Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movie Review Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Hail Caesar


Wow, just wow. Me and my Mom and Brother just got back from watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and all I can say is, why haven’t you watched this yet?
.............Really?

Okay, fine I do have a bit more to say then that. Besides, I wouldn’t be happy with myself if I didn’t at least try to show some semblance of professionalism. Now before going into this I have to say that I have not seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies before this. (You may start throwing stones, flaming barrels, poop, and homophobic slander at me.) Nevertheless, this movie gets into my good books already by being one of the rare sequels that you do not need to see the prequel first to fully get what is going on. That to me is one of the key tricks of a great movie for me, one that you can get into without having extensive knowledge of the franchise to enjoy it. Now to monkey business, the movie takes place after Rise of the Planet of the Apes and thanks to the “Simian Virus” unleashed by Caesar in the last movie, most of humanity is whipped out save for several pockets of resistance that were immune to the virus. Now Caesar and his tribe are living out in the Muir Woods of California and are trying to create their own civilization. In the ten years since the aperising Caesar and the rest of the primates have progressed enough to develop a large fortress, spears, speak sign language and have a small grasp of English. However there is a small band of humans lead by Future John Conner (He'll play John in the upcoming Terminator Genesis in 2015) and Commissioner Gordon that are hiding in the ruins of a city that are trying to restore power to their city, the catch is that the dam that could provide power is in Caesar’s territory. From there, the movie goes into themes of diplomacy, leadership, trust, and what it means to be a man or a beast. Now, I can barely remember most of the human characters that aren’t Malcolm and Dreyfus, no the real stars are of course the apes themselves, there’s very little dialogue between them but through their actions and facial expressions you can grasp more about their relationship and their place in the tribe more than any dialogue could. (Though the subtitles during their sign language conversations does help :3) This is thanks to incredible CGI technology but mostly though the motion capture of the actors portraying the apes, top dollar in this case of course goes to Andy Serkis as Caesar. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a guy that will always prefer practical effects over CGI especially in this 3D dependent, CGI infested era of film making, so that should say something when I say that the CGI for the apes is amazing, you could honestly tell that these could be living, breathing creatures. Though again, the acting is what drives it home for me, not the graphics, take note David Cage this is what you should be trying to do. On that note I do highly recommend seeing this in 2D, not only because it is cheaper and I desperately want this new 3D craze to go away, but also some of the action scenes work just fine without the overblown gimmick. Of course, it does have its moments of fun without the action scenes; I do not want to spoil anything concerning characters however so I am not going to. Yet I sense that most people aren't convinced yet, so I will just show this image.
I am a monkey with Machine Guns on horseback, your argument is invalid!
 
Now go see this movie to get the context for this hopefully iconic image.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is owned by 20th Century Fox
Based on Characters Created by Pierre Boulle
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was released on July 11th 2014.