Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

If you saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which I reviewed a while back, then you know the background behind this movie.  Briefly, A scientist creates a serum to try and cure Alzheimer's, but it ends up creating intelligent apes.  Unfortunately, the newly intelligent apes don't enjoy being kept in cages and given the occasional banana, so they rebel, and escape en masse.  Living in the wilds of what I guess is California, they form a large and growing tribe of civilized apes.

Unfortunately, as we see at the beginning of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), the serum created by the scientist to cure Alzheimer's becomes a plague that devastates the human race.  There's little explanation as to why and how quickly human civilization collapses, but there's a pocket of humans living in San Francisco who are trying to get electricity working again once the movie gets rolling.  They send a team of engineers to try to find and restore power to a hydroelectric dam just north of the city.  However, a brief altercation results when the humans and the apes run into each other, and suddenly, the worst in both apes and humans comes to the fore.

This is another Planet of the Apes movie.  They are all remakes or re-imaginings of the original movies, which actually starred Roddy McDowell, and one even had Charlton Heston in it.  I believe his most famous line was "Get your paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" which, I often tell my girlfriend when she tries to get frisky.  Hmmmm.  Maybe that's why I don't have a girlfriend..?  Naaaahhhhh.  Can't be.

This actually wasn't a bad movie.  Much better than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, to be sure.  The acting talent consisted mainly of Gary Oldman (Dracula, The Professional) as the leader of the humans, and Keri Russell (I'm sure I know her from somewhere) as the love interest/CDC doctor friend of the lead engineer.  They had voice talent playing the apes, of course, but honestly, I don't really recognize any of the names, so I can't vouch for their acting skill.  However, the CGI on the apes was pretty well done.  I don't want to sound racist (or Specie-ist?) here, just in case there are any intelligent apes reading this (I include humans in that), but you could really tell most of the apes apart.  There was Caesar, Koba (Caesar's scarred-up right-hand man, err, ape), Blue-Eyes (Caesar's son), and some big hairy Orangutan called Maurice.  Yea.  Maurice.  Don't ask me, I didn't name him.

There was a lot of action in this movie.  No nudity, unless you count a bunch of hairy apes, and I don't.  Lots of ape-violence against humans, and human-violence against apes, a few explosions, lots of gunfire, some really bad acting on Koba's part that actually went over well because of his over-acting (you'd have to see the movie to understand what I mean), and apes riding horses!  Where the hell else are you going to see apes riding horses, even if it is all CGI?  Yea, exactly.  Not anywhere outside the circus, and I can assure you the computer-generated animal images were treated much better than their circus counterparts, and humanely edited out with as much love as possible at the end of production.

I would say, give this one a watch.  Honestly, I thought Koba was awesome.  If you've ever wanted to see a pissed off chimpanzee, with scars all up and down his body, act like General Ross sending Tanks after the Hulk, then Koba is your man.  He had a shit-ton of personality.  You know who he reminded me of?  Ricardo Montalban as Khan at the end of Star Trek 2.  I expected him to go out with "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee!  For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"  But I guess the chimps aren't quite up to quoting Moby Dick.  To be fair, I thought the quote was from shakespeare, and had to look it up to find out it was actually from Herman Melville's Moby Dick, so maybe I'm on the same level as the chimps at this point.

Am I going to watch it again?  No, but I'm probably going to look forward to watching the next one, because James Franco wasn't in this one, which made it a much better movie than Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes just premiered on HBO, if you have that, so I'm sure they'll be playing it again.  Or, you can watch it on demand, or wherever else HBO allows you to watch their movies.

In other news, it's day 3 of the Post-Letterman Era.  I was kind of bummed the day after Letterman hung up his lapel mic, so I tracked down the Letterman YouTube channel.  In about an hour or two, I had my fill of celebutards trying to plug their latest crappy movies about buttloads of human feelings and remakes of things we've seen a thousand times.  Honestly, since I missed about 5900 of Letterman's 6000+ episodes, I can't really say I was that regular a viewer, anyways.  I'm not saying who was a celebutard on the Late Show and who wasn't, but honestly, I am sure you guys know which is which.  For example, Bill Murray is NOT a celebutard, but a talented A-list acting veteran.  Miley Cyrus, I can't vouch for, but she's cuter than Bill Murray, so I guess she has her good points.  But enough about Letterman.  Moving on.

Memorial Day Weekend!  And I have a special treat for you guys!  ZOMBEAVER is on Netflix!  Holy shit!  :-D  Yes, I been waiting to watch and review this movie since I first heard about it.  You guys can beat me to the punch and watch it yourselves, or wait until I review it on memorial day.  I'd watch and review it now, but I wanted to save it until after my family picnic tomorrow, so you guys will have to wait til then to read my exhaustive, in-depth, and insightful review.  Yea, okay, so it's a movie about zombie beavers and boobs.  But at least my review can be insightful, if not as funny as the movie is expected to be.  :-)

Have a nice weekend, memorialize those who should be, uh, remember-ized...  yea....  and, most importantly, have fun!  That's why holiday weekends were invented!  :-D  By Al Gore, I think.  Wait, didn't he invent the intertoobz?  Hmmm.  I have to look that up.

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