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kenman

Planet of the Apes Saga

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1 hour ago, Nombrecomun said:

Perhaps Franco ain't the best of actors.

I dunno.  His performances in “Milk” and “127 HRS” changed my opinion of him.    Like many actors, he can be perfect in the right role.  

As for whether he’s believable as a scientist, I didn’t see anything about the way he approached his character that felt ‘wrong’ really.    I’ve known a few scientists here and there, and they don’t all look or act like Bill Nye (hardly any of them do, really).   I think the movies tend to give us a cliche of the ’scientist-type’ (like the guys in “Big Bang Theory”, for example).   

Frankly, I found Franco’s casting refreshing.  

I’ve met Bobak Ferdowsi (NASA/JPL’s “Mohawk Guy”) on a few occasions, and he is so laid back and genuinely cool that if you didn’t know better?  You’d never peg him as a guy that was critical in landing a rover on Mars. 

4 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

Just got back from it and it's wonderfully done all around. I don't doubt these films will be rebooted again, but I don't think they should be.

As I do seriously doubt PotA will ever be done better.

I’ve only seen the first two (going to see 3 on Sunday) but so far, it’s the best (and smartest) rebooted series since 2004’s “Battlestar Galactica.” 

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kenman   

Again, I agree they needed human characters, but I felt the human cgaracters should've shifted focus during the course of the movie, you start witht the Franco character and his relationship to Caesar, then as he shifts into the santuary you focus in more on Caesar and his antagonistic relationship with the workers there, and then the final act has all focus on the more evolved intelligent Caesar as he takes control of his life. 

Its just the cutting back to Franco that seemed unneeded, and cut the flow of that particular film down. My feelings are that it absolutely should start with a human character to follow and give entry to the franchise, and then shift focus towards Caesar and the Apes, but I think they just could've done it in the same film.  

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14 minutes ago, kenman said:

Again, I agree they needed human characters, but I felt the human cgaracters should've shifted focus during the course of the movie, you start witht the Franco character and his relationship to Caesar, then as he shifts into the santuary you focus in more on Caesar and his antagonistic relationship with the workers there, and then the final act has all focus on the more evolved intelligent Caesar as he takes control of his life. 

Its just the cutting back to Franco that seemed unneeded, and cut the flow of that particular film down. My feelings are that it absolutely should start with a human character to follow and give entry to the franchise, and then shift focus towards Caesar and the Apes, but I think they just could've done it in the same film.  

Perhaps, but I saw it as building suspense.   The end of the first movie was too early (IMO, anyway) to suddenly change perspective so dramatically like that.    The first film is less about apes revolting and more about how humanity’s hubris laid the groundwork for the revolt.    So because of that, you really HAD to show it from the human perspective in that first movie, much like 1968’s POTA kept it entirely from Taylor’s.

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kenman   

Well you could still follow from human's perspective, but just shift the perspective to who is with Caesar. Cutting back to Franco felt increasingly (if memory serves) like stopping the movie to remind us he exists. 

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Locutus   

Saw the third today.  Matt Reeves closes out this trilogy with style.  Great action, great pathos and nice closure!  Can't wait to add this trilogy to my shelf.

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kenman   

I would say while it does bring closure, I can definitely room for expansion of the story and the world.  Without spoilers, it obviously would have to shift some aspects, but I could see a way forward for the franchise building onto what happens here.  But as a trilogy, it is definitely great stuff, and while after one viewing I am not sure which was better (Dawn or War), but it is almost like a series that got better with each film, and that is so rare!

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In preparation for our seeing “War of the Planet of the Apes” tomorrow afternoon, I thought I’d brush up on the first two in the rebooted POTA series.  Some of the following is redundant info to most on this thread, but I’m still listing a...

 ****** SPOILER WARNING ******

....nevertheless.  :P

rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-1024.jpg

Saw “Rise of...”  first. 
Still works very well.  Tightly paced and with solid performances.  Story-wise the movie is a very, very, very loose remake of the original franchise’s “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” (1972), which similarly ended with the apes poised to take over the city.  The 6 year old ape CGI is only slightly ‘dated’ today (relatively speaking of course; it’s still terrific).  “Rise...” smartly lays the groundwork for the sequel and paves its own path while still managing to throw a few bones to us old school POTA fans; such as the spacecraft Icarus’ missing flight, some of the human names Dodge & Landon (Heston’s two astronaut companions from the ’68 movie), and a few of the ape names (“Maurice” after Dr. Zaius actor Maurice Evans, and “Buck” for POTA actor Buck Katalian).  

I still believe (and many don’t, curiously) that James Franco did a fine job as the driven Dr. Will Rodman, who unwittingly releases a biological armageddon in his pursuit of an Alzheimers’ cure.  And John Lithgow’s performance as Rodman’s Alzheimers’ suffering dad is just heartbreaking and very accurate (my own mother suffered from dementia before she passed).    Andy Serkis’ mo-cap performance as “Caesar” is simply magnificent.   I still think he is one of the best (if not THE best) physical actor of this millennium.     The only member of the cast who is somewhat shortchanged is the lovely Frieda Pinto; who is given the somewhat underwritten and thankless role as the sympathetic girlfriend character (an oversight corrected with Kerri Russell in the sequel).    The apes’ revolt in and around the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is a stunning action sequence that takes terrific advantage of San Franciscan architecture.   “Rise...” is a very strong start to, IMO, the BEST rebooted science fiction franchise since 2003’s Battlestar Galactica.

 

Moving on...

359093.jpg

Then I watched “Dawn of...”
The “Empire Strikes Back/Godfather II” of the movies (so far... I’ve yet to see “War”).  “Dawn...” is the sequel where everything set up in the first movie is tested and the apes experience strife within their own ranks.    More Shakespearean than the predecessor, with a “MacBeth/Henry V”-ish story told almost entirely from the apes’ perspective.    The ape society is beautifully delineated, with ape sign language fully subtitled (almost like watching an ape foreign film).   The human characters aren’t as well drawn as their predecessors in the first movie or their ape counterparts in this one but that’s okay; this isn’t a human-centric movie.   The human characters are led by sympathetic Malcolm (Jason Clark), his girlfriend Ellie (Keri Russell), Malcolm’s son and the reactionary “Dreyfus” (Gary Oldman).  There is also a brief ‘video cameo’ from James Franco.   If I have any complaint it’s about the ridiculously one-dimensional, self-labeled ‘a$$ h@le’ of the human group, “Garver" (Kirk Acevedo).  Most of the human characters are serviceable enough, no matter; this is an ape movie, and it’s utterly fascinating.    

Once again, Andy Serkis’ Caesar is a revelation, as are his fellow apes.   The actors playing Caesar's son, Koba and Maurice are all equally compelling), especially the treacherous Koba (Toby Kebbel).    Once again, the Vancouver-for-San Francisco switcheroo is exceedingly well-done, and the final battle atop a transmission tower is epic.   The metaphor of a society facing a dawning new war is beautifully realized with a slow turn from night to morning in the final act.   Gorgeous FX and cinematography. 

I am fully primed for the next chapter tomorrow. :thumbup:

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BOX OFFICE: The Wall-Crawler Falls To Caesar As WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Tops SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
 
Spider-Man: Homecoming proved to be no match for War for the Planet of the Apes at the North American box office this weekend but it's not all bad news for the wall-crawler!
 

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kenman   
4 hours ago, GustavoLeao said:
BOX OFFICE: The Wall-Crawler Falls To Caesar As WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Tops SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
 
Spider-Man: Homecoming proved to be no match for War for the Planet of the Apes at the North American box office this weekend but it's not all bad news for the wall-crawler!
 

This is very good news in my opinion, because War is one hell of a smart summer movie. And frankly, I want to see the franchise carry on since it has been so good in it's current form.

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6 hours ago, GustavoLeao said:
BOX OFFICE: The Wall-Crawler Falls To Caesar As WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Tops SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
 
Spider-Man: Homecoming proved to be no match for War for the Planet of the Apes at the North American box office this weekend but it's not all bad news for the wall-crawler!
 

IMO, the better movie won.

Just saw “War of...” this afternoon and it was phenomenal.   “Great Escape” was an influence to be sure, but also a lot of “Schindler’s List” as well (laugh all you want, non-POTA fans, but it’s true).   This was a profound piece of cinema and an epic cap to a really solid reboot trilogy.

I loved the original POTA films, and a few of the sequels still work, but these three reboot movies are their own amazing thing entirely.   I hate pitting them against the originals.   They’re very different kinds of movies.   And this last chapter really feels epic and fitting.

However, a door is still open for a sequel.   After all, the lost spaceship Icarus (last mentioned in “Rise of...”) was never recovered, right?   I would love to see astronauts land on THIS version of POTA.

At any rate, “War of...” is a powerful piece of modern cinema.   Head and shoulders above the usual blockbuster fare both in gravitas and sophistication. 

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20 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

IMO, the better movie won.

Easily.

 

23 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

However, a door is still open for a sequel.   After all, the lost spaceship Icarus (last mentioned in “Rise of...”) was never recovered, right?   I would love to see astronauts land on THIS version of POTA.

I'm pretty sure only if the current production team continues with it. Not sure I'd trust a new bunch to continue. And if I got to choose, the next trilogy would end with a real peace between the humans and apes. It would validate that little bit of faith in people that Ceasar tried mightily to hold onto in spite of everything.

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kenman   

I have a feeling that Matt Reeves is going to move on after this. He's made two great films, and did a hell of a job stewarding the franchise here.  Now moving onto Batman doesn't mean he is out for good, but I suspect if he does remain involved it would be in a producing capacity, maybe contributing to the story or something...but he may be ready to move on having left his mark on the series.  But if the production team they've had behind the scenes, particularly Writer Mark Bomback sticks around, I'd be quite pleased. 

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10 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

Easily.

 

I'm pretty sure only if the current production team continues with it. Not sure I'd trust a new bunch to continue. And if I got to choose, the next trilogy would end with a real peace between the humans and apes. It would validate that little bit of faith in people that Ceasar tried mightily to hold onto in spite of everything.

I don't know about that.

The studio took a gamble when Rupert Wyatt rebooted the franchise 6 years ago, and it paid off handsomely.  I would be okay with someone new coming aboard at this point and trying something new with it.   The Wyatt/Reeves' chapters of the POTA saga are officially 'over' ("War" is a perfect closing chapter, in fact) but it doesn't mean that universe is not open to any further exploration.   How would this version of POTA look centuries hence?  What if the Icarus astronauts from "Rise" were to land now?  This could be the Tim Burton version done smartly; with a healthy mix of both classical POTA ideas/references as well as a treasure trove of new material to mine...

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2 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I don't know about that.

The studio took a gamble when Rupert Wyatt rebooted the franchise 6 years ago, and it paid off handsomely.  I would be okay with someone new coming aboard at this point and trying something new with it.   The Wyatt/Reeves' chapters of the POTA saga are officially 'over' ("War" is a perfect closing chapter, in fact) but it doesn't mean that universe is not open to any further exploration.   How would this version of POTA look centuries hence?  What if the Icarus astronauts from "Rise" were to land now?  This could be the Tim Burton version done smartly; with a healthy mix of both classical POTA ideas/references as well as a treasure trove of new material to mine...

There's a lot to mine to be sure, but this trilogy has been so very solid from beginning to end, I have a genuine fear of someone coming in and Schumachering all over it.

It's on track to do the box office that "Rise" did so, maybe a sequel, maybe not. But I'm hesitant to jump on that wagon until I know who'd be doing it.

Edited by prometheus59650

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40 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

There's a lot to mine to be sure, but this trilogy has been so very solid from beginning to end, I have a genuine fear of someone coming in and Schumachering all over it.

Pretty sure no one wants to see Cornelius’ vulcanized rubber nipple suit... :P

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6 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Pretty sure no one wants to see Cornelius’ vulcanized rubber nipple suit... :P

Yeah, no. :)

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40 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

Yeah, no. :)

Well, I suppose sequined spandex spacesuits for the Icarus astronauts are out too, then?  :giggle:  Still thinking Val Kilmer would rock as Dr. Zaius...:P

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SPOILER ALERT!!!!

 

Saw it this afternoon and it was fantastic. Earlier, we were talking about the human-centric first movie, which then we see somewhat of a balance by the second. By the third, there is no question as to who is the lead character and focus point: it's Caesar and the apes. It is an evolution...no pun intended. The one only other character is Woody's The Colonel and he's basically as fleshed out as a typical Star Trek villain(that is to say very little). The rest of the humans are background noise. 

Some observations and questions:

- While The Colonel is concerned that humans are regressing it seems like the little girl(Nova, ain't that cool?) is still quite an intelligent being. She just can't speak. Was it then The Colonel's misunderstanding of the situation? It would have been great if that invading army had knowledge of a cure which would have lead to more of that utopian society we see at the end of Battle For The Planet of the Apes. 

-I liked Bad Ape. A bit Jar Jar Binks for me but his comic relief was important. It's such a heavy movie. It also showed how apes continued to evolve from that virus; not just the initially affected ones. He also wears clothes which brings him closer to the previous incarnation of PotA. 

-It was interesting to see apes working along with the humans. I'm sure there are tons of historical analogies to this. The one it reminded me of were Native Americans working with the Colonizers to hunt down other Native American nations in hopes of being favoured. 

-Not sure how 'Middle-Earthers' are gonna take to how humans, especially Americans, are depicted in this movie. It's a real interesting criticism of a certain way of life. 

-I enjoyed the re-imagined "Alpha-Omega". 

-It's interesting to see how Caesar and some of the apes now speak quite fluidly. Again, an evolutionary leap for them. 

Not sure I'd watch it again in the theater but certainly buying it or at least waiting until the eventual trilogy pack since I don't have the first one. 

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******* SPOILERISH TALK ********

 

 

 

 

 

21 minutes ago, Nombrecomun said:

While The Colonel is concerned that humans are regressing it seems like the little girl(Nova, ain't that cool?) is still quite an intelligent being. She just can't speak. Was it then The Colonel's misunderstanding of the situation?

^ That was my take on it, anyway.  I’m thinking he just automatically equated muteness and regressed mental acuity as ‘animalistic.’   Obviously he couldn’t stand it in himself as well.

21 minutes ago, Nombrecomun said:

I liked Bad Ape. A bit Jar Jar Binks for me but his comic relief was important. It's such a heavy movie. It also showed how apes continued to evolve from that virus; not just the initially affected ones. He also wears clothes which brings him closer to the previous incarnation of PotA. 

I adored Bad Ape!  

And yes, normally I puke inside my mouth a little bit at the sight of obvious ‘comic relief’ characters in movies/TV, but this movie REALLY needed one; it was end-to-end heavy, and would’ve been a true downer without a bit of relief somewhere.   Steve Zahn’s Bad Ape fit that bill for me perfectly

21 minutes ago, Nombrecomun said:

It was interesting to see apes working along with the humans. I'm sure there are tons of historical analogies to this. The one it reminded me of were Native Americans working with the Colonizers to hunt down other Native American nations in hopes of being favoured. 

^ That was a powerful analog, wasn’t it?  The other “donkeys” at the labor camp reminded me of the Vichy French, or the Polish Nazis during WW2; the ones who sought favor with their captors by emulating them and, in some cases, nearly surpassing them in their own cruelty.   There was a LOT of commentary with that idea, and in the best science fiction tradition, it was able to speak it freely without naming names. 

21 minutes ago, Nombrecomun said:

-Not sure how 'Middle-Earthers' are gonna take to how humans, especially Americans, are depicted in this movie. It's a real interesting criticism of a certain way of life. 

It said some things that needed to be said.  I also raised an eyebrow at the labor force creating a futile ‘wall’ to keep out the ‘bad guys’ (sound familiar?).  

21 minutes ago, Nombrecomun said:

I enjoyed the re-imagined "Alpha-Omega". 

That was really clever!  I thought I was the only one who remembered anything about “Beneath the POTA.”   I also LOLd at how “Nova” got her name in this version.   Also enjoyed the shot of the apes on horseback along a beach... a nice homage to Nova and Taylor at the end of POTA 1968.

21 minutes ago, Nombrecomun said:

It's interesting to see how Caesar and some of the apes now speak quite fluidly. Again, an evolutionary leap for them.

Really nice to see Maurice graduate to speech.  ;)

 

I don’t know if I’d see it again in theatres (it WAS pretty intense), but I’d definitely buy the blu ray to dissect certain scenes/moments/etc. 

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46 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

******* SPOILERISH TALK ********

It said some things that needed to be said.  I also raised an eyebrow at the labor force creating a futile ‘wall’ to keep out the ‘bad guys’ (sound familiar?).  

 

Crap! I totally missed that. I immediately went to the "Wall of China" with that one but yes...your comparison is certainly more relevant. It would have been funny if some of the 'soldiers' shouted "Build the wall" at the apes. Too much?

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7 hours ago, Nombrecomun said:

Crap! I totally missed that. I immediately went to the "Wall of China" with that one but yes...your comparison is certainly more relevant. It would have been funny if some of the 'soldiers' shouted "Build the wall" at the apes. Too much?

Using the enslaved to build the futile wall reminded me of “Let Mexico pay for it” as well.

 

It’s also interesting that Kenman and others pointed out the structure of the latter half of the movie is based on Steve McQueen’s “The Great Escape”, and it was (as was last summer’s “Star Trek Beyond”), but to me, there was also a bit of “Stalag 17” and even “Schindler’s List” thrown in as well.   

 

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kenman   

Having not seen The Great Escape I will admit I don't think I made that comparison, but to a small extent I could see some hint of "Bridge on the Rive Kwai." I kind of loved that it became a War Prison movie, its sucha great angle to take it. If it had been straight war filmwith Apes in the trenches and whatnot, I am sure it would've been good...but the fact that a good chunk of the film was in a prison camp made it feel less action movie generic. 

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8 minutes ago, kenman said:

Having not seen The Great Escape I will admit I don't think I made that comparison, but to a small extent I could see some hint of "Bridge on the Rive Kwai." I kind of loved that it became a War Prison movie, its sucha great angle to take it. If it had been straight war filmwith Apes in the trenches and whatnot, I am sure it would've been good...but the fact that a good chunk of the film was in a prison camp made it feel less action movie generic. 

Oh, maybe it was someone else (?).  I dunno.  

The prison camp angle took it to a different place; it’s also the darker, less heroic side of war... the side that usually isn’t seen in a shoot ‘em up war movie.   I agree that this movie wouldn’t have been as interesting if it only featured apes and humans shooting at each other (see: 1973’s “Battle for the Planet of the Apes”; IMO the nadir of the old Apes movie sequels). 

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kenman   
7 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Oh, maybe it was someone else (?).  I dunno.  

The prison camp angle took it to a different place; it’s also the darker, less heroic side of war... the side that usually isn’t seen in a shoot ‘em up war movie.   I agree that this movie wouldn’t have been as interesting if it only featured apes and humans shooting at each other (see: 1973’s “Battle for the Planet of the Apes”; IMO the nadir of the old Apes movie sequels). 

Jeez the titular "Battle" of that movie is also like 5 minutes and is so lame and cheap.  There are so many problems with the final chapter of the original run.

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