Saturday, July 12, 2014
Movie Review - "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
Those of you who know me know that I am no big fan of the science fiction genre. I saw the original "Star Wars" - once - when it came out in 1977, and have yet to see any of the couple of dozen sequels/prequels that have been made since, and I have yet to see a Star Trek movie, and that streak will no doubt remain in tact for me going forward. However, I have to say that ever since I saw Charlton Heston tell those damn dirty apes to get their stinkin' paws of of him, and then sink to his knees at the sight of the Statue of Liberty, I have taken a liking to all of the sequels, remakes, and reboots of the Planet of the Apes movie franchise.
So, with that in mind, I took myself out to the multi-plex to see the latest installment, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes", and I was not disappointed. At the heart of the story, it's not much different than movies we have seen before involving conflict between Cowboys vs. Indians, Ranchers vs. Sodbusters, North vs. South, or Alien vs. Humans. In this one, human survivors of a deadly "Simian Flu", which wiped out most of mankind ten years earlier, struggle to regain a power source deep in the Muir Woods north of San Francisco that is now controlled a vast colony of apes.
What is so good about this movie is the "acting" of the apes, both the human actors in ape make-up and costume, particular Andy Serkis as Caesar, and the thousand of CGI apes that fill the screen. Simply an amazing bit of movie making. Not a lot of recognizable actors in this one with the exception of Jason Clarke, who was in the terrific "Zero Dark Thirty", Keri Russell, once the teen sweetheart of TV's "Felicity" and now a murderous KGB
Agent in "The Americans", and Gary Oldham, who once played Lee Harvey Oswald. I will say this - the movie does sort of telegraph very quickly who the "good guys" and "bad guys", both human and ape, will be, but what the hell, it's still a fun movie to see.
Oh, and when this one ended, there is no doubt that there will be yet another sequel to this one, probably in 2016, and, yes, I will no doubt be there on opening weekend.
If you pay attention to such things, the Summer. 2014 movie releases have generated weak box office results for the movie studios, and Hollywood is banking big time on "Dawn..." to be a big winner this weekend and beyond to pull in the big bucks from the ticket buyers. It is the only major release of this weekend, so it virtually has the field all to itself. It will be interesting to see how the receipts are when all the dough is counted.
Also of interest is a trailer that was shown prior to the movie today. It is for a movie called "The Judge" that stars Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duval, Vera Farmiga, and Billy Bob Thornton. It is scheduled to open in October, and it looks very promising based on the previews. Then again, every movie looks promising based on the trailer, but I am going to be watching for this one.