James Gunn had a very busy 2014 with the release of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ Marvel’s superhero space opera, which went on to become one of the hugest films of the year. But even though Gunn was preoccupied with Marvel business, that didn’t keep him from seeing a lot of great films besides the one he directed, and the director has finally revealed his favorite films of 2014. Unsurprisingly, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is one of them.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Rupert Wyatt admits he was at one point attached to direct the sequel, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ but he and the studio couldn’t come to an agreement on the story. What was Wyatt’s version of the sequel? Wyatt claims he’s never told anyone before, but, ahead, he reveals what his intentions were for the sequel, including a tie-in with the original 1968 movie.
It wasn’t a great year for critics in movies—see ‘Birdman’ (or ‘Chef’ [or ‘Top Five’ (or ‘Big Eyes’)])—but it was a great year for critics at movies. 2014 offered an tremendous variety of fantastic films: big and small; foreign and domestic; mainstream and indie. To anyone who says the overall quality of movies has declined, I call B.S. There are more good movies now than ever before. If you can’t find one, you’re not looking very hard. Take, for instance, these ten instant classics:
We are living in the franchise-heavy film era, which can sometimes feel exhausting (see: ‘Transformers’) or can sometimes be very enjoyable, depending on the product. In television, having a clear endpoint in mind is a good thing (see: ‘Breaking Bad’); meanwhile, studios are now planning their franchises out years in advance. Again, this can be good (Marvel), or, as our own Matt Singer bemoaned, it leads to what he finds to be an unnecessary splitting of the final chapter to extend the life of a franchise. It’s refreshing, then, to know that some studios are playing things a little looser with their franchises, like hearing Andy Serkis say that he just isn’t sure how many ‘Planet of the Apes’ movies there will be.
‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is hitting Blu-ray soon, and we've been hearing little teases about the upcoming third film, but let's take a little trip down memory lane back to the first film for a moment with some concept art for an ending that was cut from ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’—an ending that features a haunting homage to the original ‘Planet of the Apes.’ Why was this ending cut? Presumably because the studio wasn't fully committed to making a sequel at this point in the planning stage.
There have been few performances as effective and moving this year as Andy Serkis' work as Caesar in 'Dawn of the Planet of Apes.' Combining Serkis' raw acting with the technical wizardry of a talented visual effects crew, the role feels like another huge leap forward for motion capture performances. So, naturally, 20th Century Fox is out to get Serkis an Oscar nod, even if it means getting him nominated in the wrong category.
As yet another star-studded and box office-busting summer moviegoing season ends this weekend, it's the perfect time to look back at the months that gave us enough entertainment to pad our culture-consuming bellies until it's time for the Oscar...
Are you guys ready for Comic-Con 2014? Fox has just given you another reason to get excited about the San Diego mega convention, with the reveal of the 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Blu-ray set, which comes with a replica of Caesar's head, and can be pre-ordered exclusively at the con! It's one human-made product that we think even apes would approve of.
In its current form, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' concludes on a dark and downbeat note, setting up a future film while placing its major characters on a desperate new path. But the original ending was even darker and now we have a glimpse at that footage and a look at what could have been. Spoilers for 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' begin here, so proceed at your own peril!
With 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' now in theaters, marking a high point for this art form, we take a look back at some of the most incredible instances of motion-capture performances, and see how this art form has evolved.