An outsider’s take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe: ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (2011) (Movie review)

This blog series chronicles my first viewing of the complete MCU movie saga. I’ll examine each film under various categories that reflect popular discussion points. Next up is the fifth film, “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011):

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An outsider’s take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe: ‘Iron Man’ (2008) (Movie review)

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe pretty much owning the 2018 blockbuster calendar with three new releases, it seems like a good time to finally watch the series. I’ve caught some of it, but this blog series will chronicle my first viewing of the complete movie saga. I’ll examine each film under various categories that reflect popular MCU talking points. “Iron Man” (2008) kicks it off:

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Celebrating 50 years of ‘Apes’: ‘Battle for the Planet of the Apes’ (1973) (Movie review)

This series celebrates 50 years of the “Planet of the Apes” film franchise. Here, we look back at the fifth and final film in the original series.

“Battle of the Planet of the Apes” (1973) is not a particularly revered film, but it is perhaps the most influential within the “Apes” franchise. Caesar’s (Roddy McDowall) attempt to be a benevolent ruler of an ape society while dealing with threats within and without would be further explored in 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and 2017’s “War for the Planet of the Apes.” In a notable parallel, the bloodthirsty gorilla General Aldo (Claude Akins) is the first to break the sacred law that “ape shall not kill ape,” much like the second Caesar’s rival Koba in the newer films.

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Celebrating 50 years of ‘Apes’: ‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes’ (1972) (Movie review)

This series celebrates 50 years of the “Planet of the Apes” film franchise. Here, we look back at the fourth film in the original series.

The “Apes” series simultaneously moves into a more immediate nightmare scenario and a less personal sci-fi commentary with “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” (1972), which is a cinematographically black answer to George Lucas’ sterile, white “THX-1138” from a year earlier. In the final nighttime act of this film set in the future of 1991, apes turn on the human society that has molded them from pets (replacements for the dogs and cats wiped out in a 1983 plague) into smart slaves. A little too smart, as it turns out.

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‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and 9 other movies John wouldn’t mind seeing in Summer 2018

The idea of “summer movies” is already past its time, as “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” prove that “summer” is now year-round in the movie business. Still, old habits die hard – such as my annual Summer Movie Preview post. Here are one blatantly obvious and nine not-so-obvious films on the summer schedule that I wouldn’t mind seeing:

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Celebrating 50 years of ‘Apes’: ‘Escape from the Planet of the Apes’ (1971) (Movie review)

This series celebrates 50 years of the “Planet of the Apes” film franchise. Here, we look back at the third film in the original series.

“Escape from the Planet of the Apes” (1971) is proof that you can’t stop sequels from being made. According to the “Behind the Planet of the Apes” documentary (1998), Charlton Heston came up with the idea of not only killing off Taylor, but also blowing up the Earth at the end of “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1970), so as not to be dogged by yet another sequel. But a year later, the third film came out, propelled by a solution that was already present in the saga: time travel. Only this time, it’s in reverse, as Zira (Kim Hunter) and Cornelius (Roddy McDowall, back after a one-film absence) – fleeing the gorillas’ world of war — travel from 3955 to 1970s Los Angeles.

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