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Science Fiction - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes
James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow
Directed by Rupert Wyatt
Fox Home Entertainment 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes kicks some serious ass. At 105 minutes credits included this movie proves you do not need 2 hours or more to tell a story. Loosely inspired from one of the Planet of the Apes sequels, Rise of the Planet of the Apes tells the story of Cesar, the first ape to gain homo sapiens abilities. This is a very good SF (speculative fiction) movie. Important note: you do not need to be familiar with the Apes franchise to appreciate this DVD

Rise of the Planet of the Apes works because it wastes little time with minutia and spends time on telling a well-written story. It takes less than 27 minutes to set up everything from Cesar’s birth to his becoming an adult and the story of scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) who searches for a substance that helps the brain create new pathway to cure diseases like his father’s Alzheimer and sort of adopts Cesar. Cesar’s first three or four years are covered in less than a minute and so is his growth from preteen to late adolescence. Especially clever is how the writers make the wheels fall off Rodman’s perfect family life with his father and Cesar.

This movie is not all black and white. Rodman is a nice fellow but he is also a scientist, something that is make quite clear about halfway through the movie. This is also where the movie shifts focus from human to ape.

Most interesting in Rise is how Andy Serkis performance captured as Cesar manages to convey a lot of emotions without language, sign or otherwise.

There are a couple of plot points you do not want to question too much such as building windows that are especially easy to break, the sudden very high number of apes running around, and how smart the zoo apes become by magic.

You want to watch past the first few end credits to find out what else happens.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a very good SF DVD.

Special features for the DVD include Deleted Scenes, Mythology of the Apes (an audio only feature), and The Genius of Andy Serkis.

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