DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Review

by     Posted 53 days ago

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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.

Matt Reeves Talks DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Deleted Scenes, the Original Ending, the Next Sequel, and Doing an Extended Cut on Blu-ray with Additional Music by Michael Giacchino

by     Posted 54 days ago

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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.  Loaded with incredible performances 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 rare 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.

At the San Francisco press day I landed a great video interview with Matt Reeves.  He talked about the positive reaction to the film, how he’s definitely coming back for the next sequel, writing the next one with Mark Bomback and “we are just starting to figure out what it would be,” deleted scenes, how he plans to release an extended cut on Blu-ray (which will include additional music by composer Michael Giacchino), the original ending of the movie, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Reaction Video Blog

by     Posted 65 days ago

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This is one of those times I wish Peter and I had a chance to re-record our video blog prior to posting.  About two weeks ago, we were able to view an almost finished version of director Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  When I walked out of the screening on the Fox lot, I knew it was a special movie.  Reeves had created a “summer blockbuster” filled with nuance, great character moments, and incredible action.  However, Michael Giacchino’s music and the visual effects weren’t finished, and some last minute tweaks still had to be done.

Cut to two weeks later.  The other night, I was lucky enough to attend the world premiere and press junket in San Francisco and got to see the finished film.  It blew me away.  The finished effects, Giacchino’s amazing score, and watching it for the second time… I left the theater stunned by what Reeves managed to accomplish in a huge budget studio film.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes isn’t some empty spectacle designed to sell toys and popcorn, it’s a film about family and the choices you make when there is no easy decision.  It’s loaded with the kinds of things you almost never see in a summer movie.  Dawn is also the rare film 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.  Hit the jump for more.

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

by     Posted 66 days ago

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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.

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

by     Posted 114 days ago

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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 116 days ago

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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]

Matt Reeves Talks DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, More Sequels, Whether James Franco Appears in the Movie, Directing with Pneumonia, and More

by     Posted 127 days ago

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted an enormous amount of coverage on director Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  We had our set visit (with 45 things to know about the movie), on set interviews with Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and cinematographer Michael Seresin, new toy images, new movie images and posters, a TV spot, and more.  Based on everything I’ve seen and learned, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is going to be a great sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes and it’s going to show how motion capture technology has advanced over the past few years.  I really believe Reeves is going to hit a home-run with this film.

At WonderCon, I landed a great video interview with Reeves.  He talked about the film’s concept of shying away from traditional villains, directing while he had pneumonia, whether or not James Franco is in the movie, future sequels, if the next sequel could have a shorter title, what he learned from  friends-and-family screenings and the challenge of having people watch the film when it’s not close to done, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for the video and full transcript.

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 131 days ago

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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 135 days ago

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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 140 days ago

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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.

New Images from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Feature Shotgun-Wielding Simians

by     Posted 145 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released 10 new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes images including some fresh details on the upcoming sequel.  The story takes place 10 years after 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.  “The small group of humans are struggling to come back from devastation, and the apes are fighting for survival,” director Matt Reeves tells USA Today. “The big question is, can they co-exist?”  Serkis also points out that in the new movie, “Caesar not only has a wife, but also an infant son and a teenage son,” adding, “This film centers around the notion of family — the survival of the family and what lengths you would go to protect them when life is extremely hard and tough.”  In another interesting note, Judy Greer plays Caesar’s wife Cornelia, and before she got the role, Terry Notary, a former Cirque du Soleil performer and the film’s stunt and movement coordinator, had to sign off.  I can only hope Greer responded, “You are not my supervisor!

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk Acevedo, and Enrique MurcianoDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 11th.

Exclusive: Check Out an Awesome New Poster for Director Matt Reeves DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 155 days ago

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A few days ago at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox world premiered footage from a number of their upcoming films.  While I’m incredibly excited about their 2014 and 2015 slate, near the top of my list is director Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.   The story takes place 10 years after 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.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

With the film opening July 11th, Fox has started ramping up the promotion for the film.  Just a few minutes ago we posted the brand new TV spot (watch it here), and now I’m happy to offer our readers an exclusive new poster.  As you can see after the jump, the poster is clearly a nod to the emotion in the movie, like we saw in the last one.  Having seen the footage at CinemaCon, I can tell you there will be epic action and a great story.  I really can’t wait to see the finished film.  Check out the poster and let me know what you think of it in the comments.

Mo-Cap Goes Ape in New Behind-the-Scenes Photos from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 158 days ago

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A few days ago, we got a new set photo from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and now three more have arrived.  The story takes place 15 years after 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.  While Rise of the Planet of the Apes certainly had its fair share of apes, they’re presumably going to be an even bigger part of the sequel.  This means more mo-capping, and one of these photos show Serkis and his co-stars going ape while the other two focus on human characters played by Jason Clarke and Keri Russell and a close-up on director Matt Reeves.  But most importantly, Caesar’s going to be riding a horse.  Aw, yeah.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Gary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, Toby Kebbell, and Judy GreerDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 18th.

Matt Reeves to Direct PLANET OF THE APES 3; In Talks to Co-Write with Mark Bomback

by     Posted 237 days ago

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20th Century Fox appears to be very happy with how the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel is turning out under the direction of Matt Reeves.  The Let Me In filmmaker is now set to take the helm of the untitled third Planet of the Apes film in this new prequel trilogy, which will follow directly after this summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Reeves stepped in to take the helm of Dawn when Rise director Rupert Wyatt departed the project over creative differences.  The follow-up takes place 15 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.

Hit the jump for more on Planet of the Apes 3, including the possibility of Reeves having a hand in the screenplay. 

First Trailer for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and Gary Oldman

by     Posted 257 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for director Matt Reeves’ (Let Me In) sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  The story takes place 15 years after 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.  The trailer doesn’t really go into all of that, but instead establishes a much darker tone than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and rightly so.  This is a post-apocalypse, and the teaser gives a good sense of what Reeves is going for.  If you’re looking for a lot of Caesar, you won’t find it because there’s still plenty of effects work left to do.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Jason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoToby KebbellEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 18, 2014.

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