9 items from 2017
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
Howard Hawks’ “The Dawn Patrol,” from 1930, shows soldiers and officers cracking up from the cruelty of their missions — and shows the ones who manage not to, singing and clowning with an exuberance that suggests the rictus of a death mask. There’s courage and heroism, virtue and honor — at a price that makes the words themselves seem foul. John Ford’s “The Lost Patrol, »
- David Ehrlich
Christopher Nolan’s World War II retreat-and-rescue epic “Dunkirk” has critical acclaim and is the first 2017 studio film to stand as a serious awards contender. However, it’s unlikely to become a significant player among the top war films at the box office.
Over the last decade, Nolan’s made five films that grossed $200 million-$658 million (adjusted domestic). However, while war films can still draw big numbers (Clint Eastwood’s 2014’s “American Sniper” earned $381 million, domestic adjusted), Nolan’s movie may be hampered by history.
War is the backdrop to some of the most popular films of all time, including “Star Wars” as well as “Gone With the Wind” and “The Sound of Music,” the #1 and 3 domestic grossers of all time. David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” was more of a biography-character study, but it was an epic »
- Tom Brueggemann
If Matt Reeves’ much-anticipated “War on the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox) opens Friday to an expected $70 million or more, that would put it ahead (in domestic returns at least) of such recent high altitude-franchise stumbles as “Alien: Covenant,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” and “Transformers.”
Several factors contribute to the elevated respect for the series, going back almost half a century to when the first film, never intended as anything other than a standalone, became a surprise success in 1968.
Let’s track some curious highlights on the unusual trajectory that brings us to the ninth entry in the longest running English-language film series other than James Bond:
The Genesis Was a Stand-Alone Novel
- Tom Brueggemann
Before he took the helm of the “Planet of the Apes” franchise in 2014, Matt Reeves had no intention of ever directing a studio blockbuster. In fact, he figured he had a foolproof plan for getting himself out of any potential tentpole assignment: Insist on doing the story he wanted to do, the studio’s franchise-development apparatus be damned.
So when he was approached to direct “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the second entry in the rebooted series inaugurated by Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Reeves put his foot down right away.
“I was initially excited, and then I saw the [studio’s] outline and I said, this isn’t really the story I would want to tell, I don’t think this is for me,” Reeves says. “To my shock they said, ‘no, no, wait, just tell us the story you want to do.’ I said, ‘I »
- Andrew Barker
The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Ben-Hur, and Apocalypse Now – these are a few of the classic films that inspired War for the Planet of the Apes. The battle of wills from David Lean’s classic and The Thin Red Line‘s “darker, more nuanced reflection of human nature” were key influences for filmmaker Matt Reeves. Before Reeves’ sequel, […]
- Jack Giroux
In the original “Planet of the Apes” movies, Caesar and his simian co-stars were buried beneath layers of prosthetic makeup, severely limiting their ability to emote. In Fox’s recently rebooted “Apes” trilogy (three and counting), the computer-generated chimps appear more human than the homo sapiens — which is clearly what the series has been working up to. In purely technical terms, director Matt Reeves more than achieves that goal, although it requires rigging the screenplay and reducing the human characters to crass two-dimensional stereotypes in the process.
Dawn has risen, and “War for the Planet of the Apes” picks up at a point where the world has been divided into two camps: those deeply impressed by all that directors Rupert Wyatt and Reeves have done with the franchise, and those who couldn’t care less. If you already find yourself on the side of the “Apes” enthusiasts (a fittingly militant lot), then “War” will likely be a »
- Peter Debruge
With little under a month to go until release, 20th Century Fox’s marketing machine is beginning to fire on all cylinders in anticipation of War For the Planet of the Apes, Matt Reeves’ blockbuster threequel that will tee up a “biblical” clash between The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) and Andy Serkis’ radically evolved chimp, Caesar.
It’s not so much the final Apes film as it is the final chapter in Caesar’s story – for now, at least – and as you’ll see from Empire’s all-new close-up, Serkis’ glowering lead is looking a little worse for wear. Shot on 65mm film, Reeves and his creative team have undoubtedly swung for the fences with War For the Planet of the Apes, and from the trailers, TV spots, and scintillating promos alone, we’re quietly confident that the film will deliver in the visual department – and then some. Story-wise, we know »
- Michael Briers
Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj
In art, as in life, consistency is not a quality that is easily obtainable. In the life that is created in Vishal Bhardwaj’s art the characters are so flawed and fractured and so driven down to destruction by their own demoniacal desires that you fear they would collapse under the weight of their own ambitions and longings.
This is true as much of the characters as the director himself. Vishal Bhardwaj’s latest arguably his most ambitious film to date could have ended up being the Bombay Velvet/Mohenjo Daro of 2017. It is rescued, no redeemed, by an excruciatingly exquisite perception of the wounds and lashes that love pelts down on those who are its victims.
Rangoon is a simple tale, unnecessarily complicated by its characters’ prevarications. It is a story pinned down to a bobbing blueprint »
- Subhash K Jha
This past weekend, the American Society of Cinematographers awarded Greig Fraser for his contribution to Lion as last year’s greatest accomplishment in the field. Of course, his achievement was just a small sampling of the fantastic work from directors of photography, but it did give us a stronger hint at what may be the winner on Oscar night. Ahead of the ceremony, we have a new video compilation that honors all the past winners in the category at the Academy Awards
Created by Burger Fiction, it spans the stunning silent landmark Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans all the way up to the end of Emmanuel Lubezki‘s three-peat win for The Revenant. Aside from the advancements in color and aspect ration, it’s a thrill to see some of cinema’s most iconic shots side-by-side. However, the best way to experience the evolution of the craft is by »
- Jordan Raup
9 items from 2017
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners