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Get your hands of my
trailer, you damn dirty ape! Our featured trailer this week is the awkwardly
titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes
starring Andy Serkis and James Franco as ape and human respectively. Taylor
Lautner deviates from his shirtless "Twilight" origins to a likely shirtless
follow-up in Abduction, a Taken-inspired thriller. The zombie
genre gets crossed with the now-popular vampire genre in the creepy indie
New trailers this week:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
With a few too many “of
the’s” in the title, the long-running “Planet of the Apes” series gets a modern
reboot/origin story, thanks in part to the lack of fan reaction to Tim Burton’s
adaptation back in 2001 and also simple Hollywood greed. Right off the bat, you
can see we’re in for some great special effects, and as the trailer kindly
points out, they're brought to us using the visual effects studio behind Avatar; the apparent benchmark for all
movies that will ever be made from now on. The trailer is little more than a
teaser, so not much of the story arc has been revealed, though it is simple to
hazard a guess at how the plot will unfold (just read the title).
James Franco stars as a young scientist who while working on a cure for Alzheimer's, accidently causes some side effects on the ape test subjects, giving them heightened intelligence (sounds like Deep Blue Sea though less toothy) and a revolt (lead by Caesar, voiced and modeled after Andy Serkis of Gollum fame) ensues. The trailer plays almost like a zombie film, with man attempting to play god, unleashing a force upon the world and subsequently everyone runs in terror as the threat worsens. Being a huge fan of that horror sub-genre, if the film actually plays out like that I would be quite happy. Frankly, I need to see a bit more before I’m sold on this new “Apes” offering, especially if you’re going to show these brainy primates attacking helicopters.
Is Liam Neeson back already? No, it’s Taylor Lautner this time, in a film from John Singleton (Boyz ‘n the Hood, Four Brothers) about a young man who finds out that his parents aren't really his and from there a conspiracy is uncovered that goes high up the proverbial food chain. Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello, Alfred Molina and Michael Nyqvist (from the Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) also star. I am not on the hate bandwagon to the extent of others, but I have yet to see Lautner give a compelling performance and this hardly looks like the vehicle to do so. What does have my interest piqued is the involvement of Singleton who has not done a feature since the aforementioned Four Brothers, and the man is skilled in directing gritty action. So even if Lautner is flat, hopefully the explosive action will keep the film buoyed in watchability.
From the Toronto
International Film Festival to an art house theatre near you comes Stake Land, a post-apocalyptic
zombie/vampire hybrid where Martin (Connor Paolo) joins up with a man known
only as Mister, a rogue, ruthless vampire hunter, to get to safely in Canada. The
trailer simply looks fantastic: creepy and perforated with acts of stark
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, the help centers around a group of black maids in the 1960s and the white women who govern them (a band of three in particular) who begin a friendship and shake the conventions of that prejudiced Southern community. The great cast includes Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Sissy Spacek and comes from independent director Tate Taylor (who ironically had a bit part in Planet of the Apes). These types of films tend to be a bit heavy-handed and melodramatic, but even though not having read the book, the talent alone may make The Help worth a look.