Will “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Be the Best Even-Numbered Film in the Series?


Anyone wanna tell them “No”?

Today marked the premiere of the first full-length trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the next entry in the apocalyptic series that’s so far been rebooted twice for theaters, this time with a bit more success. The new one comes from director Matt Reeves, who previously tinkered with disaster in Cloverfield; features MOCAP king Andy Serkis once again as Caesar, lord of the apes and probably their best public speaker; and includes human roles for the likes of The Gary Oldman, Fringe‘s Kirk Acevedo, and Jason Clarke, who was Zero Dark Thirty‘s friendly interrogator but seems much more stressed out here in this trailer than he was on the war front.

This way for the trailer and my pet theory about the numbering…

How Hard Can it Be to Quit a Movie Series?

Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, A Good Day to Die HardTo Die Hard or not to Die Hard: that is the question now before me.

Anyone who knows me well is aware that — even at my advanced, increasingly prudish age — the original Die Hard remains my unqualified favorite movie of all time. None of them understand why because I’ve never outlined the many reasons. Suffice it to say it’s my incontrovertible opinion. I’ve seen all four movies even though they varied in worth. For the record, the correct ranking is 1, 2, 4, 3. I can understand arguments for and against Renny Harlin’s Die Harder, but I question the wisdom of anyone who ranks Die Hard with a Vengeance anywhere but dead last. For some reason I assumed that Len Wiseman’s ludicrous but giddy Live Free or Die Hard would be the series endcap, and John McClane could ride off into the sunset with Gary Cooper. When the fifth one was announced, I had no idea what to think.

As I’m contemplating the post-Oscar movie release schedule, A Good Day to Die Hard is the only non-Oscar film in theaters that’s not an automatic “no”. That doesn’t mean it’s an enthusiastic “yes”, though. As of this moment its Tomatometer rating rests at a paltry 13%. Its director’s oeuvre has never once tempted me into a theater. The main villain, which can make or break a Die Hard flick, is buried in the trailers as if the filmmakers are ashamed of him. Bruce Willis is now 57, younger than Schwarzenegger and Stallone but not exactly in his prime. I’m not optimistic, but I’m torn. Is now the right time to walk away from John McClane?

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