Tagged: Terry Notary

Summary: After the Vietnam war, a team of scientists explores an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 10th March 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: 19th July 2017

Country: United States, China

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Screenwriter: Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, Dan Gilroy, John Gatins (story), Merian C. Cooper (characters), Edgar Wallace (characters)

Cast: Will Brittain (Young Marlow/Marlow’s Son), James Michael Connor (General Ward (voice), Eugene Cordero (Reles), James Edward Flynn (Sgt. Dren), John Goodman (Bill Randa), Corey Hawkins (Houston Brooks), Tom Hiddleston (James Conrad), Mark Evan Jackson (Landsat Steve), Samuel L. Jackson (Preston Packard), Richard Jenkins (Senator Willis), Tian Jing (San), Rachel Joseph (Iwi), Toby Kebbell (Jack Chapman/Kong), Brie Larson (Mason Weaver), Thomas Mann (Slivko), Thomas Middleditch (Jerry (voice)), Jason Mitchell (Mills), Miyavi (Gunpei Ikari), Terry Notary (Kong), John Oritz (Victor Nieves), Allen Rachel (Secretary O’Brien), John C. Reilly (Hank Marlow), Shea Whigham (Cole)

Runtime: 118 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR KONG: SKULL ISLAND REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Kyle McGrath’s Kong: Skull Island Review:

The second film in Legendary Pictures “MonsterVerse” Kong: Skull Island is the story of a team of soldiers, scientists and explorers who at the end of the Vietnam war set off to an uncharted island in the Pacific. Almost immediately they encounter the wrath of the mighty King Kong who destroying their military helicopters leave them stranded on Skull Island. The survivors must traverse this unknown land to reach their originally planned evacuation point completely unaware that there are things on this island much worse than a 100 foot tall monkey.
I thoroughly enjoyed 2014’s Godzilla. While I thought the movie had some issues I feel it captured the perfect tone and representation of the titular King of the Monsters. I had heard about Kong: Skull Island from one source that it didn’t take itself too seriously and then from another that it took itself too seriously. After seeing the film I think it’s a mixture of both and it isn’t alway pretty.
From the beginning the filmmakers attempts to make “Apocalypse Now but with monsters” comes off as comedic. The opening scene which itself is set at the height of WW2 as both a US and Japanese soldier crash land on the island and duke it out before being interrupted by Kong feels more like a parody than anything. I was seriously expecting it to turn out to be “golden age of Hollywood” crew making some schlocky movie as a reference to the storylines of other “King Kong” films before being attacked. But no, this is the tone of the movie, rather than awe or drama I’m expecting a punchline and usually getting one from one of the movie’s many comedy relief moments. At a moment of high tension as Kong is about to eat some unfortunate soldier it jump cuts to a man biting into a sandwich. This is comedy stuff and drives a steamroller through any tension the film has built up and turns it into a joke.
The other serious moments, or attempts at serious moments come from the characters mostly, all of whom are non entities. There are simply way too many characters in this movie and not enough plot to go around to flesh them all out in 2 hours. One of the shortcomings of Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005) was the amount of time early on spent on supporting characters who either weren’t going to make it or weren’t going to be relevant at all by the halfway point.
Their stories felt genuine at least however. Here every other character has some monologue about their past. They talk about writing letters to their mama back home, or their newborn son they’ve never seen or they reminisce about some village they obliterated in ‘nam. All of it feels so melodramatic and ridiculous, again like it came from a parody film such as Black Dynamite and it comes from characters who probably shouldn’t be in the movie at all as their only purpose is to be fodder for some beastie or in some cases not even that. I know it’s complaining about “forced diversity” or “trying to appeal to the Chinese audience” in movies is low hanging fruit but it helps if in a movie your writers give a black guy and a Chinese girl something more substantial to do than just exist, follow the main characters around and talk to each other every now and then to remind us they’re there.
All of this damages the movie. I don’t care about the plot or Samuel L Jackson’s Colonel Kurtz-surrogate insane military commander because so much screen time is dedicated to redundancies. I would say it feels like a movie that has had 30 minutes of story cut out of it if it wasn’t for the low quality of what IS in the movie telling me otherwise.
Now while the actual monster on monster action fares much better and let’s be honest that’s what people came to see even that I found to be harmed by the need at comedy relief. We’re told about “Skull Crawlers”, the REAL threat on the island and what our hero Kong is up against, in a scene which needs to be interrupted for some jokes from long marooned soldier John C. Reilly told in exactly such a fashion that you’d expect from him. The result is on par with a Bond villain slipping on a banana peel in the middle of his master plan speech to James.
That said fans of the genre may get more out of this movie than out of Godzilla 2014. Purely from the fact that while in that film the filmmakers wished to hide the monsters from us as much as possible, here they can’t seem to wait to show it to us.
The film is what it is, a monster themed popcorn movie with cheesy comedy, wafer thin characters and story and 100 foot ape. I do believe that much more could have been done with it however if the filmmakers just knew more what tone they wished to take and story they wanted to tell. The film is tries to mix serious moments with comedy but comes off more like Hot Shots 2 than Mash.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:  

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Kong: Skull Island (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Kong: Skull Island Reviews: N/A

 

Trailer:

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Summary: Survivors of the simian plague trigger an all-out war between humanity and Caesar’s growing forces.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 10rd July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Matt Reeves

Screenwriter: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Pierre Boulle (novel)

Cast: Kirk Acevedo (Carver), Lombardo Boyar (Terry), Jason Clarke (Malcolm), Jon Eyez (Foster), Judy Greer (Cornelia), Toby Kebbell (Koba), Richard King (Stone), Karin Konoval (Maurice), Scott Lang (Luca), Enrique Murciano (Kemp), Douglas Murray (Maurice), Terry Notary (Rocket), Keir O’Donnell (Finney), Gary Oldman (Dreyfus), Kevin Rankin (McVeigh), Lee Ross (Grey), Keri Russell (Ellie), Andy Serkis (Caesar), Larramie Doc Shaw (Ash), Jocko Sims (Werner), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Alexander), Nick Thurston (Blue Eyes)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #87

Stars(4)

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(4)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #87

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

When you scan over the list of blockbusters due in the cinemas in 2014 Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is probably one that most would skim over. The first film in this re-booted franchise, Rise of The Planet Of The Apes, was a good film but never seemed to quite gain the traction that its producers obviously hoped that it would. But it only takes watching Dawn of The Planet Of The Apes for a few minutes to see that there is something pretty special about this film.

Set a decade after the events of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Caesar (Andy Serkis) leads a group of genetically evolved apes as they have formed a colony of their own on the outskirts of the old San Francisco.

With most humans eradicated by the virus that spread right around the world the Apes now feel completly safe, but they feeling is eroded when a group of humans including Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Ellie (Keri Russell) and Alexander (Kodi Smit-McPhee) venture into the colony in a bid to restore electricity to San Francisco.

Their arrival causes the Apes to wonder about the true intentions of the human leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) and makes Koba (Toby Kebbell) decide that it is time to question Caesar’s authority due to his closeness to humans.

Surprisingly early on Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes seems to go against everything that Hollywood wants from a film these days. It’s been long known that American cinema audience have an aversion to subtitles yet here we are with a mega-blockbuster film that opens with discussions between a group of apes which of course have to be portrayed to the audience with only the use of subtitles. It almost seems eerie to be watching these scenes with no humans in sight, but boy as a film lover I loved it.

It almost seems like director Matt Reeves (who has brought as genre classics such as Cloverfield and Let Me In in the past) wants the audience to side with the Apes from Day One, a surprise move but one that is pulled off with absolute brilliance. The fact that it seems that the screenwriters have worked harder on giving characterisation to apes such as Caesar, Koba and Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) rather than to any of the human characters only seems to push this point any further.

In fact that is the biggest weakness of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the lack of characterisation for most of the human characters. One Ape snarls at one point “humans are all the same, how can you tell them apart?” and sadly that is also the case when it comes to the audience trying to separate the human characters portrayed in the film. Some work has been done giving the character of Malcolm some characterisation, he’s caring and lost his wife amid the mayhem a decade earlier but that is about all the audience is told. His son, Alexander and girlfriend Ellie and treated in the same way by the screenplay while Gary Oldman’s Dreyfus almost becomes your stereotypical clichéd bad guy.

As a film Dawn Of The Planet OF The Apes works best when the relationships between the Apes and Humans is first beginning and then tested. This brings an element of suspense and drama to the film and that point the film remains a ‘thinking persons’ film, but that quickly evaporates when the guns come out and the last quarter of this film becomes dangerously close to becoming just another shoot-at-each-other action film. It even has its own sky-high battle on a building site which almost seems to be mandatory in the modern day action film. To be honest it almost feels like this is a film that has been directed in two parts.

Still the early parts of this film is what makes the film so memorable and it also becomes a visual delight for any film fan that likes good CGI. For the most part Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a visual delight, the Apes themselves look eerily realistic, as does their colony, although it does seem like some dodgy last minute CGI work was done especially in some scenes that involve the Apes swinging on the remains of the Golden Gate Bridge. Still that is a very little gripe to have when you consider how good other parts of this look – it seems to even go a step further than anything even Peter Jackson has even done.

This is a film where CGI is the big winner. Often CGI generated characters are hard for the audience to develop feelings for, but here it seems that the audience ends up loving Caesar and co but struggling to identify with some dangerously underwritten human characters. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes does have some weak moments but for the most part it keeps afloat the tradition of most of 2014’s blockbusters being fairly decent films.

Stars(4)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes′: For our full Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #87. You can also read Dave Griffiths’ Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer: