Blu-ray Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Andy Serkis as 'Caesar', Planet of the Apes, Fox Home Entertainment - all rights reserved

“The road to hell is paved with the best intentions”- H.G. Bohn 

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – I am about to stick my foot in my mouth because I am always ranting on how all of Hollywood has a serious problem with creating or producing a film worthy of my slightest interest. Since I have just received my review copy of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I thought I would save my readers with a complete review of the film per se –because most of you have already seen the film, and are probably fans of the original 1972 film [easyazon-link asin=”B000E6ESDU”]Conquest of the Planet of the Apes[/easyazon-link]. In order to convince some of the naysayers regarding a modern remake of the classic films–rest assured, director Wyatt “did well.” The film didn’t stick precisely to the original, and Wyatt aptly adapted to modern time and technology. Instead of Caesar re-emerging after twenty years of hiding to lead a revolt; instead, the film goes back a ways and sets the stage on just how the series got there–by using genetic engineering as the catalyst.

Same kind of different as me.

Planet of the Apes, 2011 - Fox Home Entertainment - all rights reserved

Rise of the Planet of the Apes insists on an emotional truth in it’s core story: mankind’s inability to seat itself at the table of humility. Will Rodman (Franco) is a geneticists at Gyn-Sys who hopes to invent the cure for Alzheimer’s–a disease of the brain that strickens his father Charles (Lithgow). He was on the verge of proving his experimentation’s success on his prized chimpanzee, “Bright Eyes” when things go terribly wrong. Unbeknownst to Will and his colleagues, Bright Eyes had just given birth, and wasn’t a willing participant to prove the accuracy of the drug AOZ-112 to a board of eager Gyn-Sys labs shareholders.

After the chaotic event, “Bright Eyes” was put down. Her baby, orphaned and taken to Rodman’s home, where he flourishes in an environment of love and companionship. Since his project at Gyn-Sys is shut down, Rodman proceeds with the ‘human trial’ phase of his testing with his father Charles–who suffers from a progressive stage of dementia. Charles immediately becomes his new test subject. The testing is a success! Not only did AOZ-112 prevent the disease progression; it made his father better, and super improved. He learned to do new things with the greatest of ease. He and Caesar (Serkis) create a loving bond, and the three of them become a family.  As Caesar ages, his curiosity of the outside world grows. So too, does the reality of mankind’s in-acceptance of anything, or anyone, “different.”

Charles’s disease begins to regress and take hold of him once more, rather progressively. He ventures out of his home and attempts to take a neighbor’s car. Somewhere in the argument between Charles and the next door neighbor–is knocked down, with Caesar rushing to his defense. What came next was Caesar’s rescindence of nature: he attacks the bully neighbor–biting off his fingers. Almost immediately, he realizes the magnitude of his actions. Caesar is then forced to live in a primate facility, where he learns that it’s time for a “revolution” of sorts, leading up to the climatic moment, when Caesar bellows his epic and first recognizable  word…NO!

Undeniable special effects!

David Oyelowo, Planet of the Apes, 2001 - Fox Home Entertainment - all rights reserved

From the Oscar-winning® visual effects team, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a beautiful film. Paired with the acting talents of Lithgow, Franco, Felton, contributes to the acting powerhouse of the film. Slumdog’s Freida Pinto has her moments in the film, but is there to only serve as a ‘portrait feature,’ hanging on the arm of Franco, and tending to a few of Caesar’s wounds. The state-of-the-art CGI simian’s are the dominating presence in this film. Caesar, played brilliantly by Lord of the Rings Andy Serkis, who is undoubtedly and undeniably the focal actor onscreen.  Pair that up with a truly unforgettable script–the film is truly a philosophical road-map on man’s inhumanities.  With all of the good spoken for in the film, it isn’t without a few flaws. For those who may be eager for the uprising of the apes to begin may have to wait a bit–the pacing does suffer a bit. Overall, its not your 1968’s rendition of Planet of the Apes, or any in it’s series; it does go on to prove what a good script, solid acting performances, and proper CGI technology can bring to a film. The film is exactly what it set out to be: an astounding and impressive movie goer experience.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes blu-ray special features include the main disc as well as the DVD+ digital copy of the film. Needless to say the film looks amazing on blu-ray with its full 1080p/AVC transfer; widescreen 2:35:1 aspect ratio, and paired on an HDTv screen–AMAZING! The film is crisp, clear special effect rendering so well on screen, you would think that they actually used real apes/chimpanzees for the more poignant and up-close scenes. The audio is just as impressive as the visuals, crisply recorded DTS-HD Master audio and if you have surround sound-theater sound in your home, it will be as if you are right there, front and center of the action.

There is also a wealth of Blu-ray/DVD fodder to pour over; a multitude of deleted scenes, and my all-time favorite featured extra Studying the Genius of Andy Serkis. Enough said. The behind the scenes of the actors training on the mechanics and movements of the ape characters will leave you utterly breathless. The energy it took in making Rise as realistic as it is was due to hard work by a wealth of brilliant actors and an absolutely fantastic special effects team. [easyazon-link asin=”B004LWZW4W”]Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Two-Disc Edition Blu Ray + DVD/Digital Copy Combo)[/easyazon-link] is nothing short of phenomenal.  I absolutely cannot wait for a sequel, and I certainly hope that there is one.

 Evolution becomes Revolution

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) is an action/drama film directed by Rupert Wyatt, and written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Pierre Boulle–based on the 1963 sci-fi novel, Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes: Where Man is Brute; and the Ape Intelligent. The film stars James Franco (127 Hours), Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings film trilogy), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun TV Series), and Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil).  Will (Franco) experiments on chimpanzees in order to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Fox Home Entertainment

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

Review Summary:

In 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' Will (Franco) experiments on chimpanzees in order to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

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