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The Cranky Movie Watcher: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Input Junkie
July 17th, 2014
11:40 am


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The Cranky Movie Watcher: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The movie was a triumph of CGI-- the fur was maybe a little stiff, but the apes were basically satisfactory. The message, played out through many plot twists, was that there are primates who want peace and primates who want war, and that's a more important distinction than ape vs. human.

However, I don't think they knocked themselves out thinking about the details.

Some of the chimps are riding horses. Horses are difficult to take care of, and there's no obvious way the chimps could have learned what they needed to know. What's more, all the horses are black, which makes for a very dramatic effect with the black chimps, but the odds are that the horses would be a normal assortment of brown, black, white, gray, and multi-colored.

The apes aren't using human artifacts at the beginning of the movie, even though there are presumably a tremendous number of abandoned houses, stores, etc. The movie has an anti-violence message, so there's an emotional kick when the apes start using guns. However, they might have wanted at least a few guns to protect themselves from bears.

It *might* be plausible that they were just one group rather than tribes in opposition to each other.

At a minimum, good knives are tremendously useful tools.

Caesar (the peace-loving ape leader) is shot by Koba (the pro-war subordinate) and badly injured-- he's lost a lot of blood and needs an operation. Two days later, he's in a hard fight with Koba, and wins. Not likely.

The surgical kit apparently doesn't include latex gloves-- Ellie's hands are bloody after the operation.

A lot of the plot is about the humans trying to get a dam repaired and reconnected to the power grid, with the difficulty that the dam is in ape territory. This is urgent because the humans are almost out of diesel and (other fuel forgotten).

I was hoping that when the humans were negotiating for access to the dam, they would offer a literal (littoral?) power-sharing agreement, but oh, well.

Don't the humans have solar panels?

One of the reasons humans need the dam is to power their radio transmitter. Anyone know how much power they needed? Should they have been using ham radio?

There didn't seem to be a coherent pattern of when the apes spoke and when they used sign, but maybe I missed something. Thoughts?

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(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:July 17th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
I wasn't expecting hard sf, but I must say having Caesar beat Koba down while he was recovering from a gunshot wound was pretty unconvincing. I would have had Caesar's son complete his moral arc of trusting Koba, being betrayed by him, and coming back to his father by being the one to step in and take down Koba. He sort of got shoved aside at the climax.

This whole storyline is so much a personalization and dramatization of politics that I really want to see it in Shakespeare's version, with all the apes speaking in lovely Calibanesque blank verse.
[User Picture]
Date:July 18th, 2014 09:39 am (UTC)
A good set of points. Sloppy writing, it sounds like.

As for the radio question -- it depends. Is this a broadcast radio or a two-way radio? How far and what technology? Satellite or terrestrial? What frequency?

Depending on the level of tech, it could be a 100K watt transmitter for an old-style Massive AM/FM transmitter overing the country or just a few watts for a fairly sensitive modern style satellite radio using a legacy satellite system.
[User Picture]
Date:July 21st, 2015 06:03 am (UTC)
I really think this movie was amazing... It felt like such an intelligent movie.
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