7 items from 2014
Warning: Spoilers for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (and all of the Apes films, for that matter) When Battle for the Planet of the Apes ended the franchise’s first cinematic run in 1973, it concluded the series with something of a whimper instead of a bang. While many of the original Apes sequels are enduringly fascinating in their expanding narratives, trenchant topicality and surprisingly bleak endings, they were also assembly line products rushed through production annually, with nearly each successive entry’s budget slashed in half – a series constructed on a model of diminishing returns. Most of the normal creative team were not available for the fifth entry, so The Omega Man’s married screenwriting team of John and Joyce Corrington were hired to helm Battle despite being unfamiliar with the series. After inter- and intra-species conflict, Battle ends with a flash-forward (a bookending device) showing a monument of Caesar (Roddy McDowall) with a tear »
- Landon Palmer
Even before you consider Rupert Wyatt's hit 2011 blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its successor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Franklin J Schaffner's 1968 adventure had spawned four sequels, an animated cartoon series, a live-action TV show, a deluge of marketing (bubblegum cards, plastic models, etc.) and Tim Burton's 2001 remake. And yet nobody wanted to touch Planet of the Apes when producer Arthur P Jacobs first touted it around Hollywood in the mid-'60s.
Adapted from Pierre Boulle's novel La Planète Des Singes, Jacobs saw it as the perfect follow-up to the animal magic movie he currently had in production, Doctor Dolittle. Approaching studios with a script by Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone, and concept images honed by no fewer than seven artists, Jacobs's passion project was nonetheless ridiculed: actors in monkey suits was the stuff of B-movies and cheap TV serials. »
The Planet of The Apes movies occupy a curious netherworld of critical opinion. With each film, the budget was sawn in half, leading to a successive pattern of diminishing returns that led to a cheapening of its esteem. The spin-off TV show was quickly cancelled, further dulling the lustre and few people even remember the animated series that finally put the Apes to bed until a rude awakening in 2001.
However, for all their child-pleasing capers (the family-friendly G rating was a mandatory stipulation from the studios), the Apes movies deftly juggled important themes and arguments about slavery, free-will, nuclear war, vivisection, racism and oppression, and man’s innate capacity for cruelty. In pure storytelling terms, the circuitous plot links the first five movies (and the prequel Rise of The Planet of The Apes) into a pleasing, if relentlessly pessimistic, self-perpetuating full-circle.
Enormous box office successes in their early stages, they »
- Cai Ross
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World’s Finest Heroes – in an Instant!
Warner Archive Instant (Wai) Now Available with Airplay on AppleTV; Free Two-Week Wai Trial Membership Open to Everyone
Continuing to make available rare and hard-to-find classic films, TV movies and TV series, Warner Archive Instant is now streaming 50 animated episodes of The New Adventures of Batman& The New Adventures of Superman, with the animated Aquaman series making its debut this June on the popular streaming service.
Warner Archive Instant (Wai) is now even easier to incorporate into your digital life through Airplay on AppleTV. Simply download the app and log in for access to hundreds of films and TV series episodes running the gamut from fanboy favorites and cult classics to some of the finest films »
- Matt MacNabb
Review Rachel Bowles 15 Mar 2014 - 18:44
Jonathan Creek concludes its fifth series with a satisfying, comic noodle-scratcher...
This review contains spoilers.
5.3 The Curse Of The Bronze Lamp
After a disappointing start to the new series, Jonathan Creek seemed to return to form last week in The Sinner And The Sandman with a much more recognisable setup with one key mystery to solve. Despite not being the most exciting of mysteries, nor one of the most bloodthirsty; The Sinner and The Sandman certainly turned in some great performances, notably from John Bird. Alan Davies seemed more enthusiastic in the role as the eponymous hero and the whole setup felt a lot less perilous with far fewer contrived jokes or plot points.
Despite a more positive start to the episode, The Curse Of The Bronze Lamp still lacked pace and excitement. It has often been the case with previous series of Jonathan Creek »
Press Release From the Warner Archive
Since the beginning of the month, Warner Archive Instant has added over 100 feature films to our new streaming service, many in 1080p HD for the first time anywhere! Classic Comedy like Bachelor Mother (1939) with Ginger Rogers and The Wheeler Dealers (1963) with James Garner. Monster Movies like Son of Kong (1933) and Mighty Joe Young (1949). Musicals like Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936) and Les Girls (1957) with Gene Kelly. End of the World Sci-Fi like The Omega Man (1971) with Charlton Heston and The World, The Flesh and the Devil (1959) with Harry Belafonte. So much new amazing stuff available to stream on your iPad, Roku or PC/Mac. Try it Free for 2 weeks. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
The death of Richard Matheson on 22 June 2013 marked the end of an amazing career as a novelist and screenwriter. His most enduring legacy will always be as the author of I Am Legend, arguably one of the finest vampire novels ever written. Considered ‘the very peak of paranoid science fiction,’ Matheson’s groundbreaking debut novel is one of the few contemporary vampire stories that came close to the literary excellence of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
With plans of a sequel to the Will Smith misfire I Am Legend (2007) being seriously considered by filmmakers, there is only one thing that fans of Matheson’s outstanding post apocalyptic work are asking “when is there going to be a Proper film version of the book?”
Published in 1954, I Am Legend tells the terrifying tale of Robert Neville, the sole survivor of a mysterious airborne virus that has turned everyone, including his wife Virginia and best friend Ben Cortman, »
7 items from 2014
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