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Whill

Summer 2011 Movie Thread

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I saw Captain America over the weekend. It was definitely worth a viewing. I really liked the time they allowed and the approach they took showing the man behind the shield. I think the skinny Steve effect worked quite well. It was pleasantly refreshing to have a hero that is more light than all dark and angsty. The idea that a weak man would value the strength that he gained in a way that a strong man would not and the notion that the weak man was more likely to have compassion towards others as well was very interesting and insightful.

 

I saw Captain America this weekend. I completely agree with everything Bren posted about it and don't have much to add. It was a good action-flick, and a worthy addition to the Avengers-continuity films. I plan on buying both this and Thor when they come out on DVD/blue-ray.

 

A break in the Captain America: The First Avenger end credits includes a preview of The Avengers due out next summer.

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I just don't find the tale that compelling. In fact I can't even remember the book by Pierre Boulle.

 

IMO, it is incorrect to lump them altogether as one singular "tale", and to do so does all of the tales (plural) a disservice. This is the way I break down of the "Planet of the Apes" franchise:

 

La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle (the original novel)

Planet of the Apes (the original 1968 film)

The inferior sequels (films and TV series 1970-75)

Planet of the Apes (the 2001 film)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

 

All of the incarnations are distinctly different. It is true that the original 1968 film is largely based on the novel, but there are some significant differences.

 

Although the 2001 film did borrow some elements from both the novel and the 1968 film, it still can't really be considered the same "tale". The 2001 film was a mostly original plot that actually uses a significant aspect of the novel that the original film did not use (that the "planet of the apes" is not Earth and the end of the story shows a return to Earth, with a shocking conclusion much more similar to the novel.

 

Rise of the Planet of the Apes could only be considered a reboot of the original series sequel Conquest of the Planet of the Apes in a very vague way. Other then the basic fact that a highly intelligent ape named Caesar lead an uprising against humanity, Rise of the Planet has an original plot as well. Removing the time-travel element brought into the original series by Escape from the Planet of the Apes (and twisted in the 2001 film), Rise is an origin story with only a few minor references to previous Apes films.

 

I just don't find the tale that compelling.

 

Different strokes. Being a great ape myself, I find the tales fascinating. I've always been interested in genetics, evolution, biological and cultural anthropology, and my biological cousins (the other great apes). Then add in the topics of racism/speciesism, the conflict between religion and science, the dangers of nuclear power, time travel, etc. and throw in some action? Cool.

 

Rise of the Planet of the Apes:

The story was told well, and while it was CGI heavy, while viewing you still felt a connection to the plausibility of it. It did not get too cheesy, nor did it take itself too seriously. James Franco did a convincing job of empathizing with the CGI ape. John Lithgow did a great job of playing a crazy old guy with Alzheimer's. The antagonist actors were good at creating roles that really just served as motivators for "Caesar"'s character to become bitter and disconnected from Humanity as a group. At the same time, the Caesar character learned empathy and self-control, and this metamorphosis of self-realization and self-control. I enjoyed it and thought it was worth seeing if you enjoyed any of the original "Apes" movies, this one has appeal. It does a decent job of bringing to life the mythology again

 

I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes this weekend as well. Compared to the previous "planet of the apes" films, I thought this one was somewhat light in the modern society issues that are typically dealt with in sci-fi. Sure we had some speciesism (prejudice against semi-sentient beings), animal cruelty/testing, Alzheimers*, super-viruses and genetic engineering, but that's about it. However, I still liked it and thought it was a well-made film overall.

 

I will probably Netflix it to get one more viewing and also so my wife can see it (she is fluent in sign language so may be interested in seeing how accurate it was in the film). I don't currently have any intention to buy this film, but perhaps the best aspect of Rise is that it could be the foundation of a new Planet of the Apes film series whose sequels could be more interesting (and action-oriented) than the first. The film's gross has already surpassed the cost to make it, which means Rise is now only making profit and sequels are more likely.

Edited by Whill
* (I didn't mean to minimize the story's inclusion of the dealing with Alzheimers)

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