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Topic: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES ~ SPOILERS Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 13 July 2017 at 10:47pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Since there's no existing thread and the film opened tonight, I'm starting this one off with a warning...

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Nothing can top the original POTA film for me.  Nothing.  I'm not just speaking of the franchise, I'm talking all-time.  I think it's as perfect a film as there is.  I first saw it when I was 6 or 7 over 43 years ago and it still holds up to this day.  I also have to admit that, with the exception of the fifth film in the original franchise, I really can't slag the sequels.  If you do, that's fine.  For me?  Considering my age and when they hit me at the time I first saw them, I love 'em.  Warts and all.  

The less said about the Burton atrocity the better...

But the rebooted franchise has been a revelation to me.  I enjoy them.  Although not as good as the original film, I think they stand on their own merits.  I appreciate that, unlike the Burton film, they went their own path.  We're following Caesar.  It's his journey.  And it's one I've been excitedly on-board with following.  So I'm naturally pumped about seeing WAR.  I really hope it meets my now lofty expectations.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 13 July 2017 at 10:55pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

With a 94% Certified Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes wherein reviewers are saying this film has raised the bar on an already pretty terrific series of films, it looks like my hopes will be met and exceeded!

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David Miller
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 12:05am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

It was pretty damn solid. I didn't like a lot of things about the third act -- the Nazi analogy got too literal for my tastes, the wall stuff was blunt to say the least, a fleet of helicopter gunships functioning 15 years into the apocalypse took a chunk out of my willful suspension of disbelief, the ending bummed me out -- but  the hour leading up to it was the best half of a movie I've seen this year.

I thought it was cool that it was a civil war for both species. Steve Zahn's Bad Ape was a hilarious addition to the cast. His entrance was perfectly-timed, just moments after I silently groused to myself the apes should have advanced to crude clothing by now, Bad Ape showed up wearing a parka (and actually sported a bit of a wardrobe!)

I wonder how the politics will play to conservative America. I've seen positive reviews in right wing media, but Woody Harrelson plays a pretty specific kind of American military bully, whose righteous outrage at  victims returning fire could have come from either Bush administration's Iraq PR. And like I said above, the expansive Trump critique is not very subtle.

Digital ape technology has advanced to a stunning degree. It's really amazing how individualized and recognizable each character is. Everyone says this but I'll say it again: Andy Serkis deserves an Oscar nomination. This entire series has been a master performance from him.


Edited by David Miller on 14 July 2017 at 12:21am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 5:22am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

So much is lost if the apes have always been apes, even apes that have been genetically enhanced.

The original movie was about the Fall of Man. It's all summed up in Dr. Zaius' speech toward the end: "I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself."

Kinda muted if the apes are grabbing rifles and shooting people right from the start.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 5:23am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Digital ape technology has advanced to a stunning degree. It's really amazing how individualized and recognizable each character is.

••

But they still don't look real.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 6:05am | IP Logged | 6 post reply


 QUOTE:
I appreciate that, unlike the Burton film, they went their own path.

For me, the number of sequels and reboots that I've enjoyed is so small one might fairly say that I barely like any. So, I don't at all begrudge that others do enjoy them. Yet, when JB comments about how "so much is lost" in this reboot, I can't but agree that this consistently seems to be the case in reboots and sequels, i.e., changes that gut significant elements of the original work. And, because of all that, I don't mean this to sound churlish... but... I only wish that all these very creative, very talented people would have just taken "their own path" from the start, forgoing sequels and reboots. 


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Marc Baptiste
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Can someone who has seen WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES put me at ease; every trailer I have seen has put me off wanting to see this movie because it looks every inch like a redux of the 2nd film (DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES).

Thanks!
Marc
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 9:22am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

…when JB comments about how "so much is lost" in this reboot, I can't but agree that this consistently seems to be the case in reboots and sequels, i.e., changes that gut significant elements of the original work. And, because of all that, I don't mean this to sound churlish... but... I only wish that all these very creative, very talented people would have just taken "their own path" from the start, forgoing sequels and reboots.

••

The number of sequels that don't in some way taint the original films are few and far between. It happened with PoTA. It happened with STAR WARS. It happened with ROBOCOP. It happened with THE MATRIX. The list goes on.

Most times when it happens, it is because the filmmakers are taking advantage of an "open" ending to what is really a CLOSED story. The end of the original PoTA of course leaves the door open for more -- but that doesn't mean producing more is a good idea.

Think of it this way: A TALE OF TWO CITIES ends with Sydney Carlton mounting the steps to the guillotine. But we do not "see" the blade fall. There is room for Carlton to tear loose from his bonds and start kicking some serious Froggie ass!

Room. But a good idea?

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Leaving some things unshown and unsaid can certainly benefit a story. Unfortunately, doing so leaves wiggle-room for others to come in and "continue" the story. Not crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" makes it possible for sequels to cross the "i"s and dot the "t"s, y'know?

In the case of the original POTA, the twist ending is perfect. It brings all of the themes and character arcs to a satisfying close, despite there not being a definitive "ending" to the characters' individual stories.

Could we have seen a logical extrapolation of what happened in the next few minutes? Sure. Maybe Taylor shot himself in the head out of despair. Maybe he went off with Nova and lived a simple life until he died of natural causes.

But these are things we did not NEED to see. The story that the film set out to tell was completed, even though the loose ends were not neatly tied up. But, POTA was a hit, and so the sequel immediately went to work at undoing the original in order to "continue" the story that had already been told. 

Be it due to greed and/or the audience's demand for more, it seems that a well-told, done-in-one story is becoming more and more of a rarity, these days. It seems that someone will always come along to explore every nook and cranny of an existing story, or ask "...and then what?", rather than being satisfied with the story that's already been told. Nothing is sacred, and nothing is bulletproof!
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David Miller
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 11:33am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

But they still don't look real.

+++

Patience, JB. Digital FX technology is probably less than a decade away from generating characters so real they achieve self-awareness and enslave humanity.  

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David Miller
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Posted: 14 July 2017 at 4:26pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

JB: What did you think of the "realism" of the apes in Tim Burton's version?

I found myself pondering what state-of-the-art animatronic and latex could produce compared to modern pixelvision, and then I remembered Rick Baker's apes in Burton''s 2001 version, and realized the practical makeup was about as good as we'll ever see.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 16 July 2017 at 9:37am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Can someone who has seen WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES put me at ease; every trailer I have seen has put me off wanting to see this movie because it looks every inch like a redux of the 2nd film (DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES).

Thanks!
Marc

***

I saw it a coupe of days back, Marc, and it is a very a different film - tonally if nothing else. The opening is similarly bombastic but then becomes much lower key and plays out like a Western. I'll avoid spoilers but say that this film is much more from the ape's POV and sets in place key elements of the original series.

It has had rave reviews but I am still not sure what I think about it. It is so different from the earlier films in the reboot that it caught me out somewhat. It looks brilliant though.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 16 July 2017 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I really liked the first part of the movie, which as noted above, plays out like a Western. The latter half turns into APOCALYPSE NOW, and I found that less interesting. Overall, I thought it was a good movie, although it gets slow in parts. I may have been more critical because I saw THE BIG SICK the night before, and I loved that from start to finish. 
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 16 July 2017 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

The latter half turns into APOCALYPSE NOW

***

Absolutely, Michael and it's not even subtle about it.
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Jeremy Simington
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 7:19pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I feel that a golden opportunity was missed by not calling this film THE GREAT ESC-APE.  Aside from that, I liked it a lot!


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