33 of 86 people found the following review helpful
So... Let Me Get This Straight....,
This review is from: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (DVD)
Mankind brought this destruction upon itself because a couple of sadists treated a few research apes badly?
And a bleeding heart played by James Franco decided to side with those apes when they went on a destructive rampage against humans?
All taking place in that bastion of liberal insanity called San Francisco?
Because of that, the apes took rule, killing an untold number of humans -- both nice guys and bad guys -- just so Franco could feel good about himself?
This isn't the story about the "rise" of the apes, but about the narcissism of Franco's character.
It's preposterous PC BS of the kind that PETA -- I'm sure -- loves.
In the original 1968 movie with Charleton Heston, which was released at the height of the Cold War, when Heston's character comes across the Statue of Liberty half buried in the sand it's made pretty clear that mankind managed to destroy itself through warfare, and the apes evolved out of that catastrophe while the humans devolved. That was the dogma throughout the series: that mankind's catastrophic actions caused it to destroy itself as an intelligent species. We blew ourselves up and the intelligent apes evolved out of the ashes.
This movie completely tosses all of that into a cocked hat.
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 17, 2011 11:43:31 PM PST
N. Brenner says:
It wasn't the apes that killed most of the humans, it was the virus
Posted on Dec 18, 2011 5:20:49 AM PST
Brian: ouch. And to the Planet of Apes brand.....good luck with this review.....
Seriously, I went to the movie with my wife and we both said - Huh? What was the hype. It was a stupid movie with very little value. Unlike the original Planet of the Apes that was really well done (along with one of my favorite kid movies of all time - The Secret of Nimh). Anyway, I went to the movie because a guy that I went to grade school and high school with, Joe Letteri, has won 4 Academy awards for computer generated effects. He did the Lord of the Rings effects and created Gollum. So I had to go and see it. But couldn't have been more disappointed. Although his special effects were pretty good.
Posted on Dec 18, 2011 8:32:31 AM PST
N.Brenner, I think I'm going to add a bit to my review to clarify the issue. Thanks for your comment, which made me realize the need.
Burg, yeah, I didn't get the hype, either. I agree the FX were really well done, but....
Posted on Dec 20, 2011 3:51:48 PM PST
Tom McGee says:
Thanks for saving me some time and money Brian.
Your probably going to take some hits on this review, but I appreciate your honesty.
Thanks for stepping up.
Posted on Dec 20, 2011 10:43:30 PM PST
Posted on Dec 21, 2011 1:29:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 21, 2011 1:35:28 PM PST
Brian, I politely disagree with your assessment of the film on a few levels.
First, Mankind didn't bring about its destruction because they treated a few apes badly, they brought about their own destruction because of greed, causing the big pharma to advance testing of a drug far before it was determined to be safe. Its the drug that wipes out the humans, not the apes, certainly not out of revenge for their treatment. The apes merely escape to the forest. Its the virus, borne of greedy impatience, that brings destruction on the humans.
Second, Franco is both a hero and a villain, an unwilling villain. His role isn't that of bleeding heart liberal, its of broken hearted son desperately trying to cure his father. So desperate that he ignores standard pharma policy, unintentionally creating the virus that ultimately kills mankind. Once he sees that Pharma is putting profit ahead of safety, he quits, but doesn't go out of his way to stop them. He doesn't go all Greenpeace on them. He was a complete capitalist at first, not remotely a bleeding heart. Maybe you missed his impassioned speech to the board trying to get funding?
Third, the apes didn't kill untold numbers of humans, they merely fled, and while they killed a few humans, they let most of them go untouched. The didn't kill anyone at the zoo, or on the streets of the city, or in the cars stopped on the bridge. The cop on the horse, the gorilla gets in his face, but doesn't rip him apart like he easily could have. The apes killed in self defense, not a riot frenzy. And of course Cesar stopped them from killing un necesarily. None of that had anything to do with Franco feeling good about himself - he clearly felt remorse and guilt over his entire behavior once the consequences became apparent.
Also, this movie mirrors the original in many more ways than you give it credit for. In the original, we "Blew it up" because of hubris, greed, fear, whatever the cause of the nuclear war scenario was. In the new one, we destroy the earth (for humans) because of greed, hubris, fear, etc... all the same causes, simply a different trigger mechanism - virus vs bomb. But the metaphor is the same - We destroy ourselves while the Apes survive and thrive.
Finally, if you've watched the DVD extras, or paid close attention to the movie, this version pays tremendous homage to the original, all over it. The paper boy drops a paper that shows the Mars Explorer, Icarus, is lost in space. Heston's space ship - Icarus - both an homage and a connection to the future releases. The former circus orangutan, named Maurice, is a current version equivalent to Dr Zaeus, who was played by Maurice Evans. The firehose used by the kid in the new version looks identical to the one used by the apes on Heston in the original. And of course the obvious line used in every "Ape" movie about "damned dirty hands" gets recycled too, as a bridge and homage. There are tons more, but its clear the producers and directors here took great care to remain true to the original in both theme, and continuity.
I'd urge you to take another look, watch the DVD extras, and see how this move really does capture the spirit of the original. This was one of the best movies I've seen this year. You're free to have a different opinion, but I think your review misses a lot of key points.
Posted on Dec 21, 2011 3:10:31 PM PST
I Enjoy My Stuff says:
I haven't seen it yet, but will very soon. I've heard nothing but good things from friends and co-workers. The problem it seems, is that new movies do not get the cred they may rightfully deserve from some viewers due to a simple generational misunderstanding of the entertainment being presented. I've watched countless GREAT movies, that both my parents and grandparents did not enjoy, and for the simple fact that they like THEIR movies and movies similar to those that they grew accustomed to 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. It doesn't surprise me that many people think the originals were better. On the same token, I attempt to watch many original films that were remade, as a self-proclaimed movie buff, so I can grasp the original concepts that may have been lost in the update. And guess what, most of the time I'm dissappointed in the original. Acting, Cinematography, and overall production value have grown so much that we will all never been on the same page. I know opinions and tastes are different from person to person, and thats cool. Maybe they should literally be handing out Age/Gender/Whatever recommendations with movies so the seniors don't waste their time on our new fandangled big budget films, and I know to stay away from The Help. (Just kidding on the Help, it does look good too)
Posted on Dec 21, 2011 5:12:33 PM PST
KickSaveDave, thanks for that comment. I don't agree with much of what you wrote, but my agreement -- and even your comment, unfortunately -- is irrelevant.
The bottom line here is that, as I wrote in my essay, thay've completely ignored the dogma of the series as far as the 1968 movie -- which started the franchise -- goes. As you yourself acknowledge, it's no longer about manking blowing itself to pieces in a nuclear or other Armageddon, it's about some other "catastrophe".
In which case it shouldn't be entitled "The Rise of...", it should be retitled "The Rethinking of..."
But the real point is that the entire series -- spanning over 40 years now -- is as I stated it. That's really crucial for people to know.
Let's take a look at "On The Beach", another movie about nuclear Armageddon. Originally released in 1959 (based on a novel), it was remade in 2000. But they didn't "reinvent" the premise of the story. They stuck to a nuclear Armageddon. What would it have been like if they'd tried to reinvent it as "pollution gone wild", or something like that?
It would have sucked, frankly.
Thanks for posting your thoughts. Appreciated. As you said, we don't agree.
Posted on Dec 21, 2011 5:22:54 PM PST
Louis Manley, again, thanks for taking the time to comment. As I just wrote to Dave, we don't agree.
BTW... that's okay! I'm posting an OPINION, and people will agree or not as they see fit. That's why cars come in more than one color.
You wrote: " It doesn't surprise me that many people think the originals were better."
That's not really my point. Actually, when the original Heston movie came out, I didn't think much of it. I thought it was pretty predictable. I'd even figured out the "gotcha" ending loooooong before the movie ended (back in those days we had to watch it in a theater. I know... pre-Cambrian...).
I won't repeat my point, as I just wrote it to Dave. The issue here is that instead of this being a prequel -- which would then justify the "Rise Of..." title, it's a rewrite of the basic premise.
This has happened before. A year or two ago, there was an attempt to restart the Superman franchise with Brendan Routh (as I recall) as the new Supe. But this time, it went in the opposite direction. All they did was basically refilm "Superman 2" and try to call it a new movie. It was a disaster.
It's a fine line. You have to honor the originals, while still being creative.
Who wants to see King Kong being a preachy movie sponsored by PETA? Or that the big ape was an environmental mistake due to too many SUVs?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011 5:47:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 21, 2011 5:48:09 PM PST
I hear what you are saying, and I agree with half of it. Specifically, in the original, its implied that apes "evolved" to be more advanced that humans, rather than being genetically modified by us to end up that way. That's a major departure, some big creative license. However, in both the original and this one, humans destroyed themselves on their own, either by bomb or by bug. In my opinion the different methods we use, that's merely a detail, not an essential story line, however I respect your view that its a change to the dogma of the original and thus un-welcomed. In both films, Apes somehow fill the void left when humans destroy themselves. I don't think in the original that its ever entirely made 100% clear how the apes became more intelligent, so this film provides those specifics as prequels are supposed to do. Like how we learned that in the original Star Wars that Anakin Skywalker was seduced by the dark side, but didn't know the specifics of how. In the Sith prequel, we learn it was because of his love for Padme, and overwhelming desire to prevent her death that allowed him to be turned. The prequel is allowed to fill in gaps, details, etc, even to make some things up along the way, provided the end result gets us to basically the same place.
In fact, since this prequel clearly sets itself up for a followup, nuclear war is still a possibility, and Charlton Hestons character (Taylor) could still come back from space to find the Apes in charge and humankind subservient. This movie left that totally within expectations by showing the scene of the space ship to Mars (Icarus) getting lost.
I get the changes you're talking about. I'm just not sure the difference between nuclear war and man made virus ruins the theme or trashes the dogma, at least for me. The overriding final theme of the original is that mankind destroys itself and the apes fill the void that's left. How they got from here to there is never completely explained. This film explains it in detail, even if it takes liberties with how we destroy ourselves, the central theme remains consistent.
Anyway, nice chatting. Polite disagreement and speaking one's opinion without persecution, is what this country should have been founded upon... Glad to see it can still exist, even on the Internet :)