The Movie: 8/10
I absolutely love this movie, and all of the collection of Planet of the Apes world from the very beginning. I might be a bit biased, so there ya go. I will overlook the few flaws, ignore the slight oddness of the CGI primates, and refuse to roll my eyes at the thought that the writer and director tried to plunk reminders from the original movies sometimes just for the sake of it…all that being said, I LOVED this movie.
I was excited from the first minute all the way through the last minute when I did not want it to be over. The story is, as the title states quite obviously, the rise of the planet of the apes. In a possible near future the genetic research to cure Alzheimer’s disease leads to an increased intelligence in the primates unfortunate enough to be the test subjects. I don’t need to go in to detail about the truth about experimentation on animals for our human gain, the movie does a good job of that and it was done with a good balance from both sides of the issue. So, beyond the solid ground of a good message, this movie just thrills me, yes, thrills me.
I buy the whole thing, the scientist who is handed a small ape after a disaster in his corporate lab. I totally am there and convinced that his father has Alzheimer’s and our leading man’s motivation for his scientific endevours is for the good of mankind. I also am convinced, as always, that this big corporation is full of assholes. This isn’t an original movie theme, shall we flip back the pages to Alien, Terminator, and even 2001 to some degree. The big company with its greed and blind ambition is the villian along with its co-villian the evil primate keepers who thrill at the thought of torturing the animals at every opportunity. So, while some dickhead is claiming that The Muppet movie is teaching children communistic ideas because they want to rise up against the big corporation….get a clue jerk-off, that’s how it works in movies where we are shown the evils of greed and its impact on the human condition…duh.
Andy Sirkis is amazing. There isn’t a minute that goes by, even though he is cloaked in a fully CGI and beautiful Chimpanzee facade, that I’m not fully aware of his eyes, his facial expressions, his body movements and everything else he pours into his performance to bring Ceasar to life so brilliantly. Make a category for motion capture performances you Academy Award committee so-and-so’s.
I always like Franco. He’s got a very solid way about him. He’s so serious and there isn’t much of a sense of humor about his performances, and yet when the light hearted moments are needed he is spot on (as my British husband would say). There is no problem in this cast, except I don’t have much love for Brian Cox, his characters have seen to that over the years. The jerk who does the torturing in the ape ‘sanctuary’ is the weakest link, a bit over the top, trying to hard at times, but in the end he is portraying a very nasty character so I’ll give him a pass.
There are moments of sheer movie watching grace in The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I’ll let you find them for yourself, but they widened my eyes, shortened my breath, reminded me of the late night as a kid when I first watched the original Planet of the Apes and learned the lesson that humans are idiots….can’t get enough of that lesson.
I would recommend this to any Ape Planet fan, any Science Fiction lover, any action junky, it’s just a great movie experience.
- 11 Deleted Scenes – 11 deleted scenes most of them with unfinished CG work, nothing here that will shatter your world but interesting anyway.
- The Genius Of Andy Serkis – A showcase of motion capture expert Andy Serkis, this would be great to show the Oscar voters to show what he really does.
- Scene Breakdown – A multiangle scene breakdown that you control with your remote.
- A New Generation Of Apes – The creators of the film talk about the challenges involved bringing a prequel to the series.
- Breaking Motion Capture Boundaries – The scene at the end of the movie on the bridge actually was a first in many ways. Check out why in this featurette.
- The Great Apes – Basically a nature documentary that is split into 3 parts, really useful information here for ape/chimp/orangutan lovers
- Mythology Of The Apes – The stars and creators of the movie look back at the original films and how those inspired the performances here.
- Composing The Score – Behind the scenes on the composing of the epic score.
- Audio Commentaries With Director & Writers –
- Art Galleries – Concept art and images from the movie.
Cover Art and Menus: 10/10
Exactly. I want this as a poster. Enough said. Well, the menu is fine too but pales in comparison to the cover art.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Special effects have changed since Avatar! That was the first thing I thought when I saw the amazing effects WETA have come up with in Planet Of The Apes. And Blu-Ray has also come a long way as FOX have a stunning transfer here light years ahead of the crusty Mpeg 2 transfers of old. From the first time you see the fully CG animated Caeser you know you are in for a treat. The detail here is incredible from individual hairs to flecks of light in the eyes. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes has a lot of digital special effects but interestingly this movie was filmed on 35mm stock, this gives the film a traditional grainy look to go along with the cutting edge CGI, the result is a unique looking movie that really has to be seen to be believed.
What can I say about the audio, it is out of this world. The lossless DTS-HD master audio track simply rocks the house. The mix is front anchored but the subtle sounds of this world are always playing behind you. Basically if you heard this theatrically this is what you have here. I highly recommend you grab a copy of Rise, it is a perfect prequel to the rest of the series that will leave you wanting more.
I’m owning this, regardless of the price, but the truth is you can find it for around 17 bucks and that’s a great deal. I do not like spending money on DVD’s or BluRays or entertainment of any kind really. I like my Netflix and that’s enough for me, but if you can add this awesome movie to your Planet of the Apes collection for less than $20 I can’t see how that could be anything but a good purchase.
Overall Score 9/10