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Entries in Planet of the Apes (41)

Friday
Aug212015

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. 

 

 

Saturday
Feb212015

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...

  

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb132015

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...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan052015

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
INHERENT VICE - David Crank
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL -Adam Stockhausen
THE IMITATION GAME -Maria Djurkovic 
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING -John Paul Kelly
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

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec092014

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... 

Click to read more ...