Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 06

Warning: Spoilers for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (and all of the Apes films, for that matter) When Battle for the Planet of the Apes ended the franchise’s first cinematic run in 1973, it concluded the series with something of a whimper instead of a bang. While many of the original Apes sequels are enduringly fascinating in their expanding narratives, trenchant topicality and surprisingly bleak endings, they were also assembly line products rushed through production annually, with nearly each successive entry’s budget slashed in half – a series constructed on a model of diminishing returns. Most of the normal creative team were not available for the fifth entry, so The Omega Man’s married screenwriting team of John and Joyce Corrington were hired to helm Battle despite being unfamiliar with the series. After inter- and intra-species conflict, Battle ends with a flash-forward (a bookending device) showing a monument of Caesar (Roddy McDowall) with a tear going down his face as the orangutan Lawgiver (John Huston) tells his story of unifying man and ape. The ending has been criticized then and now for its cloying, unearned sentimentality – perhaps the fatigue of Vietnam made even this call for peace in a “family film” ring false only four short years after John and Yoko urged Americans to give it a chance – and it emotes without ever really saying anything. Is the Caesar statue crying over achieving peace, or with the knowledge that peace is only temporary? Inadvertently or not, the ambivalence of this final moment […]

read more...

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

A planet where apes evolved from men? Well, not exactly, if you follow the film versions of the Planet of the Apes series. Based somewhat on the fourth film in the series Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), Rise of the Planet of the Apes tells the story of how tinkering with genetic make-up of a species might just lead to humanity’s demise. Rise of the Planet of the Apes re-rebooted the more-than 40-year-old franchise and sets the stage for the much buzzed about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (we liked it a lot). It also gave an opportunity to show the nuance and artistry involved in performance capture, courtesy of Weta Digital and Andy Serkis For its initial Blu-ray and DVD release, director Rupert Wyatt sat down with his film and talked about the production in his stand-alone commentary. Along with some gushing over James Franco and an answer to the greatest meme of 2011 (“Why cookie rocket?”), Wyatt examines the technical side of the film as well as the performances for both human and non-human characters.

read more...

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Matt Reeves‘ upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (DOTPOTA, if you’re feeling saucy) is that the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes jumps ahead a whole decade, presenting an entirely new world that’s been ravaged by a bunch of things: Simian flu, human greed, and unbridled ape power. The first film ended with all hell just breaking loose, so to zip forward into, well, that actual hell, is pretty damn bold. But time jumps don’t necessarily work for everyone, and while we have no doubt that Reeves’ film will fill in the holes in a satisfying manner, sometimes you just want to see a little glimpse of everything that happened in the interim. Turns out, 20th Century Fox knows that, and the studio has teamed up with some young filmmakers to craft three short films that look at life in the Time of Ape at different increments — Year 1, Year 5, and Year 10 (just before Dawn of the Planet of the Apes kicks off). The three shorts, known collectively as Before the Dawn, are all live over at Vice (via /Film), along with a pretty terrifying look at some special apes who live in our own, non-movie world, but you can also check them out after the break. Let’s see what we’ve missed so far:

read more...

TRANSCENDENCE

In a misleading article on CNN.com this week, Americans were said to be “excited” and “upbeat” about the way technology will improve our lives in the future. The headline of the piece, though, claims it’s about Americans being “wary of futuristic science, tech.” The article reports the findings of a telephone survey that surprisingly wasn’t tied to the release of the movie Transcendence, which seems at first meant as a promotion of the real possibilities of artificial intelligence, mind uploading and nanotechnology. Misleading in its own way, the movie begins with optimism about advances in A.I. research and then by the end has shown us the dangers of a self-aware omniscient computer that can create super soldiers, controlled via wifi and repaired via tiny, quick-acting robots. Audiences don’t seem to be walking away from the movie actually wary of this futuristic science and tech, though, because it plays out so far from believable that at many moments viewers are straight-up laughing at the way both the plot and science progress on screen. But should the science of Transcendence be believed? And if so, should the movie have been more clear and genuine regarding the plausibility of what all occurs? 

read more...

IntroMadGenius

Crazy science is so embedded in movie-making that it’s been with us since the very conception of film with such classics as Frankenstein and Dr. Caligari. While the best stuff was almost exclusively from the time of black and white – the 1980s and beyond have seen their formidable share of folks with PhDs in crazy. See for yourself…a lot of mad doctorates have been handed out recently.

read more...

Judy Greer

What is Casting Couch? It’s a handy list of the day’s casting news. Today we’ve got a joyous confirmation and some intriguing possibilities, including some huge news about the A-list director Matthew McConaughey may be working with next. So far all of the casting news we’ve learned about Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has regarded actors coming on board to play human characters, but in an exciting twist we now we have a tidbit about who’s going to be putting on a motion capture suit to join Andy Serkis’ Caesar over on the ape side of the equation. Vulture is reporting that Judy Greer (Arrested Development, The Descendants) has joined the film in the role of Cornelia, the hairy dame who’s serving as a love interest for Caesar. If Greer’s long history of being solid in supporting roles isn’t enough to convince you that she’s qualified to pull off such an out there role, Vulture also has a scoop that she had Planet of the Apes-themed toppers on her wedding cake. So, you know, turns out she’s a weirdo. Sounds great.

read more...

Matt Reeves Directing

When it was first announced that 20th Century Fox was making a prequel to Planet of the Apes that would star James Franco and a CG ape, not too many people welcomed the news with a whole lot of optimism. But once Rise of the Planet of the Apes hit theaters, it ended up blowing most everyone who saw it away. Director Rupert Wyatt took a less than appealing idea for a movie and ended up telling the sort of affecting, personal story that tentpole blockbusters rarely end up pulling off. So it was kind of heartbreaking to learn that Wyatt wasn’t going to be returning for the sequel and Fox was looking at a shortlist of directors to replace him. It turns out things might not be as bad as they originally looked though, because ComingSoon is reporting that the studio has found their Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director, and at first glance he appears to be a perfect replacement. The guy is Matt Reeves.

read more...

Rupert Wyatt

While 20th Century Fox has yet to make an official announcement regarding the rumors that Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt will not be returning for the film’s sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, chatter continues to abound when it comes to the state of the project. The next level of such chatter now appears to lead directly to Hollywood’s version of letter to Santa: the “short list.” Deadline Hollywood reports that the studio has cooked up a short list of filmmakers they’d potentially like to see direct the next installment of their critical and commercial darling. That list supposedly contains names like Matt Reeves (interesting, considering that it was only yesterday that news got out that Reeves had to drop out of the Twilight Zone film due to scheduling conflicts), J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed, and the real head-scratcher of the bunch), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Jeff Nichols (a personal favorite), Guillermo del Toro, Juan Antonio Bayona, and Rian Johnson (though the outlet also reports that Johnson’s reps deny that he’s “in the hunt” for the gig). Talk about a mixed bag.

read more...

Future Alamo Drafthouse

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s about to be your deviant nightly gut punch of pure awesome. Pure. Awesome. Our evening begins with a look at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Some of you may be wondering, “why lead with something so local in a column that’s read in over 50 countries?” Because it’s relevant to our upcoming barrage of coverage from Fantastic Fest. You see, the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar is where Fantastic Fest lives. This year, it’s been repainted to look like it’s part of the movie Frankenweenie. Next year, it will look like the futuristic CineMecca you see above. The booking of flights for Fantastic Fest 2013 begins now, friends.

read more...

The past couple years have been a rocky road for Universal Studios. Long strings of costly box office flops like The Wolfman, Cowboys and Aliens, and Your Highness have not been completely balanced by their hits. Even this year, the success of The Lorax and Snow White and the Huntsman don’t completely wipe out the red numbers on the books from Wanderlust, The Five-Year Engagement, and most recently Battleship. Oddly enough, their DVD and Blu-ray releases of catalogue titles have been causing the most buzz. The studio’s 100th Anniversary Blu-ray releases of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and Jaws are making as much noise as their releases of Back to the Future and Jurassic Park box sets. Plus, Jurassic Park is getting a high profile re-release in 3D next summer. It only makes sense that the studio goes back to these popular franchises for a new hit. Deadline Isla Nublar is reporting that Universal has found writers for the long-awaited Jurassic Park 4. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who are best known for penning last summer’s prequel hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, will be tackling the script for the high-profile dinosaur adventure.

read more...

First he caused a worldwide viral epidemic, and now he’s aiding and abetting the threatening dominance of a bunch of super smart apes. This has got to be treason right? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!, The Bourne Ultimatum, not pictured above) will be writing the script for the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel for Fox. It’s a solid choice, not just for his abilities, but because the sequel is set to see humanity struggling with the now-sentient beasts and with a virus that threatens the end of the species. It’s just like what happened to the native Americans before the European settlers got here. It looks like the apes will let tiny infections do their mass dirty work for them. Storywise, this is a great solution for a difficult problem. After all, even if they’re incredibly smart, there’s no way that a few dozen apes could take over the planet from 7 billion humans. We’d be hunting them for sport in a matter of months. But if we’re obliterated by illness? It’s a different story. And won’t it be ironic when the apes are immune to the strain because of years of lab testing? Oh, cruel fate. Still, we should figure out whose side Burns is on here.

read more...

We all know the basic staples of the approaching end of days – zombies, aliens, nukes, robots, viruses, asteroids, global warming – all those good things. When a movie uses one of these go-to death-day scenarios we can’t help but to shell out the cash to watch it all go to hell on the big screen. However it takes some real brainpower to pull away from these apocalyptic norms, and when a movie does come along toting some hip new way for us all to die – even if said movie doesn’t pan out – you have to respect their willingness to get creative. Here are some movies that took a chance and gave us an end we’d never see coming.

read more...

Boiling Point

The 84th Academy Awards have come and gone: let the bitching begin! As someone who is more of a genre fan than anything, I’ve never really cared too much about the Oscars, but that sure as hell doesn’t prevent me from complaining about them. Granted, over the years, some great films have won. I’m a big fan of Unforgiven and I dug Shakespeare In Love. I just think far too many good films are ignored in favor of “Oscar movies.” I can’t say that I was particularly impressed with any of the films nominated this year, but there were a few categories were I feel like the little golden man statue when to the wrong film. Luckily, the internet exists and I can complain about it!

read more...

Lynn Collins in John Carter

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that decided to celebrate President’s Day in honor of its favorite United States President, Ulysses S. Grant. The beard on that motherf**ker… We begin tonight with some stuff about John Carter, a film that has been awash with a diverse array of opinions this past week, most of which came from a number of pundits who had not yet actually seen the movie. “I heard that John Carter is a mess,” they’ve said, in more sensational and agenda-driven words. Tonight the record has been set straight. Disney lifted the Twitter embargo on those who attended last weekend’s press junket and some more level-headed opinions have entered the world. According to Devin Faraci, “Hopefully the internet will be able to put aside binary ‘It sucks/It rocks’ stuff and look at John Carter as a movie w/ good and bad aspects … The best parts of John Carter are Woola and Dejah Thoris. A generation will be ushered into puberty by Lynn Collins.” Also, someone named @Rejects said, “I was told that I could now tell you that I liked John Carter. I’m no puppet, but I follow the rules sometimes. So yeah, Carter ain’t bad … Some truly vivid and massive special effects work, some kickass aliens and a needlessly imperfect rhythm. But fun.” Both are highly credible sources. One is me.

read more...

Culture Warrior

For the first time in recent memory, I’m going into Oscar Sunday having no idea who is likely to take home many of the major awards. I’m sure there are entire websites out there devoted to an accurate prediction of who and what will take home the gold on Sunday, but there seems something a bit different about this year. Of the nine films nominated, I don’t have a clear sense of what would be the top five had AMPAS not changed the number of entries in the top category. While The Artist may clearly have more of a chance than, say, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, there’s no grand battle between likely leads like there was between The King’s Speech and The Social Network last year. And I don’t think I’m alone in stating that this year’s uninspiring list of nominees seems to reflect a growing indifference against the ceremony itself. Sure, on Sunday, like I have every year since I was eleven years old, I’ll watch the entire ceremony from beginning to end. And, like every year since I was twenty-one years old, I’ll make fun of the pompous and excessive self-congratulatory nature of the proceedings. But while in most years I have had some skin in the game, besides the two nominations afforded to the excellent Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and the presence of the transcendentally excellent Pina in the Best Documentary Feature category, this year I didn’t even get a sense that the Academy was awarding […]

read more...

Culture Warrior

The performance was so compelling, and the digital handiwork so real, that critics believed it would be a huge oversight if the Academy didn’t find a way to recognize this historical milestone. Audiences were compelled and engrossed with a CGI creature whose features and expressions were so detailed that he seemed to integrate seamlessly with his flesh-and-blood cohorts on the silver screen, occasionally even going so far as surpassing them in terms of the quality of his performance. The character was Gollum, the film was The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and the performer was a talented but then little-known British actor named Andy Serkis. Almost a decade since, Serkis has since found his rightful place as the premier motion capture performer working in Hollywood, but he is still yet to be recognized by the Academy for his work. I imagine that the debates over his snub for Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes will surmise yet again with another standout performance, just as this year’s debate closely resembles the one contested over Gollum nine years ago.

read more...

Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie and entertainment news column that, now that it’s a year old and feeling mature, is looking to bring you only the best links of the day. Think of it as your one-stop-shop for the best of the entertainment web. If you didn’t see it here, it probably wasn’t that good. If we missed it, just email it to neil@filmschoolrejects.com and we’ll consider it for tomorrow. We do this every night. We begin tonight with a new shot of Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man as a funeral-going Gwen Stacy. She’s looking quite sad. I wonder who died. Oh right, they are telling the origin story of Spider-Man again. I know who’s going to die.

read more...

The Best Films of 2011

It has come time once again to move from celebrating the worst, most annoying and most discussed films of the year — something we do at the front of our Year in Review for a reason — and start celebrating those films that have earned places in our hearts, celebrating all the best of 2011, a year that, on the whole, wasn’t such a bad year at the movies. And once again I’m honored to present my top picks of the year, as the Publisher of Film School Rejects. It’s not a vanity thing, but more of a tradition. Since the site’s inception, I’ve always presented my best of the year as The Editor’s Picks. And while I’m honored by this opportunity and enjoy it immensely, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably waiting with bated breath for what will come later in the week when we release The Staff Picks. Because they are the ones who are really interesting. But until then, you get me and my odd gathering of best films from the year that was.

read more...

Culture Warrior

Usually I’m quite cynical about end-of-year lists, as they demand a forced encapsulation of an arbitrary block of time that is not yet over into something simplified. I typically find end-of-year lists fun, but rarely useful. But 2011 is different. As Scott Tobias pointed out, while “quiet,” this was a surprisingly strong year for interesting and risk-taking films. What’s most interesting has been the variety: barely anything has emerged as a leading contender that tops either critics’ lists or dominates awards buzz. Quite honestly, at the end of 2010 I struggled to find compelling topics, trends, and events to define the year in cinema. The final days of 2011 brought a quite opposite struggle, for this year’s surprising glut of interesting and disparate films spoke to one another in a way that makes it difficult to isolate any of the year’s significant works. Arguments in the critical community actually led to insightful points as they addressed essential questions of what it means to be a filmgoer and a cinephile. Mainstream Hollywood machine-work and limited release arthouse fare defied expectations in several directions. New stars arose. Tired Hollywood rituals and ostensibly reliable technologies both met new breaking points. “2011” hangs over this year in cinema, and the interaction between the films – and the events and conversations that surrounded them – makes this year’s offerings particular to their time and subject to their context. This is what I took away from this surprising year:

read more...

There were some supposed protagonists I loathed this year — everyone in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, that asshole narcissist Hal Jordan, the annoying Jack Sparrow — but there were plenty who showed honorable and, yes, badass traits. 2011 brought a few real American heroes (and from parts elsewhere), both in personality and actions. One doesn’t need superpowers or a gun to be a hero, but, as shown by a few choices I made, those simple good traits. And, even if one’s not the greatest of people, you can still be a great hero, as shown by the a*hole category that kicks off the list…

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3