Archive for the ‘Matt Reeves’ Category

The Survival of the Species

War for the Planet of the Apes

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Max Lloyd-Jones

Original score composer Michael Giacchino won an Oscar for Best Original Score for the animated film Up in 2010. Giacchino has also composed film music for Ratatouille, Inside Out and Jurassic World among many others. His most recent musical composition is for the Matt Reeves directed War for the Planet of the Apes in which he surely deserves another Oscar nomination.

In this case, brilliant music makes the film. War for the Planet of the Apes on a technical level is a superb film with superior production design by James Chinlund while the sound editing is perfect especially noticeable in the film’s final battle sequence which by all counts is absolutely remarkable.

As a story of survival of one species over another and an allegorical tale about the horrors of colonialism, War for the Planet of the Apes, with an engaging screenplay by Mark Bomback, is a fascinating film examining ethnographically man’s relationship with animals within the context of climate change or scientific experimentation.

At the centre of the narrative about a vicious conflict between men and apes is a towering performance by Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson (No Country for Old Men, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Messenger) as The Colonel In which he draws direct inspiration from Marlon Brando’s performance of Colonel Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola’s ground breaking Apocalypse Now.

Andy Serkis in motion capture technology plays Caesar an ape desperately trying to save his clan from being eliminated by the merciless attack of The Colonel’s army.

In a fascinating plot twist, the apes discover a mute young girl, played by Amiah Miller who galvanizes their support to fight on and also provides empathy for a conflict which is far more complex than it appears, brought on by a simian virus which has attacked Earth.

In the final chapter of the Apes Trilogy, War for the Planet of the Apes is technically brilliant, engaging and utterly watchable and director Matt Reeves has proved his worth in a film which is as good as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, which also provided the final chapter in a compact trilogy.

Toby Kebbell (Warcraft, Prince of Persia) appears briefly as Koba and Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) appears as Bad Ape all done in superb motion capture technology but what really elevates War for the Planet of the Apes was the excellent musical score provided by Michael Giacchino for which he should be recognized at the 2018 Oscars.

War for the Planet of the Apes gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is highly recommended for audiences that enjoyed the first two chapters of the Apes films. Technically this film is extraordinary.

 

Caesar’s Reign

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

dawn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes

 

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-Macphee, Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer

In a post-apocalyptic San Francisco where much of the human population has been decimated by a simian virus, the apes rule north of the Golden Gate Bridge, which would be modern day Sausalito. These apes are wily, intelligent and they are packing, ready to defend their reclaimed territory.

In Cloverfield director Matt Reeves’s impressive and handsome sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows a different world where the remnants of humanity are threatened by gangs of warring apes. These apes are ruled by Caesar a compassionate commander who has a soft spot for humanity as he was the original ape in the first film.

Into their simian territory ventures a group of humans eager to restore power to a hydroelectric plant in Sausalito lead by Malcolm, a brave and compassionate man, played by Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke. Accompanying Malcolm is his wife Ellie played by Keri Russell (from the short lived TV Series The Americans) and his son Alexander played by Kodi Smit-MacPhee.

Malcolm and his family have to answer to the leader of the human enclave Dreyfus played by Gary Oldman last seen in Robocop who is more inclined to destroy the nearby ape population than befriend them.

The encounter between apes and humans starts off fairly smoothly but soon tyranny and violence takes over as an insurgency against Caesar lead by a rather mean monkey Koba (played by Toby Kebbell) threatens to destroy both the apes and humans. Caesar’s reign is naturally disrupted and warfare ensues.

dawn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes_ver6

Dawn of the Planet of The Apes is superbly done with outstanding visual effects and a brilliantly executed plot line featuring likable characters giving both the humans and apes equal attention and justifiable screen time. As with both humans and apes, there is lurking the potential for conflict which naturally exists in any seemingly homogenous community. If viewers don’t like seeing Apes on horseback wielding automatic weapons then they best miss this film.

More significantly in anthropological terms this film represents in real and fictitious terms the relationship between two species or them and us and how each group perceives the other. Points to director Matt Reeves who really makes this sequel credible, exciting and intuitive. Recommended viewing for those that enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
November 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
  • Hugh Jackman Has a Message for John Krasinski, Ryan Reynolds After Twitter Roast
    Everyone loves a good Hollywood feud, even if it’s not exactly real. Hugh Jackman took the opportunity at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where he was being honored, to take a shot at John Krasinski and Ryan Reynolds, who ganged up on him on social media over the weekend after a photo of Jackman […]
    Erin Nyren
  • SAG-AFTRA Members Ratify Television Animation Deal
    Members of SAG-AFTRA have approved a three-year successor deal on its master contract covering televised animated work with 95% of those voting in support. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris made the announcement Monday, saying, “This was a very important negotiation for our members who work on television animation projects due to the expansive growth of streaming […]
    Dave McNary
  • Film News Roundup: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director John M. Chu Honored by Publicists
    In today’s film news roundup, Jon M. Chu is honored by union publicists, Melissa McCarthy is honored by the Palm Springs Film Festival and the film “Ali’s Realm” gets a cast. PUBLICISTS HONOR Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu as recipient of the Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award. […]
    Dave McNary
  • Cliff Bleszinski Says He’s Not Making Any More Games
    Cliff Bleszinksi, game developer formerly of Epic Games and Boss Key Productions, stated he doesn’t plan to make another game in a Facebook post on Monday. “I really, honestly, feel over it,” he wrote. Bleszinski noted the instability of the game industry in his post, as well as the demanding schedules required of game developers. […]
    Liz Lanier
  • International Emmy Awards: U.K.’s ‘Man In an Orange Shirt,’ Israel’s ‘Nevsu,’ Spain’s ‘Money Heist’ Among Winners
    The U.K. production “Man in an Orange Shirt” won the International Emmy Award for best movie/miniseries at the 46th annual ceremony in New York. The top drama series award went to Spain’s “Money Heist.” “Heist” was produced by Vancouver Media and Atresmedia Televisión. “Man in an Orange Shirt,” produced by the U.K.’s Kudos banner, starred […]
    Cynthia Littleton
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90