I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘Andy Serkis’

War for the Planet of the Apes

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Director Matt Reeves, in his two sequels to the prequel to the PLANET OF THE APES series, has achieved some sort of cinematic miracle. I don’t think we as a society have properly acknowledged how incredible and unlikely these movies are. These are prebootquel-sequel-summer-event-special-effects-movies that are bleak, heavy and emotional, yet fun to watch. They feel like they’re based in the real world, yet they have us accepting apes that can speak English – not in a BABE talking-animal-movie type of way, but in a “some of them have evolved enough to learn how to do it” sort of way. Tentative, with odd rhythms, and economical use of words. It’s like a trick that they’re still mastering, putting great effort into each syllable, having to catch their breath between words. There’s still something creepy about this demonstration of intelligence from animals that are in a war with humans like us. Yet Reeves gets us to root for them – for their survival, for their moral choices.

It’s almost beside the point that somehow Reeves films a bunch of dudes in weird suits out in the woods and Weta turns them into photo-realistic animated characters. Most of the main characters and extras are computer generated, but I just think of it as live action while I’m watching it. Remember when it seemed like the Achilles heel of motion capture would always be the creepy, doll-like eyes? Well, here we have Caesar (played by the Marlon Brando of mo-cap, Andy Serkis), a performance that’s at least 25% intense stare-down. It’s as if all the soul and humanity missing from all the eyeballs in THE POLAR EXPRESS were set aside to load into his. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Disney’s Marvel’s Joss Whedon’s The Avengers in: The Age of Ultron: A Marvel Cinematic Universe Adventure 2D

Monday, May 4th, 2015

tn_avengers2THE AVENGERS PART 2 is probly the most comic bookiest comic book movie achieved by mankind so far, which is to say that most of the action scenes have like 15 different supermen and secret agents and shit flipping around shooting magic beams and power waves and explosive arrows and laser things and doing super punches and alley ooping each other and what not as they fight against an army of flying wiseass robots. There are two main characters who wear capes, one that turns into a giant monster, one that’s from a viking fantasy dimension or whatever, at least two that fly of their own accord and two using the jets on their power suits, one that moves faster than sound and another that does mind control and shoots red, uh… magic I guess?… from her hands. It’s not played exactly “gritty” but it’s not a joke either. It means it.

After writer/director Joss Whedon (SPEED)’s masterful job of combining all the different Marvel characters into one supergroup in part 1, he has an even bigger miracle to pull off, and ends up with more mixed results. Because after you’ve managed the trick of combining all these worlds and characters into one coherent movie (which honestly I didn’t believe could be done), the challenge is how do you do it again and make it seem new again and bigger this time but not worse? And the answer is “it’s hard to say.” (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Monday, July 14th, 2014

tn_dotpotaReview of the Movie of The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

When there’s no more room in Hell, the apes will ride the horses. This new PLANET OF THE APES series has decided to start titling in Romerical order, so #2 is DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Sounds good, but since they’ve used the title we can now rule out a future chapter with apes living in an abandoned shopping mall and then they get attacked by biker apes. Also, if this is DAWN OF THE then where is the Hare Krishna ape?

2011’s RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES was exciting because it looked like a total joke and then it caught me with its touching and nuanced story of the super-intelligent ape Caesar, wedged inside a dumb sci-fi story with one dimensional human characters. DAWN loses the advantage of surprise but gains the advantage of building off the first one to create a way better movie. They wisely skip ahead 10 years to when the human population has been decimated by the virus and Caesar has led the apes to build a village in the Redwoods. They’re nearing an Ewok level of advancement with wooden treehouses and spears, war paint, a few crowns and jewels made of teeth. No hoods or hang gliders yet. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Summer Movie Flashback of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

tn_rotpotaB

2011
2011

I like doing these re-reviews. Alot of times I feel differently about a movie as I get older, or I notice new things after seeing it more than once, or I benefit from being removed from the context of the hype and the reactions I’d been hearing when it came out. But it’s a challenge too because it’s so easy to be redundant. More than once I wrote a draft of one of these and then read my old review and found out I unknowingly repeated an idea or even an exact phrase. Shit. Like I was doing I, ROBOT and I was real proud of this joke where I rewrote the 3 Laws of Robotics in my own way. Then it turned out I already did that years ago.

And as the gap narrows here at the end of the series it’s getting pretty ridiculous. This was only 2 years ago, and I haven’t gone off to live a quiet life in a monastery and stick fight in a remote village or anything like that. A man can only gain so much wisdom in that period of time, so my views haven’t really changed on the movie of THE RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES of the starring James Franco. It’s still a very enjoyable dumb man’s thinking man’s sci-fi. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Adventures of Tintin

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

tn_tintinWord of warning: THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN is really only about 1 (one) specific adventure that this guy Tintin has, it’s not about all of his adventures. I don’t know if that was a typo or a mistranslation or what but it’s fucking bullshit.

Tintin (Jamie Bell from UNDERTOW) is a boy reporter from Belgium. I think. But I don’t remember them specifying where it was or having Belgian accents, and I didn’t notice any cameos by famous Belgians like Jean-Claude Van Damme and other famous Belgians. But I’ve read it’s based on a Belgian comic strip. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

tn_rotpotaWell I’ll be the rise of a monkey’s uncle – this movie actually is good! I’d heard all good things, but after seeing the trailers and TV ads it was hard to get my hopes up. Boiled down to basics and money shots it’s just some dumb bullshit: James Franco making speeches about a miracle cure, quick shots of every scene where a CGI ape jumps into the air, dramatic trailer music squeals and buzzes. I didn’t even think the much hyped special effects by Weta looked that good. Instead of the people in makeup as evolved apes from the original masterpiece they gotta have Andy Serkis or Tom Hanks or somebody controlling a computer animated chimp with humanized eyes and expressions. They show a baby chimp, it’s digital. Do they not know there are chimps? They think they can’t film a real one ’cause it’s a made up creature like a Smurf or an Avatar? I wasn’t buying it. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Very First KING KONG Review… That Is Written By Vern!!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

Okay, so it’s not the first one ever. Or even in the first hundred at this point. But it’s before mine, and it’s by Vern, so there’s two things it’s got going for it. Check this out:

What’s up fellas –

I heard some shit about your butts were numb or something like that. Sorry to hear about that I hope you get well soon.

Anyway here’s the deal. I saw KING KONG. Not sure if you know about this one but it is a remake of an older picture from ’33 or so. This version is by Pete Jackson who won an Oscar, etc. You LORD OF THE RINGS fans will know who I’m talking about. If not there is always the internet. I’m not sure if they have IMDB translated into elfish, but I’m sure you can find the information somewhere or other. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern tracks down Gollum & King Kong in THE ESCAPIST!!!

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Hey folks, Harry here – Vern brings up a very important issue… Lee Marvin should have to fight Andy Serkis in a weird revenge film using the latest in time travel technology. What? Oh – read the review – you’ll get why that’s cool. Or maybe you intuitively get it. You rule. Here’s Vern…

Howdy boys

If you’re jonesin for a big scoop, you might want to put your pants back on, because this ain’t it. But I did find a pretty good revenge movie I never heard of that’s going straight to video this January here in the states. The box for the screener calls it an “Action-Packed Brand-new Feature Film!” which is advertising slang for “British movie from 2001.” Seems like it must’ve been released in the cinemas they got over there, but I’m not sure when since it doesn’t seem to be on video yet there either.

The movie is called THE ESCAPIST, but it’s not a remake of THE ESCAPIST from 1983 which stars actual escape artist Bill Shirk as himself. You would think you couldn’t go wrong with a movie where they do nothing but find excuses to hang the main character upside down in a straight jacket and put snakes on him and crap, but it doesn’t really work out. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.