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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 08/07/2011 @ 14:46
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 231
Films seen in the last week: The Devil's Rock, Film Socialisme, The Referees, Trust, Super (again, still funny), Jane Eyre, Fright Night, The Art of Getting By, Super 8

FILM OF THE WEEK: The Tree of Life

TV-to-film adaptations: Arrested Development and The Inbetweeners
This week it was reported that the often-rumoured Arrested Development movie was indeed going into pre-production, at least as far as co-star Jeffrey Tambor was concerned. Personally, I'll believe it when I see it. While it was an undoubtedly brilliant (and unfairly cancelled) comedy series, Arrested Development arguably made stars of all its main cast members (Will Arnett, David Cross, Michael Cera) and single-handedly revived Jason Bateman's career. Obviously there's a lot of loyalty amongst that cast towards the show, to say nothing of a vociferous fan base but surely they must be wondering if it will really translate to the big screen?

Because the list of failed TV-to-film adaptations is much, much longer than the list of successful ones and this is doubly true of comedies.
Of recent examples it's probably only the Simpsons Movie and the first Sex and the City movie that can really be called successes, at least in the sense that they didn't radically alter the premise of the TV show (unlike, say, Starsky and Hutch or The Brady Bunch Movie) in order to succeed on the big screen.

The truth is that TV shows are TV shows for a reason – Arrested Development was wonderful in 22 minute bursts, but I seriously doubt they can make that same idea work over 90 minutes. Personally, I'd settle for five new episodes instead. I have similar doubts over the upcoming big screen adaptation of the UK's The Inbetweeners. I love the characters and I love the show, but again, that show works in two 12 minute bursts of swearing, sixth-form shenanigans and filth and I'm not convinced it'll work in a big screen format, even if they ARE going to Magaluf. After all, it didn't work for Are You Being Served?

That said, I'd be delighted to be proved wrong – I'm just not very optimistic and given the troubled production history the Arrested Development movie has had so far, I'm refusing to believe it's really happening until shooting starts.

Trailerwatch: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
I have to say, I'm really torn on the idea of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On the one hand, someone (in this case director Rupert
Wyatt) is finally telling the one story that was conspicuous by its absence in all the other Planet of the Apes movies, i.e. exactly how the apes took over Planet Earth in the first place (I hope that's not a spoiler). I also love the fact that the story is tied into present day fears about genetic engineering, while the tagline (“Evolution Becomes Revolution”) is nothing short of genius and seems tailor-made to annoy America's many evolution-deniers (there are a scary number of otherwise completely sane and rational people in America who don't believe in evolution, such is the scary power of US religious propaganda in education).

Also on the plus side, the cast includes James Franco (and who doesn't want to see James Franco clashing with monkeys?), Brian Cox and Tom Felton (rejoice, Draco-fans!), while Andy Serkis dons the motion-capture suit once more to play head monkey Caesar. On the minus side, however, the cast also includes Freida Pinto (even her brief appearances in the trailer are excruciating to watch), while the CGI monkeys are ... well, they're not very good. Well, it's not so much that they're not good, it's just that they're very obviously CGI. They could have at least thrown in a few real-life chimpanzees? Maybe spliced in a few clips from Project Nim? Otherwise they might as well have made it as an animated feature.

Still, it does look like a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Rise of the Planet of the CGI Apes opens on 12th August, which, by brilliant coincidence (or rather, canny scheduling on the part of the distributors), is also the same week that chimp-learning-to-communicate doc Project Nim opens.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all change this week with no less than four new entries into the top ten. They include: Terrence Malick's long-awaited The Tree of Life (a film that will mean different things to different people but either way, it's unlike anything else you'll see all year and as such, demands to be seen); blacker-than-black superhero comedy Super (a fascinating example of how different audiences can affect the way you see a film – the Kapow Surprise Film audience laughed all the way through and loved it, while the National Press Show screening was greeted with stony silence and the occasional sigh from Daily Mail critic Chris Tookey); David Schwimmer's paedo drama Trust (not to be confused with the wonderful Hal Hartley film of the same name); and Bertrand Tavernier's bodice-busting swashbuckler The Princess of Montpensier.

Interview-wise this week we have exclusive interviews with Montpensier stars Melanie Thierry and Gaspard Ulliel as well as director Bertrand Tavernier. We also have a special bonus interview (coming soon) with Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, whose stage show Midnight Tango is being screened in selected cinemas for one night only on Wednesday 13th July.

Elsewhere you can still read our exclusive interview with the lovely Kim Cattrall for Meet Monica Velour, our semi-exclusive round-table interview with the equally lovely Tom Hanks for Larry Crowne and our press conference interviews for Bridesmaids with director Paul Feig and stars Kristen Wiig, Chris O'Dowd, Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy, as well as our epic 45 minute long interview with Senna director Asif Kapadia.

1. Bridesmaids
2. The Tree of Life
3. Super
4. X-Men: First Class
5. Senna
6. Point Blank
7. Trust
8. The Princess of Montpensier
9. Stake Land
10. Thor

DVD of the Week: Animal Kingdom (released 11th July, RRP £9.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is the excellent Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom, which deservedly snagged co-star Jackie Weaver a Best Supporting Actress nomination at this year's Oscars for a performance that may or may not have been modelled on Peggy Mitchell.

Written and directed by David Michod, Animal Kingdom is loosely based on real-life Melbourne criminals and stars James Frecheville as 17-year-old Josh, who goes to live with his estranged grandmother Janine 'Smurf' Cody (Weaver) and his three ne'er-do-well uncles -  Andrew, aka 'Pope' (Ben Mendolsohn), Craig (Sullivan Stapleton) and Darren (Luke Ford) – after his mother dies of an overdose. It quickly transpires that his uncles are part of a criminal gang and are under constant surveillance by dogged Detective Leckie (Guy Pearce), who warns Josh not to get involved. However, Craig and Darren repeatedly urge Josh to prove he's got what it takes and he's soon tricked into implicating himself in a serious crime.

The performances are excellent, particularly Ben Mendolsohn, who's genuinely chilling as the psychotic Pope, while the script bristles with snappy, piss-taking dialogue that's often darkly funny, creating a believable family environment that's thick with underlying tension because you correctly sense that one dig too many will result in explosive violence. In short, this is a superbly written, brilliantly acted and genuinely chilling crime drama that marks writer-director David Michod out as a talent to watch.

The decent extras package includes: two commentaries, by both the director and the cast; a lengthy Making Of Documentary (68 minutes, Making Of fans); and a series of interviews with Michod and all the main cast members. The animated menus are excellent too. Shame there are no deleted scenes or out-takes, but you can't have everything.


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