8 Reasons Why “War for the Planet of the Apes” is the Best Sequel of 2017 (So Far)

By Bennett Ferguson

In the eerie opening scene of Matt Reeves’ wonderful new film “War for the Planet of the Apes,” a pack of human soldiers hides in a forest, waiting to attack a group of horse-riding apes who look strange, even menacing, from a distance. Yet from harrowing start to moist-eyed finish, “War” draws us close to its highly evolved title characters, daring us to look into their eyes and declare that they’re less civilized, cunning, and compassionate than we are.

Typically, sequels don’t dare audiences to do anything besides sit back and stare at stale, zombified genre tropes. But 2017 has hardly been a typical year for movies (any year that plays host to “Dunkirk,” “The Lost City of Z,” “Song to Song,” and “Wonder Woman” is off to a scorching start) and “War for the Planet of the Apes” is hardly a typical franchise installment. It’s too brutal, honest, and heartfelt to deserve that classification.

It is, in other words, the finest sequel of 2017 so far (note to “Blade Runner 2049” director Denis Villeneuve: your move). Here are eight reasons why.

1. It offers an unforgettable and insightful portrait of a post-apocalyptic Earth

By the time that “War of the Planet of the Apes” begins, humankind has become a specter of itself. The scientific exploits of Will Rodman (James Franco) may have unleashed ultra-smart apes like the noble chimp revolutionary Caesar (Andy Serkis, who leads a cast of ape portrayers who act via motion capture so bedazzling that “seamless” is too crude a descriptor) in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), but they also led to the creation of the so-called Simian Flu, which decimated a vast swath of the human race. As a result, our species has been apparently been reduced to little more than → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Can you create perfection with imperfection

By noreply@redsharknews.com (Simon Wyndham)

Can imperfection help create perfection?

Is imperfection the new perfection? Simon Wyndham thinks that it might be.

  • CGI
  • Animation
  • Visualization
  • 3D modelling

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    From:: RedShark News

    6,500 Kilometers in 29 Shooting Days: Jérôme Reybaud on 4 Days in France

    By Vadim Rizov

    I wrote a little bit about 4 Days in France yesterday; a few hours after publishing, I went to meet writer/director Jérôme Reybaud to follow up on some particular points of interest. Some basic plot points about this recommended quasi-romance/road trip narrative: a great deal of the film follows two men driving cross-country across France (one in pursuit of his just-left partner until their routes converge) to an extensive collection of classical recordings, stopping at locations including the top of the very cold Alps, a used bookstore, a theater, and an encounter with a notably aggrieved lady who chews out one character […] → continue…

    From:: Filmmaker Magazine

    SIGGRAPH 2017 Concludes in Los Angeles with Strong Attendance

    By Staff

    SIGGRAPH 2017, the annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, has recently concluded in Los Angeles with over 16,500 attendees from around the world. SIGGRAPH 2017 marked the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and was held 30 July-3 August 2017 at the Los […]

    The post SIGGRAPH 2017 Concludes in Los Angeles with Strong Attendance appeared first on Below the Line.

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    From:: BLT News

    How a ‘Musical Doc’ Became One of Sundance’s Biggest Acquisitions

    By Liz Nord

    Amanda Lipitz, director ‘Step,’ shot 400+ hours of footage. Here’s how she did it.

    There’s no razzle-dazzle, no fireworks, no mega screens. It’s only high school girls in jeans and T-shirts, stomping and clapping. And yet, the performance on stage is one of the most captivating that you’re likely to see. The work of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women’s step dance team is so powerful, in fact, that a documentary film about it had members of the cultural elite at Sundance 2017 on their feet, landing a multi-million dollar deal for distribution and remake rights from Fox Searchlight.

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    From:: No Film School

    Live in LA and Need a Place to Write? Apply for This Free Fellowship

    By Christopher Boone

    Coffee shops were not designed with writers in mind, but theOffice was.

    Are you a writer living in LA who needs to get out of the house to write but is tired of trying to find a table at the local coffee shop? TheOffice is now seeking submissions for its free six-month fellowship until August 8, 2017.

    TheOffice is a members-only, quiet, communal workspace for writers featuring 26 workspaces with Aeron chairs, plus complimentary coffee, tea, wifi, and Bose headphones. The free six-month fellowship is the equivalent of a Premium Membership, which offers private door code access to theOffice 24/7. So if the muse strikes at 3 AM on Thursday, theOffice is available to you.

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    From:: No Film School

    ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ DP Kevin Atkinson: ‘Often, the Laugh Can Come from a Camera Move’

    By Hawkins DuBois

    ‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’ DP Kevin Atkinson says keeping prepared and staying present is often the key to capturing the perfect comedic moments.

    In an era where both the franchise and the spoof are dying, Wet Hot American Summer has transcended both. In collaboration with Netflix, the summer camp comedy has transitioned from cult classic film to prestige streaming show. With countless stars and an unending stream of self-referential and meta-humor, audiences have quickly latched onto the hilarious comedy.

    Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later arrives on the heels of the prequel series, First Day of Camp, telling the story of the same familiar camp counselors— only now they’re in their mid-20s and looking to rediscover themselves. Much of the original star-studded cast returns, including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Molly Shannon, and Christopher Meloni, and with the addition of newcomers such as Mark Feuerstein, Alyssa Milano, Jai Courtney, and Skyler Gisondo, the new season continues to build on the canon that creators David Wain and Michael Showalter have conceived.

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    From:: No Film School

    HBO’s ‘Room 104’: How to Shoot an Ultra Low-Budget Indie TV Show

    By Chris O’Falt Cinematographer and director Doug Emmett breaks down the challenges and possibilities of shooting an TV show like a low-budget indie film. → continue…

    From:: Indie WIRE Filmmaker Toolkit

    Yongnuo unveils its first Li-ion powered speedlight for the Canon RT system

    Hong Kong camera company Yongnuo, known for its affordable lighting gear and knockoff Canon lenses, has launched its first Li-ion powered speedlite: the YN686EX-RT flash for the Canon RT system.

    The Speedlite—which was quietly released a couple of months ago—is available through eBay and Amazon and features an integrated 2.4GHz transceiver and a 2,000mAh Li-ion battery able to power 750 full-power flashes. This model can be used as either a master or a slave, and it offers optical slave triggering, according to the Speedlite’s product page.

    In addition, the Speedlite YN686EX-RT features a dot-matrix LCD display that shows the battery charge level, a USB port for firmware updates, and an electric zoom lamp head with a 20 – 200mm range. Other features include high-speed sync with shutter speeds up to 1/8000s, a stroboscopic mode, and support for both Custom Functions Setting and Auto-Save Setting.

    Yongnuo’s Speedlite YN686EX-RT is available online starting at $150 USD.

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    From:: DPreview

    Effect of IS in Canon Image Stabilizer Binoculars

    By Canon Rumors I’m a bit of a binocular nut, and love Canon’s IS binoculars for when you want more magnification. It’s very hard for most people to hand hold binoculars over 8x without getting eye fatigue from the shaking of hour hands and body. A few people can get away with 10x, but 12x and 14x are … → continue…

    From:: Canon Rumors

    The 20 Most Complex Movies of All Time

    By Akansha Tokas

    Cloud-Atlas-2012-Movie

    The best kinds of movies are the one that won’t leave your mind days after watching them, often comprehending ideas too big to grasp in the first watch. These movies demand you come back to them and make sense of the plot and find the missing link you couldn’t find earlier.

    Here is a list of movies so complex and strange that it’s difficult to get them out of your mind; the kind of movies that make more sense after repeated viewings.

    20. Enemy

    “Enemy” was directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake’s character is a history teacher, and one day his co-worker recommends he watch a certain movie. As he is watching it, he notices an actor in the movie looks exactly like him. This sets him on an intense journey to find who this actor is and what he is doing.

    “Enemy” doesn’t follow the traditional linear structure of filmmaking; as soon the movie ends, the viewer is left mind-boggled, trying to find a cohesive understanding of its surreal dreamlike imagery. The film is beautifully shot, with an overwhelming yellow haze to show the dullness of Adam’s life, while the bright color scheme is used to show how it contrasts from Anthony’s life.

    The score for this film was eerie and subdued but when needed, it exploded to help this film give this dreamlike feel. Wonderfully acted, this film makes viewers feel the plight of the character. It is about the subconscious of a man who decides to leave his mistress to go back to his pregnant wife, as noted by Villeneuve. “Enemy” is a mind-bending, tightly-held psychological thriller that takes its audience into an intense journey filled with surrealism.

    19. Predestination

    Predestination, an Australian fantasy thriller directed by Peter and Michael → continue…

    From:: Taste Of Cinema

    10 Great Movies That Are Made from Dumb Premises

    By David Zou

    This past weekend, The Emoji Movie opened in theaters to rave reviews. And by rave reviews, we mean alarmingly negative reviews from stark raving mad critics. With a surprisingly generous 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Emoji Movie is perhaps the most universally hated movie in recent memory. It is certainly the most critically hated film to come out this year so far. The sad part is that despite its wacky and dumb premise, it actually had some potential.

    Look, before you say anything and start shaking your head, think about it for a second. Despite what popular belief may think, every single movie in the metaphysical cinematic stratosphere within this world has potential to be a great one. Yes, we all groaned in heavy unison the moment that The Emoji Movie was announced and it turns out we were all in the right to write this movie off immediately. However, that is not so easily the case with every movie riddled with a stupid synopsis.

    There are several movies out there which have been released over the years that opened up to low expectations because their plot sounded bad, but managed to exceed expectations because the execution of those films were so well done. No matter how bad a movie may sound on paper, it is bound to make for a good film if it has an exceptional cast and crew working behind it.

    There are numerous examples of such films that fit this criteria throughout movie history, but for the sake of time and convenience, we are going to stick to talking about 10 just for this list. Without further ado, here are 10 dumb movie premises that surprisingly made for great movies.

    10. Snakes on a Plane

    snakes-on-a-plane-2006

    No list about dumb, fun movies is complete without → continue…

    From:: Taste Of Cinema

    The Dell Canvas 27-inch ‘horizontal smart workspace’ is now available to buy for $1,800

    The massive touchscreen ‘horizontal smart workspace’ Dell unveiled during CES 2017 is now available to purchase, and a little bit cheaper than expected, at least for now.

    Called the Dell Canvas, this 27-inch display is designed specifically for artists and other creatives who need a large visual workspace in which to edit photos, create graphics, or digitally paint. While Canvas resembles Microsoft’s alternative, the Surface Studio, Dell’s product is merely a very large display, meaning buyers will need to buy a PC separately to connect to the display.

    Dell Canvas features a massive 27″ QHD Adobe RGB touch screen designed to rest horizontally on a desk. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass with an anti-glare surface. Joining the display is a pen with multiple tip options for simulating various textures—combine this pen with a total lack of input lag and you get an experience that Dell says is “as close to sketching on paper as possible.”

    Also available with the Canvas is a totem (knob) for accessing software menus quickly with the user’s free hand. The totem can be positioned wherever is most comfortable on the screen, and it can be used alongside a second totem if desired. As for Canvas itself, users can optionally prop the display up into ‘Draftsman’ mode via a built-in kickstand. The kickstand can be extended in 10-degree increments up to 80-degrees.

    Canvas is available now from Dell’s website, where it currently starts at $1,800 thanks to a discount promotion (MSRP is $2,000). Dell offers the display with an optional VESA mount (+$200) or articulating stand (+$500), as well.

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    From:: DPreview

    Sigma announces firmware update for Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 OS Contemporary for Canon

    Sigma has announced a firmware update for its SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens for Canon mount. Version 1.02 of the firmware fixes problems with the optical image stabilization when the lens is attached to Sigma’s Sony E-mount converter MC-11 EF-E.

    As usual, users who own the Sigma USB dock can update the firmware via the Sigma Optimization Pro software. Users who own the MC-11 converter can update by connecting the latter to a computer via USB-cable. In both cases you should make sure you are running the latest version of Sigma Optimization Pro which is 1.4.1 for Windows and 1.4.0 for Macintosh computers.

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    From:: DPreview

    US Army abruptly stops using DJI drones due to ‘cyber vulnerabilities’

    A leaked US Army memo obtained by unmanned aviation news site sUAS News is making some waves in the drone world today. In the memo, the largest branch of the United States armed forces called for its units to “cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media from devices, and secure equipment for follow on directions.”

    The decision was reached by the US Navy and the US Army Research Lab, which identified ‘operational risks’ and ‘user vulnerabilities’ in DJI’s products.

    The memo does not go into detail regarding the specific vulnerabilities, saying only that,

    Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products, it is directed that the U.S. Army halt use of all DJI products. This guidance applies to all DJI UAS and any system that employs DJI electrical components or software including, but not limited to, flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GPS units, handheld control stations, or devices with DJI software applications installed.

    DJI’s public relations manager Michael Perry responded to the news in an e-mail to sUAS News, saying the company was ‘surprised and disappointed’ that the Army didn’t consult DJI during the decision process. “We are happy to work directly with any organization, including the U.S. Army, that has concerns about our management of cyber issues,” wrote Perry, saying that DJI would reach out to the US Army to confirm the memo and better understand what they mean by ‘cyber vulnerabilities.’

    To read the full memo and response, or dive a bit deeper into some of the cyber security concerns surrounding DJI’s products, head over to sUAS News by clicking here.

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    From:: DPreview