Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Matt Reeves

My friend David and I made plans few weeks ago to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in a nearby cinema-mall by his apartment. I received a text message on Friday night asking me to accompany him at a cinema. I had seen him last weekend and he owed me money from a gig we did together, which was probably the biggest reason we were meeting up. The following day, our alarms were set for 10AM sharp at Cinemarks. However, being an early bird I was at the mall half an hour early.

At first, everything about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes thrilled me. Like many film enthusiasts, I skipped the trailer and avoided any topics associated with the film. I arrived at Cinemark and read about the production techniques of the film through my black LG phone. First news to pop-up related to the film was Andy Serkis who plays Ceaser recently announced that he will direct an adaptation of Richard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Samantha Shannon’s The Imaginarium: The Bone Season.

Dawn of the planet of the Apes is about genetically evolved apes led by alpha-ape Caesar living in a national forest outside of San Francisco (or Vancouver set location) is threatened by a crew of human survivors from a deadly virus that eliminated human race. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is directed by Matt Reeves. He gained his audience through Cloverfield and adaptation of Swedish film Let the Right One In. The story of dawn of the planet of the Apes gave me a déjà vu. It was like Mark Bomback and Rick Jaffa had recently woken up after seeing Avatar and decided to rewrite a similar storyline and substitute Na’vis with Apes. I was more interested in motion graphics and production side of this film rather than the uncreative writing. 

After the film ended, I had read on Reddit how there was an alternative scene at the end. David and I waited unwearyingly, but nothing came of it. While we walked out of the theatre, we both chatted about the technical aspects of the film. David rightfully made his opinion on actors who do motion graphics need to be acknowledged for their acting. There was a similar debate when Zoe Saldana was ignored for an Oscar nomination. Our discussion continued on Dawn of the Planet of the Ape’s 360-degree shot on top of a tank. It was the only scene that grabbed both of our attention. The scene follows an ape that takes control over a tank and the camera follows it through a 360-degree pan.  When the humans enter their protected guard, there was a similar scene that reminded me of I Am Legend and Godzilla. Both scenes looked very familiar: inner city deserted jungles. Joe Letteri, the visual effects supervisor who won an Oscar for AvatarLOTR and also Rise of the Planet of the Apes. CG characters in Dawn set a new high mark.

Although, my review is written few weeks later, Dawn has received critical acclaim and strong positive reviews and dominating rest of July at the box office. Matt Reeves has already planned a sequel to Apes franchise. Andy Serkis delivers a strong performance that makes you wonder if you’re really watching motion graphics capture work or not. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a perfectly good option on a Saturday afternoon. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

At last we have our trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and "Pippin" song returns on the big screen. 

The Antlers: Director

One of my favorite from their new album Familiars. Undersea took us to the bottom of the ocean, Familiars take us on top of a cloud.  They are playing LIVE at Fitz tomorrow and I have my ticket. 

"From a stage in your heart 
I can tell that you're far from yourself 
When You barter your lust for your health And when you claim it's all a play
And you just don't care
I only stare
I'm a director watching you rehearse "

Shopgirl: Anand Tucker

My friend Jackie and I exchanged movie lists and one movie on her list struck me. I remember a good friend of mine once quoted a dialogue from the film on my facebook wall, “hi vik. i'm watching shopgirl. Every time I watch this movie this one line reminds me of you. "hey jeremy, are you the kind of person it takes time to get to know and then once you get to know them... they're fabulous?”  I was in awe when I first read this comment back three years ago. About a month ago, I decided to search the film online and watch it finally.

Ever felt trapped at your job or your endeavor slowly fading away… well this is how most people feel when they are trying to reach their definitive goal. Many of us tend to be destructive when we can’t find a solution, however, a satisfied goal is one that requires sweat, sleepless nights and a pinch of happiness every day.

Shortly after Steve Martin’s wrote his novel Shopgirl was turned into a screenplay. Shopgirl is more of a slow Hollywood French film. Steve Martin has written a thoughtful and relastic screenplay at his first attempt at screenwriting. Shopgirl is a romantic comedy that fails at times, but Shopgirl characters are strikingly charismatic, vulnerable, and honest. The film explores separation, toxic relationship and hopes. Desperate, lonely and untouchable sales associate Mirabelle (Claire Danes) meets Ray (Steve Martin), a wealthy dot-com millionaire in his 60’s, at a Saks Fifth Avenue in Los Angeles one evening. Suddenly that evening, she meets Jeremy, a goalless nerd and awkward font designer. Mirabelle’s first meeting with Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman) at a Laundromat provides a comic relief. Mirabelle is unsure of what lies in her future with Ray, as she feels isolated when he’s traveling. Her job as a sales associate is unchallenging and she soon realizes to divert her attention to becoming an artist.

Shopgirl is not a subtle romantic-comedy, but comes off as half-baked coming of age story. There is something sweet and innocent instilled in the storyline of each character that drawn to me. There are similar movies that I’ve made connections to such as Cashback, Lost In Translation and Up in the Air.

The Fall: Season 2

BBC finally released much awaited trailer for The Fall season 2. I've been desperately waiting for the new season. 

The Vanishing: George Sluizer


Movies on a Thursday night are a rare occasion for me. I leave most films for weekends; however, I recently ended up discovering a film while I had downtime at work. I knew I had to see the film when I got home. One of the best feelings I’ve had is kicking off my shoes after a long day at work or having fairly lonesome time in the bathroom. As the day grew quicker to dawn, I began winding up my work and left the job. I sat in my Toyota corolla for two minutes in raging heat and discovered that it was actually in a list of movies I’ve wanted to see. I dashed home, kicked off my shoes, cleaned up my face in the bathroom and opened up my black MacBook in the bedroom. I adjusted my pillows incase I hunched and searched for “Watch The Vanishing (1988) Online.” After .32 seconds of looking through several searches, I found a copy of it on Youtube. 

The Vanishing (Spoorloos) is a Dutch-French film based on a novel,  “The Golden Egg” by Tim Krabbe. George Sluzier directs the film.  The Vanishing revolves around a couple on a weekend vacation in France. Rex and Saskia stop at a gas station to grab coke and beer when Sasika (Johanna ter Steege) mysteriously disappears outside the gas station. Her lover, Rex (Gene Bervotes) is on a quest to search for her. Three years later, Rex has moved on with his life physically, although, emotionally haunted by her disappearance. He receives a postcard from her abductor and reboots his quest to search for him and Sasika. The Vanishing is a haunting thriller and Sulizer brilliantly executes a well-layered film.  As Rex accelerates to his hunt, he is haunted by a dream once Sasika had. The film has a tantalizing storyline. The film narrates a manipulative obsession towards a horrible experiment. The Vanishing is an intense and unsettling thriller.  This film made me stay up all night because it was too, chilling.