DVD Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

DVD Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
DVD Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Run time: 130 min
Rating: 8.5
Genres: Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa
Stars: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis
Storyline
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. Written by Twentieth Century Fox
Plot Keywords: ape, critically acclaimed, 3 dimensional, fistfight, suicide
Details:
Country: USA
Release Date: 17 July 2014 (UK)
Box Office
Budget: $170,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $72,611,427 (USA) (11 July 2014)
Gross: $90,449,372 (USA) (15 July 2014)

4 Comments

  1. Among Hollywood's recent output of mediocre (and in some cases: downright abysmal) remakes of Sci-Fi classics, 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' was the rare movie which stood out, for it had as much of a brain as it had a heart – plus an original approach to the well-known material and great visuals. Having said that, 'Rise' practically pales in comparison to Matt Reeves' sequel: the upcoming 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is as close to a Science-Fiction masterpiece as a 170 million PG-13 Hollywood summer blockbuster can possibly get.

    The storyline picks up ten years after we saw Ceasar and his fellow simian escapees seek refuge in the woods near San Francisco, and although the film's trailers already gave away pretty much everything that happened during that time (and alas, way too much of what will happen), I'm not going to spoil anything for those who carefully avoided watching said trailers. As with all my reviews, instead of giving away any details about the story, I'll elaborate on all other aspects of the movie.

    What needs to be mentioned first is what an astonishing achievement 'Dawn' is when it comes to the use of CGI. I'm normally very critical towards the (over-)use of CGI – but the level of craftsmanship displayed here simply has to be admired. It only took me seconds to forget I was watching digital characters (brought to life through the outstanding motion-capture performances by Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell and Judy Grier – to name but a few), and I can't begin to imagine what a task it must have been for the artists and wizards in the animation department to work on every background and every tiny little detail of every character until this level of seamlessness and reality could be achieved.

    But nearly every other aspect of the movie has been realized equally well: Michael Giacchino's haunting musical score fits and reflects the drama on screen perfectly, while the – often terrifying – beauty of the images on screen had me immediately wondering who the DoP was (now I know: Michael Seresin, the genius veteran DoP of such classics as 'Midnight Express' and 'Angel Heart'). When it comes to the action; well, 'Dawn' is not your usual summer blockbuster. This is no light-hearted, comic-book-style fantasy film with fun, over-the-top action scenes. What we have here is a gritty, realistic portrayal of a slowly escalating conflict, and when we do get to the battle scenes in the third act, those scenes are a spectacular, mesmerizing visual feast – and ultimately heart breaking.

    But the core of this film – and also the reason why the action scenes in the third act really do have an impact and all the mayhem really gets to you – is the intelligent, skilfully told story with its well-drawn, believable characters (portrayed by equally believable actors). The tragic simian/human conflict mirrors our real – and very human – past and present day wars and social frictions in a very credible way and thus makes this film resonate far beyond what any mere Sci-Fi premise would let you expect.

    So my verdict: With its beautiful imagery, highly relevant story and breath-taking effects, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is as close to a Science-Fiction masterpiece as its mass-audience orientated constrictions allowed it to be (which – in this case – is very close); an astonishing achievement and highly recommended. 9 stars out of 10.

    Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

  2. Sequels can be a worry when coming from big studios. Greedy cash-ins are all too familiar, where rather than stepping further into the world established by the predecessor and exploring unlimited opportunities in character and themes, they just add more antagonists, more action and more noise. It can also be worrying when the original director who helped see a great film through till the end is replaced in the next film. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a refreshing and involving take on an old franchise and director Rupert Wyatt set up such promise for its sequel. Matt Reeves takes over the reins here on Dawn…and thankfully has taking the film to a rare, brilliant new level.

    The film is set ten years after the first film. The ALZ-113 virus has continued to evolve Apes. Led by Caesar, they have made their home in the woods and bred. On the other side of the island (and the world), humans are scarce. The virus has had the opposite effect and spread, killing billions. Those thousands we do see remaining are struggling to survive. When an unfortunate situation occurs between the two sides, war is imminent. But not all humans and Apes agree with the potentially devastating results.

    Whereas Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a stripped back study of the science at the core of the story, whilst investing us in the human drama, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes throws us head first into a very different world. The scope is immense and multi-layered. At one view, it's a dead, frightening post-apocalyptic world. At another, it's brisk, dynamic and visually arresting. Matt Reeves has such a masterful handle on every string and creates brooding scope, claustrophobic tension and powerful action sequences; all amongst a basic, but incredibly rich morality play which is raw and powerfully spoken. What is most fantastic about the character approach is nothing is clear cut. Good vs. Bad meet in the middle and spirals out to both sides. I could sit here and blabber about the complete awe I had of the major step up in visual effects of the Apes, but that's not what caught my attention. Right from the opening scene of an extreme close-up of Caesars eyes, I felt the characters. The performances from all stunt men and actors bringing life to these apes transcend the visual brilliance. It is collective. It is immersive. It is terrifying. Andy Serkis delivers one of his most satisfying performances to date. His dedication and his understanding of every thread and fiber of Caesars being are in every frame of this film. And I cannot forget to mention the all-out, aggressive performance from Toby Kebbell as Koba. He breaks the barrier of something quite terrifying and strong.

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes transcends the Hollywood blockbuster. Not only does it deliver that rare sequel explores its world and characters further, but it's also richly told, beautifully and hauntingly portrayed and truly exciting and terrifying in equal measures. Quite possibly one of the best films of 2014.

  3. Hands down this is the best movie of 2014. It has everything I look for in a movie, I hits on the human condition on so many different levels and evokes emotion throughout. This movie had me on the edge of my seat anticipating every next move. Haven't been so impressed by a movie in a while. This sequel does a perfect job at telling its own story, connecting to the past and leading to a future film, that I cannot wait to see. As far as the effects go the apes are so realistic and the plot truly shows what I truly believe would be a post apocalyptic San Francisco. This is a story of the human race that shows what we all hold most dear, security and family are the cores of humanity and this movie depicts that better than I have seen before.

    Do yourself a favor and go see this ASAP.

  4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes jumps right into the time when the apes are beginning to build a new civilization while mankind is starting to fall apart. What makes this different from the last feature is it once again sticks more to its symbolism. Now this is the real deal of the context, it's obviously a truce between two sides, it is the part that is mostly known as the last chance before the unwanted fate of their world happens. Since everybody knows how things are going to turn out (regarding this as a prequel), it still provides the heartfelt tension of their trust to each other. Unlike Rise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn't only throw off a visual effects gimmick on screen, it also deeply focuses on the compelling themes beneath the tale.

    Whatever legacy that was left from the last movie is the character development of the ape. Caesar has grown understanding more how the world works, his sympathy with the humans remains and he can still believe in peace in them and his own kind. However, anyone else in both sides stayed naive, paranoid on what they're planning to do. It doesn't lack any information, the rubble already shows the crisis going on in those streets and the characters are given their own backstory to effectively define their motivations, thus this is a situation which is far from good vs. evil. The real enemy of this conflict are simply fear, cynicism, and sometimes revenge. It is a dilemma that is a few steps closer to the edge of their trust. And that is how the whole story works, it makes the audience real nervous about the decisions each of the characters make.

    Even when it's already packed with a great director and a great cast, the film still manages to keep on telling the story straightly, like exactly pinpointing the allegories without distracting any demanded pleasures that you would typically ask from a blockbuster. But as said, it still offers those elements when necessary. Director Matt Reeves gives this franchise a whole new tone. Blockbusters today tend to be ultra serious and darker, but Reeves is one of the rare directors who could live up to that ambition. He doesn't only bring the atmosphere, there are also some nicely shot action scenes that deliberately displays the horror and violence of the battles.

    But the merits doesn't end there of course. The acting is stellar, mostly pointing at the man behind the leading ape, Andy Serkis. He's always been terrific in this job, but here there is more gravity and grittiness to the performance than before, whether it's physical or vocal. The motion-capture performances just add a lot of exceptional value to the CGI work which could totally outshine everything else in the filmmaking. The actors who played human characters also did good, with Jason Clarke handling his role well.

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is more than a stunningly made film, it thoughtfully considers real depth within its storyline which results an overwhelming experience even without an excess of action. There is already suspense existing at the complexities of the species' treaty. The battle scenes just becomes the gravy of it, but really, the analogies is what makes it really compelling. After years of attempting to bring back the original spirit of the series, the filmmakers has finally realized that this is what this mythology is all about. Except it has become grittier. The film just triumphs in its choices, which it's almost difficult to call it a blockbuster, because blockbuster asks you turn off your brain. This movie makes you open your heart.

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