Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
I was sceptical about this reboot of the remake of Schaffner’s screen adaptation of Boulle’s novel, but damn if it doesn’t hit the spot. It’s present day, no spaceships, just a biotechnology company messing around with viral treatments for Alheimer’s – and testing on monkeys,naturally. With James Franco, Frida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton and David Oyelowo, and Andy Serkis as a CGI/motion capped smart chimp, Caesar. Exquisitely marshalled by Rupert Wyatt, whose only previous feature was the elegiac prison flick The Escapist, working from a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver that harks back to and alludes to pretty much all of the five original movies.
Two Weeks Notice
Fun, throwaway screwball/romcom, with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock as a feckless property magnate and a leftie lawyer drawn together in New York. Writer/director Marc Lawrence went on to do the even better Music & Lyrics, and then Did You Hear About The Morgans?.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
JJ Abrams associate Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) takes over the director’s chair, whilst Mark Bomback (tedious fourth Die Hard movie, unnecessary remakes of Race To Witch Mountain and Total Recall) joins the writers’ table alongside Jaffa and Silver. But it’s not as bad as that sounds – in fact, it’s pretty good.
We’re now post-monkey virus, in a world where most of the humans have been killed off, whilst a generation of intelligent apes is vying for top-of-the-food-chain rights. Jason Clarke tries to maintain a sense of right and wrong amongst his small group of human survivors near San Francisco, whilst Caesar (Andy Serkis again) similarly tries to give direction and purpose to his tribe of evolved apes. Only by working together will they, etc etc.