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Famous Primates in Film: A Brief History

  • Cinelinx
Later this month, the mighty Kong returns to the big screen! To celebrate, we’re looking back at all the major primate appearances in film.

For as long as films were being made, humans have starred alongside primates. Unlike other animals, their human-like qualities can lend a sense of comedy or horror. Throughout the history of film, primates have been used to fulfill certain roles. In the early days, they were often a form of antagonist, carrying out dastardly deeds or causing mayhem. More common is the primate cast in a role of mischief, causing all sorts of comedic hijincks. While most primate roles were portrayed by live animals, it was not uncommon for men to dress up in ape suits for roles where the primates needed to carry out specific actions. Later, the advent of CGI has led to men mimicking primates in real time to create a motion-capture performance.
See full article at Cinelinx »

Monkey Business: 10 Best Movie Primates

Animals have always been a source of entertainment for us humans, and few more so than the monkey. Is it fascination with our evolutionary heritage that makes monkeys such a frequent source of interest, or are they just irresistibly adorable? It’s likely some combination of the two, but their intelligence not only makes them curious companions; they’re camera-friendly ones. The latest documentary effort from Disneynature, Monkey Kingdom, opened in theaters last weekend and gave us an intimate view of primates in their natural habitat. The film subsequently inspired yours truly to consider the history of monkeys in the movies, and it turns out it’s quite vast. From the goofy to the loving to the scary, monkeys have been a part of cinema for most of its existence, and subsequently there are plenty of memorable “monkey movie stars” to consider. Without further ado, I present the definitive, absolute,
See full article at Collider.com »

Review: Bland 'A Walk in the Woods' is 'Grumpy Old Outdoorsmen'

  • Hitfix
Review: Bland 'A Walk in the Woods' is 'Grumpy Old Outdoorsmen'
Maybe if "Wild" hadn't done such a solid and visually rich job of portraying one woman's determination to restart her life by hiking 2000 miles, the banal platitudes and strange visual monotony of two older guys' determination to restart their lives by hiking 2000 miles in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if Robert Redford hadn't done such harrowing, committed and honest work as a man battling nature in "All Is Lost," Robert Redford's lax, barely engaged work as a man meandering through nature in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if "A Walk in the Woods" weren't having its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, a venue that doesn't always demand artistic or narrative experimentation but certainly rewards the work of risk-taking, it's bland and peculiar artistic and narrative flatness wouldn't seem so subpar. But here we are in Park City,
See full article at Hitfix »

Film Feature: Preview of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Chicago – This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and yours truly will be in attendance to cover the fest for HollywoodChicago.com. Last year, the Park City, Utah event introduced the world to its 2014-defining sensations like “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”.

Those titles followed in the paths of indie landmarks such as “sex, lies and videotape,” “Clerks,” “Hoop Dreams,” “American Movie,” “Memento,” “Frozen River,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Fruitvale Station,” among many others.

In pursuit of new favorite films for a new year, I’ve composed a relatively solid schedule so that I can devour as much diverse Sundance goodness as possible. Narratives, documentaries, white supremacists, nasty babies, Neil Hamburger, Chiwetel Ejiofor, stolen cop cars, and much, much more are all in play. But with hopes that everything I witness is the next “Boyhood”-like zeitgeist, I’ll be sure to report back here on what’s worth,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Woof, Yeh Mohabbat! – Subhash K Jha reviews Akshay Kumar’s Entertainment

Starring Junior, Akshay Kumar, Tamannah, Mithun Chakraborty, Krushna Abhishek

Directed by Sajid-Farhad

The canine-hero’s name in the list of actors in the credit titles comes first because that’s how Akshay Kumar wants it.

This film tells you to love animals. It’s a simple straightforward premise structured around a comical plot about a gold-digger wastrel whose father leaves his billions to his dog.

Canine apni mutthi mein!

Playing the predatory retriever with an evil glint in his eye and wicked smirk on his face Akshay Kumar has a ball in the film. He does a wickedly amiable mean act trying to poison, electrocute and drown the canine. Admittedly the characters on screen seem to enjoy themselves more than the audience.

Not that we don’t share their enjoyment.

For a large part of the narration Entertainment is fun to watch. The script is deftly and devilishly put together.
See full article at Bollyspice »

Weekend Of 'The Apes': 'Dawn' Rules The Box Office

Weekend Of 'The Apes': 'Dawn' Rules The Box Office
'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes', the weekend's only newcomer, managed to oust 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' from the box office top spot.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the weekend's only newcomer, managed to oust Transformers: Age Of Extinction from the box office top spot and handily beat its predecessor in opening weekend returns. Meanwhile only one film managed to increase in sales. Here is the weekend box office top 10.

#1. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - $73 million

Clearly, people wanted to see Andy Serkis acting like a primate, so that's good news for Andy and bad news for any real primates who were hoping to star in any upcoming remakes of Dunston Checks In. The first film in the rebooted franchise, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, only made $54 million in its debut, meaning the sequel beat it by almost $19 million.

#2. Transformers: Age Of Extinction - $16.5 million
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

12 Great Ape Movies to Watch After You See ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

Earlier this week, I wrote about one of the worst movies ever made, Congo. It’s actually just a single example of the many terrible movies involving apes and monkeys, which form a whole subcategory in the worst movies of all time canon. The group includes titles where actors wear gorilla suits as well as those where real chimps, orangutans or other primates are trained to play sports, drive cars, wear costumes of their own or provide comic relief in some other fashion. Thank goodness we have something like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and now its sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, to make us forget about the crap that’s come before it. Yet there has also been a lot of great ape movies ahead of this rebooted Planet of the Apes series. Most of them are documentaries, but there are a number of fiction films and dramas based on true
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes': See Andy Serkis and others go ape in this side-by-side special-effects video -- Exclusive

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes': See Andy Serkis and others go ape in this side-by-side special-effects video -- Exclusive
Like its predecessor Rise of the Planet of the Apes and unlike such classic works of American cinema as Every Which Way But Loose, Dunston Checks In, and Mvp: Most Valuable Primate, Matt Reeves’ upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes features no actual apes whatsoever. Rather than going for flesh-and-blood primates, the filmmakers once again opted for zeroes and ones. The digital makeup is being sculpted in three-dimensions by the wizards of Weta Digital and overlaid onto performances by Velcro/spandex-suited actors like Andy Serkis and Toby Kebbell. “I’ve seen an entire cut of the movie without any ­special ­effects whatsoever,
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Morning Show Host Teases Monkey, Monkey Slaps Morning Show Host—Watch Now!

Morning Show Host Teases Monkey, Monkey Slaps Morning Show Host—Watch Now!
Only one good thing has ever come from putting a monkey in front of a camera: Dunston Checks In. Otherwise it seems like a pretty bad idea that never goes according to plan. A lesson that Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan learned the hard way when she got smacked in the face by a monkey, live on the air. Moral of this story: Don't tease monkeys. Especially don't tease this monkey, Wilson, when he's just trying to eat a grape in peace. (But at least it's better than the alternative? Maybe?)
See full article at E! Online »

James Gunn on ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ (And A Raccoon Named Oreo)

The Oscars don’t have everything covered. Unfortunately there is no award for Best Animal in an Acting Role. Perhaps if there were, Dunston from Dunston Checks In could be happily swinging around right now, an Oscar proudly clasped in one of his furry orange feet. Unless he’s dead, that is, in which case – rest in peace little fella.

If such an award did exist, a probable nomination would be Oreo, the raccoon who is assisting in the creation of Guardians Of The Galaxy’s trigger-happy procyonid Rocket Raccoon, a CGI character voiced by American Hustle’s Bradley Cooper. In an interview with UK magazine Small Furry Pets, Guardians’ director James Gunn talked about Rocket and our Oscar-hopeful Oreo (which you can see the cute and cuddliness right here!):

“We needed a raccoon to study how he looked and his behavior, so that our on-screen raccoon, which is
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Spring Breakers, and the problem with film reviews

Feature Simon Brew 5 Apr 2013 - 06:55

How do you review a film as raucous and perplexing as Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers? Simon lays out the problems...

Walking away from a screening of Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers last week, I was hit with a bit of a problem. Basically: I didn't know how to review it.

The basic requirement of someone going in to review a movie, is that you can come away from said film with an opinion, and the guts of an 800 word review with a star rating at the bottom. The vast majority of the time of course, that's entirely the case. Granted, the modern day rush to get a review online within an hour of the credits rolling (we've been guilty of this in the past) tends to cut down on the increasingly valuable thinking and gestating time, but most people can come up with
See full article at Den of Geek »

'Dunston Checks In' Director Takes 'Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets'

Ken Kwapis is not a director that we pay attention to much, mostly because his filmography is just a bit out of our demographic. Back in the 90s, he directed the orangutan comedy Dunston Checks In, and more recently helmed lighthearted fare like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, License to Wed, He's Just Not That Into You, and Big Miracle. But his next project sounds like a big departure for the filmmaker, as Deadline reports that he's writing and directing an adaptation of Diana Wagman's novel The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets. It's a kidnapping story with a twist involving a seven foot long iguana. Read on! The story follows Winnie Parker, a normal woman with a teenage daughter and an ex-husband who hosts a game show. One day, she's kidnapped and taken to the kidnapper's home, which is kept in tropical heat because of Cookie, a
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Awfully Good: Ed

  • JoBlo
With the Olympics in full swing I was in the mood for a bad sports movie. Some faithful Awfully Good readers gave me more than I bargained for. Ed (1996) Director: Bill Couturié Stars: Matt LeBlanc, Jack Warden, Jim Caviezel Joey from "Friends" plays baseball with a monkey. You may or may not remember Ed. It was one of many movies during Hollywood's mid-90s simian preoccupation that gave us stuff like Dunston Checks In, Born To Be Wild and the Thora...
See full article at JoBlo »

The 15 Most Badass Baldies in Movies

You talk a big game about your love of long-haired stars — your Johnny Depps, your Viggo Mortensens, your Hugh Jackmans — but there's something about a bare head that adds to the menace and allure of our favorite action stars.

Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises" is definitely one of the baddest baldies we've ever seen. Seeing all of the havoc he will wreak on Gotham in the upcoming movie encouraged us to dig deeper. Below, check out 14 guys — and one girl — whose naked scalps have scared and intimidated us for years.

Jason Statham

No one has tied his name more to a particular type of movie more than Jason Statham, to the point where all you have to say is, "It's a Jason Statham movie" and everyone knows exactly what you're talking about. Sometimes you're in the mood for Kurosawa. Other times, you want to see a man ram a shotgun up someone's ass.
See full article at NextMovie »

Review: Big Miracle

This is a film with a beat-you-over-the-head environmental message. It is being released really early in the year. It has Ted Danson in a starring role. And it is directed by Ken Kwapis, the guy who gave us "Dunston Checks In" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". Yup, there's pretty much no reason to expect "Big Miracle" to be anything other than unwatchable, sentimentalized, heavy-handed messageering. So maybe the biggest miracle in all of this is that "Big Miracle" is a perfectly watchable film of its ilk. Despite it's unintentionally laughable trailer, it's pretty clear that the filmmakers knew what they were up against in terms of taste and reception. After all, environmentalist guilt tactics and bullying are as passé as the "save the...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Bye, George! Jason Alexander pulls a reverse Matt Damon and sports some new hair

Bye, George! Jason Alexander pulls a reverse Matt Damon and sports some new hair
One can only begin to imagine how Elaine would react to this. A photo of Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander has hit the web today, and people everywhere are screaming, “Get out!” in response. Alexander, who was arguably the biggest bald icon in the ’90s besides George’s idol Dennis Franz, is now sporting a (still-not-quite-full) head of hair. (Don’t worry guys, despite this loss, you’ve still got Matt Damon… for now.)

The 52-year-old star debuted his new look, something he’s been considering for some time now, at the 27th Annual C.S.A. Artios Awards in Beverly Hills this week.
See full article at EW.com - PopWatch »

You Damn Dirty Apes! Our Guide To The Dangers of Movie Monkeys

Because this week has seen the cinematic release of the terribly titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes of the Jedi, or whatever it’s called, this latest WhatCulture Complete Guide is turning its attention to the greatest threat mankind has ever seen. Apes. And it’s little wonder when you think about it – films like Hollow Man and Project X tell stories of man’s exploitation of our simian cousins and ancestors (sorry God), and we expect them to simply roll over and accept it?! I think Dunston Checks In is proof enough that that was never going to be the case.

So follow us as we chart a course through the evolution of the Monkey Threat on screen. There is a distinct pattern, and I think if we don’t learn from it, we will all be looking into the damaged face of the Statue of Liberty in all-too-short a time.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Great Movie Apes: Dunston From Dunston Checks In

Great Movie Apes: Dunston From Dunston Checks In
Rumor has it that this week the apes will rise. So in honor of our primate cousins and their varied achievements on film, Movieline will honor one great movie ape/monkey/chimp each day who embodies an admirable quality found in monkeykind. Today we're commemorating an orangutan trained as a jewel thief who butts heads with Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Paul Reubens, and Rupert Everett. He is Dunston of Dunston Checks In, and he'll coax you into adoration -- using his bare hands.
See full article at Movieline »

What monkeys mean in the movies

Friend, killer, lover, specimen ...

The guinea pig

Cinema persistently tries to achieve what science so far has not: make a man/monkey mashup. In The Doctor's Experiment; or Reversing Darwin's Theory (1908) men are turned into apes, while in Balaoo the Demon Baboon (1913, twice remade) a doctor has a go at the reverse, with the side-effect of turning them murderous. In 1932's Murders in the Rue Morgue, women are injected with ape blood (they die); in Return of the Ape Man (1944) Bela Lugosi swaps John Carradine's brain with that of a gorilla (again, doesn't go well). The Man Without a Body (1957) tells of an impressionable gent who submits to the ministrations of a scientist who has been seeing what happens when you play switcheroo with monkey heads.

The erotic cipher

King Kong resonates because, much as Kong repels us, we empathise too: who hasn't been rejected by the object of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

PopWatch Poll: What's your favorite primate movie?

PopWatch Poll: What's your favorite primate movie?
Hey, hey, it’s the monkeys!

With just a few more days until monkeys overrule us all with their strength and enviable memory skills Rise of the Planet of the Apes (primate pun alert!) swings into theaters, we got to thinking about our all-time favorite monkey movies. While it’s long been acknowledged that monkeys = comedy gold (see: Every Which Way But Loose, this video), chimps have an even better track record on the big screen in drama, sci-fi, and action films.

Since we don’t know where Rise of the Planet of The Apes will rank in the pantheon
See full article at EW.com - PopWatch »
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