Andy Serkis

Review: Dawn of Planet of the Apes

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Review: Dawn of Planet of the Apes

The original Planet of the Apes flicks was my early journey into the world of science fiction. It also was my first look into a dystopian society. It instantly caught my imagination, so it’s no surprise that when Rise of Planet of the Apes came out, I was more then a little excited. With this much-deserved sequel, we are given the second of the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies, titled Dawn of Planet of the Apes. Promising to continue the events from Rise, it seemed that Dawn could do no wrong. How does Dawn compare to Rise? Is this the Apes sequel you’ve been waiting for?

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[WonderCon 2014] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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[WonderCon 2014] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The Arena at WonderCon 2014 was packed with fans waiting to see the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the upcoming sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On hand were director Matt Reeves, and stars Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, and Andy Serkis.

The cast charmed the audience, giving out a lot of information in a very short time. In addition to a trailer, a short scene from the movie was also premiered, giving the audience a little taste of the tension, and one moment of dark humor, they can expect to see in the film.

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Comments Off on Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

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Not being one of the completely crazy insane Lord of the Rings book fans, I feel I can be more objective about this film than the furry footed theater partron to my right. And yes, it is very, very good. But you knew that. In a way, (and very much unlike the Matrix trilogy), seeing this film really feels like a continuation of a very long film, everything is just as it should be. The characters you know and care about are there, being consistent, reliable, and as we know them better, we care more, and the running jokes from two movies ago are still there. Of course, that was how this film was shot, all at once, but you really feel the sense of cohesion, continuation and resolution here. Two Towers felt like a sequel, like some time had passed, and this film felt like I just took too long a break between, whatever, disk 4 and 5 of Two Towers. Or is it disk 7 and 8? Can you imagine what the “full trilogy ultraswank super duper box set” is going to be like? 15 disks?

I hope you like battles, because if you don’t, this movie (at 210 bladder-stretching minutes) might try your patience. This flick is plum biblical with the epic battles and fight against evil and all that good stuff. The carefully choreographed chaos, the sheer scope of what director Peter Jackson has pulled off in these three movies will blow your mind. Purists (and even neophyte readers as myself) will notice some detours from Tolkein’s story, but less than in Towers. Andy Serkis really gets to shine as Gollum and dear heavens, I hope he finally gets a nomination.

Return has the automatic benefit of serving as the climax and resolution of everything, which is always the most satisfying. Unlike for-profit sequels, (or, again, the Matrix, which just got less watchable as it progressed through the digits), The Lord of the Rings films were designed and paced to be three movies, so this one is by definition going to be the “best” one. And it is stellar. In some places, the score is more indicative than I noticed previously – i.e. “here we are in Rohan, here the Rohan theme, in case you forgot what the place looked like this is the Rohan theme, la la la” and so on.

Technically speaking, the film stands with its companions. The acting is good, the design work is very Celt-heavy but lyrical. The sound is great. The effects are mind-blowing. My companions noted that ILM was nowhere to be seen in the credits, something I should have noticed; I suspect New Zealand will be making itself some FX cashola in the years to come. If you’re a fan of Jackson’s movie The Frighteners you might notice where he got some practice with his dead army and the Riders as well. There’s a reason the hard core fans and the non-book-fans alike are going gaga for these instant classics – good core story with skillful execution and the sense of cohesion between the three chapters equals satsfying movie watching. I know you’ve already seen it, but just so you know. This is the best one. It’s a real contender this year in the Oscar race, too, mark my words.

MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 12/17/03
Time in minutes 210
Director Peter Jackson
Studio New Line Cinema