Tag Archives: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Something Something of the Planet of the Apes

Ah the reboot, the Hollywood method of pumping new life and new revenue from an existing intellectual property. A way  of turning each franchise into a choose-your-own adventure story. In many ways and though to far less profit, it is what we have done recently here at The Cool Ship.

Image property of 20th Century Fox

Image property of 20th Century Fox

The Planet of the Apes was an absolute revolution when it first hit theaters in 1968. The film boasted the largest FX budget of the time and the sweet baritone of future NRA president, and the guy who seems to love screaming at the end of sci-fi movies, Charlton Heston. The film also starred Roddy McDowall as a frightening realistic (at least for the time) talking ape.

The film is about a team of astronauts who crash land on what they think is an alien planet, but turns out to be the Earth in a distant future. In this future, apes have evolved beyond men while man as we know him has experienced a sort of devolution and has been enslaved. The movie’s beautiful climax when Heston’s character enters “the forbidden zone” and discovers the remains of the statue of liberty is one of the most heartbreaking on celluloid. Planet of the Apes grossed very well for the time.

From that moment forward, for about 10 years, a Planet of the Apes sequel was released bi-yearly, each with an even more ridiculously long title ; Beneath The Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Stop The Planet of the Apes I Wanna Get Off the musical. That last one was a joke… and not even my joke… it’s from the Simpsons.

Image property of Fox television

Image property of Fox television

The Planet of the Apes sequels are all horrible. I know The Planet of the Apes sequels were awful because they only cost about $4 on Blu Ray… for all of them. That’s roughly 80 cents per film. The original film is available in a standalone Blu ray for $16, or you can get a boxed set of the entire series for $20. I could cite any number of reasons, from decreased budget to watered down scripts to less interesting actors for the shift in quality, but I think you get the idea. I won’t even go into the 2001 reboot except to say that Mark Wahlberg is a pretty poor substitute for Charlton Heston (keep in mind this is 2001 Marky Mark), and the final scene posed questions that could only be answered in a sequel that never came.

image property of 20th Century Fox

image property of 20th Century Fox

2011’s Rise of the Planet of The Apes has taken us back to where it all began. It attempts to answer the question that no one was asking; “how did those apes get so smart, and the humans so dumb”.  The CGI is like nothing ever seen before and as an action movie it does pretty well.

James Franco is a scientist (still with me?) testing a drug meant to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s in humans on chimpanzees. The tests are shut down when one of the apes goes… oh I can’t help myself … Ape S@#! and cause the entire lot to be destroyed. Franco smuggles one infant chimp out of the lab. The chimp called Caesar is crazy smart due to the Alzheimer’s drug passing from his mother. Caesar ultimately is responsible for giving “rise”, if you will, to The Planet of the Apes.  You can see where this is headed, right?  All and all a fine if unnecessary film addition to an incredibly overworked concept. However, it is successful in showing a logical path to the world we were exposed to in the original film.  The most amazing thing about this movie and the coming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is Andy Serkis as Caesar. His movements are recorded by a state-of-the-art suit and transcribed for CGI. This setup makes for a most believable sentient monkey. Has he ever been in a movie? As a person?   Serkis achieves what took Roddy McDowall hours of make-up in the original.

I look forward to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes with cautious optimism: we may yet get the follow-up film we have been waiting for since 1968, or we may just as likely get another 80 cent sequel.

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The Dawn of 22 Interstellar Apes on Jump street (or Something Like That)

Recently, three trailers have been released that have me pretty excited for the new year of movies. Two serious, intelligent science fiction films and an college humor-filled action/comedy. I’m hoping these films are a sign of good things to come to the theaters in 2014.

First off, the new Christopher Nolan masterpiece, Interstellar. The film stars Matthew McConaughey (thankfully he’s given up on chick flicks) as a member of a group of explorers who use a wormhole to go beyond the limits of human space travel and conquer the vast reaches of space that mankind has been unable to travel to.

It’s a Christopher Nolan film about space travel in the unknown reaches of space that mankind has never traveled to before. That’s enough for me to want to see it. It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen in the film. It’s certain that there won’t be any laughable alien encounters, which is a good thing. I think it’s about time we had a more “realistic” space exploration film. And hope McConaughey will give an Oscar-worthy performance that we all know he’s capable of.

Here’s the teaser trailer:

 

Next up, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes continues where the first film left off. A virus has devastated the globe, leaving humans outnumbered and fighting for survival against a growing race of genetically evolved apes.

I’m a fan of the first film and have been looking forward to this film for a while. And with the addition of Gary Oldman to the cast, things just got even better. Any film can be great but if you add Gary Oldman, the film will be fantastic. I know I’ve complained about remake/reboots before but this is one I can live with.

Here’s the first, exciting trailer:

 

And last but not least, the sequel to the laugh-out-loud hilarious action/comedy hit, 21 Jump Street. And it has one of the best titles for a sequel ever, 22 Jump Street! Clever, right?

Let me just start off by saying that I am not a fan of Channing Tatum. I think that he is a sub-par actor who can be funny at times and he should have not been the actor to play Duke in the G.I. Joe films, but he was hilarious in the first film. He and Jonah Hill were an incredible comedic pairing and I hope they can duplicate the magic they made in the first film. And they brought back Ice Cube! Win. In this film, they’re headed to college to stop a new drug that’s emerging before it’s too late.

Here’s the side-splitting new trailer (try not to pee yourself from laughing too hard):

 

What films in 2014 are you looking forward to? Leave your answers in the comments section.

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