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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January, 2012

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"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-january-2012-apes

Synopsis

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.

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 2011, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 45 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Codec: MPEG-4
  • 1080p
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow
  • Directed by Rupert Wyatt
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

I admit, I did not have high hopes for this installment of Apes as the Tim Burton film did nothing for me. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. The story centers around a potential cure for Alzheimer’s via a drug that boosts mental ability. Eventually, the apes become self aware and rebel against their human captors. In many ways the movie is based on the original, only in mirror image. Nods to the original include quotes like, “It’s a madhouse!” and “Get your hands off me you damned dirty ape!”, which makes the juxtaposition work so well. There is even a very brief shot of Heston on TV doing his Moses thing. Clever. Did the CGI apes look good? Yeah, but even with Serkis at the wheel, they still lacked that final ounce of realism. And the movies ending with the apes hiding in a redwood forest still makes you wonder how they will eventually change the earth into the planet of the apes…I mean, an apes got to eat…and that ain’t the rainforest.

Technical

The PQ comes off very well with fine contrast, detail and depth. Blacks are deep, but never murky. Details are very good, like the fine fur details of the apes and their green colored irises look very nice indeed. Surrounds and sub come into play throughout, but most noticeably in the Golden Gate finale. All-in-all, these apes rock and the film as a whole will entertain and inpress your friends. Recommended.

Extras

No monkeying around with the extras: Theatrical Feature Blu-ray, deleted scenes, Mythology of the Apes, The Genius of Andy Serkis, A New Generation of Apes, Scene Breakdown, Character Concept Art Gallery, Breaking Motion Capture Boundaries, Composing the Score with Patrick Doyle, The Great Apes, Audio Commentary by Director Rupert Wyatt, Audio Commentary by Writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and Theatrical Trailers. Also included is a DVD and digital copy.