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120 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating and moving; an epic sequel.
Rupert Wyatt's 2011 reboot of the Planet of the Apes Franchise, 'Rise', is one of my favourite films of the last few years. A thrilling action film with an intelligent narrative and plenty of heart, it was an almost totally unexpected and very pleasant surprise. For 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', director Matt Reeves continues the story where Wyatt left off, and Reeves...
Published 7 months ago by Rob Payne

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but still lacking in parts to make it great.
Not quite as epic as the trailer made out, too predictable at times and the human cast are poor compared to the apes with not enough back story or input especially Gary Oldman's character who would have been far better given more screen time but Andy Serkis as Caesar is fantastic and is the heart and soul of the film once again and the last half ranks up the tension and...
Published 6 days ago by Jimmy


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120 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating and moving; an epic sequel., 19 July 2014
By 
Rupert Wyatt's 2011 reboot of the Planet of the Apes Franchise, 'Rise', is one of my favourite films of the last few years. A thrilling action film with an intelligent narrative and plenty of heart, it was an almost totally unexpected and very pleasant surprise. For 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', director Matt Reeves continues the story where Wyatt left off, and Reeves has satisfyingly made a sequel of such impressive quality that is at least the equal of its predecessor and in many aspects surpasses it.

The story takes place a decade since Caesar led his fellow apes to begin a new life away from captivity in the forests beyond San Francisco. The group has expanded and thrived and constructed a sort of ape city among the trees. Here, Caesar has continued to command the loyalty of his fellow simians and remains chief, while he now also has a young family of his own to protect. Back in San Francisco, many years have now passed since a deadly virus born from the gaseous form of the drug ALZ-113 (referred to as 'Simian flu') has all but wiped out the human race, though a pocket of survivors exhibiting a genetic resistance remains in the city. The apes and humans have thus been segregated until a chance meeting with a small band of human explorers reunites them once more, bringing back some old memories for Caesar while igniting tensions between the two groups that threatens to boil over into all-out war and a battle for evolutionary superiority.

The film plays on the natural mistrust that the apes have of the humans, and vice versa. While much of the fun of 'Rise' was in watching Caesar's ascension to power as a Spartacus-style leader of his fellow down-trodden apes, 'Dawn' focuses on Caesar's struggle to maintain a fragile peace between his own kind and the race he was brought up amongst. Chief antagonist is Koba, Caesar's general and one time laboratory bonobo whose innate hatred of the human race threatens to destroy all that Caesar has battled to build. In another motion-capture acting tour de force, the outstanding Andy Serkis is again the subject for Caesar's movements and expressions and gives an astonishingly powerful performance that is full of presence, depth and charisma. Caesar has all the makings of a classic film character.

Human performances again mostly take a back seat to Caesar's ongoing struggles. Gary Oldman is a little underused as the embattled leader of a human fraction living within a guarded tower amongst the ruins of San Francisco, but Jason Clarke has plenty to do as Malcolm, the lead of a small group of engineers that take up a role in diplomacy and begin to form a strong bond with Caesar.

The exhilarating action scenes and set pieces are of a grander scale than in 'Rise' and with the use of some truly spectacular digital effects that are as realistic as any you will see, makes for an absorbing visual feast. But the finest achievements of the film lie in it's thoughtful, emotional core, that cleverly aligns our sympathies with both apes and humans and makes for a moving and thoroughly rewarding experience that is far removed from the one-dimensionality of today's brainless blockbusters. Never mind that 'Dawn' heads for a not entirely unpredictable conclusion, this is a quite beautiful film that has clearly been crafted with great care and intelligence. A fabulous achievement. 9.5/10.

Blu-ray review to follow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'FIRST CLASS SEQUEL' 'GREAT ENTERTAINMENT', 25 Nov. 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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'A TREMENDOUS AND EXCITING SEQUEL'
'Caesar' and his followers have built their own compound in the forests beyond 'San Francisco' over the
past decade.
Mankind is in decline they have been ravaged by a pandemic,the cities have all but been laid to waste,
the peace between man and ape survives as long as they stay apart.
After an incident close to the Apes compound and brief meeting between Man and Ape, 'Caesar' who
understands human-kind warns 'Malcolm' (Jason Clarke) and his team to stay away from the forest where
he and his followers live.
There is an element of the Apes that crave war against their once captors, only the logic of their leader
prevents it.
The people living within the city boundary's have become desperate, they have little or no power-source,
in the forest there is a 'dam' which could generate the power they need, but will 'Caesar' permit a human
presence close by.
'Malcom' who had been in the party involved in the earlier incident seeks consultation with 'Caesar' to try
and reach an agreement to allow a small team to try and get the generator running,if an agreement can be
reached there will be no need for war, 'Caesar' cautiously agree's on the understanding that the humans do
not carry weapons.
'Caesar' (Andy Serkis) wants to give mankind a chance to co-exist but knows how frail an agreement with man
can be, he just hopes.
'Koba' (Toby Kebbell) has no trust of humans and takes it upon himself with a few others with similar views to
find a warehouse where the humans have a large stock-pile of weaponry, 'Koba' knows that it is more than
enough to wipe the Apes out if used against them.
Meanwhile back at the Dam 'Caesar' watches over the human teams progress, however because of the action
taken by 'Koba' trust is wearing thin, the prospect of war becomes even closer.
'Koba's' betrayal will change the course of history, can 'Caesar' re-take control before it's too late or has the line
already been crossed.
This is a sprawling and exciting epic that lays the grounding for what is yet to come, the film will draw you in from
the outset, with some terrific action sequences and an underlying will from both 'Caesar' and 'Malcolm' to maintain
the peace between them.
Brilliant and Eye-Popping Special Effects Throughout, a spectacle to behold indeed.
Impressive in both 3-D and Blu-ray'
Special Features -
* Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves
* Journey to Dawn
* Andy Serkis - Rediscovering Caesar
* Human and Apes - The Cast of Dawn
* The World of Dawn
* The Ape Community
* Move Like an Ape - An Artist's Medium
* Weta and Dawn
* The Fight for a new Dawn
* Deleted Scenes with optional audio by Matt Reeves
* Exodus - Gods and Kings Trailer
* Exodus - Gods and Kings - Sneak Peek
* Stills Gallery
(Special Features are in 2-D)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the title!, 9 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
What was surprising about director Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes was not that it was extremely successful, rather that it was excellent. A smart, thrilling and fast-paced action movie, utilising incredible motion capture technology to create jaw-dropping ape effects. The main surprise in Matt Reeves' sequel is that it improves on it's predecessor in every way...

Dawn follows a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors (led by Jason Clarke's Malcom and Gary Oldman's Dreyfus) of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. Unlike Rise, and what ultimately gives Dawn the upper hand, there is no clear cut villain. There are flawed individuals on both sides but all with understandable motivations behind there inevitable actions. War is treated as an inevitability, a horrifying end to the means of this story.

The performance capture work has vastly improved, almost to the point of photorealism. Andy Serkis leads the apes as Caesar, an Ocar-nomination worthy performance of surpressed rage and wisdom. Toby Kebbel is truly threatening as bad-egg-ape (?) Koba, whose scars present themselves both physically and emotionally. Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman both provide strong support, but this is ultimately the apes' story.

The Planet of the Apes franchise has always prided itself on social commentary, often focusing on racism, religion, the legal system and the environment. For Dawn, however, writers Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, make a brave, inevitably controversial plea for gun control. Almost all of the conflict in the movie are, directly or otherwise, caused by the excessive use and trust of guns in modern America. It's a strange move, sure, but one that instantly sets the film apart from all other blockbusters, especially the military recruitment video that was Transformers 4. There is even some Holocaust imagery towards the final act, a terrifying reference to the power all-consuming hate can have over people.

Along with the ground breaking performance capture work, Reeves has curated stunning technical aspects. From Michael Giacchino's primal, thrilling score to Michael Seresin's starkly beautiful cinematography, every aspect works to create a larger, greater whole. Special mention must also go to James Chinlund's fantastic production design, whose blend of modern technology and organic structures is a sight to behold.

If there is a fault, it is inherent in the material. We all know how this ends, so there is a sense of predictability that occasionally robs the film of its full potential. An over reliance on coincidence and convenience is often noticeable, especially in one of the worst character decisions this year. A few human characters are given short shrift, especially Malcom's wife and son (with decent work from Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, despite undeniable flaws, is an intelligent, complex and incredibly satisfying blockbuster and one of the best films of the year. With the inevitable third chapter already in development, this franchise is one of few I'm happy will stick around. Just as long as it doesn't revolt...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Excellent Sequel To Rise, 25 Nov. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (Blu-Ray).

Blu-Ray Info.
Language: English
Region B/2
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Audio Formats
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles/Captions
English SDH, Spanish
Number of discs: 1
Classification: 12
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Running Time: 130 minutes

Special Features.
4 Galleries
Andy Serkis: Rediscovering Caesar

Exclusive HD Content
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Matt Reeves
Journey to Dawn
Humans & Apes: The Cast of Dawn
The World of Dawn
The Ape Community
Move Like an Ape: An Artist s Artist's Medium
Weta & Dawn
The Fight for a New Dawn
Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves

Budget: $170 million
Box office: $708.2 million

Cast.

Apes
Andy Serkis as Caesar
Toby Kebbell as Koba
Nick Thurston as Blue Eyes
Karin Konoval as Maurice
Terry Notary as Rocket
Doc Shaw as Ash
Judy Greer as Cornelia
Lee Ross as Grey

Humans.
Jason Clarke as Malcolm
Gary Oldman as Dreyfus
Keri Russell as Ellie
Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander
Kirk Acevedo as Carver
Jon Eyez as Foster
Enrique Murciano as Kemp
Jocko Sims as Werner
Keir O'Donnell as Finney
Kevin Rankin as McVeigh
Lombardo Boyar as Terry
James Franco as Dr. Will Rodman (Cameo via videotape).

Trivia.
1)The orangutan that is featured prominently in the film is named Maurice. This is a reference to Maurice Evans, who portrayed the orangutan Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes (1968) & Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970).
2)The film takes place in 2026.
3)This film is essentially a remake of Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
4)Caesar's and Cornelia's infant son and Blue Eyes' baby brother is named Milo.
5)The the fate of Will Rodman (James Franco) after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) is unknown, but there is a clue. When Caesar returns to his house you can see a sign with an "X" on the stoop by the door. Usually this means someone living there is infected.
6)Despite having a cameo via video tape, James Franco had no involvement nor knowledge of his cameo. The video is from the first film.
7)The movie starts & ends with a close up shot of Caesar's eyes.
8)Other directors considered for the film include Jeff Nichols, Guillermo del Toro & Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.

What's The Story.
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.

Timelord Thoughts.
'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is a sequel that expands upon the Apes mythology & is set 10 years on from the previous movie 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' were a deadly virus has since taken effect wiped out most of the human population on Earth.

Ceasar the genetic enhanced Ape has grown older & wiser who has built a community in the woods who is under the assumption that all of mankind is now extinct but trouble ensures when the not-so-dead humans appear in the woods seeking a fragile peace but not everybody wants that peace especially the vengeful Koba who still holds a grudge against the humans for how they tortured him & creates a sinister plan that causes a chain of events to occur to ensure an all out war between humans & apes.

What first impressed me was the astonishing advancement 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' achievess when it comes to the use of CGI with such a high level of craftsmanship & animation created by Weta who use these effects to enhance the storytelling & not overshadow it combining some outstanding motion-capture performances by Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell & Judy Grier who bring so much energy & emotional depth to there characters of Caesar, Koba & Cornelia & portray such a believable personality of frightening realism that achieves the best motion-capture with CGI Ape effects yet.

The human cast don't quite fair so well & are overshadowed by the amazing Ape performances & while Jason Clarke gives a competent performance as Malcolm his character is quite underwhelming & uncharismatic, while the excellent Gary Oldman isn't given nearly enough material yet still has the acting ability to create a mesmerizing character in the battle scarred Dreyfus.

The script is a dark emotional bold adventure that is a mirror image of sorts to todays times & the social friction & the bloody horrors of war between one another which simply changes the story to a simian/human conflict scenario & portrays mankinds simply fears of change, cynicism & revenge & delivers a highly relevant emotional storyline.

When it comes to the action sequences, 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' doesn't dumb down the violence & pushes the boundaries of what can be shown in a 12 rated movie as director Matt Reeves goes for a gritty realistic approach showing a spectacular visual extravaganza who creates great tension & atmosphere combined with some nicely shot action scenes that showcases the true horrors & violence of war.

The Blu-Ray transfer displays great picture definition thats crystal clear with a sharp resolution adding great clarity & colour to the print, while the English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 produces crisp clear dialogue & atmospheric background effects.

The extras are excellent & highlights include the amazing motion-captures sequences achieved in this movie by Weta & goes behind the scenes of motion-capture with Andy Serkis & also features an impressive film commentary with director Matt Reeves.

Overall 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' it's a amazing science-fiction film with astonishing CGI effects I've ever seen enhanced by the amazing believable motion-capture performances by Andy Serkis & Toby Kebbell combined with Matt Reeves best directing to date & delivers a highly charged emotional movie & one of the best films I've seen in ages.

Timelord Rating.
8.5/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TALKING APES WITH BIG A** SPEARS!, 20 July 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Roddy Mcdowall is now out of a job being replaced by a sexless CG ape. During the opening credits we quickly discover the ALZ 113 virus has killed off many humans creating a quarantine condition which for some unexplained reason caused rioting and killing off more humans. In spite of the weak plot point, it was more probable then the original dog/cat virus which lead to breeding apes with long gestation periods as pets.

The film spends time building ape character with perfect English syntax subtitles. In this plot, our quarantined humans are running short on fuel and seek to restart a hydro-electric dam in ape territory and seem willing to go to war for oil, er ah, energy if need be. Koba, a neo-con ape, doesn't trust the humans and wants to have a first strike.(Koba was a nickname for Stalin.)

Some of the initial soundtrack and imagery reminded me of "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" with later scenes of cooperation reminiscent of the final film and TV series. There was nothing bad about the CG apes, except they got their money's worth from them. The ape on ape fighting was far too long, reminding me of that first Iron Man film. This film also lacks the clever societal commentary that made the first film a classic. We have substituted special effects for good writing.

Okay, this film is done. I am ready for the film where women wear the Linda Harrison loin cloths.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The godfather but with apes, 12 Nov. 2014
Upon seeing this, I met up with a mate to discuss our thoughts on this film. His take was this film was essentially the godfather... but with apes.

The more he explained his theory, the more convinced I was won over and now I can't think of this film without thinking of Al Pacino.

Don't be too caught up with all the special effects and CGI. Like the original Star Wars films this sci film has real soul - mainly because it's the tale of two families - one human and one ape.

I won't spoil the plot but like all great tales, this epic is about deceit, intrigue and the thirst for power.

The only criticism I have is the film is a little too slow moving in terms of driving the plot alone but the characters are convincing and you're successfully sucked into this world of man versus disease and then man versus ape. Four stars!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man v ape, 24 July 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
10 years after the events of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, a deadly virus has wiped out most of mankind with only a handful of survivors left while the apes are living in the forests. Neither has seen the other for years but an expedition to get power for one of the surviving human cities leads to war between man and ape. A slow but tense build up with excellent cgi effects and a brand new cast lead by Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke this is still setting up the world seen in the classic original Planet Of The Apes which has come a long way from the days of men in monkey suits but the rebooted franchise is turning into an intelligent scifi series every bit as good as the classic original. Andy Serkis deserves an oscar for his motion capture work and is superb as ape leader Caesar but is likely to be ignored by the academy and very good performances from Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and the rest of the new human cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but still lacking in parts to make it great., 20 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
Not quite as epic as the trailer made out, too predictable at times and the human cast are poor compared to the apes with not enough back story or input especially Gary Oldman's character who would have been far better given more screen time but Andy Serkis as Caesar is fantastic and is the heart and soul of the film once again and the last half ranks up the tension and action well as Caesar's fellow ape Koba goes over the edge and makes for a thrilling emotional last half, no James Franco which was a shame but as good as the first film for me and far better CGI.The DVD(Not Blue
Ray as stated) updated great on the Blue Ray player and had none of the possible grain, load time or software updates which may have been needed over the over hyped Blue Ray discs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Battle for the Planet of the Apes reimagined., 29 Jan. 2015
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is enjoyable enough, with good effects. However the viewer would do better to watch the original movies as this film is largely based on the 70's film Battle for the Planet of the Apes, which although made on a much lower budget than this new Apes film is much better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well thought out plot line............, 29 Dec. 2014
By 
Pyewacket "czarnowice" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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with amazing CGI.

Mankind has all but been wiped out by a Virus and only a handful of survivors are left.

This particular group are trying to get to a Hydro-Electric Plant so they can generate electricity. However, they hadn't reckoned on being attacked by Apes led by the redoubtable Caesar. There is an uneasy truce but another Ape (Chimpanzee), hates humans and plots to de-throne Caesar, take his place and kill all the remaining humans. I particularly liked the scene where Caesar's partner gives birth and you see the softer side of him.

A stupendous film and well worth buying.
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