Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions: Everything You Need to Know About DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

This weekend, one of the most anticipated films of the Summer Season swings into mankind in the form of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Here is all the monkey-business you need to know…
Another PLANET OF THE APES MOVIE? – DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is a sequel to the well-received and well-reviewed RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES from 2011. RISE was intended as a reboot, or restart of the series, which first began in 1968 with PLANET OF THE APES which starred Charlton Heston. However, thanks to many hints which were dropped in RISE, many fans have begun to speculate that this new series isn’t quite a re-start, but an actual prequel, or prelude to the original 1968 film. In the timeline, DAWN moves the story a little closer to that, and is the 8th overall film in the franchise.

What is this APES about? -  Ten years after the events of DAWN, a massive nation of mutated apes led by Caeser are threatened by a small band of human survivors; survivors which were immune to the virus which wiped out most of mankind and advanced the apes.
Who is in this? – Andy Serkis, who provided the outstanding motion-capture work for Gollum in THE LORD OF THE RINGS (2001-2003), THE HOBBIT (2012), and KING KONG (2005), returns for his second film as Caeser. His human counterparts include Gary Oldman (THE DARK KNIGHT, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA), Jason Clarke (ZERO DARK THIRTY), Judy Greer (THE DESCENDANTS), Keri Russell (WAITRESS and TV’s THE AMERICANS), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (LET ME IN).

The Director? – This sequel of Monkey Wars has a new director in command. DAWN is directed by Matt Reeves, who gave us the well-reviewed dramatic horror film LET ME IN (2010) and the big sci-fi monster-spectacle CLOVERFIELD in 2008.
What to expect? – Director Matt Reeves has proven that he can handle the sound and fury on a large scale, and that he can pull great performances out of his actors…and this time around he has a solid cast that most filmmakers would go ape for. The special effects in RISE were excellent, and with Serkis being involved, the bar is certainly high for convincing CGI work…and most importantly, the attempt to make humanistic characters out of the apes. But the vital task for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is to be a film that is worth our time. After all, the title suggests that we already know how the movie is going to end, which means Matt Reeves and his company of actors and CGI apes need to give us a story that matters. The last thing this long-running franchise wants to do is to adapt a soap-opera style like those scumbags who are running SPIDER-MAN right now; where the promise of an important story is made but put off until the next film. Out of the eight APES films, DAWN has the mightiest task of them all.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opens July 11th in 2D, 3D, and IMAX.

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