will be like when I meet them, but I always tend to have an idea or image that sort of comes about before I meet them, even for a fleeting moment. In Jon and Bonni’s case, they were fairly similar what I imagined them to be. They were intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful and conversational. These are the sort of people you are drawn to listen to and hear talk about their experience and expertise. I found them to be that way.

I felt we all had solid questions for them. I liked how Jon snuck in a Star Wars mention, Jon directed Star Wars: Episodes 1 & 2, although there wasn’t much of an acknowledgement to Jon’s statement, oops. Someone was gonna bring it up and Jon was the one. I think the answer that might have surprised us most was that Jon and Bonni were married. None of us had any idea! They were so professional that you couldn’t tell. The content in movie wasn’t as surprising given the reality of the climate change, but them being a real life couple might have been the biggest reveal of the day. I wanted to follow-up and ask them how they manage to be on the road for two years with Gore and bring this film together, all while having two teenage kids to tend to. Can’t be easy.

As far as the movie itself, it’s great. One of those must-see documentaries that impacts EVERYONE on this planet. Global warming is a real problem, just look out the window and step outside and you’ll notice. The film clocks in at 98 minutes, but you’d never know due to the engaging effect it has. It draws you in and doesn’t let go.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is out now in theaters in Chicago and nationwide. Check your local listings.

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker