In the Dark

Class Allegories

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Produced by Chernin Entertainment
Directed by Matt Reeves
Screenplay by Mark Bomback and Rick Jaffa
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Snowpiercer
Produced by Opus Pictures
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Screenplay by Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson
Distributed by The Weinstein Company

As titles go, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes would seem ominous enough, implying as it does that we’ll have to endure a noon, an evening, and a night of wicked monkeyshines to come.  Director Matt Reeves seems not to have been satisfied, however.  Just so there will be no doubts, he’s opened and closed his film with the same shot: an extreme close-up of a pair of seriously glowering ape eyes.  Let me tell you, those eyes mean business—show business, that is.  It’s clear that 20th Century Fox means to ape the success it had with its original Planet franchise in the 1960’s and 70’s, which yielded five major motion pictures and a television series, each a paler, sillier shadow of the original.  If all goes as planned with the new films—2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn—Fox will be bringing out simian iterations well into the mid-21st century, when it will be time for...

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