Rise of the Planet of the Apes
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a revolution; an action-packed epic featuring stunning visual effects and creatures unlike anything ever seen before. At the story's heart is Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug's creator (James Franco), Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned. Seeking justice, Caesar assembles a simian army and escapes -- putting man and primate on a collision course that could change the planet forever.
A galaxy's worth of nihilism buried under a '70s Velveeta topping, the Planet of the Apes series stands today as a dark marvel of pop cinema, a group of wildly variable films that combine to form a giant inescapable kiss-off to the human race. (That said message was able to withstand such distractions as ever-cheapening makeup and Charlton Heston loudly pounding sand makes its achievements even more impressive, really.) Boasting a keen awareness of its predecessors' particular charms and a gem of a central CGI performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes makes for a rather miraculous summer movie: a big-budget special effects extravaganza that also delivers a killer backhand. Sort of redoing 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the film follows the events set in motion when a bereaved scientist (James Franco) attempts to create a cure for Alzheimer's, resulting in a supernaturally intelligent chimp named Caesar. The old bit about science tampering in God's domain quickly applies. Director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) displays an admirable sense of pacing, deftly levying the escalating action scenes with small character moments from the likes of John Lithgow and Brian Cox. That said, the film belongs to Caesar, whose path from wide-eyed innocent to reluctant revolutionary generates the ironic pulp empathy that gave the original series such a kick. Watching the climactic confrontation on the Golden Gate Bridge, it's distressingly easy to figure out which side to root for. Chuck Heston would no doubt grit his teeth in approval. Note: Those skeptical that this revamp could wholly retain the original's doomy backbeat would do well to stick around during the end credits. --Andrew Wright
More From the Stars of Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Mythology of the Apes
The Genius of Andy Serkis
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As for the Blu-Ray itself, it's very crisp and clean and the colors pop out at you. The sound is great. The biggest selling point is the extra, since there are some great ones here. There are many featurettes showing the making of the film, from the motion capture performances to the score of the film, etc. One of my favorite features is a mini-documentary about the great apes, covering chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. These animals are beautiful and fascinating, and the viewer really gets to learn some amazing facts about them if they didn't know them already.
All in all, this is a great Blu-Ray release of a great movie. It was a blind buy for me and I wasn't disappointed. The Transformers films could learn a few things from this one.
The story in this film is engaging and immersive; the story can often be touching, sad, and even brutal. The relationship between Will and Cesar was great, and felt authentic, despite one character being computer. On that point, the visual effects are amazing in this film; the visuals are crisp, and the animations/movements are smooth, and the facial expressions were extremely detailed. The entire story was entertaining, keeping a SciFi vibe throughout, and ending with an epic, jaw-dropping action sequence. My only slight issue was the actual ending; Cesar and Will have a final confrontation that felt a bit rushed, or incomplete. (Maybe because of the upcoming sequel?) The film is beautiful, the music was enchanting and epic, and the acting was great from the entire cast.
The Blu-Ray version of the film looks absolutely amazing and sounds great; this is a film worth owning on Blu-ray or viewing on HD. It comes with one disc for the Blu-ray, another disc for the DVD + Digital Copy, and a slip cover.
Overall, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a great SciFi film, with a touching yet epic storyline and amazing visual effects. I highly recommend a purchase for fans of the genre.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes has some violence and blood, no sex or nudity.