Tag Archives: Movies

Why would you ever trust a human? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

It seems ironic that I saw the new Planet of the Apes movie in the week that the news has been dominated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the shooting down of a civilian airliner over the Ukraine. An no I’m not comparing any side in this conflict to apes. What I am comparing is conflict to conflict, mistrust to mistrust, and the sad tendencies of groups to fall into factionalism, and coups.

In a post-epidemic world, humans try to reopen an electricity plant, which happens to be located in a territory controlled by apes. Leaders on both sides, the humans and the apes in this film, have underlings who conspire to overthrow them and wreck any chances of peace between the two ‘tribes.’ Each side has characters that have lost family. Caesar, the leader of the apes, wants to avoid war. Koba, his second-in-charge, betrays him and accuses him
of loving humans more than his own kind. Does any of that sound familiar? Americans who are old enough to remember the civil rights era might recall an insult flung by whites at whites who supported the black struggle for equality.

The film makes us primarily see the conflict through the eyes of the apes. After all, why should apes trust humans who kept them in cages and experimented on them? And how should apes respond when a group that has oppressed them in the past wants to restart the generation of electricity – a thing that gave humans so much power in the past?

As a film, the ‘motion capture’ technology that takes the movement of humans and translates it into animated apes is clever.  I generally dislike films that rely too much on special effects to compensate for not having a decent script. This film doesn’t have that problem, although there are more ‘action’ scenes – smash, bash, crash, boom – than I usually like in a movie.  Unfortunately, the females get relegated to the roles of grieving parents and caregivers. No female character makes a decisive change to the direction of the plot. All the ‘serious’ roles go to men, far more than in the average Hollywood movie. All that being said it’s a good movie, perhaps very good, but not brilliant.

Note: this is my blog site. For my site about thesis editing services, go to the  RichardSnowEditing site.


Skyfall well worth the money.

So, the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, opened in Australia. Why the opening here was two weeks later than America, and four weeks after Great Britain, I have no idea.  If you’ve like previous James Bond movies, you’ll like this one.

Skyfall poster

The stunt scenes are well done. In the opening scenes Bond chases a bad guy on a motor bike over the rooftops of the grand bazar in Istanbul, Turkey. He crashes trough roofs, ends up fighting on top of a moving train, gets shot, and falls into an icy river, all without getting his shirt untucked from his trousers.

The movie soon moves to Macau, where the photography has a golden lustre to it, which is quite stunning. At a casino, Bond falls into a pit with Komodo dragons in it, and fights his way out, again without his shirt getting untucked.

There are a few historical oddities in the film. When it moves to Bonds childhood home, the house has a “priest hole”: something that would be incomprehensible to those without a little knowledge of British history. During the protestant-catholic wars in England, catholic families often had hidden passages in which catholic priests could hide when the protestant authorities came to look for them.

The acting is good, although the scene where the parliamentary committee interrogates Judy Dench suffers from stilted, clichéd dialogue. Daniel Craig is still young enough to stay fit enough to play in another Bond movie or two. And as long as James Bond continues, the new Eve Moneypenny has a bright future ahead of her.

Go see it. It’s worth the $17.

For an experienced intelligence operative’s view of some of the mechanics and tricks used in the film, see the review in http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/  and scroll down a few entries: They were able to write their review two weeks before mine because of the opening dates.