Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New Releases for 8/5/11
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
(PG-13)
Starring: James farnaco, Frida Pinto John Lithgow, Andy Serkis, Brian Cox
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Those of you who recall the Charleton Heston Planet of the Apes with fondness, should revel in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a technologically superior prelude to those events. Andy Serkis dons his dotted performance-capture suit to create Caesar, a rescued lab chimp raised by humans. Graced with super intellect, Caesar is angered by all the zoos, circuses and laboratories our primate cousins have had to endure. And since apes and monkeys are stronger, faster, and even more violent than human beings, given the opportunities…
The sequence on the Golden Gate Bridge could become as iconic as the one with the Statue of Liberty in the first film.
3 and 1/2 pieces of apes in charge toast

The Change-up (R)
Starring: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Ollivia Wilde, Leslie Mann, Alan Arkin
Directed by: Davis Dobkin
You shouldn’t expect much from an R-rated sex comedy that has TV ads filled with bathroom noises (and, presumably, odors). The set up is that a sedate family man trades places with a swinger because of wish granted when they urinated in the same fountain at the same time. (I’m not making this up). The sudden shift results in lots of cringing moments for the audience as the guys inside the other guy’s body has to cope with the realities of parenthood, marriage and the singles dating scene.
1 and 1/2 pieces of Judd Apatow gone too far toast

The Trip (NR)
Starring: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan
Directed by: Michael Winterbottom
In the spirit of “Borat,”  two masters of the improv remain in character like Hope and Crosby in a “Road to…” style film where the actors take a trip to Britain’s lake country to sample restaurants for a magazine article. One guy plays a recently divorced womanizer, the other a new father with a loving wife. The characters they encounter along the way seem like real people, but they are actors too. This moveable feast is funny as heck, but if you can’t understand a northern British accents, you can wait for the video and either put on subtitles of turn the volume up to 11.
3 pieces of British imrov toast

NEW ON DVD

Rio (PG-13)
Starring the voices of: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Fox, George Lopez
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha
During WW2, the US government wanted its citizens to feel sympatico with our amigos south of the Border, so they made a deal with the Disney Studios to create a series of travelogues and animated films featuring Latin American characters and festivals. 1942’s “Saludos Amigos” starred Donald Duck and a parrot named Jose Carrioca as the host who introduced a series of mostly forgettable short films.  In anticipation of the Rio-based Olympics, and fresh from the “Ice Age” movies, Rio-born director Carlos Saldanha has a much more personal vision in this colorful and sprightly 3-D animated tale set in and around his hometown. The story follows a cerulean macaw named Blu who is kidnapped by smugglers and ends up in chilly Minnesota with a human girl named Linda.  Scientists tell Linda that Blu is the last male of his species, and so he has to travel down to Rio to mate with a macaw named Jewel. If you think the two won’t hit it off, raise your hand. If you think they will eventually fall in love, raise your hand again. Great flying sequences make this a must see in 3-D film.
3 pieces of 3-D makes this one better toast

Soul Surfer (PG)
Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Kerrie Underwood, Kevin Sorbo
Directed by: Sean McNamara
Bouyed by her faith, Bethany Hamilton is a rising star on the surfing circuit until a shark bites off her arm. Her life is saved through quick action by her dad and other surfers, but the prospect of “getting back on my board,” seem slim. However,  a good doctor, a can-do attitude and prayer combine to turn the impossible into not only possible, but incredible.
3 pieces of one-armed surfer girl toast