Let’s talk about movies: The War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) and their planet cannot longer bear another movie

November 12, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

Rating: 6.8/10

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Written by: Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves

Genre: Action, adventure and science fiction

MPAA PG-13 (Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.)

Starring: Andy Serkis (as Caesar), Woody Harrelson (as Colonel), Karin Konoval (as Maurice), Steve Zahn (as Bad Ape) and Amiah Miller (as Nova)

Running Time: 140 minutes

If my memory serves me correctly, I think this is the second time in less than a month that a reader tells me that my movie rating is lower than other film critics’. The reason might be the fact that when we are getting old, we take one of these two possible paths: One acts leniently or becomes a grumpy man. In the field of movies, at least, I strongly believe that it is much better to take the second path than to be called “soft”. Therefore, what we see with our grumpy eyes in The War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) was an extension of the former films, no room to find something new for those with a discerning palate, which led to sharpen and sharpen to a point that the movie ended up as blunt as a knife.

In order to avoid being called “grumpy” three times in a row, I will start praising how well visual effects were used in this film. I have never been a friend to computer-generated characters, which in my opinion instead of being used as supporting material by directors, end up being the main core of their production, partly because many of them cannot work well with reality. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) turned visual effects into something so natural, which can be appreciated in the scenes of the forest. I take my hat off to Matt Reeves for that. Reeves also handled very well the contrast between the title of his film and the plot: In fact, we were not in front of 140 minutes of belligerent actions as the title might suggest, but an “emotional war”: Caesar (Andy Serkis) fighting for peace and future for his group while also dealing with his own feelings of hate and vengeance for what happened to his family or Colonel (Woody Harrelson), burdened by the bad memories of what he did to his son.

Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) brings humor and the relationship between the apes and Nova (Amiah Miller), the little girl infected by a virus that led to a complete loss of the ability to speak, showed dramatically “the human side” of the apes that makes all of us, human beings, look like animals. As for Caesar, a lot of words are not necessary. To act behind a costume might be easy, to do it well is only for great actors. What Caesar (Andy Serkis) did with the expression of his eyes only is great enough to make you want to lick your fingers as if you were eating fried chicken. If Caesar was great in Rome, this Caesar was too, but in the jungle.

If I am praising the movie a lot, why was the rating so low? As I said in the first paragraph: I am getting a grumpy critic and this kind of writers will never evaluate very high a plot with a predetermined ending, a plot in which Caesar at the end of the film looks like a Moses who cannot enter the “Promised Land of the apes”. These are, in my opinion, the two critical points of this movie and if you pay attention to them, you will find only one thing in both points: Repetition, more of the same.

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

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From dream to freedom (part 2)

November 5, 2017

By Eddy Montilla

(Taken from Real stories told as fiction)

“I wanted to be an unpretentious writer or a good journalist.” He said in hushed tones. Today, I do not even write a letter of the alphabet, but numbers: How many lunch boxes I have prepared and how many boxes more are waiting for me until I can finally go to my room to take a rest for the next day because it’s not letters, but figures what ensure my subsistence: Less than 15 lunch boxes made, and my salary, already a pittance, is reduced; less than 10 and I will lose this job, the bane of my life, my Sysiphus masquerading as a saviour.

Victor continued thinking about his life and took without noticing his numb hands off the table with rotating movement that put in front of his eyes in small intervals the plastic containers and the different foods he had to package. The lunch boxes to be prepared every day were so many that he did not even look at the ten numbers outlining the steps to be taken. His work had become an almost daily routine and so had his life. A tear that never flew from his eyes for being deemed as a sign of imminent defeat (or perhaps for his deep pride of man) could be seen last week when he was tidying things up in his narrow room and made with his hands the same numbered steps he usually takes at work to put the food into the boxes: Automation has reached its zenith and his soul too.

He took a deep breath and repeated the same thing: “I just wanted to be an unpretentious writer or at least a good journalist. That’s all I wanted to be.” He said while he gently touched and counted each of his calluses on the right hand with his left index finger and did not have to do the same action with the other callused hand just by doubling the number.

“De nan blosadi drepensus togoshi”? (Why on earth have you stopped working?)” His boss asked with a face that looked like a chained bulldog.

Victor began to tremble in fear for the question and to sweat for another reason. It was no wonder since he could never find any trace of human sensitivity in this man’s face or words. In fact, the only visible aspect was his voracious appetite for money and banality, clearly reflected on the very expensive and impeccable way he always dressed, on his continuous gestures whenever he tidied up his suit and, above all, on the way he watched all his workers from his well heated in winter and air-conditioned in summer office, a place he never left except for rebuking or firing someone.

“Sorry, sir. You are telling me to keep working, right?” Victor said, trying to guess in his boss’s face what he could not understand from his words. Victor did not think anything until his boss went back to his office, but this time with his hands on the table.

When the absurd becomes normal, you have to make radical changes or accept your failure. And what could be more absurd than a place where you can stop thinking, but never stop moving your hands? My ten fingers, my two hands are the only things of value to this man. (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Jesus’s ideas (3): about pain and suffering

November 3, 2017

By Eddy Montilla

JESUS

My elder brother fought with his classmates and other children of our neighborhood at times, many of them bigger and stronger than him. He came home with some bruises, but happier to show his “bravery”. The funny part is that he rarely went to the dentist: He was afraid of the needle and syringe. Another story. A Japanese student told me once that she wanted her parents to die free form pain. In both cases, the idea is the same: Regardless of nationality or creed, pain and suffering seem to be the biggest concern for people.

Examples come to our lives to learn from them and Jesus had a lot of examples and experience about suffering: From his mother’s wombs, he had to flee to escape death. He was born in a stable with animals and their faeces (even though this part it is not mentioned in the Bible, as far as I know, a stable is not characterized by its good smell). Besides, he was despised and misunderstood, tortured and killed, then, who could teach us better what pain is?

1. Tribulations are ordeals with rewards: Pain and suffering temper your spirit and thoughts. They give the experience that will make you stronger and wiser. If you are going through difficult times, remember that sooner or later a reward for you will surely come. Sometimes, people cannot understand or believe that because tribulations make them see only one side of the wall, the closest one: The pain they feel. Therefore, the pain does not let them see the other part behind the fence: What they will get at the end. But your pain and suffering will never go without reward. Think about the life of other people who have suffered like you or more than you: Nelson Mandela and his unjustifiable 27 long years in prison, Louis Braille, blind since he was 5 years old or John Paul II, carrying on his shoulders the burden of many years living with Parkinson’s disease. And now think about what they got at the end, their rewards: Thanks to Mandela, freedom and its value became something real rather than hope in his country and many other places in Africa. With Braille, the tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired was born and John Paul II was one of the most tireless messengers of peace that the world has seen in many decades. As for Jesus, you know already what happened: He was whipped and killed, but changed the world to a point that today we say BC and AD.

2. You are not alone in your dismal path and suffering: In a greater or less degree, we all suffer. The good thing is you are not alone not even when nobody is at our side because you will always find comfort and strength in those who also suffered in the past as you do now and overcame tribulations as you will do.

3. Pain and suffering open your door to great happiness at the end: Everybody receives something in life based upon his or her strengths and abilities. When we are right in the middle of the tunnel of our adversities and afflictions and the only light we see comes from those who seem to suffer nothing, we frequently ask ourselves: “Why me?” The answer is that you are stronger than them and if God put the same test on their shoulders, they would break into many pieces. Then, I cannot ask you to “be happy” with your adversities, but to see them from another perspective since they mean you are strong and because you are, overcome all your problems and after that, help others in their tribulations, those who are not as strong as you are. And, if you experience moments of hesitation, loss of strength and faith, charge your battery by reading what Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Curiosities: Do insects have nose?

October 16, 2017

By Eddy Montilla

No. We need air into the lungs to live and our nose does a great job about it by letting oxygen intake. Insects have a different breathing system. That does not mean, however, they do not breathe, but instead of the typical nose and snout that humans and some animals have, insects have openings called spiracles doing the same function by letting the entrance of air. Besides, insects usually use their feelers to “smell” and sometimes, hair that grows upon their bodies.

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Thought of the day: Easy way

October 15, 2017

By Eddy Montilla

Distance

Every single day you can see messages like these ones: “Learn any language in a month with this new and easy method!”, “To clean your toilet in seconds, just drop the tablet and flush it. That’s all!”. The easy way, when it does not have an efficient hard work as backup, leads to sloth, kills off your creative spirit and, in the end, it is far more expensive.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Curiosities: How many legs does a squid have?

October 14, 2017

By Eddy Montilla

None. To be more precise, rather than legs, this sea creature has arms, ten in total around its mouth if we include its two tentacles, longer than the rest, and used to capture its prey.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of Colin under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr).


Thought of the day: Perfection

October 13, 2017

By Eddy Montilla

Perfection, inside the human sphere, is unachievable. Our job is, therefore, to try to get as close as possible to it.

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