Thanks for visiting my blog again! I really appreciate your support. It’s been a few weeks since War for the Planet of the Apes was released, but I want to review it anyway. I’m sure many of you were on the fence about seeing this film. A bunch of interesting films are coming out this year and a night at the movies isn’t cheap, especially for a whole family. People are being careful about the movies they see this year and it can be tricky to choose wisely. I can help you out by reviewing several of this year’s sci-fi movies. As usual, you’ll get to see the positive and negative elements of the film. War for the Planet of the Apes is the concluding chapter in a trilogy. This series of films is both a reboot and a trio of prequels to the original Planet of the Apes franchise. Let’s see where the series is heading.
Firstly, I want to congratulate this film for being the best installment in the trilogy. Unlike most cinematic trilogies, Planet of the Apes became stronger with each installment. That’s a very rare occurrence. I thought the writing was very strong with a good sense of direction. It’s not particularly complex. Basically, a genetically altered chimpanzee named Caesar led a revolt against mankind for several years. A deadly flu outbreak wiped out most of the human race and reduced the world to a post-apocalyptic setting. Caesar built a community for the apes, but the remaining humans want to exterminate them. Human beings are actually the ones who are waging war to regain control of the world. War for the Planet of the Apes is the grand conclusion to this battle.
I was surprised with the storytelling. This movie was very effective as a war film. It was also excellent as a post-apocalyptic movie. There are some homages to other war films like Apocalypse Now and Platoon. The humans capture many of the apes and keep them in prison camps. The concept is similar to the POW and concentration camps that we saw throughout history. I also thought the warfare seemed a little bit similar to the Vietnam War with guerrilla warfare. Soldiers fought in the jungle during the Vietnam War, but in this case, the apes and humans are fighting each other in the USA’s vast wilderness and mountains. Characters take more of a stealth approach to battle and take prisoners. It’s different than the trench warfare that happened in WWI and WWII. I assume the creators of this movie conducted a lot of research. It seemed like they were quite knowledgeable about the subject.
I thought Andy Serkis was great as Casear. He wants to do the right thing for his family and the other apes. But trauma from Caesar’s past still haunts him. There are some tragic events that happen during the story and it sends Caesar on a vengeful quest. I think it will be ironically easy for people to relate to him. In fact, all of the apes retain a strong sense of humanity. They have individual personalities, families, communities, goals, personal flaws, etc. Maurice is the orangutan who accompanied Caesar through all three of these movies. He’s compassionate and insightful about many things. Maurice always retains a strong moral compass and he’s a strong companion to Caesar. They added a new character named Bad Ape in this film. He’s kind of amusing without being out of place. I thought he was a breath of fresh air to the film’s somber and violent atmosphere. They also introduced Nova from the original films. She played Charlton Heston’s love interest in the first Planet of the Apes movie. In the current film, Nova is a young, mute girl who becomes part of Caesar’s group. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her in future installments.
The action scenes are incredible. I think the visual effects department deserves a lot of appreciation. The visual effects probably aren’t worthy of an Oscar nomination, but they’re still great. It also seemed like the actions scenes were totally appropriate for the war theme. The actions scenes are less similar to the Marvel superhero films or space operas like Star Wars. It’s much more like the action scenes in legitimate war films.
I also appreciated the strong connection to the original Planet of the Apes movies. It’s a little strange because the newer films are both a reboot and a prequel series. War for the Planet of the Apes is introducing many elements that we saw in the original films. I won’t give any spoilers, but the concepts are both similar and reworked to make the newer movies fit with the older installments. 20th Century Fox could easily make more films in the franchise. I would like to see remakes of the original films, preferably another trilogy. That seems like the logical next step. I read a few articles and it seems like 20th Century Fox is being receptive to more Planet of the Apes films. Let’s see what happens.
Even though I believe this movie is fabulous, it also has some noticeable problems. In fact, some of its issues are downright irritating. Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes focused on at least one human character with a lot of redeemable qualities. Aside from Nova, the rest of the human characters were completely vilified. It’s going to be easier for many audience members to relate to the apes. The human characters are just violent individuals who make poor decisions. I wasn’t thrilled with The Colonel who was played by Woody Harrelson. The soldiers treat him like a Messianic figure and I don’t understand why. He lacks strong leadership skills, charisma, good communication skills, and the power of persuasion. It’s hard for me to believe anyone would follow him at all. Human beings haven’t learned anything from history in this film. They’re waging war against the apes and other human camps. Even after they survived the apocalyptic pandemic, human beings still can’t put aside their differences. I thought they should have enough sense to unite against the apes, but that’s not the case.
This movie also has a few obvious plot holes and convenient occurrences that made everything move easier through the story. It’s kind of like dropping things out of the sky. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but you’ll notice a few plot points that are overly convenient for the main characters. Some of the characters also make foolish decisions just for the sake of the plot. Those issues didn’t ruin the film for me, but it was distracting.
Surprisingly, I saw quite a few families and groups of teenagers in the movie theater. It’s largely an adult film. The film is PG-13 and it’s an accurate rating. Some teenagers might find the film interesting. Other teens might say it’s boring. I wouldn’t recommend bringing small children to this film. The violence and dark content might bother them.
Well, I definitely had a lot to say about this movie. I suggest seeing it on the big screen. There are so many fantastic elements about this film. The good components outweigh the bad ones. Actually, quite a few people clapped when the movie was done. It’s a very strong conclusion to this trilogy. If you love action, sci-fi, war films, or the post-apocalyptic genre, War for the Planet of the Apes will be worth the money. Leave a comment if you want to say anything about my review. I promise to write another post next week. Feel free to break out the popcorn and have fun at the movies!
Hi guys! It's summer time and we're halfway done with the year. Personally, I feel like 2017 is disappearing quickly. I guess the cliché phrase is right. Time flies when you're having fun. As a steampunk author and general fan of the genre, I'm always looking for more information, events, contacts, media, literature, etc. You could say steampunk has a small yet devout following, but it also seems like the fan base is getting bigger. I noticed quite a few discussions and posts through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other websites. It seems like some steampunk fans wonder if the genre is dying slowly but surely. Honestly, I disagree with that concern. But I definitely believe steampunk is undergoing some changes. This post is reviewing my viewpoints about the steampunk genre and what's happening to it during 2017.
We're seeing a huge explosion of punk genres. I'm seeing a lot of newer ones like dieselpunk, biopunk, atompunk, stonepunk, and so on. The original punk genre known as cyberpunk is also making a comeback this year. Overall, steampunk appears to be the most popular genre in this family. I'm making this statement because steampunk has a very distinct subculture with cosplayers, conventions, social media, small groups, and more. Furthermore, there are many steampunk novels and unpublished fiction. I'm also noticing that steampunk is quite popular among young adults. It's very common to see teenagers participating in steampunk cosplay at Comic Con or other sci-fi events. Can you identify any cyberpunk or dieselpunk conventions? Probably not. I'm sure they exist, but it's much easier to name steampunk festivals like the Steampunk World's Fair, Gaslight Expo, Steamposium, Motor City Steam Con, the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention, etc. There are plenty of steampunk conventions outside of the United States as well. I always see a fair amount of steampunk cosplayers and vendors at the various Comic Cons, but it's a small number of people compared to the superheroes, space operas, anime characters, and post-apocalyptic mayhem. Realistically, steampunk can't compete with those genres. I don't think steampunk will ever be more popular than superhero fiction. But we can dream, right?
There are plenty of ways to identify steampunk's longevity. Just be observant. New steampunk books were released this year. I noticed some new releases by Gail Carriger through Facebook and Twitter. If you look online at Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, the list of steampunk books keeps growing. I met several creators of steampunk comic books at WonderCon. Lady Mechanika, Moriarty, Boston Metaphysical Society, and Pariah Missouri looked really interesting. I'm also acquainted with a steampunk cosplay group called the Steampunk Star Wars Universe and it seems like they have more members at every convention. There appears to be a rise in steampunk modeling and photography. I'm always finding new photos through social media. For those of you who enjoy steampunk DIY costuming, go to Joann's and pick out patterns. You won't have any trouble finding patterns with steampunk themes. Steampunk also has a big presence around Halloween time. You can walk into any Halloween store and find costumes or props that would work perfectly. Ironically, a lot of props in the serial killer section of the Halloween stores work really well with steampunk costumes. Wrenches, pickaxes, lead pipes, hammers, chains, etc. Some of my Facebook friends are steampunk costume designers and it seems like they're always busy with clients and public appearances. Disneyland has unofficial steampunk days during the Dapper Day Expo twice a year. It's a popular event for the residents of Southern California. We might be seeing some steampunk influences in video games. I wouldn't be surprised if Vampyr and Call of Cthulhu will have some vague steampunk elements. Those games are going to be released around Christmas time. Steampunk fans can rest at ease because the genre isn't going to disappear any time soon.
I'm definitely noticing some changes and trends in steampunk. Even though the Victorian style remains popular, other themes seem to be growing. It's very common for people to combine steampunk with something else. A typical example is the Wild West version of steampunk. That one is becoming a classic. Nowadays, it's also common to see steampunk pirates, post-apocalyptic themes, aviators, explorers, etc. Some cosplayers also blending together steampunk with other franchises, like Marvel or DC superheroes, Star Wars, video games, Disney characters, and more. I guess that might be the best way for steampunk to compete with superheroes or Star Wars. There seems to be an increase in paranormal steampunk fiction with ghosts or other supernatural elements. The fantasy version of steampunk with vampires and werewolves is also quite popular. I know some people dislike the idea of combining the steampunk and post-apocalyptic genres, but it's happening anyway. In fact, steampunk is almost venturing further away from the Victorian theme and is heading deeper into the post-apocalyptic subgenre. I'm not sure how long that trend will last. Ultimately, steampunk will always turn back to the Victorian period. For better or worse, there's a lot more romance and erotica in steampunk. This might be an attempt to bring more female readers into the world of steampunk, but I'm honestly not sure. Also, romance is overwhelmingly the most popular literary genre. Therefore, it makes sense to increase romantic steampunk fiction. It's a way to gain more readers and venture into the mainstream.
Are we going to see more futuristic periods in steampunk fiction? Maybe not in 2017, but I strongly believe it's going to happen within the next handful of years. How many of you joined steampunk groups on Facebook? There are quite a few steampunk groups through social media with many members. Several members in these groups are budding writers and I noticed that quite a few of them were interested in futuristic storylines. It's almost like the concept of future Victorians. Personally, I think the idea is cool because it's the setting in my own book series titled The Post-Apocalyptic Society. It's a different twist on steampunk. Usually, steampunk fiction takes place during an alternate version of the Victorian era. You could say it's a reaction against Victorianism or conformity. That won't be true for every author, but it seems to be a common theme. Everything is going to be turned backwards in futuristic settings. The characters are making a statement against the modern era and are choosing to revert back to Victorian ideals. I believe this new and futuristic version of steampunk will have a lot of interesting storylines. It's hard to tell if this type of steampunk will become very popular. Only time will tell.
Truthfully, the biggest competitors for steampunk are the other punk genres. I already mentioned that cyberpunk is gaining some attention this year. For example, we're seeing more cyberpunk films this year. Ghost in the Shell got mixed reception from audiences. Some people thought the movie was entertaining with a pretty decent story. Others hated the white washing and didn't believe it was faithful to the source material. I don't remember critics being particularly thrilled with this movie. Personally, I'm looking forward to Blade Runner 2049. I hope it's going to be a great sequel to the original Blade Runner film. But you never know. Anything could happen. It's hard for cyberpunk to hit the mainstream. The genre is philosophical, dystopian, ethereal, complex, and frequently political. Aside from The Matrix and Terminator series, a lot of cyberpunk works are underappreciated. I realize some people might not believe The Matrix or Terminator should be categorized as cyberpunk, but that's an argument for another day. There's a lot of good cyberpunk literature and I don't know many people who read it. So, I doubt cyberpunk will dethrone steampunk yet.
I also noticed a lot of growth in dieselpunk. It's a much newer genre compared to cyberpunk and steampunk. Dieselpunk often takes place during the WWI or WWII periods and it has a lot of noir elements. It can actually take place during any time period when fossil fuels are predominant power sources, including the modern era. Most likely, this growth is happening because WWI and WWII are very popular settings. Noir is also becoming more popular this year. I have to admit that dieselpunk elements are a lot more evident in films than steampunk. For the most part, steampunk films are relegated to the Victorian period, Wild West, or a post-apocalyptic setting with a lot of steam power. The popularity of Victorianism and the Wild West comes and goes. We're not going to see a lot of consecutive years that have a big emphasis on the Victorian period. On the other hand, WWI and WWII are great settings for Oscar bait. It's something to think about. Unfortunately, steampunk films didn't prove to be very successful in the past. Wild Wild West, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and The Golden Compass were universally panned by critics and audiences. The Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. had moderate success. Perhaps directors, producers, and screen writers are hesitant to create more steampunk films due to this problem. It's just a theory. Will dieselpunk become more popular than steampunk in 2017? It won't happen, but the genre is definitely growing and developing. That's actually a good thing. I'm glad dieselpunk is developing a bigger fan base with more stylistic elements. Dieselpunk doesn't have the strong subcultural following yet, but it might get there some day. Right now, very few people know the word dieselpunk except for hardcore sci-fi enthusiasts. A lot of people still don't know much about steampunk, but at least more individuals in the mainstream have a vague idea about the genre. There's another issue because many people think something is steampunk when it's actually dieselpunk. The two genres can look somewhat similar. I'm pretty sure we're going to see less of that problem when mainstream audiences become more familiar with dieselpunk as a separate genre.
I wish steampunk grew more in popularity this year. It grew noticeably in 2015 and 2016. This year seems to be more stagnate. But it's not declining and I'm happy about that part. Slow and steady wins the race. What have you noticed about steampunk in 2017? Leave a comment and let us know. Are any of you guys seeing new trends for dieselpunk or cyberpunk? I would love to hear from you too. Thanks for reading my long post and stay tuned for next week's topic. Sweet dreams!