REVIEW: Latest ‘Apes’ Film Is A Compelling Piece Of Cinema Worth Seeing

The “Planet of the Apes” franchise that was resurrected in 2011 concludes in marvelous fashion with “War for the Planet of the Apes.” This recent installment isn’t just one of the best movies of this summer, but one of the best films of the entire year so far.

The film’s setting is 15 years after the initial incident where the leader Caesar led a group of intelligent apes away from San Francisco to create their own home. Through a series of events since then, especially those that took place in the 2014 picture, the apes are now in a battle for survival with the remnants of human military personnel.

The film picks up with Caesar (Andy Serkis) extending the olive branch to the military, with the hope that peace can be reached. However, it’s soon learned by Caesar that it’s impossible after the military, led by a man simply known as Colonel (Woody Harrelson), strikes with a devastating attack on the apes’ home. As a result Caesar goes on a quest for revenge while also trying to ensure his peoples’ survival.

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REVIEW: Second ‘Alien’ Prequel Hampered By Foolish Characters, Faux-Intellectualism

Director Ridley Scott has once again ventured into “Alien” prequel territory, but like the 2012 picture “Prometheus,” his new sci-fi “Covenant” has too many flaws and doesn’t come close to the level of the 1979 horror film.

Scott’s latest endeavor in the genre tells the tale of a colony star ship on course to set up a society on a remote planet. Their trip to this new planet, which has been properly vetted and researched to ensure that it’s completely safe, hits a snag, though, when a space phenomenon causes a malfunction.

Not only does this result in awakening the crew from their hyper sleep, it also causes the death of their initial captain. In the immediate aftermath while the crew is checking the status of the ship, which is carrying roughly 2,000 passengers, they discover a signal being sent from a remote planet that’s closer than the one they’re going to that has breathable air and water.

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REVIEW: ‘The Circle’ Is A Directionless Waste Of Talented Performers

It’s always surprising and disappointing seeing a film squander a plethora of talent in its cast. “The Circle” is one of those types of movies.

The picture centers on a young woman named Mae (Emma Watson) who gets a job at the world’s leading computer technology/social networking company, the Circle. Headed by a pair by the names of Bailey (Tom Hanks) and Stenton (Patton Oswalt), the Circle operates at a massive facility that largely provides anything that a person could really want.

As Mae settles into her new role, though, she starts to notice some things that seem off. This thought process is only increased when she comes into contact with a lead developer named Ty (John Boyega), who informs her of some shady operations. At the same time, though, Mae also becomes a person of interest as she starts coming up with new ideas that actually benefit the company.

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REVIEW: ‘Phoenix Forgotten’ Had A Nice Premise, Poor Execution

UFOs, aliens and government cover-ups can all be pretty entertaining stuff. When a film just uses that premise for a rather generic found footage flick, though, it can be rather dull.

“Phoenix Forgotten” is such a film.

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REVIEW: Story Twist In ‘Passengers’ Causes Space Romance To Crash

“Passengers” could have been a good movie, but a lot went wrong here.

In “Passengers,” Chris Pratt plays the character Jim Preston, an engineer and mechanic who’s taking a voyage on the space ship Avalon. The craft, filled with 5,259 people, isn’t making just a day trip, though, as its entire journey from Earth to a new colony is 120 years long. Everyone on the ship are in a state of hibernation, but unfortunately, Jim’s sleeping chamber malfunctions and he wakes up 90 years early.

As a result of this, Jim tries to fix his pod to get back to sleep, but it proves unsuccessful and his efforts to contact any of the crew, also in hibernation, prove futile. His crisis is only deepened by the intense loneliness he feels as the months aboard the ship drag on. That is until he comes in contact with another passenger, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) through a series of events.

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REVIEW: ‘Arrival’ Is A Remarkable Sci-Fi Epic Thanks To Its Wonder And Intrigue

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we like to call a thinker.

“Arrival” stars Amy Adams as Dr. Louise Banks, a professor who is the leading world expert on language studies. Those skills are nearly immediately put to the test in the film’s first act when multiple space crafts come into Earth’s atmosphere and land in random places across the planet.

In response, Banks and another scientist, Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), are brought in by the military to establish communication with the aliens. However, as the two researchers begin doing just that, tensions from world armies begins to increase on how to deal with the UFOs.

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REVIEW: ‘Star Trek’ Series Returns To Form With ‘Beyond’

It looks like third time’s the charm.

“Star Trek: Beyond” takes place about three years after the last film, “Into Darkness.” The USS Enterprise is now three years into a five year mission of exploration. While the ship is functioning and the crew is handling the adventure OK, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is starting to grow a bit weary.

His musings on life as a captain in deep space are cut short, though, when the Enterprise responds to a person in distress and in the process, is led into a trap. Ultimately, the ship gets grounded on an unknown planet and the crew is separated.

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REVIEW: ‘Independence Day’ Sequel Doesn’t Capture First Film’s Magic

Talk about jumping the shark.

“Resurgence,” the follow-up to the 1996 mega-blockbuster, takes place 20 years after the events of the first film. By reverse-engineering alien technology, the human race has created new defensive machinery and the nations of the world have united to defend against another attack.

The story picks up around the time of the 20 year anniversary of the first war and audiences are immediately introduced to a new cast of fighter pilots who help Earth’s defenses. At the same time, though, characters from the previous film are featured, like David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), the tech genius who helped upload a virus on the mother ship and now serves as the expert on all things aliens.

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REVIEW: ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Highlighted By Acting, Claustrophobic Atmosphere

Since it’s right in the title, I’ll address the elephant in the room first. For those thinking this might be a sequel to the 2008 giant monster movie “Cloverfield,” you’re out of luck. The J.J. Abrams produced “10 Cloverfield Lane” has nothing to do with the creature that attacked New York City and does not serve as a sequel.

Instead, this film acts as a sort of anthology successor, maintaining the same mysterious tone of other Abrams’ pictures while still being its own film.

The movie starts off with a quick introduction of the protagonist, Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who has decided to leave her fiance. On the way out of town, though, she is caught in a car accident on the highway.

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