Thursday, July 28, 2016

Phil sees THE LEGEND OF TARZAN in 3D from Warner Bros. Pictures - July 12, 2016

When author Edgar Rice Burroughs published "Tarzan the Ape Man" in 1912, I don't think even he would know just how much of an impact his creation would have on both pop culture and society. Burroughs wrote the first 24 novels, chronicling all the action and adventure of the legendary Ape Man. In 1918, the first film adaptation of Tarzan was released but it wasn't until MGM's TARZAN THE APE MAN starring the five-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller that he really became popular. Over the past 105 years, Tarzan has appeared in several different mediums: films, cartoons, television shows, comic books, video games, stage productions, radio and, of course, novels. Now Warner Bros. Pictures have released their take on this legendary character in their newest film THE LEGEND OF TARZAN directed by David Yates and starring Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, John Hurt, and Jim Broadbent.

Theatrical Movie Poster
The film's official synopsis: It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side.Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.

Let me start off by say that I am a little torn here. First, it was action packed, had a great script, fantastic acting, cool special effects, intense drama and contained the spirit of Burroughs' creation. Alexander is the perfect Tarzan, one of the best interperpitation of the character in years. Hollywood's current "It" Margot Robbie (THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, FOCUS, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT and the upcoming DC Comics film SUICIDE SQUAD) shines as she brings her version of Jane: strong, tough, ballsy and not afraid to speak her mind. Mr. Samuel L. Jackson is still a bad ass and Christoph Waltz is perfectly cast as the evil antagonist Leon Rom, who will stop at nothing from accomplishing his assignment as well as kill Tarzan.

With everything I said that I loved about the film, there was a little bit of confusion that I confronted. There were a lot of characters and rivals that made it a little difficult to follow and keep track of. It takes place in Africa but it looked a little to dark and gloomy in some parts. The CGI animals for the most part were excellent but there were some scenes that looked really fake.

However, all nit picking aside, director Yates does a fine job of keeping the film moving at a well pace filled with action and character development. His previous output includes the last three HARRY POTTER films: THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PARTS 1 & 2. So he has proven that he can deliver the goods for those summer blockbusters that the studios depend on. Credit to writers Adam Cozard and Craig Bower for forgoing the normal Tarzan origin story that we've been told several times and crafting a script that shows the characters where they are now and what is going on in their lives currently.

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is a great action-filled summertime movie!! I really enjoyed it as I was transported back to my childhood, reminiscing of the old Saturday Morning Cartoon I used to watch and the old toys I used to play with. If you're a lifelong Tarzan fan, then your going to enjoy this film immensely! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended viewing!!

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is playing in both 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide, including the Century Greenback 16 in Sacramento. Check your local listing to see if it is playing at a theater near you.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show! 

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