Will the monkeys do good business?

This week’s releases include War for the Planet of the Apes and not much else

North by Northwest: See it before it’s too late!
  • North by Northwest: See it before it’s too late!

Like Scott Marks, the other film critic here at the Reader, I thought the first two films of the rebooted Planet of the Apes series were excellent. Which is why I was so saddened to read of his disappointment in the latest installment.


War for the Planet of the Apes 1.0

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And here it basically has the weekend to itself. I mean, unless you want to watch teenagers die in Wish Upon. That’s it for major motion pictures, though the Digital Gym has the Sundance Short Film Series and the ballet doc Restless Creature.

So much for the new releases. How about some old ones? Starting today, Landmarks’ Ken Cinema is showing “a different cult/classic each day,” and there’s a reason for that slash: two of the films are so cult that Reader critic emeritus Duncan Shepherd doesn’t even have a review for them. Happily, Marks stepped in to slap some stars on Two for the Road. Kenji Mizoguchi’s influential Ugetsu isn’t so lucky.

As for the five that did wind up in Shepherd’s fold, one (Maurice) is definitely cult and one is most likely in there because Roger Moore recently departed for the great casino in the sky. The other three are classics, but that’s not to say that our man covered them all with praise. I’m guessing Stalker ran up against its own runtime in his estimation. As for North by Northwest and Touch of Evil — if you haven’t seen them, do so. Both will reward you for seeking out the big screen.

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Two for the Road deserves its 5 stars. I saw it when it first was released, and it's a delightful masterpiece from the transcendent Stanley Donen. Don't miss seeing this one.

Good movies for such a no-movie week. :-)

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