Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2014)
I was pretty cool on Rise of the Planet of the Apes. This sequel markedly improves on the original in every way, but particularly in a smart script and strong direction by genre savvy Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) that manages to keep the tension high for its entire running time. I have to mention the special effects, too, because I was particularly unhappy with the effects in Rise. Here, the characters have real weight and interaction, and the apes are able to communicate with their eyes and body language in a way that, while perhaps not photorealistic, are at least part of the same emotional language of the entire film. Everything blends. The special effects generally didn't take me out of the movie or dull my emotional involvement in what is a great genre picture with a humanistic story that is at turns sad, thrilling, and tentative. Shakespearean in that skiffy sort of way, and incredibly enjoyable. ***1/2

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