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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