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These Present Day Movie Sequels Were Worth Watching

6/20/2015 11:03am EDT
10 Great Latter-Day Sequels That Kicked Ass
The summer movie season is in full swing, with the usual glut of sequels, prequels, remakes, and other no-risk productions. Franchises keep being extended primarily because this business model is easy and familiar, but also because every once in a while, a worthwhile extension of the brand comes out. Conventional wisdom suggests that once a franchise extends beyond a trilogy, it has become at best a parody of itself. But some have managed to become reinvigorated or even reach their creative high points with their 4th, 5th, or even 21st entry. So here are some classic latter-day sequels to o...

War Begins In Third And Final 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' Trailer

6/19/2014 11:10am EDT
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
"Apes... do not want war," says the simian leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) at the beginning of the third and final trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which was released on Wednesday.

The first sequel to the Planet of the Apes series reboot, which promises plenty of action, takes place 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, when scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) tested a cure for Alzheimer's disease on the chimpanzee Caesar, genetically altering him and giving him human levels of intelligence.

Now Caesar and a new race of highly intelligent apes threaten what ...

Hail Caesar! First Trailer For 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' Released

12/19/2013 12:54am EST
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The first trailer for Summer 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrived online Wednesday.

The film takes place 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) genetically alters chimpanzees while trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Rodman's testing affects test subject Caesar, who gains intelligence and leads an uprising of the apes which ultimately leads to Charlton Heston landing his space ship on an unknown planet that *SPOILER ALERT* turns out to be Earth, where apes have become more intelligent than humans and a...

Gary Oldman Triumphs At 2012 Empire Awards

3/26/2012 8:47am EDT
Gary Oldman
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the big winner at this year's Jameson Empire Awards, scooping Best British Film and the Best Actor prize for Gary Oldman.

The hit spy movie also took home Best Thriller at the London ceremony on Sunday after winning the majority of votes from readers of Empire magazine.

The film saw off competition from Attack The Block, The Inbetweeners Movie, Submarine and Tyrannosaur to land the Best British Film honor.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was named Best Film, ahead of Drive, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, wh...

'Drive' And 'Deathly Hallows: Part 2' Lead 2012 Empire Awards Nominations

3/5/2012 11:25am EST
Ryan Gosling's thriller Drive and the final Harry Potter installment lead the nominations for the 2012 Empire Awards.

Drive has landed five nods, with Gosling and his co-star Carey Mulligan both vying for Best Actor/Actress awards, while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 also scored five nominations.

Both movies will compete for the Best Film prize, along with the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Daniel Radcliffe will compete with Gosling for the Best Actor Prize, along with Daniel Craig (The ...

Fandango Fans Give 'The Help' Best Picture Award

2/25/2012 10:32am EST
The Help
"The Help" has landed another major movie prize after winning the Best Picture trophy at the Fandango Fan Choice Awards.

Tens of thousands of film fans gave the hit movie the edge over blockbusters "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."

The awards will be presented at the CinemaCon event during its 2012 Big Screen Achievement ceremony on April 26 in Las Vegas.

In associated voting, Fandango moviegoers named "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" the film with the Most Mind-Blowing Action Sequences, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" the Mo...

'Rango' Sweeps The 2012 VES Awards

2/8/2012 8:05am EST
Johnny Depp's animated Western Rango was the runaway winner at the 10th annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards on Tuesday after scooping four trophies.

The film, in which Depp voiced a chameleon stranded in the Mojave Desert, was honored for its outstanding visual effects, animated character (Rango), created environment and virtual cinematography.

Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese's Oscar contender Hugo nabbed two awards including outstanding supporting visual effects and virtual cinematography.

Other big winners included Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Rise of the Planet of the Apes,...

'War Horse' Lands Genesis Award Nomination

2/7/2012 3:36pm EST
War Horse
Steven Spielberg has won praise from officials at the Humane Society of the United States - his movie War Horse has landed a top nomination at the group's annual Genesis Awards.

The film, set during World War One, has been recognized in the Feature Film category alongside Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dolphin Tale and animated family movie Rio.

TV series Hawaii Five-O and The Glades have received nods for Dramatic Series, while the Sid Caesar Comedy Award nominees include news show The Colbert Report, cartoon The Cleveland Show and Melissa Joan Hart's family sitcom Melissa & Joey.


Quentin Tarantino Reveals His Best And Worst Of 2011

1/16/2012 3:29pm EST
Quentin Tarantino
The highly acclaimed Reservoir Dogs director, Quentin Tarantino, recently released a list of his Top 11 favorite movies of 2011, via The Quentin Tarantino Archives. The list is extremely varied, including a bunch of both mainstream and indie films. Although, some entries are quite unexpected, for example, The Three Musketeers was Tarantino’s 11th favorite movie. The number 1 spot was awarded to Woody Allen’s charming, Midnight in Paris, a complete opposite film compared to that of his favorite in 2010, a la, Toy Story 3.

Alas, with the good, always comes the bad and so Tarantino has also i...

'Tintin' And 'Boardwalk Empire' Lead VES Awards

1/9/2012 9:17am EST
The Adventures of Tintin
Steven Spielberg's The Adventures Of Tintin and crime drama Boardwalk Empire are leading the film and TV nominations at the upcoming Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards.

The director's animated adventure has scored six nods, with three in the Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Motion Picture category.

Other movies to receive nominations for special effects include Captain America: The First Avenger, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and a host of sequels - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: Dark of the Moo...

James Franco Believes 'Apes' Co-Star Andy Serkis Deserves An Oscar

12/31/2011 9:30am EST
Andy Serkis
Former Oscars host James Franco has urged Academy Awards voters to seriously consider his "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" co-star Andy Serkis for a Best Actor prize because the work the Brit is doing with motion capture animation is amazing.

Serkis shot to fame when he was transformed into the creepy Gollum in the "Lord of The Rings" trilogy and he has since given King Kong and "Planet of The Apes'" Caesar a face - and Franco insists his pioneering work will revolutionize Hollywood.

Franco says, "To me, it seems like such a shame that Andy doesn't get recognized now, because this is the ...

'Top Ten Films Of 2011' - 'Two Jews On Film' Reveal Their Top Picks (Video)

12/29/2011 1:00pm EST
Top Ten Films Of 2011
Two Jews on Film - By Joan Alperin Schwartz: 2011 was a year filled with very eclectic films. We had movies about the end of the world, ('Melancholia' and 'Take Shelter') traveling back in time,('Midnight In Paris') homages to the early days of film-making, ('The Artist,' 'Hugo') as well as movies about some of our favorite sports, ('Moneyball' and 'Win Win').

We found ourselves laughing hysterically at a comedy about girl bonding, ('Bridesmaids') had our hearts touched by a few family films, ('We Bought A Zoo,' 'Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close') and a couple...anything but...('Tree Of...

Check Out 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' On DVD & Blu-ray

12/13/2011 6:30am EST
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" centers on genetically engineered chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis), who was created in a San Francisco lab by an ambitious scientist (James Franco), and who uses his powerful intellect to lead an ape uprising against all of humankind.

What makes the movie so unique is that it's the first live-action film to be told from the point of view of a sentient animal - a chimpanzee named Caesar. The chimp is brilliantly portrayed by Serkis, the world's foremost performance capture actor. Andy infuses Caesar with nuance, wisdom and, most importantly, heart.

The film i...

Andy Serkis Slammed By Movie Animators

12/2/2011 12:44pm EST
Andy Serkis
Actor Andy Serkis has been "bombarded" with letters from several movie animators accusing him of taking too much credit for his characters in motion-capture films.

The Brit has found fame with a series of motion-capture performances, playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings series and the title character in 2005's King Kong remake. He embraced the technology again this year with roles in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin.

However, Serkis reveals he has fallen foul of some experts who combined visual effects with his movements and facial expres...

'The Help' Is Still Top Choice Over Labor Day Weekend

9/5/2011 11:30am EDT
The Help
Surprise summer hit The Help has extended its reign over the U.S. box office chart for a third consecutive week.

The movie adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's bestselling book of the same name made an extra $14.2 million during Labor Day weekend, according to early estimates, boosting its total to $118.6 million.

The Help, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Emma Stone and Viola Davis, easily fought off competition from Helen Mirren's new espionage thriller The Debt, which opened in second place with $9.7 million.

Sci-fi horror Apollo 18 was another new release at three, while Shark Night 3D and ...

'The Help' Once Again Wins Weekend Box Office

8/29/2011 9:22am EDT
The Help
The movie adaptation of Kathyrn Stockett's bestseller "The Help" has scored a second week at the top of the box office.

The movie debuted behind blockbuster "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" when it was released earlier this month, but it has become the sleeper hit of the summer, grossing more than $96 million in America alone.

Thanks mainly to Hurricane Irene on America's east coast, it only earned $14.3 million over the weekend to take the top spot.

Zoe Saldana's new film "Colombiana" is second and the "Planet of the Apes" prequel comes in third.

Debuts from "Don't Be Afraid of the...

'The Help' Crushes 'Conan' At The Box Office

8/22/2011 8:29am EDT
The Help
Sleeper summer film hit The Help has topped the U.S. box office in its second week on release.

The movie, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis and Emma Stone, has made an impressive $20.5 million over the weekend to take over the top spot from Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

"The Help" has now made over $70 million since its release earlier this month.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes comes in second place with a third-weekend take of $16.3 million and the rest of the top five features new movies, which garnered disappointing ticket sales.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D ca...

'Planet Of The Apes' Once Again Wins Weekend Box Office

8/15/2011 8:54am EDT
Planet of the Apes
Sci-fi blockbuster "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" has taken over the box office chart to score a second consecutive week at number one.

The "Planet of the Apes" prequel, directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring James Franco and Andy Serkis, stunned film experts last week when it debuted with takings of $54 million.

And the ape epic is still swinging from the top of the chart, racking up another $27.5 million in ticket sales. Its 10-day total now stands at a healthy $104.9 million.

New drama "The Help," based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, opened in second place with $25.5 m...

'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Kills 'The Change-Up' At Box Office

8/8/2011 9:54am EDT
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The "Planet Of The Apes" prequel has stunned film experts by opening with an impressive $54 million at the box office.

Ticket sales for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," starring James Franco and Andy Serkis, far exceeded industry expectations over the weekend, according to studio estimates.

The film appears to have taken much of the buzz from Ryan Reynolds' new comedy "The Change-Up," which opened with a disappointing $13.5 million.

'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Review: 'Two Jews On Film' Applaud This SciFi Cautionary Tale (Video)

8/4/2011 10:00am EDT
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
What makes 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' so unique is that it's the first live-action film to be told from the point of view of a sentient animal -- A chimpanzee--named Caesar...brilliantly portrayed by Andy Serkis, the world's foremost performance capture actor. Andy infuses Caesar with nuance, wisdom and most importantly... heart.

'Rise Of The Planets Of The Apes' is an origin story, in the truest sense of the word. It shows us what happens, when experiments in genetic engineering, leads scientists to produce an intelligent ape. The film is a cautionary tale that blends scifi wi...

PETA Honors Animal-Friendly 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes'

8/1/2011 2:21pm EDT
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Director Rupert Wyatt has been applauded by animal rights campaigners at PETA for deciding against using real primates in his upcoming movie Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

The filmmaker used computer-generated imagery (CGI) to depict the animals in the new sci-fi drama because he felt uncomfortable with the idea of employing live chimps for the movie.

Explaining his decision at the recent Comic-Con event, he said, "We wanted to tell our story without using live apes for any number of reasons. It would be a cruel irony to tell the story of the exploited and repressed and use live apes t...

Style Stars Of The Week: Freida Pinto, Rachel Weisz, And Selena Gomez

8/1/2011 12:30pm EDT
Freida Pinto and James franco
This week, our style stars are proving simple is better - unless you are up on stage.

First, we have Freida Pinto, who dazzled at the premiere of Rise of the Planet of the Apes in this beautiful green dress. The elegant number was picturesque when flowing due to the windy weather in L.A.

Rachel Weisz looked great as well in her red dress. We could have gone without the shoulderpad-like covers, but other than that we think it is a perfect outfit. She also has a pair of nude heels on - perhaps she and Freida are hopping onto a new trend?

Finally, we have Selena Gomez in this sequine...

Trailer Talk: This Week In Movies - 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes,' 'The Change-Up,' & More

8/1/2011 9:39am EDT
Planet of the Apes
I was anxiously anticipating last week’s “Cowboys & Aliens,” hoping that it would effectively mix action and humor in the same way as director Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” films. Favreau takes a more serious approach though, creating a stiff western that happens to include science fiction elements. While his idea is admirable, the movie is marred by poorly written dialogue and slow pacing. For more of my thoughts, check out my review.

Coming to theaters this week are the sci-fi prequel “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the body swapping comedy “The Change-Up,” the international drama “The ...

Freida Pinto Criticized For Shunning Movie Roles In Native India

7/19/2011 9:18pm EDT
Freida Pinto
Actress Freida Pinto has been forced to defend herself from critics in her native India over allegations she has turned her back on Bollywood.

Pinto rose to international fame in 2008's Slumdog Millionaire and she has since appeared in a string of Hollywood and American indie projects such as Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and the upcoming films Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Immortals.

But the Mumbai-born actress' blossoming film success is resented back home by critics, who feel she should be appearing in more Indian movies.

She tells Interview magazine, "I haven'...

Freida Pinto Puzzled By James Franco's Method Of Acting

7/16/2011 1:00pm EDT
Freida Pinto
Actress Freida Pinto was taken aback when the cameras started rolling on the set Rise of The Planet of the Apes movie, because she couldn't get to grips with James Franco's style of acting.

The Slumdog Millionaire beauty plays a scientist and girlfriend of Franco's character in the upcoming prequel, but admits it took her a while to get used to the Hollywood hunk's on-set methods.

But despite a shaky start, Pinto credits the Milk star for helping her master new techniques.

She tells Total Film magazine, "He's got his own unique and distinctive style of acting. It's not conventional at...

James Franco Doesn't Like Being Blamed For 'Your Highness' Flop

7/12/2011 8:19am EDT
Your Highness
James Franco insists he was unfairly targeted by critics who savaged his post-Oscars movie Your Highness - just because it was a bad film.

The actor teamed up with Oscar-winner Natalie Portman and funnyman Danny McBride for the wacky period movie - but he was the one who critics took aim at when the film flopped at the box office.

And he insists he was an easy target after becoming known as the workaholic overachiever who co-hosted the worst Academy Awards ever.

He says, "I didn't write that movie. I was just doing my job. I think I'm fine in it. They knew there were problems with that m...