Friday, July 11, 2014

Discuss: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


Karen: OK, as usual, let's keep it SPOILER-FREE for at least the first few days, but share your thoughts and reactions to this new film in the Apes cycle.


Karen: I'm really curious about how you guys feel about the motion-capture/CGI work. While I think it is amazing, I guess I still miss the costumes and make-up to some degree.




16 comments:

Colin Jones said...

It looks really good judging by the trailers. I'm glad they've taken a more realistic approach and the apes are not all talking and wearing clothes like in "Battle". The CGI apes look amazing and it shows how good CGI can be when it's used properly. If these last two films are the modern versions of "Conquest" and "Battle" it'll be fascinating to see where it goes next.

Doug said...

Here are some comments from my younger son, who saw the film last night. I hope to see it Saturday afternoon:

Ok first off, this one was MUCH quicker paced and intense than the first, which I guess was to be expected. However it's really dark at some parts. Koba, the ape with all the scars that is in Franco's lab in the first one, is all about fighting the humans when they trespass onto the apes land. Caesar however wants peace and refuses to fight.

I can't give you too much info because there are a few plot twists. Overall though the movie is phenomenal. Visually it's terrific except for the very first scene when Caesar and the apes have the war paint on, we thought it looked a little too video game-esque.

As far as the new cast goes, it really is perfect that Franco and the other actors from Rise are not in this movie. The setting is ten years in the future so the new cast is really fitting and the movie is set up to a point where it wouldn't really make sense to have Franco and the others in there anyway. It's pretty impressive how well they blend the two movies.

Much like Rise, they have a few references to the 70's POTA. There is one scene where Malcolm (the main character) is walking through the abandoned San Francisco Subway and it looks identical to when Brent and Nova are down in Grand Central station in the second movie.

We really enjoyed the movie, but I'm not sure how you'll react to it. There are a number of intense standoffs and a few scenes that are hard to watch. It's not gory nor does anyone get tortured, but a few of the deaths that occur leave a little knot in your stomach and the big fight scene between the apes and humans is somethin' else. I also teared up 3 or 4 times at a few scenes, but I'm a little more emotional than most so take that for what it's worth! Overall though I really really liked it and I would definitely go again!


So there you go!

Doug

Colin Jones said...

That boy should have a blog - oh. I've never seen "Rise" so I assume Koba is the new Aldo. That's another thing about these new films - they understand the nature of real apes much better. In the original films the gorillas were aggressive and violent while the chimps were peaceful and tolerant but in nature gorillas are gentle and shy creatures while chimps would tear your face off.

Colin Jones said...

Oops, I should have said Koba is the new Aldo BUT HE'S A CHIMP. I assume he's the one firing the machine gun. It's like a ghost town around here so far.

Karen said...

We're going to see it Saturday. I'm hearing a lot of good things so far. I've avoided any reviews to retain the element of surprise. I do wonder if the next film will take a big leap and show us a more advanced ape society ala Planet of the Apes. There was a reference in the Rise film to a lost space mission.

david_b said...

I suppose I'll take this one in at some point. Will wait for the dust to settle.

Just tooo much a fan of the originals, I guess.

Yes, Doug, kudos to your younger son for a super review.

Doug said...

Thanks, guys. If you want to read more of his writing, and that of the older lad (who is the journalism major actually), scroll down the sidebar to the bottom of our blog roll. You football fans may enjoy the rebuttal to Anne Coulter's infamous column of a couple of weeks ago.

Doug

Humanbelly said...

Wow, yeah-- Doug, your boy's post is quite a pleasure, thanks for sharing it (him) with us. Let me give him a solid 10 thumbs up for having such a welcome and assured sense of himself (in his late teens, yes?) that he's perfectly comfortable talking about being moved to tears. Clearly there's no fear of anything like stigma in that-- which of course (IMHO) is a subtle indicator of some very commendable parenting. (Well done, brother-!)

Boy Colin, you have indeed nailed the chilling gleeful cruelty that chimps are capable of when they go bad-- both in captivity and the wild. My brother-in-law once saw one snag a small monkey and eat its leg off while it was alive. Ugh. Contrast that with this HUGE mountain gorilla that lived at the National Zoo for many years (died of old age a few years back), who would spend most of his time right up against the window of the indoor enclosure and sit "next" to folks and make full eye-contact. . . and play hands-on-glass games with the littler children.

Yep- I'm liking how this film has been looking in previews. . . just need to find a minute to see it. . . !

HB

Edo Bosnar said...

Sorry to interrupt the PotA discussion, but I just read your son's post on soccer, Doug, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, Coulter's idiotic blathering was as much (or perhaps more) a political screed as a takedown of soccer, but it was still nice to see a dissection of it from the sporting standpoint. Well done, Nathan!

And HB, your observations about gorillas are spot on. And it always makes wonder why the poor things are in cages in the first place...

Dr. Oyola said...

This is the film I am most excited for this summer - but I don't know when I will get to see it. :(

Humanbelly said...

Ha! Soccer players not being true athletes?

Okay, you guys that are probably at 50+, I wantcha to think back to, I think, 1972 or thereabouts (maybe a little later). ABC Sports was just a weekend television monolith at that point, with the Olympics, and Wide World of Sports, and that annual Race of Champions, and. . . that one weekly "contest" program where they took a group of various professional athletes from all sorts of different disciplines, and had all kinds of different events to determine a "greatest" athlete. I particularly remember Franco Harris doing darned well. Anybody remember that program? But-- the guy who RAN AWAY from everyone in the scoring? Soccer phenom Kyle Rote Jr. And while he didn't win tons of individual events, he was always in there as a contender, whether it was a strength challenge, or speed, or agility, or endurance, or skills-test, etc.

IIRC, the pro basketball players fared the worst in that program. (It was all in very good fun, though-- w/ many high spirits.)

Can not STAND Coulter-- but I have to say that I do think she was sort of trying to strike a Dave Barry/Gene Weingarten-ish tone, and it simply doesn't work because she's so intrinsically mean-spirited that there's not the twinkle of affection showing through behind the ribbing.

HB

Edo Bosnar said...

Kyle Rote, Jr. Now there's a name I haven't heard or thought about since the late '70s, back in the days of the NASL - when I was big Portland Timbers fan!
I remember Rote was one of the few actual American stars in that league (which otherwise featured quite a few, by then often long in the tooth, international superstars like Pele, Eusebio, George Best, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer...)

Humanbelly said...

Boy, our tangents are just breath-taking works of word-associative art, aren't they?

In a clearly-traceable fashion, we've gone from the new PotA film to professional soccer in the '70's. We are whatcha call intellectually nimble, yep.

HB

Doug said...

Hey, gang --

I saw the film in DC's Chinatown at 12:30 this afternoon and had a blast, even though I was by myself. What a great, fun film in its own dark and intense way. Anyone criticizing this form of CGI won't get a vote of agreement from me -- this is incredible animation. If I have one quibble, and it's small as I think it's necessary for the story, the apes are all too large. But again, that didn't cause me to have any reservations about the film.

Nice nod to original orangutan Dr. Zaius in naming this film's big orange guy "Maurice".

The Ape City is very cool, as is the San Francisco setting -- a bit of a nod to "Beneath". And Koba -- a fine villain in such a merciless way.

That's all I'll say for now. Since most of us here are longtime Apes fans, I'd encourage even you movie foot-draggers to go plunk down your hard-earned cash and skip the wait for video.

Doug

Karen said...

I saw it Saturday in the Bay Area with my husband and friends, and we had crossed the new Bay Bridge just the day before and spent time in San Francisco and seen the Golden Gate, so it was a bit surreal to see the post-apocalyptic (ape-ocalyptic?) Version of the city.

I enjoyed the film although I did find the ending to be very tragic and almost heart-breaking. I love the comparison/contrast between the ape and human societies. Caesar struggles to figure out what's best not only for his people, but for the future of both species. But he's no pushover for humans.

Overall it is well produced and well acted, although Gary Oldman seems wasted. The motion capture and CGI are generally excellent, although a few times it did feel a bit like a video game, as mentioned before.

I'm really pleased with the direction these films are going and can't wait for the next one.

david_b said...

Yeaaaah, yeah, this may be a decent movie, but once AGAIN, plot-holes totally ruin it for me.

For instance, 'Sooo, where does Lance Link Secret Chimp get addressed..?'

It's like that 'Lincoln' movie a few years back ~ Nice acting, but never did they address all the 'vampire killer' stuff. Felt like I was watching only 'half a movie'.

How are kids today supposed to get the real story..?

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