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Henry Gale
07-10-2014, 02:41 AM
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/blog_post_349_width/2013/12/dawn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes _poster_a_p.jpg

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2103281/)

Henry Gale
07-10-2014, 03:01 AM
Very impressive, intelligent, moving, and sometimes even staggering stuff.

Since seeing it in theatres, I thought Rise was a perfectly adequate movie but struggled to find it to be much more. It was entertaining for what it was, with the Caeser and Lithgow elements helping it along considerably to become something engrossing and worth remembering, but ultimately was too bland and rushed to really develop a well-rounded and deeply involving story.

Dawn is that story, and Rise now exists as something more worthwhile in my mind for seeing how much groundwork it did for this new chapter to be able to pick up the way it does, with only brief opening titles, scattered news voice overs and graphics setting the stage for the completely new, upended universe. It's such a stylistically altered world from the first, but it's such an invigorating and seemingly natural progression of Serkis and the rest of the ape cast's settlement, with the humans providing a completely differently relatable survival story over its course.

It's kind of amazing how despite all the cutting edge technology involved in making so much of what's on screen possible, it's all so seamless and strongly told and to the point with its scripting and action that it feels so weirdly old-fashioned. There's so many sharp moral, political, humanistic and pantheistic dramatic threads smartly weaved into it, and I'll talk more about my thoughts in general as time goes on, but right now, I am very happy with this.

It's still really fresh in my end and this rating might not stick, but right now: ***½ / 8.5

Irish
07-10-2014, 03:49 AM
Did you see it in 2D or 3D?

Every critic I've seen is praising this movie so much I almost feel compelled to see it opening weekend.

Henry Gale
07-10-2014, 05:14 AM
Did you see it in 2D or 3D?

It was a 3D screening so it wasn't a choice, but I was likely going to see it that way anyway since it was how Reeves shot it and so many of the environments and ape characters interacting in them are made up of CG to render natively. But those latter elements are also the only ones that really seemed to pop with considerable detail and scale. A lot of the human drama feels like it's framed at arm's length, and it might've just been the projection (or my eyes focus-time), but the more movement there was in the shakier grounded stuff with less effects, the flatter it felt.

I will say though that when I took off my glasses I was surprised how much different the depth felt. It's all much more inward, depth-of-field sort of stuff than anything going towards the audience (like most 3D movies nowadays). It's always the fine line between 3D being something effectively embedded on a level that doesn't look unnatural but subconsciously still enhances it and the other end of wanting to notice it to the worrying brink of distraction to at least feel like you've gotten your money's worth. (That thinking probably doesn't help here since I saw it for free...)

In the end I do think enough stunning images have stayed with me because of the 3D to recommend the surcharge, but I will admit the majority of it is not flashy at all.

Dukefrukem
07-10-2014, 12:19 PM
Oscar for best visual effects?

Henry Gale
07-10-2014, 12:53 PM
Oscar for best visual effects?

Well seeing as Rise won it and the work Dawn is lightyears ahead of it, I can only imagine.

Just stunning, often flawless, effects.

EDIT: Apparently Hugo beat it. So yeah, it should definitely win this time.

Watashi
07-11-2014, 09:54 AM
So much Serkis glory.

It's been a while since a film had a more detestable villain than Dawn.

Henry Gale
07-11-2014, 07:21 PM
It's been a while since a film had a more detestable villain than Dawn.

And yet, his motivations and worldview are completely understandable and fleshed out very naturally. The whole film basically pushes its characters (of both species) into a world where everyone is victim of circumstance and shows just how they decide to go forward with the various forms of grief and physical hardships they've endured over time to their natural conclusion. Obviously he had it worse than most and chooses to take things into his own hands in a decidedly wrong way, but it's a very impressive thing for the film to track the progression of his fueled disillusionment and anger so effortlessly.

Caesar and Koba, and Clarke's and Oldman's characters are different sides of the same coin in this world. Their Earth is now essentially without laws or any information beyond what they see firsthand, and this causes everyone makes bold, primal decisions for their own uninsured survival. At this point in their histories, the only moral compasses, societal norms and paths for survival they have to follow are the ones they'll carve out themselves.

The more I think about it, it really is one of the more unique worlds I've ever seen tackled on this scale, particularly for a Hollywood summer blockbuster. There's analogy and metaphor with the co-existing tribes only to a certain extent because of just how much the film makes this Planet of the Apes its own.

Sxottlan
07-12-2014, 06:13 AM
Damn. Lost my post. I'll just say for now that this was pretty darn great.

That armored car turret shot? Amazing. Probably will go down as one of my favorite shots of the year.

Mal
07-12-2014, 11:42 PM
CGI is uh mazing. Great time, can't wait for another Ape film.

Ezee E
07-13-2014, 03:10 PM
There's some very heavy stuff here for a movie about apes. Much like Rise, it all works out. This may be the most convincing war movie in quite some time. Yes, war movie. The last forty minutes kind of delve into atypical territory for me, but it's all so convincing that I have to mostly send my raves about it.

So glad that they don't speak as much as the trailer suggested.

Kurosawa Fan
07-20-2014, 02:31 AM
Pretty good, but a bit bloated and fell back far too often on hammering home the family drama and the connection between the two families. The effects were downright amazing, and Serkis is as good as ever. Predictable but satisfying portrait of the human race failing to save the day at the eleventh hour.

Spinal
07-20-2014, 10:57 PM
It's funny that there's a scene where Gary Oldman's character pauses to assist a young man with the proper way to operate his weapon. And yet, any ape that picks up a machine gun seems to have no problem getting that sucker going right away.

Kurosawa Fan
07-21-2014, 12:24 AM
It's funny that there's a scene where Gary Oldman's character pauses to assist a young man with the proper way to operate his weapon. And yet, any ape that picks up a machine gun seems to have no problem getting that sucker going right away.

Yeah, a bit of a leap there, but I took the kid's struggle as one of fear, not lack of knowledge.

Grouchy
07-24-2014, 01:00 PM
Man, I'm so glad they managed to resurrect this franchise from the pits it had been left in by Tim Burton. Caesar and his Apes just inmediately command empathy and interest, and the special effects work has evolved in a way that's absolutely jaw-dropping. After the tenth beautiful shot you just stop counting. But of course the greatest strenghts lie with the screenplay.

And when they go to war, they really go to war. The violence in this is badass.

Pop Trash
07-27-2014, 08:13 AM
No one got the Shakespeare nods here? Despite literally having a character named Caesar?

Fezzik
07-27-2014, 03:25 PM
No one got the Shakespeare nods here? Despite literally having a character named Caesar?

I don't think it's really considered a "nod" in this case, since in the first Apes he is named after the play itself. There's a scene showing a copy of the play on Lithgow's piano or something similar, and soon after Franco starts calling the ape Caesar.

At least I think I remember that right. Can anyone confirm that?

Irish
07-27-2014, 03:34 PM
"Caesar" is a reference to the original films. The character was named "Milo" originally, and the name change isn't explained.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_(Planet_of_the_Apes)#Ca esar

Pop Trash
07-27-2014, 07:13 PM
Yeah I know, but there are still some pretty obvious
coup/assassination attempts straight out of Julius Caesar. Although in the og play Julius doesn't come back to life to avenge Brutus. Of course, you could also make an argument for a Jesus/Judas story if Jesus went all Old Testament Vengeful God(TM) on Judas after he was resurrected, so maybe this is a case of a Joseph Campbell esque plot with a thousand origins.

Kurosawa Fan
07-28-2014, 02:31 AM
I think those connections are pretty tenuous and superficial. I never got a Shakespearean feel at all.

Winston*
07-28-2014, 04:13 AM
I think those connections are pretty tenuous and superficial. I never got a Shakespearean feel at all.

Why was the human settlement called Elsinore then?

Kurosawa Fan
07-28-2014, 04:17 AM
Why was the human settlement called Elsinore then?

I didn't notice that it was. Was it referred to as such or was there a sign I missed?

Winston*
07-28-2014, 04:23 AM
Also, Gary Oldman's character was named Coriolanus Macbeth.

Kurosawa Fan
07-28-2014, 04:39 AM
Also, Gary Oldman's character was named Coriolanus Macbeth.

I didn't notice that he was. Was he referred to as such, or was there a name tag I missed?

Winston*
07-28-2014, 04:41 AM
Also, if you pay attention, all of the apes' dialogue is in iambic pentameter.

Kurosawa Fan
07-28-2014, 04:44 AM
Also, if you pay attention, all of the apes' dialogue is in iambic pentameter.

Now that's impressive. Signing in any rhythm and meter is difficult.

Winston*
07-28-2014, 04:46 AM
Conversely, the humans' dialogue is all in prose. A subtle way of showing that they are going to become the lower class.

Pop Trash
07-28-2014, 04:52 AM
I think those connections are pretty tenuous and superficial. I never got a Shakespearean feel at all.

Maybe so, but I have Rick Jaffa, one of the screenwriters, right here. Take it away Rick.


In the first movie, there was a bit of—forgive me for this!—there was a bit of Shakespeare’s Henry V, of Prince Hal. We thought it would be interesting to use Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as a bit of a template for this movie, with themes of brotherhood and betrayal.

Kurosawa Fan
07-28-2014, 05:11 AM
Maybe so, but I have Rick Jaffa, one of the screenwriters, right here. Take it away Rick.

That's cool and all, but pretty much any movie can be said to have a Shakespearean theme. Thus is the greatness of Shakespeare. I mean, I see the connection, I just don't think it's very noteworthy, nor does it add anything to the quality of the narrative.

Morris Schæffer
07-28-2014, 10:42 AM
I didn't notice that he was. Was he referred to as such, or was there a name tag I missed?

Dreyfus

max314
07-28-2014, 02:52 PM
The Jaffa-Silver, husband-wife, writer-producer team have championed a smart, story-lead blockbuster that balances geopolitical commentary with gripping entertainment, computer graphic spectacle with sensitive staging, and B-movie thrills with intimately drawn characters and relationships.

A clumsily titled film about talking monkeys has no right to be this good.

★★★★★

Milky Joe
07-31-2014, 10:48 PM
This was so bad, I don't even, huh? 4 stars? This was the laziest piece of crap CGI spectacle I've seen since Godzilla. Bland white male human protagonist, check. Bland, utterly perfunctory female sidekick, check. Token wife monkey having a child, check. Bland, perfunctory, boring teenager, check. Irrationally angry guy. Token black guy. I don't even remember any of their names. Caesar is the only interesting character whatsoever and that's almost entirely due to knowing his backstory from the immensely superior first film.

This was just so stupid. I can't believe I'm the only nay.

TGM
08-01-2014, 12:35 AM
I have found that this one really already hasn't stuck with me quite like the first one has. Still good, but I'd say that Rise was overall superior.

EyesWideOpen
08-03-2014, 10:13 PM
Now that I've finally watched this one and rewatched all the rest over the last month here's my ranking for my favorite film series of all time:

1. Planet of the Apes (1968)
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
4. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (unrated version/has original completely different ending)
5. Beneath the Planet of the Apes
6. Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Top 6 are all very good films, the bottom 2 not terrible just very mediocre

7. Battle for the Planet of the Apes
8. Planet of the Apes (Burton)

max314
08-04-2014, 01:47 PM
This was so bad, I don't even, huh? 4 stars? This was the laziest piece of crap CGI spectacle I've seen since Godzilla. Bland white male human protagonist, check. Bland, utterly perfunctory female sidekick, check. Token wife monkey having a child, check. Bland, perfunctory, boring teenager, check. Irrationally angry guy. Token black guy. I don't even remember any of their names. Caesar is the only interesting character whatsoever and that's almost entirely due to knowing his backstory from the immensely superior first film.

This was just so stupid. I can't believe I'm the only nay.

It's a Hollywood movie. Those trappings are to be expected.

What matters is what Matt Reeves and the Jaffa-Silver team do with said trappings.

Spinal
08-04-2014, 03:48 PM
This was so bad, I don't even, huh? 4 stars? This was the laziest piece of crap CGI spectacle I've seen since Godzilla

This was just so stupid. I can't believe I'm the only nay.

Mine was a somewhat reluctant yay. I agree that the first film was much more engaging and rich character-wise, as well as having better action scenes.

One thing I did like about this film is that it suggests that wars aren't fought because of differences in race or creed, as much as because every large group has assholes that antagonize, exploit fear and screw everything up for everybody else.

Pop Trash
08-04-2014, 07:10 PM
Token wife monkey having a child, check.


lol @ this being on your list of cliches.

Watashi
08-04-2014, 07:36 PM
lol @ this being on your list of cliches.

That cliche appears in every movie, dude.

Wryan
08-04-2014, 08:58 PM
Saw this while I was in London, cause I wanted to see something at Leicester Square. Thought it was fantastic. Beautiful imagery and great work from the mo-cap actors/special effects peeps. Damn, Koba was freaking scary as shit, all the more because he had pretty legitimate grievances and saw some obvious problems developing. Nice message about missed connections and crossed wires.

Milky Joe
08-05-2014, 12:42 AM
It's a Hollywood movie. Those trappings are to be expected.

What matters is what Matt Reeves and the Jaffa-Silver team do with said trappings.

Sure. My point was that they didn't do anything interesting with the trappings, like, at all. They were just there. Good CGI mo-cap work doesn't excuse the fact that the script was a half-baked piece of monkey crap like most big-budget Hollywood fare.

"Token wife having a child in the midst of a crisis providing motivation for the male protagonist" is most definitely a cliché. Just because it's a monkey doesn't suddenly make it good or original.

Pop Trash
08-05-2014, 05:41 AM
Scripts are overrated.

Milky Joe
08-05-2014, 11:20 PM
:| So movies should just be vapid and incoherent excuses to show off special effects?

Bosco B Thug
08-16-2014, 05:09 PM
Compelling geopolitical drama, nice Shakespearean aspirations, great Young Republican ending resolute about all-out war and monocultural endgame (with a human/ape friendship fully realizing on such a resolution), great Giacchino score, questionable everything else.

Ivan Drago
09-04-2014, 03:31 AM
Could've sworn I posted in this thread a month ago. . .but I saw this movie again this weekend, and I still think it's the best movie of the summer, and one of the best movies of the year so far. Matt Reeves put his stamp on this movie, the visual effects are jaw-dropping, Serkis is tremendous. . .the entire movie is just visual storytelling at its finest, with compelling substance to boot.

Pop Trash
09-04-2014, 08:21 AM
the entire movie is just visual storytelling at its finest, with compelling substance to boot.

Yeah no kidding. I remember having a conversation about sign language with a cinephile buddy of mine. Something along the lines of it being inherently cinematic because it is a strictly visual language (I think we were discussing Altman's Nashville and Haneke's Code Unknown)...anyway this movie reinforced that notion.

Melville
11-30-2014, 10:04 PM
Conversely, the humans' dialogue is all in prose. A subtle way of showing that they are going to become the lower class.
:lol: Funniest exchange on MC since Boner and KF's grudge match outside Wal Mart.

Anyway, I thought the movie was excellent until Caesar turned up alive. Before that, it was a compelling, dramatic story of tribalism, anger and mistrust, and war...but starring talking monkeys. Brilliant. And if Caesar had died, it would have made for a striking narrative turn. But after that point it devolved into increasingly cliched Hollywood scenes of contrived suspense, hammy villainy, and overblown action, complete with the villain yelling 'NOOOO!' while falling to his death.

Stay Puft
01-01-2015, 04:28 PM
Anyway, I thought the movie was excellent until Caesar turned up alive

Completely agree with this. It's an impressive production, great special effects, and the story engaging up until that point, at which it just became silly. Felt like a cop-out, and I had almost completely tuned out by the end during that CGI showdown on the tower. Some of the earlier battle scenes managed to feel grounded and tangible, but that showdown was nonsense. I still loved the final moments, though, with Jason Clarke receding into the shadows as Caesar looks out over his clan, and the last shot being an echo of the opening.

D_Davis
01-02-2015, 07:20 PM
Incredible.

This film elevates this franchise to my favorite new genre series.

Gorgeous looking, fantastic acting, tense action, and expertly made.

Also, the best special effects I've ever seen. Can't wait for the 3rd.

Skitch
02-15-2015, 05:02 AM
I cannot believe MC is so pro on this flick. This might be the worst movie I've seen from 2014 so far. Especially the third act. Things happen for no reason (why did all the apes want the tower?), the film goes day night day night with Michael Bay consistency (none), human motivations nonsensical and failing (lets blow the tower! They do but only kill themselves)...this was a fucking trainwreck. And I havent even mentioned the bipolar CGI...

Dead & Messed Up
02-15-2015, 05:56 AM
Hah, I chose to watch this tonight independent of your post and had a completely different reaction, finding it a tremendously simple but effective story. The third act dips a little too much into cliche, but even then it invigorates the cliche by giving it meaning - the tall fall is a critical moment for Caesar, pushing him to accept a new moral complexity, one he is clearly not thrilled by. And how about that final image we see of a person, simply receding from view. At the least, it's fucking gorgeous, Reeves lensing the film with crisp classical direction, critical moments given an extra finesse (the tank image literally swerves the film into its second half).

What I really appreciated was how the film simply introduces characters, gives them their motivations, and lets them loose to clash. There are no huge reversals or surprises, no twists, just a story of people incapable of coexisting. Put it this way. This is one of the first genre films I've seen in ages where I was dreading the upcoming battles, because I cared so much about people on both sides. In that regard, it's a stunning rejection of boilerplate summer thrills. There's an elegance here, and a trust in the audience - the first 12 minutes trust we will care with only expression and sign language and visual storytelling.

I'm with Davis. Barring my shoddy memory, this is now the best sci-fi franchise around.

Henry Gale
02-16-2015, 04:57 AM
"Token wife having a child in the midst of a crisis providing motivation for the male protagonist" is most definitely a cliché. Just because it's a monkey doesn't suddenly make it good or original.

Despite this undoubtedly true clarification that went without saying, after all these months I still love the idea that mainstream filmmaking would be in a place where we'd be fed up with every movie forcing the cheap convention of pregnant ape wifes in them.

You already perfected the trope with Dunston Checks In, Hollywood! Just stop it already!