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Entries in Planet of the Apes (38)



Film Grimoire bookmarking this "on location" series since I'm going to London soon and there's lots of fun places from famous movies
You Must Remember This Karina Longworth researches Hollywood's first openly gay star William Haines (way back in the silent era) 
The Guardian on Spear, the "Australia's first indigenous dance film" - we wanna see
Quartz a photographers new project "edits" out smartphones showing us our lonely new world of disconnection


Variety checks in with sales of Mexico's Oscar hopeful 600 Miles feat. Tim Roth
ICYMI <-- we previously covered the foreign submissions w/ recognizable stars like Roth
Buzzfeed Dreamboat Aaron Tveit sings stripped-down "Defying Gravity" from Wicked
Playbill looks at Broadway's oldest living leading ladies: Lansbury and Rivera aren't the only ones
AV Club childhood memories of Willow (1988) and an adult revisit
i09 the first image from The War of the Planet of the Apes looks familiar 
i09 on the superheroes that should get TV series rather than movies. Okay, I'd watch She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel.
i09 Captain America is outraging conservatives again, who forget that he's always been a political character
Variety The 33 and Where to Invade Next added to growing AFI Fest. Nathaniel and Anne Marie will cover this last minute Oscar nom -seeking festival for you as usual. 
Forbes YouTube's highest earning stars. I feel so removed from this wing of showbiz that it always startles me to realize that a) there are famous people that I wouldn't recognize even if they were standing right in front of me screaming their name and b) those same people are NOT from sports or reality television... the other areas to which I am blind

Lukewarm Off Presses
• Page Six I somehow missed this story of Daniel Craig getting in hot water with Sony execs with his repeated groaning about having to play James Bond again. But I like it. (It sucks when you have to work once every three years for shitloads of money, right). In related 'anything else!' news, Craig has signed on for a new production of Othello on the stage. He'll be playing Iago to David Oyelowo's Othello.

Celebrity Pic o' the Day



An excellent idea, prolly.

Garret Dillahunt is a marvelous actor and though Hollywood likes him best as a sinister possibly dim psycho (The Road, Amazon's Hand to God), he's just as good at decent if ineffectual lawmen (Winter's Bone and No Country For Old Men) and has proved his comedy bonafides on television in Raising Hope and The Mindy Project and also does stage work. In short: we are fond of him and he has more range than the roles he's offered. This great selfie he posted yesterday is exactly how it feels to watch him in his most unnerving roles, though. Love his caption "An excellent idea, prolly" Heh! 


Who? Gabriel Chavarria

When word broke that the next Planet of the Apes film (due July 14th, 2017) had both a title and a new leading man, we were like: "Sure" and "Who?" The latest in the 47 year old franchise will be called War of the Planet of the Apes and the star is Gabriel Chavarria. Well, the star other than Andy Serkis of course who will return as lead ape Caesar. The young Latino actor (age unknown) currently stars in the Hulu Original Series East Los High. If you are unfamiliar with that (and many will be) he was previously seen in small roles in the Hilary Swank vehicle Freedom Writers and the illegal immigrant drama A Better Life but this will be his second lead in a feature. His first, already filmed, comes next year with Lowriders (reuniting him with Oscar nominee Demián Bichir who will play his father this time).

Thankfully for the first blockbuster he will not be buried in motion-capture suits like so many Apes cast members in the past because: look at him...

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Stop Hiding Toby Kebbel's Face! 

Why won't Hollywood let us see it?!  

He keeps getting all these big movie jobs wherein you can't see his face. First there was all that hair as Agenor in Wrath of the Titans. Then the motion capture villain Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He's in theaters right now (well, not for much longer) as Doctor Doom (presumably scarred and metal-masked) in Fantastic Four. He's in the Warcraft movie soon and there are a ton of CG characters in that though I know nothing about that video game so perhaps his character is human?

Toby talking about motion capture acting last yearAnd now he's joined the cast of the King Kong related movie Skull Island. No word yet on his role but if he's invisible via motion capture again, imma be pissed! Stop hiding him, filmmakers. This is vaguely like when people pretend that Toni Collette or Jamie Bell are bit players or that we don't like to look at their faces by hiding them in the background or making them play second fiddle to lesser actors or in Jamie's case, burying that mug under rock man CGI. 

Toby gets to act with his face finally in the Messala role in Ben-Hur. That's the gay part Stephen Boyd so memorably played in the 1959 Best Picture winner. No word yet on whether this version will be as conservative as Charlton Heston thought the original was. He was famously unaware that Boyd and the director William Wyler had teamed up to amp up the homo subtext in their scenes. 

Let's start a petition to unleash Toby Kebbel's face in the movies. No more masks or CGI. 




Tweets o' The Week Victory Lap

This week's Tweet Collection is short and completely random. I haven't been goofing around online as much what with the countdown to Oscar on. The finish line is upon us. And, just my luck, I got super sick yesterday so there goes a few more treats I had planned for you and I may be Oscar blogging surrounded by pillows and kleenex! Good times.

Anyway here are a dozen or so Tweets I just loved this week...


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Best Visual Effects: "Will it be Apes or Aliens, Murph?"

It's not my imagination. I swear it's not. This year's Oscar competition is unusually tough to predict in quite a few categories . That's a refreshing change of pace. You might think this one is easy "Best Visual Effects" since it usually is (well, apart from the Golden Compass year. That was a shocker).

You might think that since Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) didn't win the prize so they kinda owe this series. Indeed, everyone seems to be in awe of the advances in motion capture technology that come with the series, particularly the way it's served as a new medium for the art of acting. But not so fast. The Apes series which dates back to 1968 and is composed of 8 films, has typically been an underperfomer with Oscars. To date the series has won only 4 nominations and 1 honorary Oscar (for makeup before the category existed) in its entire history. This despite starting as a mammoth zeitgeist hit and winning very strong reviews twice over during its rebirth this decade.

This one requires some extra thoughts and video so let's investigate after the jump...

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Art Director's Guild Nominations Stay Focused on the Best Picture Conversation

The Art Director's Guild have named the most well designed and carefully decorated movies of the year. How well do you think they did in terms of Best? This is as good a time as any to tell you that we've begun our annual Film Bitch Awards, now in their (gulp) 15th year so you can see my preferred ballot there.

The guild which represents 2300 industry people like Production Designers, Art Directors, Set Designers, Model Makers and Artists of various kinds (Scenic, Title, Matte, etcetera) voted for the following 15 films, most of which are firmly entrenched in the Best Picture discussion indicated that they didn't watch too many screeners before voting. 

Did Inherent Vice's elaborate last supper joke win it this nomination? Or was it the whorehouse?

Period Film
THE IMITATION GAME -Maria Djurkovic 
UNBROKEN - Jon Hutman 

But what about?: Mr Turner which is more challenging and fascinating and epic in its production scope than most of these nominees; The Homesman which is more memorably designed than some of these; I probably like Unbroken more than a lot of critics but I'm not sure it's more worthy of a WW II recreation notice here than, say, Fury? In short, they've been listening to the Best Picture conversation.

More Nominations & Commentary after the jump

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Interview: James Chinlund's Evolutionary "Apes" Vision. (Plus a Look Back at "The Fountain")

Production Design James ChinlundThough today's film culture is as as overun with franchises as the decaying cities of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are with unchecked vegetation, franchise movies do have a few beautiful unique pleasures all their own. Chief among those, we'd argue, is the sheer scale of imaginative spectacle they can provide when the right people are hired behind the scenes. 

James Chinlund, the award winning production designer behind the fantastic world-building in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of those people.  Though his filmography was once mostly the domain of scrappy ambitious auteur indies, he's recently experienced a sort of super-size me effect. He credits Marvel's gamble in hiring him to design their biggest blockbuster The Avengers with reinvigorating his film career. This led directly to Dawn of the Apes, one of 2014's most acclaimed giant-sized hits. Though Chinlund undoubtedly has his share of film offers these days, he prefers the mix of small and large scale projects that his still-diverse career provides and opted out of superhero sequels from the time commitment. 

Apes, Avengers, and The Fountain are after the jump... 

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