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post #1 of 41 Old 12-19-11, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-ray Review

Title: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Written by: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 12/12/2011

Movie:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:

HTS Overall Score:87

Summary:
First off I want to say that as a kid I was a huge Planet of the Apes fan. I had the Mego action figures, the tree-house adventure set and the vinyl Halloween costumes. Yes, I know the original film inside and out. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ is the second reboot of the franchise in the past ten years and while it will never replace my memories of the original from my childhood, it is, in my opinion, the best since the original and in a completely different league than the Tim Burton travesty from 2001.

Will Rodman (Franco), a scientist blinded by his own desperation to find a cure for his father’s Alzheimer’s disease, discovers the child of his prize subject after a terrible accident leaves the baby chimp orphaned. Rather than leaving the baby chimp to his doom at the research facility, Will decides to take him home and continue his research in private. After a couple of days, Will discovers that his new roommate, now named Caesar, has an accelerated learning ability that has been genetically handed down from his mother. Sometime later, Will decides that he can no longer wait for human trials of his new drug and decides to give the serum to his father in hopes of curing the degenerative disease that is slowly erasing his father’s mind.


Several years later, Caesar takes on the role of protector for the family which eventually leads to his incarceration at a primate facility that torments and abuses it's ape population. Now Caesar realizes his true destiny to lead his brothers and sisters to freedom from the tiranny that they have all been subject to for far too long.

I have to admit that 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' wasn’t at all what I expected. That being said, my expectations were quite low given the last attempt to reboot the franchise ended in such a mockery. I thought the story did it’s best to keep within most of the outline that was set forth by the original films. They did miss on a few things such as the name of the first ape that said ‘No’ was supposed to be ‘Aldo’, but I think Caesar works fine. There were some other minor inconsistencies as well as several campy scenes but I think that it really worked for the film as a whole.

‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ is not what I would consider an action movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it is one of the most solid sci-fi films that I have seen in quite a while. Additionally the CGI is ridiculously good. The filmmakers were able to capture a level of emotions from Caesar that I have not seen in a CGI/stop motion character to date. In fact I would strongly suggest that parents think twice before letting younger children watch the movie because the CGI is so incredibly lifelike that the apes may cause nightmares.

Overall I thought that Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a good movie. There are some inconsistencies and the dialogue is a bit cheesy in a couple of spots, but these things did little to deter my enjoyment of the film. Given that the film grossed almost $470 million worldwide I would say that a sequel is inevitable and given the state of things when the movie ended, I for one am really looking forward to seeing it.


Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence

Video:
The 1080P AVC encode for ‘Rise’ looks fantastic! The level of detail can be almost overwhelming at times and the natural look of the film is outstanding. I couldn’t get over how realistic Caesar looks in this film. It’s almost impossible to differentiate him from the living actors on the screen. This is a ‘class A’ presentation and while it’s not reference quality, it is definitely worth a gander. Black levels are deep and inky with very slight crushing in a couple of spots. Color reproduction is brilliant but not overwhelming and fleshtones are equally impressive. The transfer has a very cinematic quality to it and doesn’t come off too polished as most blockbusters do these days.


Audio:
The 5.1 DTS-HD-MA is a bit of tricky one to grade as this is not a typical adrenaline fueled sonic bliss type of presentation that we are all used to getting these days. That being said, this is definitely a thoughtful and well-rounded presentation. Directionality is perfect and engaging as each channel has a life of its own. The score is masterful and gives just the right amount of emotion to each scene without being too intrusive. When the action finally does start up in the third act it isn’t explosive or overly processed but very realistic and balanced. Dialogue reproduction is outstanding and voices are thick with a lot of texture and LFE is proportionate and not invasive. I am not sure how this audio could have actually been any better for what the movie is.

Extras:
  • 11 Deleted Scenes
  • The Genius of Andy Serkis
  • Scene Breakdown
  • A New Generation of Apes
  • Breaking Motion Capture Boundaries
  • The Great Apes
  • Mythology of the Apes
  • Composing the Score with Patrick Doyle
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Character Concept Art Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers



Overall:
Overall I found 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' to be the best ‘Apes’ movie since the original. Yes, it does have some cheesy dialogue and there are some details that you have to overlook, but come on gang, we are talking about a science fiction movie in which apes become the dominant species on the planet. Are you really going to hold this film to such high standards? In the wake of an endless chain of franchise reboots I found ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ to be a fresh, original and satisfying ride. You know the drill; check your brain and you will be fine! Fans of the franchise or genre will not regret buying this one outright so go for it!



Recommendation: Buy It!

Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring

Regards,
Dale Rasco




“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas A. Edison


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post #2 of 41 Old 12-19-11, 12:23 PM
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Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-Ray Review

I have to say I thought this film was ace. I didnt catch the cheesy lines, in fact I thought they put a lot of effort into not being cheesey when compared to just about any other SF film out there. I must have missed the inconsistencies as well because again I thought they did a good job of avoiding the usual we see in this kind of film. Everything was explained in an actually very reasonable way, the pace of the film was just right, and it was refreshing to see a sci-fi film that didnt rely on good subwoofers to get you through it. Even the misses loved it, and she hates SF films generally speaking.

All in all, for me, probably the best Sci-Fi film this year, and maybe even for a good few years. I cant really fault anything in it aside from a couple times the chimp seemed a little to intelligent, but then that was kinda the whole point.
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post #3 of 41 Old 12-19-11, 01:20 PM
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Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-Ray Review

I concur. Really solid film, excellent BR.

There were times that I thought the apes didn't look 100% natural... I caught some "CGI-ness" here and there. But it didn't detract from the film. The high resolution facial motion capture technology used to recreate Andy Serkis' performance (the same actor who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) was stunning. I highly recommend watching some of the special features about how this was done, too... it was really fascinating to watch Andy Serkis doing some of his performances, before they digitally swapped him out.
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post #4 of 41 Old 12-19-11, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-Ray Review

Quote:
Moonfly wrote: View Post
I didnt catch the cheesy lines, in fact I thought they put a lot of effort into not being cheesey when compared to just about any other SF film out there.
When Dodge (Felton) says the famous "get your hands off me you dirty ape!" That's a bit cheesy.

Quote:
I must have missed the inconsistencies as well because again I thought they did a good job of avoiding the usual we see in this kind of film. Everything was explained in an actually very reasonable way, the pace of the film was just right, and it was refreshing to see a sci-fi film that didnt rely on good subwoofers to get you through it. Even the misses loved it, and she hates SF films generally speaking.
In the original film series the first ape to say the word 'No' was called 'Aldo', Caesar was the son of Cornelius and Zira. The inconsistencies I mentioned are things like when the apes jump through the glass windows at Gen-Sys they are shown jumping out of 4 and 5 story windows however; when the camera pulls back the building is only two stories. Just little things like that. Barely noticable.


Quote:
All in all, for me, probably the best Sci-Fi film this year, and maybe even for a good few years. I cant really fault anything in it aside from a couple times the chimp seemed a little to intelligent, but then that was kinda the whole point.
I agree, I loved it. I think you read too much into my comments.

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post #5 of 41 Old 12-19-11, 07:14 PM
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Great job,dale! I watched this bd last night and loved it..good background story and awesome effects..I,too am already looking forward to sequel..and freida pinto certainly doesn't hurt my eyes...just sayin..
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post #6 of 41 Old 12-19-11, 11:46 PM
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Great movie and Dale pretty much nails the review. Only thing I would change is the recommendation from rent to buy. It's firmly planted in my BD rack.
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post #7 of 41 Old 12-20-11, 02:06 AM
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Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-Ray Review

Quote:
Dale Rasco wrote: View Post
When Dodge (Felton) says the famous "get your hands off me you dirty ape!" That's a bit cheesy.
I guess, but I wrote that off as that simply being that kind of clean cut character. Ive heard such things muttered in real life :O

Quote:
In the original film series the first ape to say the word 'No' was called 'Aldo', Caesar was the son of Cornelius and Zira. The inconsistencies I mentioned are things like when the apes jump through the glass windows at Gen-Sys they are shown jumping out of 4 and 5 story windows however; when the camera pulls back the building is only two stories. Just little things like that. Barely noticable.
I must confess I did miss that one, though I know the scene of which you speak. After noticing the height from which they jumped, I was concentrating on looking for apes with limps etc lol. Ive never watched the original films, Ive only seen passing scenes here and there, but I guess it wouldnt be hard for the sequel to have Caesar change his own name, would that work? Things I did like though was how they brought in aspects like how they came about to ride horses, the origins of them using spears, and also how they sow the seeds for the demise of humans. I thing the demise of the humans is important because even with the intelligence, I kept thinking 'even so, they wouldnt take over', but an epidemic could explain that.

There was one inconsistency though. The 112 strain was rejected by human antibodies, which was the whole reason for the 113 super strain. I get why apes could withstand the super strain, but surely the original one should have been rejected by the apes immune system, and done so much more quickly that it was in humans. I had to kind of tell myself that the ape immune system didnt see the original strain as a virus, but given ape and human physiology being quite similar, I did find that one hard to digest, and had to simply write it off.


Quote:

I agree, I loved it. I think you read too much into my comments.
Yeah your probably right Although I will agree with JBrax, this should be a recommended buy, especially for sc-fi fans as I dont think they come much better produced than this.

I will also say this for this film, it has caused me to become interested in the entire series. I now want to catch the 2001 film even though Ive read its terrible, but thats mostly due to the space mission and lost in space hints dropped during the movie. And I am thinking of sourcing the original films as well.
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post #8 of 41 Old 12-20-11, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-Ray Review

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Moonfly wrote: View Post
I guess, but I wrote that off as that simply being that kind of clean cut character. Ive heard such things muttered in real life :O
The problem with the line for me was that the line was more of an ode' to the original movie in which Charlton Heston's character said the line. In the 2001 they did something similar and I just think the overall delivery was cheesy.

You make some great points Dan that I did notice while watching but failed to mention in the review mainly for spoiler reasons. They have a really good impact when they happen.

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post #9 of 41 Old 12-20-11, 10:22 AM
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Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-Ray Review

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The problem with the line for me was that the line was more of an ode' to the original movie in which Charlton Heston's character said the line. In the 2001 they did something similar and I just think the overall delivery was cheesy.

You make some great points Dan that I did notice while watching but failed to mention in the review mainly for spoiler reasons. They have a really good impact when they happen.
I guess I need to catch up with the originals as I was entirely unaware of that line connection to the earlier films. Like you say, those points do have great impact, and that was even for me with my very limited knowledge of the series, and I have a lot of time for movie producers that go to the effort of doing a good job like this. I have managed to borrow the original from a friend, but getting hold of the original films isnt going to be too easy. The originals never interested me, but this film has been good enough to get me interested enough to seek them out and complete what I know of the story, if nothing else, that has to be a sign of a great movie I think.

All in all this is a bang on review though, so good work again. My only problem is how on earth Conan scored so highly when its such an apparently poor film, and the fact this review has to share the rental recommendation with that film. Go on Dale, you know this one is well worth adding to anyones collection
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post #10 of 41 Old 12-20-11, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-Ray Review

What do you mean?

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