6:00 PM, 22nd October, 2011
As a child, Tom Popper never saw much of his adventurer dad, who spent most of his time travelling the world. Now, as an adult, Tom (Carrey) is a driven and successful realtor, who unfortunately has trouble keeping track of the important things in life – including his divorced wife (Gugino) and two children. When his father dies, he unexpectedly leaves Tom a crate containing a single penguin sent all the way from Antarctica. Due to a minor shipping issue, however, more penguins eventually arrive and before he knows it Tom has not just one, but six penguins on his hands. Tom soon finds that the cold creatures may be just the key to warming up his relationship with his family, and goes all out to turn his pristine Manhattan apartment into a snowy winter wonderland – all whilst attempting to juggle his job, a zoo official (Clark Gregg) bent on getting the birds and the possibility of even more penguins on their way.
Given the film’s subject matter and target audience, you’d expect Carrey’s performance to be more typically unrestrained; but he keeps it surprisingly low-key, instead allowing the spotlight to shine on his black-and-white scene-stealing co-stars. And just in case you were wondering, the penguins on-screen are in fact real Gentoo penguins; the film was shot on a refrigerated soundstage, with computer-generated counterparts only employed for trickier shots. With a level of dedication and heart that most films of the ‘family comedy’ genre distinctly lack, Mr. Popper’s Penguins makes for an enchanting time at the movies for you and your loved ones – avian or otherwise.
8:00 PM, 22nd October, 2011
In present day San Francisco, Will Rodman (Franco) has created a drug that helps the brain to repair itself, a potential cure for Alzheimer's disease. Excited at the possibilities, he begins conducting tests on apes, beginning with a single test subject named Caesar. Will takes Caesar home to monitor his progress and quickly discovers that the drug does more than just repair brains; it can improve them too. Caesar's brain mutates and increases his cognitive ability to that of human intelligence.
Upon presenting his findings, Will is forced to return Caesar to the company's labs for further testing, and the research then goes horribly wrong. Now suffering at the hands of his new carers, Caesar escapes from captivity and releases Will's drug to all the other apes at the facility. The mutation spreads rapidly amongst apes all across the city and, soon enough, they rise up to begin their revolution for supremacy, igniting a war between humans and the apes.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is not a continuation of the previous series of films but rather an origin story for a new series, and director Rupert Wyatt goes all out in order to ensure its success. He's aided by a diverse cast that includes John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Slumdog Millionaire's Pinto and Harry Potter's Tom Felton, in addition to Andy "Gollum" Serkis providing motion capture for Caesar the ape, and the result is a big-budget sci-fi spectacle that will appeal to fans of the original series and newcomers alike.