Movie Mini-Reviews: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Slacker, Sin Nombre, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I didn’t get a chance to do full reviews of these movies, but I wanted to share my thoughts in “mini-review” form. My movie watching has been all over the place this month, but this particular batch is a pretty good one.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [1969, Hill]
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [1969, Hill]
This Newman/Redford collaboration rides heavily on their impeccable chemistry, with pleasing results. One of the original “buddy” movies, this follows the famous outlaws on the run to Bolivia after a train robbery goes wrong. Cheesy montages aside, this still holds up well today mainly due to the witty banter from the main characters. The legendary freeze-frame closing shot is a perfect cap to a fun ride. 8/10

Slacker [1991, Linklater]
Slacker [1991, Linklater]
The ultimate movie about nothing. Set in early 90s Austin, Texas, Slacker is presented as a series of vignettes and does not follow one character for more than a few minutes before moving onto someone else. Essentially a cast of local musicians and burnouts, the characters talk about anything and everything but have a penchant for the weird. The movie’s most famous scene shows a girl excitedly trying to sell a Madonna pap smear. Another follows around a conspiracy nutjob who rants and raves about aliens and trips to the moon. This is very much a love it or hate it type film, and I fall in the former category. 9/10

Sin Nombre [2009, Fukunaga]
Sin Nombre [2009, Fukunaga]
A young man goes on the run from a Central American gang that is looking to retaliate for the death of one of its leaders. Director Cary Fukunaga spent two years researching this film by staying with real gang members in order to make this as authentic as possible. At times, the movie does indeed feel like a documentary, with the end result being a very moving experience. The story is a familiar one, and is predictable as a result, but this is a very well-made movie that deserves a bigger audience. 8/10

Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011, Wyatt]
Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011, Wyatt]
A summer blockbuster that turned out better than anyone could have imagined. James Franco and Andy Serkis (as Caesar, a chimpanzee) are great in their roles, particularly Serkis, who has been the recipient of multiple petitions to get him recognized during this awards season. More character depth for some of the supporting cast (particularly John Lithgow as Franco’s Alzheimer’s-suffering father) would have been nice, but the CGI is top-notch and the characters are easy to like. A strong reboot of the typically lackluster Apes franchise. 8/10

What do you guys think? Have you seen any of these movies?

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13 thoughts on “Movie Mini-Reviews: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Slacker, Sin Nombre, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

  1. Castor says:

    Ah I see you watched Sin Nombre and liked it 😀 Really solid movie and Fukunaga does a good job of sidestepping any political controversy and simply portray the plight of so many immigrants just trying to find a better life.

  2. Matt Stewart says:

    Planet of the Apes just didn’t do it for me… after long thought I don’t think I could rate it higher than 6/10. Everyone seems to love it, maybe I just need to focus more and watch it again!

    Butch Cassidy is so far from perfect, but it is still a classic nonetheless. Love it!

    Good mini reviews 😀

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Matt. I wouldn’t fret too much about Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It’s a good summer blockbuster movie, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it still wouldn’t crack my top ten of the year.

  3. John says:

    Butch Cassidy is a dear favorite around my parents’ house, so I grew up watching it quite a few times. The cool thing about George Roy Hill is that if you watch his other movies, they all have that “fun” vibe.

    I was floored by Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in a good way. When I first saw the trailer, I rolled my eyes. But then it started getting one good review after another. It wound up being my favorite movie of the summer.

    • Eric says:

      Totally agree about Rise, John. That trailer was horrible, and it was the single reason why I didn’t bother seeing the movie in the theater. I think I prefer X-Men as far as the summer movies go, but this would certainly be up there.

  4. Chris says:

    Glad you enjoyed Slacker, Linklater is a bit hit and miss as a director in my opinion, but that was most definitely a “hit” in my book. If you enjoy dialogue movies, he is your man.

    Have a great Feb, Eric ( :

    • Eric says:

      I can get behind that about Linklater. I really, really did not like School of Rock, but I love Dazed and Confused, Slacker, and the parts of Waking Life I have seen.

      Thanks for stopping by, Chris!

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