7:00 PM, 9th August, 2014
Of all the animated movies released by Dreamworks during the last decade, none were as revolutionary as How to Train Your Dragon – an adaptation of the novel by Cressida Cowell, albeit a loose one. An epic fantasy with no pop culture references, and an ending without the musical number audiences had come to expect from Dreamworks, it received widespread and well-deserved praise for its smart script, beautiful animation and surprisingly dark tone.
The long-awaited sequel continues the trend, once again bucking tradition by allowing the teenage protagonists to age between movies. It finds them in their early twenties, busy exploring the newly-open world on the backs of their now faithful companions.
But there are other dragons, and dragon hunters, outside of Berk – and when our heroes cross paths with deranged dragon hunter Drago Bludvist an epic battle between dragons and vikings threatens to destroy everything they have built.
Billed as the second instalment of a trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a worthy follow-up that avoids being a rehash of the original and instead brings the franchise soaring to new heights.
8:52 PM, 9th August, 2014
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to 2011’s Rupert Wyatt-directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes. In this film we find chief monkey Caesar leading his fledgling society of intelligent apes in the forests just outside a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. If you haven’t already seen it, you’ll have to watch the first film to get the full back story but basically humanity has been left shattered by the effects of a terrible virus.
In this current film, the apes and the humans establish a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.
Andy Serkis returns as Caesar and stuntman Terry Notary reprises his role as Caesar’s hairless chimpanzee best friend, Rocket. Motion-capture technology has been used by filmmakers for a range of purposes over the past decade or so, but it only really seems to have come into its own in science-fiction. This film certainly showcases what is currently able to be achieved using this technology as you are drawn into this amazing world and share the struggles of these incredible ape characters. You’ll go ape!