“rise of the planet of the apes” film review

I still have yet to see the original Planet of the Apes, even with all my movie viewing prowess. I never had a strong interest, to tell you the truth. I have seen what has been called the “horrible remake” by Tim Burton. I guess I’d have to original to fully understand why the remake was so bad. But I’m not talking about that film right now, we’re discussing the prequel.

I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter and good things about this installation since it was in theaters. The good news had spread all the way to the Oscars and the exclusion of the performance capturing acting abilities of Andy Serkis. Perhaps they mean the Academy should consider adding a new category for performance capture, since that’s a semi-newish trend these days in film making. Avatar is the next movie that comes to mind when it comes to this technology. But a lot of animated films are using this technique.

I’m mentioning the performance capture, because first of all, how could you not? But without a believable chimp in this plot, the movie would fall to pieces. The mannerisms and realness of Andy Serkis’ performance was good enough for me to suspend my disbelief and get thrown into the story. Once that happened, they probably would’ve had me in tears if they killed Caesar. But I won’t lie, I was getting close to being emotional a couple scenes, from moments he was in the attic to when he went to the “sanctuary.”

Even though I haven’t seen the original Planet of Apes, I knew enough of the originals to pick up a few hints to the previous movies. But that’s the case I would argue for prequels: to capture the attention of a new audience. Iguess, just make sure you direct their attention to the original afterwards vs. the Tim Burton remake.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I felt good accurately predicting who wasn’t going to live to see the credits. Not that having those characters live would be a dealbreaker for me, I could just feel my monkey rage raise when certain characters showed their true nature. James Franco remains a good guy. Actually, I wasn’t aware of the human actors like Freida Pinto, John Lithgow and Brian Cox (can’t remember if he lived or died, but I had him on a “he’s gonna die” list). Anyway, swell performance by these actors. Nothing Oscar-worthy, but just a good job.

I wouldn’t mind owning this movie, meaning I could watch this again. They hype surrounding the movie is justified. Great special effects and a great story.

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February 2012
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