DVD Reviews, Lead DVD ReviewRating: 4.5 of 5 yaps

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I’ll admit, when I heard they were making a prequel to the “Planet of the Apes” series, and it was to be called “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” I LOL’d.

A cheesy, long-dormant franchise about talking simians rebooted? Starring James Franco, he of the seemingly stoned Oscar-hosting gig? And a title containing two clauses? (What’s the sequel to this movie going to be called, I joked, “Return of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes”?)

Then I saw the movie, and the giggling stopped. Easily the best movie of this past summer, “RotPotA” is a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking film — goofy title and all.

Set in the near-future, the story entails a young scientist, Will (Franco), who develops a serum to cure Alzheimer’s. He tests it on a chimpanzee, Caesar (Andy Serkis provides the voice and body-motion capture), whose intelligence soars.

As the ape grows smarter, he begins figuring out that taking orders from people isn’t really his bag. After being imprisoned in a facility for apes run by some cruel humans, Caesar leads a revolt against their evil overseers.

With terrific CGI special effects, a lot of smarts and visceral appeal, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” doesn’t monkey around.

Fortunately, “RotPotA” is getting a first-class video release, stocked with tons of extras — though you’ll have to buy the Blu-ray edition to get most of the goodies.

The DVD does come with some nice stuff, including about a dozen deleted scenes, and featurettes on the mythology of apes and another focusing on the work of Serkis, who’s become king of virtual acting.

Upgrade to the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and you’ll get eight additional featurettes covering everything from ape facts to how the filmmakers turned human actors jumping around in front of green screens into hairy gorillas and orangutans. There are also two separate commentary tracks by director Rupert Wyatt, and screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.

Film: 4.5 Yaps
Extras: 4.5 Yaps

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3 Responses to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

  1. Larry M says:

    I am not a fan of the Original Planet of the Apes series, so I really didn’t have any desire to see a remake. A friend that I trusted recommended that I give this a try and was very surprised to discover that I loved this movie.

    The action was great and really enjoyed the story.

  2. James J says:

    this movie proves that tim burton wasn’t right for planet of the apes. not that the baker make-up want very cool. the realism of this film is exactly what planet of the apes needed to be great again!!!

  3. Matt says:

    I LOVED this movie. I, too, was a little skeptical when I heard they were making another Planet of the Apes movie. However, I thought it was really well done! I thought the humanity given to the apes was great, and loved all the subtle and not so subtle homages to the older movies with Charlton Heston. Awesome action, great CGI, and good acting (and I am NOT a fan of James "Don’t hurt Peter!" Franco at all!). BIG fan of this movie and look forward to picking up the Blu Ray!