The Yards Review: The Understated Richness of James Gray’s Crime Drama

✯✯✯✯½

The Yards is a very personal statement from director James Gray, but it also shows where the American filmmaker’s delicate and painterly style has found itself more fully realized. It’s a personal testament for him, especially in its own setting within the train yards of New York City – but how the backdrop even plays a big factor in allowing something so grand and cathartic to come forward also says a lot for what the filmmaker can be like at his very best. This only being the American filmmaker’s sophomore film, The Yards is a very special sort of crime drama, one whose most beautiful moments have went completely understated, yet there’s always something to be drawn into. If there’s ever a more fitting description for the work of James Gray, you can already feel as if the core of what makes his films so beautiful is there, but maybe it’s not flashy – though I think they’re better off that way. And fittingly enough, I felt convinced enough that I had for the longest time been underestimating his work.

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War for the Planet of the Apes – Review

✯✯✯✯

I’m still unsure on what ground these new Planet of the Apes movies have any right to being nearly as good as they are. The first reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a pleasant surprise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had put good use to what had already been set in motion by its predecessor to create a broader canvas within its narrative, and now with War for the Planet of the Apes, it may very well be all coming to an end. With director Matt Reeves returning behind the camera, it was only fitting to expect more exciting results would come by and my expectations were met perfectly. Knowing that one story was already about to come and meet its own end, what Matt Reeves has formed in War for the Planet of the Apes was only the most fitting conclusion that this new Planet of the Apes franchise has received – enough for me even to say they might as well be a better series than the original films at that.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Review

✯✯✯✯

Right after Rise of the Planet of the Apes one already knew that the story would continue, and that’s where Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has come by. And if Rise of the Planet of the Apes only had come by in the same manner that any superhero origin story would have played out by setting up the tone for films yet to come, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes already has found itself more room to create a more distinctive identity. But being as I’ve never particularly been the hugest fan of the original film franchise, it’s nice to see that these new films are able to form an identity of their own for it takes me by surprise how much I enjoy them. These aren’t just mindless, disposable blockbusters that only find themselves living within the moment, these films leave behind an impact that calls out for far more – among many reasons I’m glad these new Planet of the Apes movies are around.

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