Sunday, May 26, 2024

Podcast: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Top 3 CGI Characters – Episode 73

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This week on the InSession Film Podcast, DJ and Matthew from the Simplistic Reviews podcast joins us as we review the amazing blockbuster, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, starring the wonderful Andy Serkis, Jason Clark, and Gary Oldman among many others. Going off of that, we also discuss our Top 3 CGI Characters from live-action films, which was a lot of fun, although I’m sure you can guess our #1. And as usual we finish off the show with Movies We’ve Seen This Week, in which all three of us had a bad film we needed to destroy during this segment.

This week, Blake is out once again due to some unfortunate family circumstances and our thoughts are with him, and he should be back next week. Also, go check out this last week’s Extra Film where we review the lovely films, Only Lovers Left Alive and the amazing Roger Ebert documentary, Life Itself.

Anyway, check it out and let us know what you think in the comment section below. Thanks for listening and thanks for supporting our podcast!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review (5:43)
    JD: A
    DJ: A

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes SPOILERS! (33:39)


RELATED: Listen to Episode 72 of the InSession Film Podcast!


Top 3 CGI Characters (Live-Action) (49:03)
After seeing how awesome Caesar was in Dawn, there’s no doubt that motion capture will start to be recognized for the work that goes into it. And while not all of our characters in this discussion is motion-capture, for our Top 3 this week, we discuss the best CGI characters in live-action movies. We’ve seen plenty over the years, and while not all great, some surly stand out as some of the most fun we’ve had at the movies. That being said, what would be your Top 3?

– Movies We’ve Seen This Week (1:21:53)

    JD: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Independence Day, Hurt Locker, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape the Planet of the Apes, Cheap Thrills
    DJ: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Sabotage
    Matthew: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Snowpiercer, Night Scare

– Music

    Primates for Life – Michael Giacchino
    Tubular Bells – Steve Boeddeker
    Jurassic Park – John Williams
    Rise/Apes Theme – Patrick Doyle
    The Return of the Eagle – Atli Örvarsson

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InSession Film Podcast – Episode 73


Next week on the show:

    Main Review – The Purge: Anarchy

    Top 3 – TBD

The Purge: Anarchy


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JD Duran
JD Duran
InSession Film founder and owner. I love film. Love art. Love how it intersects with our real lives. My favorite movies include Citizen Kane, The 400 Blows, Modern Times, The Godfather and The Tree of Life. Follow me on Twitter @RealJDDuran. Follow us @InSessionFilm.

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  1. JD I respect your opinion all but to equate Cheap Thrills and Michael Bay is absolutely crazy. Maybe dark humor is not you thing but pointing to an action and saying it’s the same thing in two different contexts is not how humor works. The entire point of comedy is developing context to support your ideas. It’s why Louis CK can say things he can, while others would be demolished for similar statements.

    Also not everything in Cheap Thrills is meant to be funny. The lead acting having sex with that girl is not meant to insight laughter. True dark humor goes to dark places and is willing NOT to be funny. That’s the point of Cheap Thrills. As the absurdity increases the comedy decreases. You are looking just at the basic level. You are ignoring the satirical aspect and just saying actions are meant to be on face value, when it’s clearly not the case. It’s not having someone crap on the floor and say hey look isn’t that funny poop.

    It’s presenting the absurdity and showing how disturbing it really is. That’s the difference between real dark comedy and wannabe dark comedy like Horrible Bosses. Horrible Bosses tries to be a dark comedy simply based on its context, but treats its material far too silly to be a real dark comedy.

    Cheap Thrills on the other hand knows to really be dark you have to be willing to unsettling and not pull your punches. It’s the live action version of a South Park episode. Sure you can just say its potty and crude humor of the lowest form, but doing so your are choosing to ignore a lot of inventive satire that is actually really saying a lot.

    • Hey Dan, we’ll just agree to disagree. Humor is probably the most subjective thing about film, or anything for that matter, which is what makes them so polarizing a lot of the time. For me, all I saw was Michael Bay humor on a disturbing level. Peeing on a guy or pooping in a strangers house is just not funny to me nor was it engaging in any way. Even in the context of the film, it was just stupid with zero depth to it.

      Whether the intentions was comedy or not, the infidelity scene to me still doesn’t work. He was cheating on his wife for $4500, and perhaps that’s the point, because it is “cheap” thrills after all, but still doesn’t make me engage. Even if it’s not meant to be funny, now all I do is hate every character in the movie. That doesn’t make the film good, just because it’s “dark” and trying to be “satirical”. The characters are beyond shallow and ridiculously unlikable. And trust me Dan, I always try to look beyond the superficial in a film, but to me there was nothing here. Just absurd gags. If it says anything, it’s that people will do anything for money, and that idea in itself is superficial. And I get that’s probably what the satire is about, but in this instance, the execution doesn’t justify those themes to me.

      Presenting absurdity just to show how disturbing it is, means nothing to me when the characters and themes are shallow and presented poorly. I understand what you’re saying Dan, and I can easily handle dark comedy, but to me this is crude and repulsive humor with zero foundation. Not once did I feel like it was a live action “South Park” episode. South Park is A) actually funny and B) transparent in its satire most of the time.

      I’m sorry if you don’t agree, which is completely fine, but this was Transformers-level humor that was just more disturbing and violent. Nothing about it appeals to me. In fact, I can say I absolutely hate it.

      I say all of that with a lot of respect too. You know I love your opinions and value what you have to say. In fact, it was your words about Under the Skin that made me re-evaluate it and give it another re-watch the next day. This however, I will not be changing my mind. Lol

      Ironically enough, a dark comedy that did work for me: Pain & Gain.

      • Well there you go if Pain & Gain is your dark comedy then yes a movie like Cheap Thrills won’t work. Pain & Gain deals with heavyish subject matter but its all presented in a fluffier manner than something like Cheap Thrills, Man Bites Dog,or even Fargo.

        To say there is zero depth I think its not fair And its not just presenting absurdity to be absurd. Its as much of a critique of this type of humor as it is apart of it–which is the sign of great satire.

        Its not just the idea that people who do anything for money. Yes if that’s all it was about it wouldn’t be very deep. Its taking this type of comedy that is often presented without ramifications and showing how truly awful it is when the shinning coat that movies like Jackass or Hangover put on it is removed. You are left with situations that are more pitiful than humorous. With characters that are deplorable, and ramifications that are impossible to recover from.

        If you didn’t like it fine, not trying to change your opinion, but to say this the same thing as Michael Bay is an unfair criticism because they are doing two vastly different things. Bay is having a robot peeing on a dude and THATS the joke. Here a person pees on a guy to indicate he has lost his psyche and what was once somewhat funny has become disturbing. Its not meant to be a moment where you laugh because a guy is peeing on someone (some may) its a realization that things are getting out of hand.

        So if you call this the worst movie of the year. Fine that’s your right, but to say this humor and Bay are the same thing is like saying the love triangle in Twilight is the same in Casablanca. There both love triangles. Context and execution matter.

        Anyways always love hearing your thoughts. Great episode as always. 🙂 At least we can agree Dawn of the Apes rocked! YAY for good movies.

        • I’m not really sure the issue is style. I like Fargo. I like The Guard. I love Super. And I can go on and on. It’s not about whether it’s fluff or not, but rather the substance behind the style.

          I’m glad you found depth to it, but for me there’s none there. I can argue that there’s fun in Transformers: Age of Extinction, but doesn’t mean a lot of people found it. Just because your aim is to be satirical, doesn’t mean you hit those notes.

          The ramifications presented here to me are unrealistic and anything but genuine. Congrats, you cut off your finger for $2000. I don’t care nor did I find it entertaining. I like the idea that you’re presenting and I think that’s interesting, but Cheap Thrills doesn’t give me anything to grab onto for that to feel authentic. Why it works in a movie like Fargo or Super, is that you’re compelled by characters who are actually engaging. The story, along with those characters, make the themes presented rich and satisfying.

          I couldn’t disagree more on the context. I agree, Bay’s version is superficial and the peeing is the actual joke. But here, the guy is peeing on the other guy because he wants money. That’s it. You can call that “losing his psyche” if you want, but to me, it’s nothing more than greed and that’s nothing I find compelling. And that’s why I feel like I can compare the two because both of them give me NOTHING but the act itself. So, give me Bumblebee. Lol

          I agree that context and execution matter. That’s not at all what I’m arguing. Casablanca is way better than Twilight for sure. But for me, Cheap Thrills ISN’T executed better than Bay. It’s themes are contrived for the sake of satire and I found it extremely shallow and uninteresting. But it’s all subject though, right? So I’m NOT saying you’re wrong and I’m right, it’s just how I saw it and that’s why.

          But this is why I love doing things like this, it makes for fun and great conversation. Thanks for the comments, it really is appreciated! And yeah, def we can agree on Dawn! Loved it!

          • I do love this types of debates. I rather talk about something like this then what gender Thor is in the latest issue of Avengers. God that story got hold REAL quick.

            Regarding what you said:

            “I couldn’t disagree more on the context. I agree, Bay’s version is superficial and the peeing is the actual joke. But here, the guy is peeing on the other guy because he wants money. That’s it. You can call that “losing his psyche” if you want, but to me, it’s nothing more than greed and that’s nothing I find compelling. And that’s why I feel like I can compare the two because both of them give me NOTHING but the act itself. So, give me Bumblebee. Lol”

            I think you are getting too focused on the plot and make the assumption that comedy has be a reflection of story details. . I don’t feel that’s how satire should function. It’s
            not just about what’s happening in the story, more often that’s the least important element. If you want Bumblebee fine, but I’d rather have a movie that’s critiquing that form of comedy as much as it’s a part of it. If all you want to get out of it is the action itself. Fine. But I feel you are getting too caught up with the surface level and assume everything is meant to be taken at face value. I choose to think differently.

            Now I can be off my rocker and the people behind this could just be making a movie about potty humor. I don’t see it that way. To me its commentary on a lot of things, most importantly how truly disturbing much of the common comedy of today can be. How comedy found in things like Hangover is far more depressing and disturbing than we realize. I think people have this
            idea that the purpose of comedy is only to incite laughter. I think that is the major function, but comedy is even better used to make you rethink the way you view something. For me Cheap Thrills makes me rethink the lengths we accept as the norm with comedy at times. How disconcerting a lot of actions typically played for cheap laughs often are.

            If you think it’s just an exploitative exercise that appeals to the lowest common denominator, that’s completely legit. I could understand how someone could walk away from this and feel that way. I just take issue with the idea that accepting the comedy in Cheap Thrills and rejecting the comedy in a Bay movie is somehow hypercritical, because they are one if the same. Its like when people say South Park and Family Guy are the same thing. They both may be crude but one clearly has more to it than the other. (Hint: Its South Park)

          • Yeah I agree, Thor and now a new Cap seems to be a big topic of late. And if last night’s Colbert Report is any indication, we’ll have a new Falcon too. Lol

            As far as the comparisons go, I get that you’re not looking at the act itself. But just because a film is “critiquing” something, doesn’t make it compelling. I’ve said this 100x on the show, but I’m always looking beyond the superficial. Locke is my #1 movie of the year because of that very notion. It’s not that I’m looking at it at face value but rather it doesn’t offer me anything other than what’s at the surface. At least not for me.

            And I’m glad that you’re able to get more out of it. I’m certain that I got more out of Locke than most people. I’m certain I got more out of Enemy than most people. Or as a better example of this type, I got WAY more out of Super. What you’re saying about Cheap Thrills is exactly what I think Super was doing toward the super hero genre. And in theory, I don’t disagree with your argument about how we perceive laughter. I was just as harsh as anyone about criticizing Bay’s humor in the TF films. It’s not the notion I disagree with, but rather the execution. In Cheap Thrills, it didn’t give me what you got out of it.

            And I think there’s a giant disconnect in how you think I saw this movie. And maybe I was a little facetious on the podcast, because I do agree it comes down to execution and context, but for me, even within the context of the film, Cheap Thrills was shallow for me. I didn’t get the same things out of it that you did, which is fine. I’m certainly glad you got more than me. But from my perspective, the toilet humor was pretty much the same, only with a darker tone to it.

            I can’t say that for all films like this and if I made it sound that way then I apologize. And of course, just because I think it’s the same thing, I understand that everyone else may not feel that way, clearly. So, I wasn’t trying to offend anyone or say that they don’t know humor, it was more of a comment about how I don’t understand that thinking in this specific film because it’s not what I got out of it. I hope that makes sense. But if you felt offended, I certainly apologize.

            And I’m sure there’s a lot of comedies we do agree on. Hey, I agree about South Park, so that’s a start! Lol 🙂

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