I think it’s fair to say that Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprised a great many people. (Myself included.) Powered by a nuanced performance from Andy Serkis as the ape Caesar and cutting-edge effects wizardry from WETA, Rise shrugged off assumptions that it was a hackneyed cash-in sequel to become that rare summer tentpole that scored both critical and audience approval.
Now Fox has announced that it plans to stage a campaign for Oscar recognition for Serkis, and has signed him to reprise the role of Caesar in multiple additional Apes films. Read More »
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Paramount Pictures has released a new international movie trailer for the Peter Jackson-produced Steven Spielberg-directed performance capture animated adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin. If you were skeptical after the initial teaser trailer, this full length preview might just win you over. Its great to actually see more action this time around. I have to admit, the action sequences feel more like a modern Indiana Jones film than Crystal Skull. Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2011 by Angie Han
If you’ve seen either version of Planet of the Apes, the overall outcome of Rupert Wyatt‘s Rise of the Planet of the Apes shouldn’t have come as a huge shock — the end result is spelled out right there in the title, after all. But there was one key element of the ending that nearly turned out very differently, until a very late reshoot shifted the fate of one of its major characters. And given that the film ultimately wound up grossing $409 million worldwide, essentially guaranteeing a sequel or two, it was probably a pretty wise move on the part of the filmmakers. Read more about the alternate ending after the jump. (Spoilers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes follow, obviously.)
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It’s been three years since Steven Spielberg last had a film in theaters bearing his credit as director. This year, however, we get two: the WWI stage play adaptation War Horse, opening on December 28, and the long-in-development The Adventures of Tintin, which hits Europe in little over a month and will play in the US beginning on December 23.
Both these films have had a low profile so far, at least in the US. There’s just one trailer for War Horse, for example. The film nerd crowd has been all over Tintin because of the fact that it represents a union between Spielberg, Peter Jackson and WETA, but even with that in mind I feel like US audiences are relatively ignorant of the film. A few preview rolls of footage have been shown at conventions and press events, but there’s a lot of audience awareness left to raise.
So for those who are still a bit in the dark about Tintin, or just want to see more evidence of what Spielberg, Jackson and WETA have achieved with the visual presentation, check out a massive gallery of new stills below. Read More »
Andy Serkis’ work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes locks his position amongst legendary ‘monster’ actors such as Lon Chaney, Sr, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Boris Karloff. That might not seem to be the greatest compliment at first; that roster of actors shouldn’t be marginalized so. I think all would bristle at being considered as performers we take seriously only when they work behind makeup and prosthetics or their digital equivalents.
The fact, however, is that Andy Serkis’ best work has been done in conjunction with groundbreaking washes of pixels. Beginning with his portrayal of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, continuing on through Peter Jackson’s King Kong and now culminating with Caesar, the ape at the center of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the partnership between the actor and effects house WETA has done far more than most to advance the idea of what the nature of screen acting really is.
Serkis and WETA lend Caesar a moving depth of personality that goes beyond the bounds we’re accustomed to seeing in non-human characters. And, as many of his interactions with the other simian characters are necessarily devoid of dialogue, the film displays a spirit that cuts closer to pure cinema than I expect from the seventh film in the 40-year old franchise. Read More »
Rise of the Planet of the Apes opens this Friday but it’s already begun screening and the buzz is big. Peter tweeted that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes vindicates this summer movie season.” George Roush of AMC echoed that by saying “Rise of The Planet of the Apes is hands down one of the best movies of the year.” Edward Douglas of Coming Soon says “Rise of the Apes was absolutely fantastic– one of the best franchise reboots since Batman Begins. Andy Serkis gives an inspired performance.” And Devin Faraci of Badass Digest added the following: “What’s great about APES: the apes. They work, completely and totally. They are the heart and life of the film.”
Which leads us to today’s video. It’s of how WETA used innovative motion capture technology to create the apes in the film. Check it out after the jump and read more Apes praise. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 by Angie Han
20th Century Fox has been working hard to promote Rise of the Planet of the Apes, releasing trailers, clips, and even a series of viral videos. With just a couple weeks to go until the film’s opening, the studio has released another new clip, this time introduced by star Andy Serkis. The scene shows off main ape Caesar (Serkis) and his relationship to his caretaker Charles Rodman (John Lithgow) before all that “taking over the world” stuff happens. Watch the scene, which clocks in at just over three minutes, after the jump.
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At this point what more is there to say about yet another dwarf reveal from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? (Other than, perhaps, “uh, where’s Thorin?”) Here is the latest image dispatch from Peter Jackson‘s version of Middle-Earth, featuring Ken Stott as Balin (on the left) and Graham McTavish as Dwalin.
These two guys are peers, more or less, for Thorin, the dwarf who assembles the company that travels from the Shire to the Misty Mountain. We’ll likely see Thorin next week, and hopefully a couple of the new human character, too. In the meantime, see the full new image below. Read More »