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85 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2011
After the fiasco reimagining Tim Burton did with his Planet of the Apes movie(even though I liked it), It is understandable that people looked to Rise of the Planet of the Apes with alot of skepticism. Rise(as I'll refer to it from now on) tells the story of how Caesar became aware(able to think for himself, if you will) and then became the leader of the army that will, one day, lead a rebellion against humanity.

When I saw the trailer for the movie months before, I was quite disappointed with it. To be brutally honest, I never thought that Director Rupert Wyatt could pull off a serious reboot of the Planet of the Apes movies without it looking abit like Burton's film but, lo and behold, with Andy Serkis' performance as Caesar- he does more than that. He actually makes the story believable. If Serkis or Wyatt one doesn't get an award during the Oscars, then those people in Hollywood are just plain silly. Being a hardcore Planet of the Apes fans, I came out of the theater more than pleased with the film.

If I had anything to nitpick about with the movie, it would be the deliberate pacing in the movie. It was a little slow for my tastes. However, the payoff at the end more than makes up for all that.

In the end, all I can say is, if you don't check Rise of the Planet of the Apes out, you're missing one heckuva movie.
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233 of 285 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 10, 2011
For a movie whose trailer seemed fake at first glance (a serious drama about a superintelligent ape and his issues?), RotPotA (rot-POT-uh) does an incredible job getting you invested in the plight of a chimp. Low budget for a summer blockbuster, this ninety million dollar film focuses on the rise of Caesar, first of his species and leader of the apes. We watch as he grows up, casts off his human friendships, and eventually leads a revolt in the hopes of achieving freedom for his people, err, his fellow apes.

Whether or not you're going to like this movie boils down to one thing: can you buy into it? Can you lay your hard-earned money on the line and accept Caesar as a fully human character with hopes and fears? Since the actual humans are sort of irrelevant and the apes are incapable of speech, there's not a lot to go on. Basically, if you liked the first 40 minutes of Wall-E, then you'll probably be fine. Caesar may not be a lovable trash robot (or is he?! Twist!), but Andy Serkis does an incredible job conveying his feelings through his motions. Serkis must've spent years living among the apes of the wild to achieve such realistic mimicry (he went to Rwanda and chilled in zoos!), and he strikes epic and expressive poses aplenty, each one conveying Caesar's thoughts without feeling obvious and overblown. By the end of the movie, you'll care more about Caesar than any actual human (in the film--hopefully not in real life). You'll fear for his friends and root for his victory. Honestly, an ape that likable? I'll let him rise above me any day.

Once you're down with the movie's premise, and once you're finally ok with Franco's whole "Let's make a much more aggressive form of this untested virus! What could possibly go wrong?" line of thinking, you're ready to experience a truly great film.

The movie builds and builds, each scene more intense than the last. Watching Caesar slowly learn to despise humanity is fantastic, and when he finally becomes a total champion, you're with him all the way. There's a moment when the music changes and Caesar first uses a basic tool to win his freedom, and I couldn't have been more stoked. Then he goes on to recruit his friends, who are all hardcore. I wasn't really sure what their names were, so I made my own: Grayback, the original leader whom Caesar overthrows, Jowly, the friendly circus orangutan with giant, jiggling jowls, Kong, the huge gorilla, and Scar, the one-eyed embodiment of evil. While they cannot be as well drawn as normal human characters due to the lack of dialogue, I still had a distinct understanding of each of their personalities.

Just like I distinctly understood Draco Malfoy's new character. He once again nailed the sniveling jerk role. I hated that guy so much. He was just so mean to the apes! I guess what he didn't count on was that they'd all become superintelligent. Nobody expects that (in that way, it's like the Spanish Inquisition). His somewhat subpar predictive powers aside, he does get the best Planet of the Apes reference, shouting, "Take your stinking paws off me, you d*mn dirty ape!"

It's people like that who'll make the apes kill us all, which reminds me: the climax of this movie is crazy epic. It takes place on the Golden Gate bridge, and it's unbelievably fun to watch the ramshackle ape army use their new intelligence to take on the unprepared humans.

Not everything was perfectly executed, but all the problems feel like pointless nitpicks. Some characters agree to things a little too quickly, one or two lines are just a little off, Franco gives up on freeing Caesar super easily, the girlfriend should've had either a much larger or much smaller role, and they don't show some scenes of the other apes getting exposed to the intelligence drug (I just assume they cut that scene but that it happened). Also, the entire audience laughed at the epic/heartwarming scene between James Franco and Caesar in the forest at the end, and while it did feel a little ridiculous, it's that same issue I brought up before. You have to buy into this film. You have to let go of that cynical part of you and allow yourself to enjoy what you're seeing. The movie takes its premise 100% seriously, and there's no room for laughter.

In the end, this film is so good that I found myself lost in it. I was unaware of the music, the pacing, the acting, everything, because I was just too busy being completely invested and enjoying the heck out of myself. I cannot wait for the sequel. In a rare piece of cinema, this movie managed to feel complete on its own and yet leave you craving more. If you had to see one film this summer (and you didn't care about the cultural impact of Harry Potter), this would be it.

Score: 4.5/5 ¢

One of the best end credits ever. Rarely do I actually care about what's happening in the background behind the names, but here I was devastated.

Check out more on "The Nickel Screen" (Google it!)
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86 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2011
I admit I've seen the first Planet of the Apes and loved it! But I hated the other sequels! But when I saw the previews for this movie my thoughts were, "Jeez another one?" But when my grandparents and I actually went to the movies and saw the movie for ourselves, we loved it. Its a stand alone movie and its NOT a cheesy sequel to the original and its not a remake. It has a lot of action. Of course James Franco who was in the movie was extremly handsome too! LOL! And the special effects were awesome. It also tells how the chimpanzees get smarter. By the end of the movie everyone including me in the audience were clapping. I don't want to give away too much. Whether your a fan of the original Planet of the Apes or even if you haven't seen the original Planet of the Apes you will love this movie.
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67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2011
"At age 3, Caesar has completed puzzles ages 8 and up. He has been displaying cognitive skills that far exceed that of a human counterpart." Will (Franco) has been working on a cure for alzheimers. He tests his experiments on apes, and thinks that he has finally found what he is looking for. When one dies during the test he is left to take care of her baby. When he takes the little ape home he begins to notice things that aren't normal. This is another movie that exploded in the theaters and I waited to see it till just the other day. What I have noticed lately is that the longer you wait to see a movie this popular it never lives up to what you expect. When everyone says how good the movie is and it's the best movie they have seen your expectations are too high and it always disappoints. This is the exception. This is truely a great movie that is an absolute must see. I did not like the Marky-Mark "Planet Of The Apes" but this one is nothing like that one. This one actually has a story that keeps you interested and you are hooked in from the beginning. The most amazing part of this movie is that there are large chunks of the movie where there is no dialog at all and until someone says something you don't really notice. This movie sucks you in and keeps hold of you until the ending. A must see. Overall, one of the few movies that can actually live up to the hype it has gotten. I easily give it an A.

*Also try - Planet Of The Apes
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
This movie brings you thru all kinds of emotions for the apes as well as the Lab doctor
and his Father , I was a little hesident on renting this movie thinking oh another ape
movie. But I was surprised at how good this movie really was ...
This movie was very good in the expression of the eyes of the apes you could
understand how they felt, being treated inhumanly and yet respected those who
cared about them.. I recommend this movie highly , good direction , good acting cast
and very relatable .. A good eveing at the movies .
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I must admit I was somewhat skeptical upon hearing of plans to reboot the APES franchise, but this prequel is quite entertaining.
The movie focuses on a brilliant young scientist who is developing a drug that may cure Altzheimer's. While experimenting on apes, a dangerous side affect of increased aggression results in the cessation of the project. The determined scientist sneaks one of the baby apes out of the lab and continues the experiment on his own. This ape is "Caesar" who is destined to be the leader of the future rebellion and ultimate "rise."
James Franco, Frieda Pinto, John Lithgow and Tom Felton are fine as the humans but it is Andy Serkis' "motion captured" performance that is the true heart of the film. All of Caesar's desires, emotions, reactions are beautifully evidenced and provide the movie's dramatic pulse.
The FX are quite good with a dynamic climactic confrontation on the Golden Gate Bridge.
RISE is the best APES film since the classic original; I think Charlton Heston would be proud.
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59 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2011
This film is excellent, and that is saying a lot when expectations were never that high for the film.

I think a part of it was down to the CGI in the trailer. The CGI is by no means bad, but we still seem to be a long way away from CGI that leaves you wondering whether it is real or CGI. However, in the case of rise of the apes - the story, most of all characterisation, lift the film away from that shortcoming.

The writing is excellent, and the apes seem almost better actors than the humans. Caesar in particular seems so full of emotion and reality that you actually look past the CGI and into the character.

This is definitely the best apes movie since the very first, which is saying something when it was made in the 60s.

I loved the apes movies when I was a kid, and this remake brings all the wonder and interest back to me.

A blockbuster movie with a brain - highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I wish I had the BD already. I would prefer to write a review on the whole thing, but this will have to suffice for now.

I read one review some time ago saying that if you can allow yourself to fall into the story and ignore a few things, then you'll likely enjoy the film very much. I see other 'reviewers' derailing the film for having no realism (this IS a sci-fi film, by the way, an attempted hard sci-fi at that).

No one is paying attention. The true star of this film is the editing. We are not left to suffer the ten / fifteen minutes it takes a character to start a process; we know the character is about to try something, scene skips to the attempt. At one hour forty-four minutes, we get the information dump of a three hour film.

Bare Bones: the film has virtually no violence outside the neighbourhood chase scene. The count of human death is barely noticeable and in fact five, for an entire supposedly intro to human-v-ape war. But this isn't the war. The reason a few hundred or so apes beat back humanity is two fold: the apes were only trying to find an effective new home, not destroy the oppressive humans; they didn't have to. Within a very small number of years the 113 strain of the virus has obliterated the human population.

The movie is understated. It moves so quick that a jaded mind, thinking they know what's gonna happen, will miss at least a quarter of the understated plot. To catch everything, one is advised to watch the film on BR with the fullest sound system programme available, and appropriate subtitles engaged.

And watch with an open mind, and enjoy it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Even if you are not a big Planet of the Apes fan, this movie is a must see. I actually don't think I ever saw the old Planet of the Apes movies, just the last recent one from 2007. You don't even have to have seen any other Planet of the Apes movie to understand what is going on as this is like a new version of how the story began.

The movie starts off with a company who uses the chimps to test a trial drug on to cure Alzheimer's. After an accident, a baby chimp ends up going home with a scientist. It is amazing to see how the chimp, Caesar, grows and learns everything. After another accident Caesar ends up in a chimp environment, which is like a prison for him. After some drama, the movie really takes off with Caesar teaching all the other apes. He is so smart, he does things I wouldn't even have thought of!

I really like this movie and have watched it a few times already! There is nothing I dislike about it and I am looking forward to a sequel. The characters are all amazing, although the chimps are probably the main characters!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2011
At last a scifi that is well written; well acted and has really great cinematography! Well done! This was enjoyed by everyone in our family from 5 to 62.
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