Conquest Of The Apes

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes1Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened to $73 million domestically this weekend — outdoing the $54.8 million start of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and guaranteeing that monkey movies will continue rebooting and evolving for the foreseeable future, and that Andy Serkis will once again enjoy the support of many critics and filmmakers in a doomed Best Actor campaign.

I don’t say this in cruelty; Serkis is a lovely guy and a terrific actor, and it could be argued that motion-capture performance simply wouldn’t be a going concern had his Gollum and Kong not demonstrated the true potential of the tech. Caesar is also a spectacular accomplishment, and Serkis’ facial expressions and body language read through far more clearly in Dawn than they did in Rise. But Academy voters will see it as a stunt, because they won’t bother to watch the damn movie.

Fortunately, Serkis can console himself with his Apes profit participation and an entrenched position as the go-to guy for mo-cap acting; honestly, guys, if he’s not available for your next project, just wait until he is. It’ll be worth it.

Also, Trans4merz came in second with $16.5 million, presumably because some people couldn’t get into a Dawn screening at their local megaplex. Whatever. It’s stupid, don’t see it.


2 thoughts on “Conquest Of The Apes”

  1. Yeah, but motion-capture is NEW technology that places an artificial barrier between me and the actor’s performance…. unlike film itself, which is OLD technology that places an artificial barrier between me and the actor’s performance.


  2. I think his performance as Gollum would have been the most likely to get a nomination, particularly for The Two Towers – the more human-looking face showing his work to better advantage – but the idea that a motion-capture performance could get a nomination was far too new at the time. They tried putting him into Return of the King as Sméagol in flashback so he could *nudge nudge* get a nomination for that, but the third movie was less Gollum’s than the second one. I think at some point a nomination for a motion-caption performance will happen. If it’s not Serkis, he should get some sort of special achievement Oscar for breaking the ground so well. (And he should accept the award in a stretchy body suit covered in dots.)

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