The question about actors qualifying for Oscar when performing under layers of makeup and prosthetics goes back years. The conversation has intensified in recent years with the rise of motion-capture technology, and since Andy Serkis helped incarnate Gollum in The Lord of the Rings there has been a push to give Academy recognition to actors, specifically Serkis, who aren’t directly seen on screen.

Serkis’ work in this summer’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a crucial part of that film’s best character, the ape Caesar. Since the film’s release the level of chatter about Oscar recognition for mo-cap work has definitely risen. And now Tom Rothman, the co-chairman and CEO of Fox, says that he will push for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Serkis. Read More »

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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 »

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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2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997

With Labor Day behind us and school back in session, summer in the US is officially over, at least from a cultural perspective. So it’s time to tally the box-office receipts from what has been the biggest movie season over the past thirty years.

The good news? Revenue is up from last year. The bad news: revenue is up by less than one percent. More troubling: after taking into account that a good portion of the overall revenue came from inflated 3D prices, analysts reveal that attendance was actually down this year. about 543 million tickets were sold this summer, which is the lowest number since 1997′s famous summer of 540 million tickets. (OK, perhaps not so famous.) But wait, there’s more! 2011 is the fourth consecutive year f dwindling summer movie attendance. Read More »

Now entering its third week of release, several things have contributed to making Rise of the Planet of the Apes one of the summer’s surprise hits. The general, overall positive buzz is one. An award-worthy, performance capture turn by Andy Serkis as Caesar is another. A smart, taut screenplay by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver has plenty to do with it too, as is an inspired sophomore directorial effort by Rupart Wyatt. Actors, writers and directors always gets the kudos though. Sometimes it’s the little people who are what truly makes a movie special. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the sound is certainly one of those factors.

After the jump, watch the latest video from the SoundWorks Collection (who’ve previously tackled blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Social Network and Tron: Legacy among others) and see what kind of work went into the sound design of the $130 million and counting hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Read More »

As audiences walk out of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it’s impossible to not be thinking about where the story goes next. The script by married screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver ends on a pretty massive cliffhanger, and then does it again a few minutes into the credits. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I won’t get into specifics now but, it’s pretty obvious the story can continue and that’s exactly what the writers (along with director Rupert Wyatt) had in mind.

Jaffa and Silver spoke to Entertainment Weekly about this and though they were quick to say nothing is certain yet, they let it be known the film is specifically structured to – possibly – be the first in a brand new Apes trilogy. Read the quotes and some speculation after the break. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam rage against Cowboys and Aliens, discuss the point (or lack thereof) of The Killing, and take another look at Guillermo Del Toro’s first American film. Special guest Matt Singer joins us from IFC.

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There’s a lot of minor news floating around today about possible sequels, so let’s run it all down. After the break, you’ll find:

  • Comments from Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt about a possible sequel to the Planet of the Apes prequel,
  • The latest skinny on the 24 spin-off movie,
  • Comments from J.J. Abrams about Star Trek 2,
  • The latest Star Trek animated series talk,
  • Confirmation that Ray Park will indeed return for G.I. Joe 2,
  • and word on the shoot for Resident Evil: Retribution.

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