[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7542[/img]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
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 12/12/2011
HTS Overall Score:87
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.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7548[/img]‘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.
Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence
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.
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.
- 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 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