Thursday, July 10, 2014

Before the Dawn


Hey, good news, people... Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens this weekend, and as most you can probably guess from my previous entries about this film (here, here, and here), I am super-excited. Super excited. I won't bother re-hashing exactly why again, because if you're both unaware at this point and/or just can't be bothered to click through on those links, then let's be honest... you don't give a shit.

But that's cool. 

Just rest assured, I am super excited. So, in preparation for heading out to catch the flick this weekend, I recommend you do two things. 1. Watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes if you haven't seen it yet. Or again, if it's been awhile. It was one of my favorite films of 2011. I found it to be surprisingly good, it worked as an homage, a reboot, and it's own stand-alone film. And 2. You should check out these three videos below. They're not mandatory or anything, but since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes picks up 10 years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes, these videos can provide you with a nice little glimpse into just what transpired over the course of that decade as the world tried to deal with the fall-out from the last film.

First up is Quarantine.

This film takes place about 1 year after the outbreak of the Simian Flu. It's about how the first cracks in society to show appeared within families and how, once those started to break apart, order and rules followed soon after. This one seems very mumblecore in tone and presentation, but don't let that hold you back. It's not bad.


Next is All Fall Down (Even through the video is titled: Struggling to Survive... which is weird.)

This one takes place 5 years after the outbreak of the Simian Flu and here's where you really start to see the tattered remnants of the old world finally begin to crash down into a new one. Very atmospheric. I love the decay. Plus, while all of these short films focus on the human side of the intervening 10 years between the feature films and there isn't any ape-action or anything, this one comes the closest and does a good job of hinting at the conflicts that lie ahead.


Finally, we have the Story of the Gun.

This one really spans the whole of the 10 years after the outbreak of the Simian Flu and it's one of those types of things where the story follows a specific item's journey as it passes through various hands. The especially quick-witted out there can probably guess that the item in question is a gun. This is probably the most effective piece of the three (and the longest), and it also hints at the main themes of the upcoming film.


All in all, I really enjoyed all of these. They're really well done. They're focused and they don't try to bound past the limits of their budget or ability. All in all, they're all much, much better than the last couple of short films I've featured here, so... hooray, redemption! Anyway, if you're a fan, be sure to check these out and then head out to the theatres this weekend and see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It's supposed to be great. Fingers crossed.

Can't wait,
Jon

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