Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by ElimParra, Jul 9, 2014.

?

Grading

Poll closed Nov 6, 2014.
  1. A+

    24.1%
  2. A

    24.1%
  3. A-

    18.5%
  4. B+

    14.8%
  5. B

    9.3%
  6. B-

    3.7%
  7. C+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. C

    1.9%
  9. C-

    1.9%
  10. D+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. D

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. D-

    1.9%
  13. E

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. F

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Agreed - everything I'd want, and more than I usually get even from the best of them these days.

    Much as I liked the first one with Franco, this one was better. That the writers incorporated so many riffs on Battle For The Planet Of The Apes in a movie that's so different in tone, so much better and so much more sophisticated is remarkable.

    The scale of this, compared to the first, is extraordinary and it's very well realized. Can't wait for the next one.
     
  2. AvBaur

    AvBaur Captain Captain

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    The movie finally came out in Germany this week, and I went to see it tonight.

    How rare is it to see an action movie where you don't want anyone to fight? Where every punch thrown and every shot fired is a tragedy? It's telling that my least favorite part of the movie is the big ape-on-ape fight scene at the movie's climax.

    Everything else is pretty amazing, though! "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is a powerful anti-war film and features one of the most horrific battle sequences ever put to film. War has rarely looked this awful. It allows you to truly empathize with both sides of the conflict and paints the apes just as humanly as the humans, if not more so.

    This is helped by some tremendous effects and animation/performance capture/acting, a terrific score, and fantastic camerawork. An improvement on its predecessor in almost every way. I only wish the film hadn't unnecessarily marginalized its female characters quite as much.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I wish I could agree, but unfortunately I found myself too distracted by the very fanciful portrayal of firearms -- the endless ammo reserves of the automatic rifles and the apes' instant mastery of them without any training or knowledge of how to aim them properly, keep them from jamming, reload them (if they ever did run out of ammo), etc.


    And nonwhite characters. Assuming most of the survivors we saw came from the San Francisco area, there should've been a lot more Asian-Americans.
     
  4. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Absolutely agreed on all points. Good summary. I'd reverse the emphasis on acting/animation, though. ;)
     
  5. AvBaur

    AvBaur Captain Captain

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    I did that intentionally, because I think the animators often get overlooked in all this talk of "digital make-up." Sometimes, Andy Serkis gets praised for scenes that were completely animated, with no p.-cap. reference. Still, the actors did terrific work, obviously.
     
  6. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Examples?

    There's no substantial performance by any of the major ape characters in this movie that's not the performance of an actor.

    The kind of "completely animated" work done is the equivalent of stunt work - leaping, fighting, crowd scenes, etc. - for which the actors in more traditional live action movies are replaced by stand-ins, stunt people or background players.

    Essential though such performers and their support equipment are I wouldn't suggest that they're undervalued comparable to, for example, the lead or featured actors in movies like The Godfather or Wolf Of Wall Street.

    In fact the opposite awareness problem seems to exist for most moviegoers: they're under the misimpression, to the extent that they're aware of how the movie is made at all, that they're watching animation ala Disney or Dreamworks where the actors are simply providing only the vocal talent. It's way past time that Serkis and the others were getting Academy Award attention for their work.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Animators are actors. They just craft their performances really, really slowly.
     
  8. AvBaur

    AvBaur Captain Captain

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    This article features a number of examples from the Lord of the Rings movies: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/motion-c...iam-cook-speaks-out-on-andy-serkis-99439.html

    You should also keep in mind that a human's face and body look very different from an ape's. This means a lot of the captured performance can't be translated 1:1 and is open to interpretation by the animators.

    I do think some of these performances deserve some kind of award, but one that should be shared by the actor and the animation team.
     
  9. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I call this an anti-war movie, I could if the movie didn't end with Caesar willingly going to war with humanity knowing that such a war is wrong to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  10. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This was a remarkable movie. Really, I enjoyed this much, much more than I thought I would. The plot was, at times, predictable, but the character and thematic work more than made up for it. Caesar is wonderfully realized. And I wholeheartedly agree that Serkis deserves an award for his performance. I didn't mind that the humans were mostly relegated to "supporting" roles ... I loved that this was the Apes' movie - that this was their story. And I was intrigued at how, with more sophistication in their society, more conflict arose. That just reinforces the power of choice in determining war or peace.

    Oh, and I went into the film without having seen Rise, either. Just watched the first one last night. It was good, but not nearly as impressive as Dawn.
     
  11. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    I know all of that and know it very well. I also know that what was done on Lord Of The Rings has very little bearing on what's being done now in movies like the Planet Of The Apes films - it's the difference between "motion capture" and "performance capture."

    Nope.

    Yes, animators have to figure out the coding to translate, oh, the motion of human mouth or neck muscles to a different geometry. Traditional prosthetic make-up work requires the design of appliances of particular materials at specific densities, thicknesses and shapes and utilizing whatever mechanical supports are required in order to best communicate the actor's performance. The craft of make-up is no less technical and demanding and requires no less artistry than digital make-up, and awards are given to recognize that.

    So give the animators awards for animation or effects or whatever, but these actors deserve to be recognized and nominated as actors, for their performances alone - no different from playing characters under heavy make-up and costuming.

    It'll happen, but frankly it'll happen not for a relatively little-known but brilliant character actor like Sirkis but rather because a big studio is pushing some A-lister for an Oscar in a movie where he/she is assisted by digital make-up.
     
  12. AvBaur

    AvBaur Captain Captain

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    I don't agree. When looking at side-by-side comparisons of Andy Serkis on set and Caesar in the movie, it's pretty clear to me that there are subtle differences in expression that come down to acting choices made by the animators. The actors' contribution may be greater than the animators', but it's still a co-authored performance, not just "digital make-up."

    It's even clearer with a case like "Avatar," where some of the Na'vi characters' emotions are illustrated by movements of their ears and tails, on which the actors had no influence.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes. Think of it like a more mobile equivalent of a painting based on a live model, like, say, Alex Ross's photorealistic paintings of DC or Marvel superheroes based on live models for reference. Ross uses the appearance and expression and pose of the models as the starting point of his work, but adds his own artistic style and interpretation to it as well as alterations to give the characters their exotic attributes or superpowers or to depict them in flight or other impossible actions. In the same way, performance-capture animators are creating an artwork that's modeled on a live actor's performance. Yes, the digital motion capture is an important tool in the process, but so is the still camera that a painter may use to take reference photos of a model. It, along with the footage of the actor's facial performance, is just the basic data that the artist uses as a starting point. It would be as wrong to confuse the performance-capture data with the finished digital character animation as it would be to confuse the reference photograph of the model with the final painting.
     
  14. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    I finally got around to seeing this. I haven't seen the first one in a while, but I think I had a better impression of it. It just seemed like there were a lot more touching character moments, and I'm kind of a sucker for Lithgow and his character's plight.

    In this new movie, I didn't feel that as much from the human characters, but more so the apes. But their problems just weren't as relatable to me. I still thought it was a pretty good movie. Very entertaining.

    And I realize it's a movie about smart apes fighting humans, but I think the whole ape with dual machine guns blazing riding a horse against the backdrop of fiery explosions was just a little bit too much for me.


    Also, I noticed in the ratings that the lowest was given by BigJake. Yet I haven't seen a post from him explaining his position, which is odd considering how, um, articulate he usually is.
     
  15. I amnot Herbert

    I amnot Herbert Lieutenant Commander

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    ...just saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on blu-ray

    I must say, it is pretty damn good, IMHO! :techman:

    I think this movie will win awards across the board for sci-fi, as well as general categories... well done!

    If Star Trek could get this treatment, I would be a HAPPY GUY!

    DOTPOTA will probably beat GOTG, overall... and I LOVE GOTG!

    If you like sci-fi, don't miss it! :)
     
  16. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    True, but it's a shame that Andy Serkis' performance will be ignored yet again. Toby Kobbell (Koba), too.
     
  17. I amnot Herbert

    I amnot Herbert Lieutenant Commander

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    well, let's HOPE NOT! =)

    as you say: Caesar & Koba are the STARS of this EXCELLENT sci-fi film =)
     
  18. Sgt. Pepper

    Sgt. Pepper Lieutenant Commander

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    This movie was great. I saw it in theaters and it was totally worth it. I felt more for the apes than the humans as I'm sure it was intended. I can't wait for the next installment and to see where this story goes.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    If the Oscars/Golden Globes/ect. don't want to give motion capture actors best actor awards, then some of them really should make it a category of it's own. It's common enough now that it probably wouldn't be that hard to find nominees.
     
  20. I amnot Herbert

    I amnot Herbert Lieutenant Commander

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    Agreed. their criteria is out of touch...

    ...at least it's not as ridiculous as the grammies! :rolleyes: