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Entries in Planet of the Apes (27)

Saturday
Jul122014

Linkhood

Luise Rainer is now on Spotify with numbers from The Great Ziegfeld. And she's still alive to see it!
Vox this is why (well, one of the reasons) Emmy nominations are always so disappointing/strange: behold the labyrinthine nomination process
Overland Glenn looks back at Twin Peaks' influence on television's corpse littered playground 

Mash-Ups To Go
Have you binge-watched "Frozen is the New Black" yet? By which I mean watched it three times in a row like I just did. 

Oh i know you're not reading one of my books, bitch.

I love Belle's cameo so much.

APEHOOD trailer (Boyhood & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes mashup) from Nelson Carvajal on Vimeo.

 

And in other mashup news, this trailer for "Richard Linklater's Apehood" is making the rounds, a cute fusion of two great movies that happened to share this very same opening weekend so I hope you're seeing both this year. Oh, and Land Ho!, too. It's a really really good movie weekend y'all.

Thursday
Jun192014

Three Quickies: Caesar, Victor, Jared

Caesar
Have you ever considered the job of Location Manager? I can quickly confess that I have not despite often considering plentiful jobs that go on behind the scenes on motion pictures. The Credits discusses the complicated work with Catou Kearney the Location Manager of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It's a technically challenging movie, not least of which because they shot so much outdoors and needed a lushly overgrown forest.

The apes ... have created a vast forest utopia. Finding such a place, one that looks as abundant as the script demands, but that could also support a large crew and a ton of equipment, takes months of research, legwork, and a few thousand phone calls. Kearney is a seasoned location manager, and relishes the opportunity. “It’s like putting a ten-thousand piece puzzle together,” she says. “When that last piece falls into place, there’s nothing like it.” 

As it turns out the Vancouver rainforests got the job of portraying futuristic California wilderness.

Igor (Marty Feldman) in "Young Frankenstein"Victor
Since we're in an era wherein everything that is enormously familiar is being regurgitated nonstop, we're going to get a new Victor Frankenstein movie shortly after getting a new Victor Frankenstein on TV in Penny Dreadful. Next October to be exact. The new angle this time? The story will be told from the perspective of Dr Frankenstein's assistant Igor who will be played by Daniel Radcliffe. The mad doctor is James McAvoy. I've always felt a little bad for the Frankenstein Monster because of the classic monsters, he's the least popular... though that never stops Hollywood. My theory on this is because he's not thematically easy like the self-generating metaphor machines that vampirism and to a lesser extent lycanthrophy are. Maybe when science evolves to a point where we all have organ transplants and articifial limbs and cyborg parts and we worry about what we've become everyone will be really into him. 

Jared
Remember when I interviewed Jared Leto last year for Dallas Buyers Club and he was all 'don't expect me back in the movies anytime soon'. Liar liar pants on fire! He's being talked up for Doctor Strange. I think Cumberbatch & Hardy are great actors but I honestly like the idea of Leto so much more in that particular role. That's partially because he's less familiar as a screen actor and feels 'other' already which would help -  and he's just replaced Will Smith in the lead role in Brilliance.

As In Contention astutely points out

To those who say winning an Oscar makes no difference to one's career, here's evidence to the contrary. This time last year, news of Jared Leto replacing Will Smith on a major commercial project would have seemed like crazy talk ...

Brilliance is a thriller based on the novel by the same name by Marcus Sakey about a federal agent chasing a deadly terrorist. They're both "brilliants" which is a sort of human being with 'extras' if you will. Everyone's gotta be superpowered these days whether they get it honestly by mutations, under duress via bags of leaky drugs implanted in their stomachs, or they're airlifted in from other planets

Saturday
May172014

Controversy, My Preciousssss 

I've long had a deep respect for the work Andy Serkis has done in elevating the acting in visual effects. Serkis is, in many ways, the figure head of the fusion form or acting and animation known as performance capture, Hes already given us King Kong, Gollum, and Caesar. But in interviews he's beendownplaying the efforts of animation teams in bringing these highly memorable characters to life.  It's really pissing animators off. That's kind of a shame since film is such a collaborative medium. It's also a shame that he himself doesn't get as much credit as he should with his acting peers for how good his work is in these movies. So there's enough lack of credit to go around... deficent credit for everyone. Um... hoorah?

Here's an interview he did in March with i09 about his work on the forthcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and two responses, one angry from Cartoon Brew and one measured but annoyed from the Lord of the Rings animation director Randal William Cook. Cook makes an interesting comparison with Marni Nixon's voice work on 1960s musicals in his rebuttal...

Let me state that Andy really should be considered the principal author of Gollum’s performance, but there’s a hell of a difference between principal author and sole author. The Animators who helped shape Gollum’s performance are actors of a very special type, working at a high level of achievement. They’re not like Marni Nixon singing for Natalie Wood in WEST SIDE STORY, doing only the things that Andy couldn’t do: they were doing the same things Andy did, in concert with him...

Next up for Serkis is his debut in the director's chair, helming Warner Bros live action version of The Jungle Book in which all the animals will be performance captured. This is not, to be clear, the same Jungle Book movie that has been in the news recently with celebrity castings (the one that Lupita Nyong'o signed on for recently) which is an animated film. But with these types of feelings brewing among animators directing his first feature employing tons of them might be a tougher task than first features already always are.

Monday
May122014

Four Stories Lukewarm from the Presses That I Didn't Write About At First Because Reasons

Submit to our longwinded too descriptive blogpost titles. Submit.

Brangelina II: The Sequel
FINALLY. The world's most famous movie couple Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt will reunite onscreen 10 long years after Mr & Mrs Smith (2005). Jolie wrote the script which is rumored to be about a troubled couple on vacation attempting to save their marriage. She's obviously been working hard at becoming a force behind the camera (I'm guessing she's announcing retirement from acting by 2018 or so... a hunch) so it's possible she'll direct it, too. It's a complete mystery as to why it's taken this mega-star couple this long to co-star again when a) they're still highly bankable and b) by all sane non-gossipy accounts they're still enormously fond of each other ten long years after their affair on Mr & Mrs Smith caused such a ruckus in Hollywood.

We so rarely get viable recurring screen couples anymore outside of franchises with infinite parts and iron clad contractual obligations. Occasionally accidents will happen and we'll get 3ish pairings of a couple that really works together onscreen (Turner & Douglas in the 80s, Ryan & Hanks in the 90s) but for the most part, Hollywood doesn't even attempt to capitalize on the proven success of onscreen chemistry. That's tremendously weird if you think about it for more than 2 seconds since Hollywood attempts to capitalize on EVERYTHING ELSE that's proven successful in the past. 

Speaking Of...

Spring Breakers 2. But Why?
You've undoubtedly heard by now that the divisive Spring Breakers (which was loathed and loathed in equal measure)  is getting a sequel. That sequel is apparently without the original cast and the original director so it begs the question of "why". It's not like Spring Break, that boozy young ritual, is not a marketable topic in and of itself. People have been making movies about that since at least the 1960s. So why connect it to a film that wasn't loved by  general audiences. Sure it opened well but it plummeted soon thereafter and at least in my screening there were many walkouts from the crowd that was not suspecting a subversive auteurist movie with a major male actor fellating firearms but just, you know, tits and ass. I heard a few "that's the worst movie I've ever seen" as I exited the theater.

Jonas Åkerlund (mostly known for smash music videos like "Ray of Light," "Smack My Bitch Up," "Telephone," "Paparazzi" and more)  is on board as the director. Maybe they want to sell it like a mainstream franchise that's also a rotating auteurist franchise -- like, I don't know "Aliens"? In which case awesome/ good luck! 

Baz ♥ Elvis
The news floating around that Baz Luhrmann is considering an Elvis Presley biopic came so quickly on the heels of the news that he was considering a bigscreen adaptation of TV's Kung Fu (which we did write about) that I didn't have it in me to go into speculation again about what he might do next. Largely because I don't trust him to make anything until at least 2017. He's notoriously non-prolific after all despite the web's interest in suggesting that he's about to do something every few months. Which is why I've illustrated this paragraph with a graphic I made in 2011 instead of with a photo of The King. Word and Film has casting suggestions and especially likes the idea of Zac Efron in the role. 

YNMS: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Sometimes the Yes No or Maybe So series is defeated/delayed by sheer Yesness. Such is the case with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I was a fan of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). It's not that it gave reboots a good name (in the end nothing can do that since they're still, at their core, cash grabbing regurgitation) but it did show that if you're going to riff on franchises with plentiful cultural history that doesn't need to be replaced in the first place, you can do it with contemporary thought, artistic conviction and something like passion instead of doing it absent-mindedly or ineffectually while cashing your checks (*cough* The Amazing Hobbit-Man of Steel Pt. 2).

But the new trailer but for argument's sake...

 

Yes - Jason Clarke (so excellent in Zero Dark Thirty) replacing James Franco as the human lead? Upgrade! It still looks classy and artfully mounted despite the rich cheese potential and dated B-movie pull of the premise.
No - Some CGI fakery with those baby apes. That halting voice talking might get old when stretched to 120 minutes and beyond.
Maybe So - Environmental and sociopolitical themes can be tough to deliver with anythink like subtlety or grace so we'll see. Will it be too grim/heavy-handed? And might it fare better in the long run with a little humor or cheese?

If you have thoughts on these stories you've kept bottled up, now is the time to spew them!

Wednesday
May072014

First Round Oscar Predix Continue: Sound & Visual FX

The Oscar chart construction must continue. Maleficent was asking and you don't want to keep her waiting. 

Visuals Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come
You'll find early predictions for Visual F/X and the always confounding Makeup & Hair category. For Visual F/X I'd love to push Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes higher up the charts but I'm still trying to wrap my head around Oscar's complete disinterest in a) superhero movies that don't feature a man in a batsuit -- and that wouldn't confound me at all if they didn't have such deep abiding love for the Transformers franchise of all things which is surely less reputable than Marvel movies --  and b) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) which won hugely favorable reviews and surprised virtually everyone in its year and seemed like a likely finalist in several Oscar categories but only ended up a VFX nominee. Will Oscar turn its nose up at those damn dirty apes and their stinking paws on round two (which is really round eight)?

Sound Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come.
I'm very willing, nay, desperate to hear your thoughts on which films might have Original Songs. I'm super curious about Sound Mixing this year as well in that it's a category that loves blockbusters, musicals, potential Best Picture nominees, and films involving lots of water and there are quite a few films that fit at least one of those categories this year. Regarding music movies or traditional musicals: by my count it's quite a robust year iin that there are at least five on the way from obvious contenders like Into the Woods and Get On Up to less prestigious or smaller players like Annie, Begin Again, and The Last Five Years

As for Best Song, also added to the chart, Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for his last go round with The Muppets (we interviewed him). I think he's less likely to get nominated this year now that the novelty has worn off but if he is the Celine Dion/Miss Piggy ballad "Something So Right" seems most likely but my favorite song in the movie is the delightful nonsense of  "I'll Get You Want You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)"

If the new song doesn't sound out of place within its classic song score, it seems unlikely sight unseen sound unheard that any song other than the new Stephen Sondheim / Meryl Streep Into the Woods collaboration (previously squealed over) need show up on the big night. 

Previously
Supporting Actress | Animated Film | Lead Actor | Movies To Watch For 

Wednesday
Jul242013

Cinema Swimwear: Planet of the Apes

This summer The Film Experience is launching its own swimwear line!

Back to Results | You are in: Swimwear

Click for larger viewThe Heston Tattered Trunk
★★★★ - 15 Reviews

Product Details
Designer Morton Haack did some hacking of his own to create this “doomsday chic” ensemble. Whether you’re overthrowing your ape overlords or discovering the relics of shattered humanity, this one-piece is sure to help you stand out from the mute hordes of your once noble species.

The tattered trunk will win you so much attention you may find yourself screaming "take your stinkin' paws off me you damn dirty ape!"

Color
Rotted Brown Canvas. Optional accessories include metal shackles, machine gun, or a stunning over-the-shoulder cape.

Size
One Size Fits All. Also comes in a fitted woman’s model

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun032013

Mad Men @ the Movies: "You Maniacs! God Damn You All to Hell"

You may have noticed that Mad Men at the Movies has been absent for over a month. I'm kind of like that date Ginsberg had with the hot teacher or Betty's brunette dye job - I am dropped plot threads!  Rather than giving up entirely I thought we'd discuss the season thus far with The Planet of the Apes (1968) as our rough focus / entry point.

New York ad man Don Draper reads the promotional in-theater newsletter created for "The Planet of the Apes" movies by an actual NY ad agency

For those of you with short memories, in the fifth episode of the season "The Flood" (episode 6.5) Don Draper plays hooky with his son Bobby who is feigning illness and they go to see The Planet of the Apes (1968)... twice! (This scene made me smile from ear to ear since I remember doing this as a kid in the late 70s / early 80s. Yes, they did use to let you stay and watch the movie again for free.) Roger Sterling, following Don's lead, takes his grandson to see the same movie in "The Better Half" (episode 6.9) though the results are not the same. [more...]

Click to read more ...