Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

July 15, 2014

CALLERI: Two documentaries and a visit to the new apes planet make moviegoing interesting

Niagara Gazette — “Walking The Camino: Six Ways To Santiago” follows six people participating in the famous 500-mile pilgrimage from St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees in France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain’s Galicia region where, legend has it, the remains of the apostle St. James The Great are entombed.

The revered church has attracted pilgrims since the Middle Ages, and hundreds of thousands of hikers have followed the well-worn trail through fields and mountains, villages and vast emptiness. The trek is also the subject of “The Way” from 2011, a good fictional movie directed by Emilio Estevez that starred his father Martin Sheen.

Lydia B. Smith’s beautiful documentary reveals that travelers take the month-long spiritual walk for various reasons. For one person, it’s a journey about faith. For another, it’s a meditative process. The film not only looks at the challenges of the hike – windy days, rugged nights, the rejection of personal hygiene – but it also offers a serene sense of contemplation.

We recognize that a pilgrimage is a suspension of comfortable living, and we understand why those who follow the trail discover something about themselves. Most come away from the walk feeling rejuvenated. From its stunning vistas to the lessons learned, “Walking The Camino” is, as one priest says, “pure medicine.” This is a unique and completely satisfying movie.

"Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" takes us 10 years beyond the events of "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes," released in 2011. This is the eighth feature drawn from the 1963 French novel by Pierre Boulle; some fresh and jolting, some silly and cheesy.

The original 1968 “Planet Of The Apes” is a deserved classic. Its unnecessary 2001 remake, starring an ineffectual Mark Wahlberg and misdirected by Tim Burton, is best treated as a bad memory.

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