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Random thoughts about sound and vision.

Go Ape

Finally caught up with DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES this week.

It's not perfect - there aren't enough surprises in the storyline, which pretty much goes from A to B, in exactly the manner you expect it go. But it's definitely superior summer fare, with an emotional kick missing from your average blockbuster.

The CGI work is top-notch (Weta raising the bar in performance capture yet again) but it's how it's used that's important. There are some spectacular sequences - the apes' armed raid on the human colony in San Francisco for one - but the FX are kept on a tight leash by director Matt Reeves. The opening scenes of the film are noteworthy - set exclusively in the apes' sanctuary, no human appears onscreen for a good 20 minutes. With the assistance of cutting-edge CGI, it's the motion-capture performances by Andy Serkis and Toby Kebbell that make it work; special effects supporting the film, not taking it over.

It's been a great summer for genre movies, DAWN... joining CAPTAIN AMERICA 2, GODZILLA, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, EDGE OF TOMORROW and X-MEN: FIRST CLASS in the premier league. Has 2014 produced as much of a landmark summer as that of 1982 - the previous banner year, with classics such as ET, BLADE RUNNER, STAR TREK II and TRON?

You know - I really think it has...