Friday, 28 November 2014

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes: Nice … !

27th November, 2014.

You know, I have to thank my Aunty Bella, again, at some point.

No, really.

A while ago, now, she sent me a few quid.   Enough to buy myself an Apple TV.   The little Apple made set-top media box let’s me stream my media content from a computer with iTunes over to whatever TV it’s plugged into.

It’s also let’s me listen to quite a few internet radio stations.   I’ve got one playing now, in fact: Le Chic Day ’n’ Nite, I should add.

No, I’m not that much of a clubber.

But it’s nice to listen to, when I write late night.

And got a bit more oomph to it than some of the Ambient stations on there.


The reason I mention that the Apple TV … ?

Is because — as you’ve possibly worked out by now — I like a film or two.

Or possibly three.

On my budget, over the past few years?

On my budget, I’ve tended to prefer renting films: rather than buying them.

Given the demise of video rental stores, like Blockbusters, I realised there’s three ways of renting films.

In my town … ?   We can rent from our local library: Brentwood Library has a modest collection of films we can rent, for £1·50 a week.

Or, if we’re unscrupulous?   If we’re unscrupulous, we can make use of illegally downloaded content: getting torrent files from site like Pirate Bay — and others — and using the relevant software to download the movies.


I go with the third route: of using a legal, video-on-demand, service to rent an download films.

In my particular case?   Apple fan that I am, I rent films from iTunes.

Barring the odd occasion*?

They’ve generally come up with the goodies.

ONE of the goodies … ?   Was the film I’d caught, tonight: one I’d anticipated for a while.

The 2014,  Matt Reeves directed release that is … Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.

And … ?   While I was unsure of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes first film in the rebooted franchise, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes shows an improvement.


Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes opens with a montage, showing us the lights going out on civilisation, as the world — and humanity — are ravaged by a virus: a mutated version of the virus that had originally — in the first film — been intended to alleviate Alzheimer’s.

Ten years later … ?   Ten years later, we see Cæsar — Andy Serkis reprising his role from Rise of the Planet Of The Apes — leading a large group of apes, who’ve made their homes in a large forest outside San Francisco.

The peace of that home … ?

Is disturbed: when some of the humans who’ve re-colonized the city come to the area, to try to re-start the hydro-electric power-station built on the dam in the park.

The first meeting … ?

Goes badly: with one ape being shot and seriously injured.

And the humans — led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke) — only getting out of the forest under Cæsar’s sufferance.

It’s only when Malcolm and his party get back to San Francisco, and talk to Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) they realise one thing.

Getting any kind of electricity going in the city … 

Is going to need the co-operation of the apes …


Now … 

I say ‘Nice’ … ?

Yes: with, it has to be said, possibly more sarcasm — or possibly irony — than I intended.

Or possibly not

You see, I’ve re-read my write-up on Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes: and I’m very aware I said I felt it had room for improvement.

Those were my words.

Room For Improvement’.

Saying that, Rise is and was a good film.

The improvement that I felt it needed, though … ?

Has turned up in the shape of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.

I still feel that Andy Serkis has done better performances: he’s stolen every Peter Jackson film he’s been in, and should have got that year’s Oscar for Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll.

However … ?

I felt his performance had improved for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.


But actually overshadowed by Toby Kebbell, as Koba: Cæsar’s chief rival.

Possibly one of THE most sympathetic villains ever seen on the big screen.


That — and the all round feel of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes — makes for very watchable viewing.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

*      The one occasion that stands out for me … ?   Is Strange Days.   I eventually borrowed a friend’s copy.   Very worth the wait, I should add.   Oh … remind me not to annoy Angela Bassett† … 

†        If EVER someone makes the film version of Neuromancer, I hope — in all seriousness — they cast Angela Bassett as Molly.

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