Friday, August 5, 2011

Before the Fall: 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

Caesar (Andy Serkis) is the chimpanzee that Will Rodman (James Franco) brings home to live with him in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." Photo from 20th Century Fox.

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes," the prequel to "The Planet of the Apes," centers around the experiments that lead to the domination of primates over humans. James Franco heads a cast including, John Lithgow, as a scientist who creates something very unexpected. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" opens nationwide today. See trailer at:

Brian Cox, David Oyelowo, Freida Pinto, James Franco, John Lithgow, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Rupert Wyatt, Tom Felton, Gun Hill Road, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Esai Morales, Harmony Santana

Opening exclusively in New York today (next Friday in Los Angeles) is “Gun Hill Road,” the feature film debut of Rashaad Ernesto Green. “Gun Hill Road” had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and closed out NewFest: NY’s Premier LGBT Film Festival last month. (See:

Harmony Santana, Esai Morales and Judy Reyes in "Gun Hill Road." Photo by Mykwain Gainey.

Though multi-layered, at the heart of the film is Latin machismo. Enrique Rodriguez (Esai Morales) returns home after two years in the big house to a changed family. The biggest change is in his son, Michael (Harmony Santana), who has morphed into Vanessa.

Believing that Michael's behavior casts him in a bad light, the volatile Enrique is enraged and sets out to make a real Nuyorican man out of his son the only way he knows how. (See trailer at:

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is rated PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language; “Gun Hill Road” is Rated R for strong sexual content, profanity, violence).

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