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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Planet of the Apes (30)

Monday
Jul142014

Aarrrr, matey. It's Captain Link!

John August Gregory Maguire (author of the novel "Wicked") looks at the original screenplay of The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Tom Huller look at this amazing commissioned poster for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Erik Lundegaard the first "Best Shot" entry elsewhere is up for tomorrow's Any Batman Movie fest. I love this article. Erik is so right about Adam West
Black Maria the nuance of silence in Ida  

Stage Buddy reviews the cast album of the Tony Winning "Lady Day"... won't someone please make it into a movie so Audra McDonald can have an Oscar?
Cinema Blend Stan Lee getting greedy in his old age - wants to cameo in DC movies, too 
The Film Stage Kurt Russell who starred in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof thinks The Hateful Eight will be going before cameras early in 2015 
The Playlist ranks all eight Planet of the Apes movies. Predictably Tim Burton's box office hit is dead last.
Previously TV 'disparate things' pits Parks and Recreation's party machine up against "that brief window when we thought Smash might be good." I trust you'll all vote for Smash. Do as your told!

Boyhood
Awards Daily thinks Boyhood leads the Best Picture race but I'd be surprised to see it even nominated myself. IFC doesn't really try for these things you know. I think there last nomination was in 2009 or something.
Guardian quibbling with Boyhood  

The Struggle
Film School Rejects has a think piece on the toxic culture of movie rumors as movie news. I've talked about this a lot myself as a way of describing what I don't want The Film Experience to be (just another site that cares more about movies that don't yet exist than movies that do) versus what it is (a movie site that cares about real movies from all eras and long after their opening weekend). As a generul rule we restrict ourselves when it comes to rumors (beyond quite often in these link roundups) much to the detriment of traffic since "future movies" is big business. I don't mean to pat myself on the back but I think it's a real problem for healthy film culture (which needs to be about actual films) and I'm always to curious to read articles like this from bigger sites which are news-focused on their feelings. It's a tough line to walk. I don't think we cover news enough at TFE but you have to be so careful that you're not just feeding into the meaningless of what's-next-what's-next at the expense of appreciating what there already is. Imagine if everyone in the US stopped reading every article about upcoming movies for an entire year. They'd have enough time left over to see a big group of classics and contemporary cinema and discuss them, too.

Christopher Walken in Pennies From Heaven (1981)

FINALLY...
You'd probably heard that Christopher Walken will be playing Captain Hook in the "Peter Pan Live!" event we should see sometime next year. "The Sound of Music Live!" set off a bunch of new plans for networks since live events are one of the only ways to get people to watch a program as its broadcast and thereby force them to sit through commercials. Walken is so amazing in musical roles which he almost never gets to do (see "Weapon of Choice" and "Pennies From Heaven" for starters). I don't remember this musical at all though I think my parents took us to a touring company when I was itty bitty to see it. Hopefully Hook gets to do some elaborate pirate jigs.  

Unfortunately it looks like they're looking for a female actress to play Peter Pan (Kristen Bell was an original choice) which is disappointing. Yes, that's the stage and film tradition but wasn't it originally the tradition only because of wirework technical issues and women being smaller and lighter. It's decades later now, time to get a real boy who won't grow up for the role. 

 

Sunday
Jul132014

What did you see this weekend? (Besides gun-toting apes)

Given that Handsome Joe Canada (aka Amir) is too busy with World Cup mania to grace us with his presence today, I Nathaniel am here for your weekly look at the profit margin side of things. But mostly to ask you the sturdy comment question:

What did you see this weekend?

We're always curious. Your answer should be... well, there's so many good things in theaters right now it just better not be Trans4rmers. Your answer should also soon include Masters of Sex which returns tonight, my choice for Best Drama Series last season (sadly Emmy-snubbed in that category). Should we talk that up every week? Raise your hand if you're watching.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 DAWN OF PLANET OF APES $73 *NEW* Review
02 TRANSF4RMERS $16.5 (cum. $209)
03 TAMMY $12.9 (cum. $57.3) Review
04 22 JUMP STREET $6.7 (cum. $171.9) Podcast
05 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $5.8 (cum. $152) best movie dragons
06 EARTH TO ECHO $5.5 (cum. $24.5) 
07 DELIVER US FROM EVIL $4.7 (cum. $25)
08 MALEFICENT $4.1 (cum. $221.9) Podcast
09 BEGIN AGAIN $2.9 (cum. $5.2) top ten thus far
10 JERSEY BOYS $2.5 (cum. $57.1) Review

You'll notice that Snowpiercer didn't make it despite its quality. This was probably at least somewhat informed by its decision to go VOD before the movie had run out of steam at the box office. There've been quite a few articles about this (like this one) and I can't help but read them with pesky asides. I don't trust anything anyone says. I understand that VOD gives you a wider audience. But I also think not being willing to support your movie in theaters rarely bodes well for long term health on VOD. So basically I am displeased with how they've treated this action film with a big star and special effects which has now groused $2.6 or roughly half a million less than a black and white indie about Polish nuns. Yes I'm going to keep mentioning Ida whenever I see fit. Deal with it!

Because there is always so much interesting stuff hiding in way too few theaters -- Boyhood and Land Ho! -- here is that chart

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (UNDER 100 SCREENS)
01 BOYHOOD $.3 *NEW* 5 screens Review
02 IDA $.1 (cum. $3.1) 85 screens best of year's 1st half
03 A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964) 50th anniversary $.07 (cum. $.4) 56 screens
04 LAND HO! $.03 *NEW* 4 screens  Review
05 YVES ST. LAURENT $.03 (cum. $.1) 14 screens

Boyhood had a fantastic per screen average but IFC went a bit timid at only 5 locations. We'll see how wide they dare go with this one-of-a-kind feature, twelve years in the making, but I hope they make a big push. More on that one this week which I told you I loved at Sundance.

Sunday
Jul132014

Tweet of the Capsule of the Dawn of The Planet of the Apes

Of the. of the. of the. Help, stuck in a prepositional loop! I regret to inform that there is no full review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) -- you may have noticed unusually sparse off my game posting -- but I press on with this exhaustively multi-tasking post. It's a list. It's a tweet roundup. It's a review.

I can't go on. I'll go on."
-Samuel Beckett 

Were I to write a traditional review of the surprisingly strong sequel to the surprisingly good Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) it would essentially be some sort of fussy expansion and tangent filled detours of these 10 points:

Click to read more ...

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!