5/10 Movie Trip

5/10 Movie Trip

5/10 Movie Trip

Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul’s Trip to the Movies sits down with the cast of the new film Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. He also chats with Chaz Ebert, the author of “It’s Time to Give a FECK: Elevating Humanity through Forgiveness, Empathy, Compassion, and Kindness.”


The apes are back picking up where the last trilogy left off in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. It’s been centuries since Caesar passed away. The man-made virus has practically wiped out the human population and now the apes are the primary species. Much like the last few films, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes utilizes motion capture technology for the actors playing the apes, which happens to be most of the cast. Owen Teague plays Noa, a young chimpanzee who is prepping for a communal bonding ritual involving eagle eggs. This is important to gain his father’s respect. That all comes to an abrupt end when a different tribe of apes wreaks havoc on Noa’s community. That tribe, led by Proximus Caesar, is angry, vengeful, and violent. Kevin Durand does stunning work as Proximus Caesar. Noa sets out to find Proximus Caesar and along the way meets a young human girl named Nova (Freya Allan) and a wise old orangutan named Raka (Peter Macon) who wishes the ape communities would go back to the real teachings of Caesar.

-Tenth film in the Planet of the Apes franchise has seen a few iterations going back to the original film in 1968 with Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell.

-Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes comes under the direction of Wes Ball and writer Joshua Friedman make the wise choice to set this generations later than the Caesar Trilogy where there are few humans and the apes make up the majority of the species. The apes find it strange there was even a time when humans and apes interacted together.

-Wes Ball crams a lot into the beginning with Caesar’s death, a little adventure for Noa and his friends, and the attack on Noa’s tribe. It’s a bit messy with a lot of set up and world building throughout the first hour or so, and I questioned where this was all going as we watch Noa on his quest.

-The introduction of Peter Macon’s Raka was a warm welcome as he provided the story with a moral compass and wisdom to who Caesar was and the danger that’s now unfolding under Proximus Caesar who is the false king of the story. He’s manipulated his followers to believing in his teachings.

-Kevin Durand is ferocious as Proximus Caeser playing up the corrupt and dangerous precedence he sets on his apes. It’s a timely villain that should ring familiar. Durand and Macon have a great handle on the acting with the motion capture technology allowing the character and emotion to come through.

-The climax is pretty terrific to watch with the final showdown between Noa and Proximus Caesar, but it takes a long time to get there. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is visually stunning as the motion capture technology continues to evolve with every film.

-There are pacing issues, and I’m not whole heartedly convinced this story was the right one to justify making another Apes film so quickly after the Caesar Trilogy.


“It’s Time to Give a FECK: Elevating Humanity through Forgiveness, Empathy, Compassion, and Kindness” by Chaz Ebert

-The book is now available from Simon & Schuster

-A wonderful, easy to read self-help style book. Ebert includes section for journaling your thoughts and exercises to put into practice.

-The section on forgiveness hits hard as she opens up about lessons she learned from Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela and their journeys to forgiveness.

-Ebert shares stories and lessons she learned from her late husband and iconic film critic, Roger Ebert. They believed that movies can be an amazing entry point into gaining empathy for other people who may not be like us.

Chaz’s bio: Chaz Ebert is the CEO of Ebert Digital LLC, publisher of the preeminent movie review site RogerEbert.com; also legal adviser and TV and movie producer at Ebert Productions. For twenty-four years, she shared a life with Pulitzer Prize-winner Roger Ebert. In their work to foster empathy through cinema, they established the Ebertfest Film Festival and the Roger Ebert Center for Film Studies at the University of Illinois. Chaz has passionately continued to lead all events while nurturing film critics, filmmakers, and technologists through the Roger Ebert Fellowship. She awards the Golden Thumb and Ebert Humanitarian Awards to filmmakers who exhibit an unusually compassionate view of the world. 

Chaz has been featured on Oprah, CBS Sunday MorningThe Tonight Show with Jimmy FallonMorning Joe with Joe Scarborough, ABC, CBS, and NBC; and in the New York TimesChicago Sun-TimesChicago TribuneLos Angeles TimesBoston GlobeVarietyThe Hollywood ReporterPeople, and EBONY magazine. Her civic passions include programs to help break the glass ceiling for women and people of color; and to provide education and arts for women, children, and families. As founder of #Day4Empathy, Chaz is celebrated for spearheading efforts for kindness-induced change. In her pledge to foster the FECK Principles, she has also become a sought-out lecturer who has touched thousands of attendees at film events. Two special recognition awards include the 2010 Spirit of Compassion Award from Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation and the 2011 Gilda’s Club Chicago, Red Door Honoree. She was also honored with the 2022 FACETS Legend Award, 2022 Ruby Dee Humanitarian Award, 2011 Focus Achievement Award from Women in Film Chicago, and the 2019 Laureate of the Beethoven Spirit Award.