Me: Hey, you know what I really want to see?
Me: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.
Her: Let’s do it.
Me: Those Apes look like they want to fuck something up.
We walk into the Arclight Cinema located here in Hollywood and about 2 hours later I was trying to figure out what just happened. How did I just get blindsided by complete awesomeness and not even know it. Was it the amazing arclight popcorn? Maybe. Odds are it was a combination of things; 1) great environment 2) the popcorn 3) the movie itself.
I remember when I saw Jurassic Park and gazing at the Brontosaurus for the first time, you know the moment when Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler hop out of the jeep mouths agape? Well, that’s basically how a bunch of the kids in the theater were when watching Apes, myself included. I’m not saying this is in the same ballpark as Jurassic Park, I’m just saying it had some moments that conjured up complete excitement.
I honestly think that Rise Of The Planet of the Apes is a movie that 13 year olds will remember and hopefully defend one day. When I say defend a movie I mean that when you hear a friend 10 years from now say “That movie was okay” it’s mandatory that you jump in and say “No dickhead, that movie is better than okay, and I’m here to defend the apes.”
There is a major component how this became an instant defendable movie, and it’s because it’s a movie that caught me (and others) off guard. I wanted to see the movie but I didn’t know how good it was. The one thing that can kill or make and movie great is expectations, you know when your friend see’s a film and talks it up like it’s the second coming then you see it and it isn’t as good because of expectations? Yeah, well I was the friend talking it up.
The expectation variable is so overlooked so many times when discussing film and engaging in arguments. The same argument could be used about professional athletes but I’m sticking to films for the moment. I got to thinking about movies that I hold in the:
Little to no expectations and I’ll defend to the death category:
The Sixth Sense: If you’re one of those people who say, “I knew the ending” I call you a liar and I would pay big money to hop into a DeLorean and watch it with you for the first time. When I saw this I was on a vacation in Denver and the family decided to see a movie. I didn’t choose this, everyone else did, but when I walked out I officially saw dead people and this moment sparked a never ending defending to M. Knight Shymalangagagagagagan.
American Pie: I was just about to start high school when this movie came out and it couldn’t have been much more entertaining than it was, 50 years later I’ll probably see the 4th installment which comes out some time soon. By the way American Pie was made for $11 million and made over $100 million (Domestic only).
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: Undeniable classic. I don’t think a single human besides Jim Carrey and Dan Marino thought this movie was going to be good. It was better than good… I still quote it.
The Truman Show: Since we’re talking Jim Carrey I should bring this up. This was Carrey’s push into seriousness and he brought it. This movie is so relevant right now; I could actually see this happening in today’s entertainment environment.
The Other Guys: It’s hard to say there is a below the radar Will Ferrell / Mark Wahlberg movie but this was it. I saw this movie in a not so crowded theater and I may have been the loudest person laughing.
The Bourne Identity: This may seem ludicrous to think that Bourne had low expectations but I vividly remember nobody thought Good Will Hunting Damon was going to be James Bond 2.0 – but he was. Aside from Hunting this was the biggest game changer for Damon.
Taken: Since we’re talking Bourne, Taken would be how Jason Bourne is in 20 years with a family. Taken is the ultimate word of mouth movie, and here’s how you know:
Opening weekend: $24 Million
2nd Weekend: $20 Million (-16.7% change in gross)
3rd Weekend: $18 Million (-7.6% change in gross from 2nd weekend)
4th Weekend: $21 Million (+6.2% change from gross in 3rd weekend)
This is insane. For a movie to decrease by that small of a percentage each week is considered an accomplishment beyond accomplishments. THEN for it to increase in it’s 4th week is even more nuts - Not to mention it’s lone star power was Liam Neeson who isn’t exactly Will Smith.
Starship Troopers: At this point in life this movie is fucking terrible and maybe even laughable… But I’ll still defend Johnny Rico and him killing bugs.
Let Me In: Matt Reeves’ follow up to Cloverfield. If you haven’t seen this movie be prepared to be incredibly on edge.
I’ll stop there and remind you that Apes came out on DVD yesterday. If you haven’t seen it – see it. If you have seen it and want to talk poorly about it come find me so I can defend it like Cesar defending his Apes. Hail Cesar.