Dawn Tweets Are Okay

Tweet #1: Matt Reeves‘ excellent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (7.11), which I saw Tuesday night on the Fox lot, is the Empire Strikes Back of this franchise — a drizzly, darkly lighted dystopian noir that is nonetheless a remarkably subtle and nicely-shaded film about peace and compassion. Tweet #2: It’s basically a thoughtful and humanistic deal that pays off in dramatic terms (or as much as a middle-act trilogy film can do that, given the restrictions), but has a thematic current that laments the war impulse in all beings and species. Tweet #3: Rather than endorse the original Pierre Boulle idea about all men being violence-prone and all apes being basically peaceful (or at least not as bad as humans), Dawn shows that both species have their warmongers and troublemakers, and that the actions of wiser, calmer peacemakers (i.e., leaders more in the Obama than the Dubya mold) are needed to chill things down. Tweet #4: Dawn has some truly beautiful 3D photography with one exquisitely moody composition after another (when it’s not flat-out nocturnal the movie is covered start to finish in misty rainfall and rainforest fog) and a generally lamenting anti-violence attitude. Tweet #5: I was particularly struck by Andy Serkis‘ remarkably subtle performance as the sad and heavily-burdened Ceasar, which is easily an award-quality thing. Cheers also to Jason Clarke for lending real heart and tenderness to a role that might have felt rote or routine with another actor. Tweet #6: Dawn is a much less predictable and more layered film than I expected.

  • AntoniusBlock

    Looking forward to this, but anyone else think Silas Lesnick is overstating things just a tad?

    • Michael Gebert

      I saw it and I’d totally put it right between How Green Was my Valley and Teorema among the greatest films of all time.

  • Perfect Tommy

    So for the next film in the series, what can be used for Ewoks? Rhesus monkeys?

  • DuluozRedux

    Have a hard time believing it will be better than RISE, but Reeves is dope, so…

  • Ray Quick

    Is the whole movie set in a dank, underlit forest? (ie, that same forest from EVERY Fox movie) Also this looks to be in 1.85:1 Hackspect Ratio, so not a real movie.

    • DuluozRedux

      1:85 is a great aspect ratio. Maybe not for an epic, but it’s a good frame for certain films.

      • Ray Quick

        It’d be the first APES movie ever shot in the narrow ratio. Even the relatively subdued BATTLE was in widescreen. I just think of APES movies like the original and BENEATH and CONQUEST as being HUGE and wide and clear, in that old-timey Fox PATTON sheen.

        It’s kinda like how DIE HARD 5 went for 1.85 and seemed out of character for the series.

        (Course I’m going only by the trailer, which has been in standard every time I see it; Maybe it’s wide in non-IMAX theaters.)

        • DuluozRedux

          I agree, big movies should be in 2:35 or even 2:40, but 1:85 is a great aspect ratio for smaller films, crime movies, gritty shit. Imagine Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant in 2:35, it’d be terrible.

        • Philip Lovecraft

          I love the “Apes” series but only recently, finally, saw “Battle” (on blu ray). The widescreen presentation made a huge difference on a movie that was better than I expected. Of course, everything I’d seen and heard about it created a bar not to high to leap over. Still, that widescreen does add a luxurious sheen to that, and the other “Ape” films (Tim Burton’s version doesn’t count. That thing has been excised from history). Add me to the list of people anxious to throw money at Fox to see “Rise”.

    • Muscle McGurk

      Considering that the anamorphic process which created the CinemaScope frame is a thing of the past, perhaps 2.35 should be retired altogether.

  • Correcting Jeff

    the actions of wiser, calmer peacemakers (i.e., leaders more in the Obama than the Dubya mold) are needed to chill things down.

    Troll-lol-lol-lol-lo… troll-lol-lol-lol-lo…

    Anyway, can’t wait to see this.

  • Steven Gaydos

    “Sam Peckinpah was a maverick of his time, a visionary who had a primitive take on man, viewing him as instinctual, primal and violent. Drawing heavily from the work of Robert Ardrey, controversial sociologist and author of ‘African Genesis’ and ‘The Territorial Imperative’ Peckinpah ascribed to the belief that man is by nature territorial, brutal and elementally animal.” http://cremmers.blogspot.com/2006/05/peckinpahs-west-vs-manns-metropolis.html

  • ghostraider72

    My most anticipated film this year, bar none. Loved Rise and I’m so glad they took Reeve’s suggestion of not jumping straight into Planet of the Apes. The journey between Rise and Planet is so interesting. And good for Jason Clarke for getting a blockbuster. His work in the short lived TV series The Chicago Code showed me he’s a real talent.

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