Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tag: Andy Serkis

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Title: War for the Planet of the Apes
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Written by: Mark Bomback, and Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer, and Terry Notary
Release Date: 7/14/2017
Running Time: 140 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
Fifteen years ago a scientific experiment gone wrong gave RISE to a species of intelligent apes … and a virus that nearly destroyed the human race. The Simian Flu, as it came to be known, brought humanity to the brink of extinction. The survivors, the few who were immune to the virus, came to envy the dead … while the apes continued to thrive in the safety of the woods north of San Franciso …

With the DAWN of their burgeoning civilization, the apes flourished in the absence of human contact … until they were discovered by a small band of the desparate survivors striving to establish a new colony of their own. The colonists and apes struggled to coexist. But their fragile peace was shattered by Koba, an ape who could not resist taking revenge on his former captors. Caesar, leader of the apes, attempted to restore order. But there was no turning back from the brutal fighting that has already begun.

The embattled colonists sent out frantic distress calls for help, unsure if anyone was even out there to hear them. The signal was received 800 miles north at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where hundreds of soldiers hade taken refuge after the viral apocalypse. These men and women were all that remained of the US Armed Services. Responding to the call, a hardened fighting division, led by a decorated Colonel of the Special Forces, was sent down to join the battle. Caesar and the apes retreated to the woods, but the human forces pursued, determined to destroy the apes once and fall. For two years, the soldiers have been searching in vain for Caesar, who is rumored to be commanding his apes from a base, hidden deep in the woods.

The WAR rages on …


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Special thanks to Diego for this submission

Was seeing War for the Planet of the Apes in 3D or 4D worth the cost?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review – 3.5 out of 5 Stars

StarWarsEpisodeVIITheForceAwakensPoster6
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is missing and a new government run by the dark side has taken power. General Leia (Carrie Fisher) sends the rebel pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) to retrieve information that could lead to his whereabouts. Elsewhere, a disillusioned storm trooper named Finn (John Boyega) tries to escape from his life and a badass scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds a robot that leads to a heap of trouble. When Finn and Rey unite, they meet friends like the aging Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and foes like the mysterious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

At this point, it feels a bit anticlimactic to be reviewing The Force Awakens. Everyone who’s reading this has probably seen it already and I doubt this review will be influencing anyone from seeing or not seeing this movie. It’s too soon to say whether The Force Awakens will be able to stand the test of time like A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back but I can definitely say one thing; Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a film made for the fans. However you feel about that statement will probably decide how much you love this movie. Personally, I feel a bit for both sides.

This sounds like a mixed reaction but there are a lot of things to admire. For starters, this is a terrific looking movie. I had issues with J.J. Abrams that I’ll get to later but I still think this is his most well directed film to date. Say what you will about the story, this is a movie that feels huge. Abrams understands how important this movie is for many people and he uses the occasion to present the world in a way that feels larger than life. One of the things that people disliked about The Phantom Menace was how lackluster the experience of being in another Star Wars felt. In the Force Awakens, the world is captured through these sweeping, giant shots and possibly the best visuals effects in the franchise to date. Everything about how this movie looks and sounds is top notch. The cinematography is stunning, the production design is marvelous and the costumes and the makeup are perfect. The thing I loved most about The Force Awakens was the time spent just looking at these places that they created. The movie is well paced and it never feels boring or disinteresting. I could go on for hours about the music by John Williams. As much as I love some of his work with Spielberg, it’s refreshing to watch him step away from the more melodramatic, manipulative music he’s done in recent years. The score here is a mix of some of the older, more notable bits of music from Star Wars as well as some new works. It’s exciting and it captures a lot of the magic of the original soundtrack.

The technical aspects are the areas where pleasing the fans was beneficial to the final product. Abrams has created a movie that reassures fans that there’s still some magic left in that world they fell in love with while growing up. There’s wonder, there’s life here that Lucas didn’t bring to the prequels. You feel excited and in awe of these planets and creatures in a way that couldn’t me mustered from The Phantom Menace.

If the looks and the sounds of the movie are where it excels, the screenplay is where the movie gets dragged down a little bit. It’s not a horrendous screenplay tied to a great filmmaker like Sicario or It Follows but there’s a lot of things about it that feel somewhat repetitive or simplistic. So what did I enjoy about it? Firstly, I liked the way it handled the characters from the previous movies. It was a brilliant move on their part to make the hero from the original movies go missing. The disappearance of Luke Skywalker shows the audience that time has changed and that there are new heroes to find with the old ones like Luke serving as the wise, old trainers reminiscent of Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi. The relationship between Han and Leia is also a bittersweet highlight. They haven’t seen each other for several years but they don’t seem angry or upset after meeting again after all this time. They acknowledge that what they once had was lost but they seem to know that deep down, they’re still in love. It’s subtle and sweet in a way that was missing from the similar relationship between Jones and Marion in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Han Solo also gets some charming scenes with his friend Chewbacca and Harrison Ford gives one of his more energetic performances in a while.

I also enjoyed the villain Kylo Ren because he succeeded in doing in 20 to 30 minutes of screen time what Anakin Skywalker couldn’t do in 3 movies. Both are confused, less prepared young men that begin to move towards the dark side. It works mainly because Adam Driver is a significantly better actor than Hayden Christensen but it also works because the movie manages to make Ren intimidating and weak at the same time whereas Skywalker was just plain whiny and pathetic in the prequels. He’s scared and inexperienced but he ends up making decisions that are legitimately twisted and evil. And while Skywalker’s final transformation came in the form of an overlong fight, Ren’s final choice for the dark sides comes in the form of a shocking, quick scene that will leave a far bigger impact than the entire 5 or 6 hours of Anakin’s character arc.

To a lesser extent, I admired the new heroes like Finn and Po. Finn is this emotionally damaged storm trooper who decides to rebel against what everyone else is doing. There are a lot of fascinating places you could take this character and I’m interested to see how he transitions to the real world or if he will try to free the other storm troopers in the later films. As it stands, they don’t really manage to explore many of these things but Boyega’s performance as well as good writing set up what could be potentially the most interesting arc of the three new main characters. Po also starts off strong in the movie due to the acting of Oscar Issac and the friendship he creates with Po is fun to watch. After the first act, he disappears from the movie for longtime and then shows up again near the end. It’s an entertaining character that I assume they’ll do more with in the next movie.

The problems I had with this movies script could probably be summarized with the character of Rey. She does cool things and she has some potential, but there are not a lot of things that she’s doing that feel new or memorable. She’s likable and you know she’s important but they write her with such little creativity that you can’t help but feel that she was forgettable. As much as I enjoyed many things about this movie, there’s a lot here that will please the fans but probably won’t please moviegoers who want new or original ideas. Everything that’s great about this movie is either a retread or a follow up of previous movies. The things I liked that did feel new felt pushed aside for something that’s a lot more repetitive and safe. The new evil government feels just like the old one. The big bad creature Ren looks up to is very similar to emperor Palpatine and there big bad plan here is to literally make an even bigger version of the death star, I think you can guess how that works out for them.

Besides that, there’s just a lot of beats in this movie that felt added because they had to be there. There has to be a point where the protagonist is reluctant to become the hero even though she hasn’t shown reluctance before said point. There has to be a scene where the old mentor gets killed by the bad guy. If the direction embraces Star Wars just right, the writing embraces Star Wars a bit too much. The movie goes over a lot of the same territory it has in the past whether you’re talking about the characters or just simple clichés. Creed also had a lot of elements in its story that came from older Rocky films but that movie also had a lot of things in it that were fresh and ambitious. The new things in the new Star Wars are either pushed aside for the old or end up being just blatant copies of the past. This isn’t a complaint that destroys The Force Awakens for me but it is a complaint that covers the entire film. I can only hope that the next movie will expand on the new stuff more and will try to make more of its own thing in the future.

So hopefully you know what I now mean when I say that “a film for the fans” is a mixed compliment. J.J. Abrams creates an amazing world that reminds you of everything you loved about Star Wars with stirring music and magical visual effects. But he takes the nostalgia a bit too far and he creates a story that’s extremely reminiscent of previous movies for better or worse. We get a lot of great moments with older characters but we also get a lot of cool, new things that get overshadowed by repackaged storylines. Either way, The Force Awakens is still a fine enough start and it’s fun enough as a big, blockbuster action film to go see this holiday season. The real Star Wars film that I’m looking forward to is the one that’s coming up next that’s directed by Rian Johnson. It seems fitting that they are handing over this franchise to the man who has made arguably the best science fiction movie of the decade so far.

Rating:(3.5/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 12/18/2015

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Warwick Davis, Max von Sydow, Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Tim Rose

Directed by: J.J. Abrams

Screenplay by: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt

Based characters created by: George Lucas

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

StarWarsEpisodeVIITheForceAwakensPoster6

Title: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D and Star Wars: The Force Awakens An IMAX 3D Experience)
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Warwick Davis, Max von Sydow, Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Tim Rose
Release Date: 12/18/2015
Running Time: 136 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat rises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of Heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Note: Contrary to earlier rumors, J.J. Abrams recently confirmed at a press conference that there will be no extra scenes shown.

Was seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens in IMAX 3D or 3D worth the cost?

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review – 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApesPoster7
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes leaves off many years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Most people have been killed off after a deadly virus and the only people still alive are those who were immune. The civilization of the apes on the other hand has taken off and they have been building a new era. Caesar (the main ape from the first movie) is now the leader of the civilization of the apes and must do what best for everyone. After the two groups meet up, crueler members of the apes try to conquer the people and a battle occurs.

DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApesStill11

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was an entertaining movie as I last remember it. I thought the acting was impressive especially from John Lithgow and I was on board with Andy Serkis receiving an academy award nomination for his CGI work as Caesar. The animal arc was definitely more interesting than the human arc but I still thought it was a fun blockbuster that had more brains than the average action movie.

With the first movie, it had this huge sense of revolution. This isn’t something against it but the film had very little thought for the future of the apes and mainly aimed at giving you the start of something different in our world. By the end of the first movie, the people are about to unleash the virus that will kill them all and the apes are escaping into the forest. Characters are too worried about the present for them to consider any of the problems they could have in creating the politics and rules of their new world.

What I respect about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and what for me brings the film above average is how effectively the apes are presented as the villain of this story. The apes in this movie have gotten over the rush of the first movie and now Caesar has to make decisions that will affect the lives of his citizens. Throughout the movie, you get to see the laws he created fall apart and we watch as the civilization he has created becomes open to corruption and savageness (everything Caesar rebelled against in the first place). Many could see this film as your average Romeo and Juliet story about two opposite learning to get along but this movie goes far beyond that mostly because of what the movie does after the 2nd half. The apes are the clear ones who are evil and violent in this movie; they come dangerously close to killing all of the humans by the end. Caesar must come to terms with his flawed system which he created and it is up to him to accept the consequences for its failure.

The themes of the movie are ultimately rather bleak and there is no happy ending where everyone gets along. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t feature simple answers for evil like other blockbusters where villains create destruction for the sake of needing an antagonist. Evil and corruption is something that exists in all species and it is rarely in black and white. All terrible acts are brought out of good intentions. In this case, the antagonist Koba does the sadistic things that he does because of torture he received from lab experimentation. The apes of the huge army Koba forms to imprison the humans only do what they do out of protection for their family and for themselves. In this way, there are aspects of this that have led to acts of horror throughout all of human history. Mob mentality can kick in for anyone as is seen by the final acts here. The core theme for the movie is that every system is imperfect and can make way for terrible events. Dawn offers audiences the rare chance this summer to understand the motives of the villains all while being horrified by their grotesque actions at the same time.

DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApesStill6

The buzz of the visual effects from back when they were new and groundbreaking has died off and there seems to be less of a campaign to see Andy Serkis get a nomination for playing Caesar this time around. Nonetheless, the visual effects are still quite ambitious and Andy Serkis continues to give a very emotional performance even if it isn’t as breathtaking and new as when he was playing Caesar in Rise. If there is one actor who deserves credits in this area it is Toby Kebbell who played the villain Koba. The great cgi and the intensity that he used to bring to life the character made for easily one of the most memorable and unnerving villains so far this year. From the facial expressions alone, you got this portrayal of a completely ugly sadist, yet one who you can understand where they come from at the same time. This has little to do with the actor but the shot of Koba with the gun pointed towards the camera makes for an unforgettable image of hate and violence that sums up the storyline. The apocalyptic world itself seems interesting and it’s realistic enough for the setting the movie is trying to create. The great visual effects are made even better from excellent cgi performances.

There is one large error in the film and that is the representation of the people. In the previous movie, it felt like they at least tried to make the human characters interesting even if they were second to the apes. In this movie, they don’t make any effort to make the humans at all compelling. They play to the main point of the story but none of the people featured could carry the film on their own. Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee are all capable actors who I’ve seen give great performances but in this movie there stranded because of how bland and two dimensional there characters are. They also tried to throw in a human antagonist with Gary Oldman as the bitter leader of the human community but that storyline felt thrown in and it had no place in the overall concept despite Oldman being really solid throughout. I understand that the apes are the most important area but I think the theme of the movie would’ve been even more successful if they added more depth to humans in this movie and not just made them plot devices.

The humans are really bad in this movie but if you can get beyond that, the areas with the apes makes for a compelling sit. I was impressed with how successfully bleak and gritty this movie was and it was nice to see a summer blockbuster that was focused on heavy ideas rather than brainless action and forced comedic relief. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes genuinely surprised me in what it chose to tackle and how it presented the troubles a new system can face.

Rating:(3.5/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 4/4/2014

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell and Kodi Smit-McPhee

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)*

DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApesPoster7

TITLE: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (aka. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 3D)

RELEASE DATE: 7/11/2014

RATING: PG-13

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: after the credits

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote UpVote Down (-195 rating, 423 votes)


Was seeing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 3D worth the cost?

Adventures of Tintin, The (2011)

TITLE: The Adventures of Tintin

RELEASE DATE: 12/21/2011

RATING: PG

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Special thanks to Tom for this submission


Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)*

TITLE: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

RELEASE DATE: 8/5/2011

RATING: PG-13

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits

 

After Credits? No

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote UpVote Down (+23 rating, 29 votes)

Special thanks to Patrick S. for this submission


Follow Us!

1,845FansLike
66FollowersFollow
108FollowersFollow
756FollowersFollow
32SubscribersSubscribe