Andy Serkis Talks DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Deleted Scenes, Advances in Motion Capture, and How Early He Was Cast in STAR WARS: EPISODE 7

by     Posted 10 days ago

Andy-Serkis-star-wars-episode-7-dawn-of-apes-interview

Let me be very clear: Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films of the year and a huge step forward for what can be accomplished with motion capture technology, as Andy Serkis has again delivered one of the year’s best performances.  Loaded with incredible performances all around and a great script, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the rare commercial movie that’s also deep and thoughtful.  Dawn is also atypical in that tells a complete story but also opens the door for another sequel.  As I said, Reeves has hit a massive home-run with this film and I truly hope audiences and critics embrace this special movie.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the San Francisco press day I landed a great video interview with Andy Serkis.  He talked about his reaction to the finished film, advances in motion capture and film technology, how everything you see any ape do was done by a human performer, deleted scenes, how long ago he was cast in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode 7, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Review

by     Posted 10 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-review

Now having watched all of the Planet of the Apes movies, it’s fascinating how the series views not only history, but trying to understand why civilizations rise and fall.  While there are always the broad strokes of good (Caesar, Cornelius, Zira) and bad (Hasslein, Breck, Aldo), there’s always a concern of how these figures are followed or abandoned.  History will always have charismatic leaders and people who are motivated by fear, so how to these people guide the evolution or dissolution of a society?  Matt Reeves‘  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes perfectly captures this question by creating a microcosm of two civilizations reaching an inevitable clash and how their futures are both conflicting and intertwined.  The movie manages to take almost all the best aspects of its predecessors to create a summer blockbuster that is heartfelt, exhilarating, tragic, and profound.

“Why Cookie Rocket?” Looking Back at RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 11 days ago

rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-caesar-will

[With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opening on Friday, July 11th, I'm taking a look back at the Planet of the Apes movie franchise. These reviews contain spoilers.]

The Planet of the Apes movies have always been interested with time.  The original movie opens with Taylor (Charlton Heston) explaining that his spaceship’s mission isn’t to explore the galaxy, but to use Einstein’s Law of Relativity to leave Earth and return in the distant future where it might not be such a shithole (Taylor was disappointed).  From there, Beneath carried the torch to extinction, Escape traveled back in time, Conquest took a twenty-year jump to begin the downfall of humans, and Battle has a prologue and epilogue that take place in 2670 AD.  So it’s fitting that the series’ reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, would restart the clock to unload the baggage of the previous movies rather than throwing us back into the middle of the madhouse.  While it didn’t carry the heavy commentary of the original saga, Rise took a new path by putting a strong focus on family and bringing a level of spectacle far beyond what any Apes film had done before.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON – Andy Serkis Working Closely with Mark Ruffalo for Performance Capture

by     Posted 20 days ago

andy-serkis-avengers

Andy Serkis has appeared in some of recent history’s biggest films, though audiences rarely get to see his face.  He turned in an iconic performance as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films, is stealing scenes as Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes films, and even took on one of cinema’s biggest monsters in Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake.  If that wasn’t good enough, Serkis is now working on a pair of highly anticipated films: Star Wars: Episode VII and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  While we don’t know exactly what roles he’ll be performing in either film just yet, Serkis recently commented on the type of work he’ll be doing.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

Watch 5 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Clips Plus 10 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage

by     Posted 23 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-slice

This summer has actually been pretty solid as far as quality blockbusters go (Transformers: Age of Extinction notwithstanding), and the streak is likely to continue with the impending Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel.  20th Century Fox has now released five Dawn of the Planet of the Apes clips plus 10 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from director Matt Reeves’ (Let Me In) follow-up, which takes place 10 years after the events of the first film and finds Caesar’s (Andy Serkis) apes colliding with a band of human survivors in San Francisco.  Early reaction has been highly positive, and I can’t wait to see the full film in just a few weeks.

Hit the jump to watch the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes clips and behind-the-scenes footage.  The film opens in 3D on July 11th and also stars Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeToby KebbelKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

Final DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Trailer Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell

by     Posted 32 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-trailer

20th Century Fox has released the final Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer less than a week after the previous trailer.  No matter—everything Fox has shown us from Dawn looks great.  The follow-up takes place 10 years after the events of the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  I enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes and I am thrilled to see the sequel take a giant step forward and dive deep into a new world.  My only hesitation is the Gary Oldman character, who still looks like the obnoxious, militant villain who barrels over reasonable protagonists.  But I trust director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) hired Oldman for a reason and hope the role is more nuanced outside brief clips.

Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer also star in the July 11 release.  Watch the final Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer after the break.

First DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Clip Starring Jason Clarke and Andy Serkis

by     Posted 33 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-clip

20th Century Fox has released the first Dawn of the Planet of the Apes clip.  The follow-up takes place 10 years after the events of the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  As this clip astutely points out, most of humanity probably doesn’t know how advanced apes are other than the rampage across the Golden Gate Bridge, an event that has probably now faded from memory following the collapse of human civilization.  The clip also does a good job of quickly setting up the introduction between Caesar and Malcolm (Jason Clarke).  I can’t wait for this movie.

Hit the jump to check out the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes clip.  The film opens in 3D on July 11th, and also stars Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

TOP 5: NEIGHBORS, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, First Trailer for GOTHAM, New Live-Action POWER RANGERS Movie, SNOWPIERCER Trailer

by     Posted 71 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

Now available via On Demand and iTunes, and in limited theaters June 6th, is writer/director Ti West‘s The Sacrament. I wrote about my anticipation for the film a few months ago and I finally got the chance to check it out last night. For those unaware, the pic utilizes the found footage conceit to immerse viewers in a story akin to that of the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. West fans will likely note how the found footage approach and the emphasis on psychological terror over more conventional scares set The Sacrament apart from the filmmaker’s previous work. In spite of those differences, it utilizes the same slow burn before all hell breaks loose in the final act approach employed by The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers to great effect. Anchored by fantastic pacing and a mesmerizing performance from Gene Jones as the sect’s leader “Father”, the result is West’s most disturbing and lingering film to date.

In addition to a wholehearted recommendation for The Sacrament, this week’s Top 5 also features our review of and interviews for Neighbors, the new trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the first trailer for Fox’s Gotham, word of a new live-action Power Rangers film, and an excellent red-band trailer for Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. Discover a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

New Trailer for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES [Updated]

by     Posted 73 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-trailer

20th Century Fox has released a new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer for director Matt Reeves’ (Let Me In) sequel.  The follow-up takes place 10 years after the events of the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  This is a great trailer.  Not only do the visual effects continue to look terrific, but it also seems like the movie has a lot of heart.  Every Ape prequel is basically a tragedy since we know the humans ultimately lose, and Dawn looks like it’s using the fragile relationship between species as the core of the story.  I’m now even more excited for this flick.

Hit the jump to watch the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer.  If you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage, be sure to check out interviews with Andy SerkisToby KebbellKeri Russell and Gary Oldman, Matt Reeves, and cinematographer Michael Seresin.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Judy GreerKodi Smit-McPheeKirk Acevedo, and Enrique Murciano.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens July 11th. [Update: We've added the U.S. trailer, which is slightly different than the U.K. one]

TOP 5: STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Cast Announced, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, GODZILLA Trailer, Zack Snyder to Direct JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY

by     Posted 78 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

I’ll say this much for The Amazing Spider-Man 2: it’s unique. I can’t recall a film off the top of my head that delivers one cringeworthy moment after another, eye roll upon eye roll, only to stick the landing and actually make me semi-look forward to the next installment. As many have stated already, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are actually quite good in the film as its emotional anchors. As much as I enjoy Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man (and love his Spider-Man 2), I’ll take Garfield over Tobey Maguire as my wall-crawler of choice any day of the week. Still yet, that doesn’t change the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a tonal mess for about 90% of its runtime. To make matters worse, Jamie Foxx‘s Electro is so poorly written, and so ridiculously portrayed, that he’d be right at home in a Joel Schumacher Batman movie. And yet, that ending still resonates with me and I’m kind of interested to see what’s next. Like I said, it’s unique.

We’ll talk more about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after the jump with Matt’s review and Steve’s video interviews. In addition, this week’s Top 5 also highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII cast announcement, the new international Godzilla trailer, Zack Snyder officially landing the Justice League directorial gig, and the first trailer for the excellent looking doc The Internet’s Own Boy. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Meet the Cast of STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – An Introduction to John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, and More

by     Posted 82 days ago

star-wars-7-cast-john-boyega-daisy-ridley

The floodgate finally opened this morning as J.J. Abrams popped the top of his mystery box and officially unveiled his cast for Star Wars: Episode VII.  Some of the names were familiar, as they’d been making the rumored shortlist rounds for months, while some came entirely out of the blue.  Save for the fact that it would have been nice to have one or two more females in the bunch, there really aren’t many complaints to be made about this lineup.  Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have put together a rather exciting and eclectic group of actors, and we’re all eager to see them in action.

Since some of these names might still be a tad unfamiliar to you (and since this is Star Wars), we’ve put together a handy introduction to the confirmed actors that will be kicking off this new Star Wars trilogy once Episode VII hits theaters on December 18, 2015.  Read on after the jump.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Cast Announced; Includes John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, and More; First Photo Released

by     Posted 82 days ago

star-wars-episode-7-cast

So it look like we won’t have to wait until Star Wars Day (May 4th) to get the Star Wars: Episode VII cast.  After months and months of speculation, the cast has officially been announced to coincide with the table read (when the word would have leaked anyway).  Some of the names we knew, some are a complete surprise, and others are a welcome return (we knew R2-D2 would be back, but so is the original man in the can, Kenny Baker!)

Hit the jump for to see the Star Wars: Episode VII cast.  The film opens December 18, 2015.

Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Director Matt Reeves Talk DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, the Original Film, the Sequel, and More at WonderCon

by     Posted 88 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-interview

Out in theaters on July 11th, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues the story of a growing nation of genetically evolved apes, led by Caesar (brought to life by Andy Serkis) and now threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus that was unleashed a decade earlier.

While at WonderCon to hype the upcoming release of the film, co-stars Andy Serkis, Keri Russell and Gary Oldman were joined by director Matt Reeves to talk about the first time they saw the original Planet of the Apes movie with Charlton Heston, why performance capture needs to be understood as just another form of acting, the challenges of taking this film on, the human colony, shooting in New Orleans, and how the third film will be expanded even further.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

TOP 5: GONE GIRL Trailer, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Set Visit, TRANSCENDENCE, THE EXPENDABLES 3 Set Visit, Zack Snyder Talks BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

by     Posted 92 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

I’ve used this space on a few occasions to profess my love for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary series and today’s opening paragraph will get a similar treatment. Director Zak Levitt‘s aptly titled Bad Boys debuted this past Thursday night and, even as someone who grew up adoring the Chicago Bulls, I loved almost every second of it (even with his Detroit roots, I could have lived without the Kid Rock narration). The film focuses on the years of Detroit Pistons basketball known as “The Bad Boys Era”, which included back-to-back NBA Championships for the franchise in ’89 and ’90. As is often the case with 30 for 30 films, Levitt does a nice job of framing the Pistons’ iconic run within a societal context; in this case, the 1967 Detroit riot. In doing this, the pic not only offers a fascinating perspective of the team itself but also great insight into what their trademark physical style of play meant to a city still reeling from the effects of the riot. Less important, but an added plus nonetheless, is the fact that I’m now buzzing with nostalgia for the SNES game Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.

My broken record praise of 30 for 30 aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, Steve’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes set visit, Transcendence interviews and Matt’s review, Steve’s The Expendables 3 set visit, and Zack Snyder discussing Batman vs. Superman costumes and more. Do the right thing and keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

45 Things to Know about DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES from Our Set Visit

by     Posted 97 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-set-visit

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a great movie.  In a summer filled with explosions and spectacle, Apes used motion capture and other modern technology to help tell its story and audiences embraced the film.  By the time the movie finished it’s theatrical run, it had made close to $500 million worldwide.  Based on the box office and reviews, it was no surprise when Fox moved forward with the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  The 2011 film set up a world and story that people wanted to see more of, so this felt like a sequel that was being made for the right reasons.

Last summer, when director Matt Reeves was filming in New Orleans, I got to visit the set with a few other online reporters.  While on set I watched some filming, participated in group interviews with some of the cast and filmmakers, and learned a lot of cool stuff about one of my most anticipated films of 2014.  If you’re looking forward to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, hit the jump for 45 things to know about the film.

Click Here