War for the Planet of the Apes – 1 Month Preview

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With a mouthful of a title, Matt Reeves returns one more time to bring us a third entry to this fantastic, and successful, re-imagining of sorts of the classic Planet of the Apes film series from the 1960s and 1970s, this time called War for the Planet of the Apes.

Not to be confused with the horrible Tim Burton Planet of the Apes film in 2001, this is the third film in a series which started back in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes directed by Rupert Wyatt and then 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes which was Reeves first effort.   These last two films have been widely praised by fans and critics and have made almost $1.2 billion at the box office worldwide.

These first two films were a stark contrast to previous efforts and were able to combine intelligence and emotional resonance with stunning special effects.  Many applauded the patient and intelligent filmmaking all over, with it’s clear social construct it is technically impressive and viscerally exciting.  Most of the credit going to the work of stop motion expert Andy Serkis who plays the lead role in all three films, the leader of the apes, Caesar.

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With Reeves back directing and writing, and Serkis back to play Caesar, there’s no reason this entry shouldn’t maintain a steady upwards trajectory in praise and box office receipts.  Here’s a recent trailer…

And here’s the synopsis…

“Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.”

As you can see the action is amped up considerably, if that’s possible, indicating a strong sense of finality to this particular storyline but as it turns out not necessarily the series.  In October 2016, it was announced that a fourth Planet of the Apes film is already being planned and Serkis has said recently that it is being written. If that is indeed the case, I’m sure Reeves, Serkis and the rest will leave us with some sort of sense of what to expect in the future.

Writers Reeves and Mark Bomback have cut their teeth with exquisite action sequences mixed with strong central characters so the script should reflect as such.  Cinematographer Michael Seresin and composer Michael Giacchino are back once again so the look and feel of this will point to the familiar which would hurt other franchises but should solidify this series as one of the better ones to come out the last 20 years.

Apes

One thing to look out for is actress Amiah Miller who plays Nova, a bold and kind human orphan who is adopted by orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval) as his daughter.  This will play a huge part in the emotional narrative and theme of this film and Miller looks to be a standout young actor.  If you’re not sure check this latest trailer out, this is filmmaking folks…

This is really straightforward storytelling at its best so there isn’t anything to spoil in particular.  Reeves and his team will put everything up on the screen and the results will speak for themselves, focusing on product rather than product placement.  Something that is sorely lacking in the big budget popcorn flicks of today who are focused on wooing international audiences with flash and bang.

Finally, the thing I like is that these films so far have been “sneaky” good, meaning they get overshadowed by the much showier releases (Marvel, DC, etc…) but by the end of the experience and the year they stick with you like most films don’t.  The tone set in these is pure joy for a cinephile and it gives me great hope that Reeves will make The Batman in a couple of years, something to behold.

Till next time…

 

 

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Author: gizmorubiks

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.

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