Edinburgh Cinema

Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.

War for the Planet of the Apes

warfortheplanet-banner-700x292

War for the Planet of the Apes 22.07.17

Another slick, exciting offering from the Planet of the Apes franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes (WFTPOTA) is as tense a piece of story-telling as it is emotionally uninvolving afterwards. I left wondering not what happens next in this franchise, but why I felt so detached beyond the screening room doors.

It could be the heroes themselves, the apes. Their experience in WFTPOTA is a tragic one; as allegory it has echoes of Native American history, of a people/species wanting to exist at one with nature in the American wilds, while being pushed back by militaristic white men determined to wipe them out. There is an apparent effort on the part of the movie's producers to show the apes in a good light, as tender, gentle, loving, none more so than the franchise hero Caesar, played via motion capture by Andy Serkis. Yet in creating so worthy a figure, and so innocent a gathering of sympathetic victims, the franchise has also constructed something too simplistically deserving of our support. When a people/species are this innocent, you want them to survive, and then disappear happily ever after.

For the most captivating element of WFTPOTA is Woody Harrelson's brutal military leader, known simply as The Colonel. The best moments of the film involve Harrelson's engagements with Caesar; in particular, the scene in which The Colonel explains his motivation behind war against the apes is both moving and convincing, with personal tragedy at its core. Harrelson is so good, mixing effectively dark humour with a simmering anger, that I found myself wondering during the film why the superhero franchises haven't harnessed his maverick charms as a striking villain yet. Like so much of WFTPOTA, he has his arc and it is satisfying. I would even recommend this film on the strength of Harrelson's performance alone. As for the rest, it's a good action movie, but with little more to say from a franchise-based perspective, at least on this showing.

Dunkirk
David Lynch: The Art Life
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Thursday, 06 August 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

July 01, 2020

Silenced by The Scotsman

​ On 11 June, The Scotsman published a deeply hostile article against transgender rights and activism in an opinion piece about the JK Rowling furore by its deputy political editor Gina Davidson. After much distress, I wrote a counter article which The Scotsman quietly ignored, after they had offered to pass it on to their Comment Editor. I experie...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...
Joker
October 05, 2019

Joker

October 05, 2019

Joker

Joker The trailer did its work, flashing images of anomie and fury perfectly pitched for these unstable times of precarious working conditions, grievance and institutional indifference. For these same reasons, Joker , directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, has attracted pre-release criticisms like few other recen...
September 29, 2019

Resisting Whiteness event 2019

Resisting Whiteness one-day event, Edinburgh Returning for the second consecutive year, Resisting Whiteness came yesterday to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, providing an intense and inspiring series of panels, as well as a wonderful spoken word section, and a final segment based around the documentary short Invisible by internationally-acclaim...
August 21, 2019

Hearty by Emma Frankland

Hearty by Emma Frankland Raw and dripping with punk aesthetic, this one-woman-show's one-woman emerges in ripped tights and a T-shirt that paraphrases loudly the words of anti-trans theorist Germaine Greer: Lop Your Dick Off. My first impression of Emma Frankland is edgily uncertain and in awe, her Lady-Gaga-looks combined with Heath Ledger's mesme...
August 21, 2019

Pronoun, Pass, & Amnesty International

Transgender drama: Pronoun To be clear at the outset, this was the production of a youth theatre group, not a highly resourced team of experienced, professional career actors – although some of the performances left a powerful impression, and the show as a whole achieved some remarkable moments. Pronoun , written by Evan Placey, follows the transit...