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on 17 December 2011
I really had my doubts about this movie, particularly after the last Tim Burton fiasco! I was right to be concerned - this film is awful and is nowhere near as good as the original movie with Kirk Douglas. Avoid if, like me, you are a big fan of the previous ones!
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on 27 December 2011
Oh dear, What a let down, How any of you could Rave about this almost B rated movie is beyond me, I seen and have a lot of the Planet Ape movies, From The original, still the best, to the Semo (mark Warlburg) movie. Which I Still Like, although the ending was daft, better he stayed, and helped made a new World along with his new Girlfriend,& his new Ape friends who decided to be peaceful, rather, than galloping off into the unknown again.

I was waiting for it to start, when it promtly finished, with the credits rolling,with little or no clue as to what was going to happen next. Only ONE word was spoken by the Apes near the end was NO! Otherwise it was just jibberish Monkey talk. Give me Tim Roth's Great charactor in Tim Burtons version any time. The whole Film did nothing for me at all, which is a shame, Tom Felton seemed like he wanted to be somewhere else. Hes going to be type cast as a Nasty, But to my mind he was just thrown in to be nothing more, than to wind up the Apes.

If Andy Cerkis was there, I didnt see him, although he's Ceasor, hes just doing The actions, nothing more. After the LOR trilogy, I havent been impressed with any of his debuts lately, especially the awful King kong. Golden bridge Climax! What Climax! Do the producers think we have no brains, Putting police cars and SWATs at the other end, and not Thinking, (("Oh, Apes can climb up and down, better keep an eye underneath and on the suspension wires)). The Ape Thinking he has Superman powers jumping almost 100yards to land on the helicopter was so laughable, I was stunned by the terrible lack of good Screenplay. Only the Actor who Played Spider mans Adversary, made any real contribution to this movie.

The Motivation and sadness for his fathers condition warrants respect, But in my opinion, the whole film could have been written much better. As far as the CGI was concerned, no great shakes, either, seen better in the television series of Terra Nova.

The After credit Cut shots showing an Airline Pilot Sneezing, was another idiotic piece of Screenplay, which really gave no proper or creditable Screen time, to this supposed virus spreading across the world.
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on 21 August 2011
What a very very good film this is. In `Rise of The Planet of the Apes', English director Rupert Wyatt has a stab at doing what Tim Burton failed spectacularly to do in 2001 - resurrecting the Planet of the Apes franchise. What Wyatt has created, against all the odds, is a thoughtful, intelligent and stirring piece which provides the perfect antidote to all the silly, lacklustre `Apes' films since Franklin J. Schaffer's classic original from 1968.

The film charts the rise of Caesar, an orphaned laboratory chimp, from timid youngster to a sort of revolutionary leader of his fellow Simians. Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist at a pharmaceutical company researching a new drug and potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease that reverses the damage to brain tissue, tested on chimps. The effect it has on these animals is to rapidly increase intelligence to an unprecedented degree. After one of the apes goes berserk and trashes the laboratory, the drug is rejected by investors and all but one of the chimps, the baby Caesar, are killed. Will takes the chimp home with him and raises it himself but continues to use the drug on his father (John Lithgow), an Alzheimer's sufferer. Needless to say things go awry, and Caesar is taken away to a special facility where a large number of primates are held in captivity. Along the way there are various maltreatments of Caesar and his fellow chimps at the hands of sadistic humans, all of which contributes to his rise to power. Here begins the most powerful section of the movie, as Caesar gains the trust of his fellow apes and then eventually begins to command them.

Absolutely central to the success of the movie is the performance of Andy Serkis as Caesar, again displaying his enormous physical talents and reaffirming why he is the `go to' man for motion capture. Whether he be Gollum, King Kong, Captain Haddock or Caesar, someone please change the Academy rules and nominate this brilliant actor for an Oscar. The CGI effects are, for the most part, remarkable and as good as I have seen to date, with just a few slips; moments where you are reminded that the chimps aren't actually there. The final clash between apes and humans on the Golden Gate Bridge is thrilling and spectacular.

Sadly the performances of the human contingent are less spectacular. This is perhaps partly due to the fact that they have increasingly little to do as the film progresses, becoming almost fringe characters. Indeed, Freida Pinto has little to do from the start besides look pretty and smile sympathetically. But this is a fairly minor gripe because this is very much Caesar's story. In fact it makes the movie all the more impressive because Caesar's rise is depicted for a large portion of the film with very little dialogue. The pick of the human performances is probably John Lithgow as Will's father, a man losing his identity.

A really pleasant surprise this one. On the one hand a great action movie, with some thrilling set-pieces and terrific special effects. But its real power lies in the performance of Serkis as the central character, and the fun to be had watching him lead a Spartacus style revolution against oppression. 8.5/10.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 August 2011
I've just come away from an advanced screening of this movie at my local theatre and I only have One word - INCREDIBLE..

That's really all I can say, the CGI is the best I have ever seen in any movie ever, you actually forget that you are watching animated characters because they are so real.

Andy Serkis is outstanding as Caesar, he really is a pioneer in the field, without him I don't think it would have been that good because his movements and his mannerisms are so spot on, he is a true Genius and it's a shame that there isn't a category in the Oscars for this because if there was he should win.


James Franco plays Will, a scientist who is trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer's disease and is conducting trials on chimpanzees, one chimp bright eyes in particular shows the most progress and intelligence and so the trial is very successful, but in the middle of a presentation to convince the board of the company to allow him to conduct human trials with the drug AZ112 the chimpanzee goes mental and breaks into the boardroom and as a consequence is shot and killed and the program is shut down.

What they did not understand however is that the chimpanzee was protecting her child and so Will takes him home and notices that the chimp has increased intelligence, passed down genetically from his mother and so will starts studying the chimp while allowing him to live at home with himself and his father who is suffering from Alzheimer's himself.

All of this is in the trailer so it won't contain any spoilers that you don't already know about.

Will teaches Caesar to use sign language and treats him as a son and so Caesar believes that Will is his father and Wills father played the brilliant John Lithgow is his grandfather.

An incident occurs that lands Caesar into trouble and Animal control comes and takes him away to a chimpanzee protection shelter run by Brian Cox and his very brutal and sadistic son played by Tom Felton, and it is truly heartbreaking to see Caesar left there as he doesn't understand why his father is just abandoning him.

You guys all know what happens next so I don't need to explain it, rebellion, vengeance, revenge, all with brass bells on and let me tell you that you will absolutely be cheering for the apes instead of the humans.

The way he does it though is jaw dropping, so precise and calculating, it is like watching chess match how he sees the end result before you do and seeing all the pieces just falling together like that, you will, like myself start saying yeah go on Caesar.

The scenes on the golden gate bridge are phenomenal and you will come away with the sense that we are on the verge of a precipice where eventually the animals will start fighting back and we will become the endangered species, it absolutely could happen.

There are some very iconic moments you should watch out for if you're a fan of the original movies (Tim burtons version doesn't count) for example, the launch of the icarus, the ship that took Charlton Heston to the planet, also one of the most iconic lines in movie history "take your hands off me you damn dirty ape", as well as catching a brief glimpse of Charlton Heston himself on a television show.

None of these however are cheesy they are delivered with absolute sincerity and you can see where a sequel is going to go and I for one really hope that they do one.

Best film I have seen since Avatar.

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on 13 March 2012
I can't believe all the positive reviews given to this film...

Yes, the special effects are well done, and yes, the CGI performance of Caesar, the leading chimp, is also excellent. I can also accept that the film is well-directed, maintaining good pace from start to finish. However, there is a big "but", an enormous "BUT".

The script is awful! It has every cliché you can think of! It never once surprises you. Some sequences are so plain stupid, surely a regular chimpanzee could write better stuff than this!

The central story, of a chimp developing "human" intelligence, deserved a much more... well, intelligent approach. Hell, any Psychology student in college could have assisted the writers in describing how intelligence gradually evolves. Instead, we are treated to a totally superficial approach, devoid of any logic other than "this will look great on a big screen!"

The more intelligent Caesar becomes in the story, the more stupid the human characters around him begin to behave. It's like he was sucking the intelligence from the human characters in order to develop his own...


Is it at all possible to "spoil" such a dumb, predictable script? You know what is going to happen just from looking at the DVD cover... There's the smart monkey with the Golden Gate bridge in the background. Guess where the film reaches its climax? On Ellis Island! (just kidding... it's on the GG bridge).

As the monkeys escape from captivity, we are treated to another stupid scene: they all jump out of a building shattering glass windows... (Hey, if they are now smart, why didn't they just open the doors? Is a chimp even capable of shattering that kind of high-grade glass just by jumping at it? Well, yeah, but... it's gonna look great on a big screen!)

As these 40+ wild monkeys start raiding San Francisco as if it were a camping site invaded by baboons, what do the city authorities throw at them, to stop them? Two police cars! Any half-decent bank robbery film will show you how a couple of robbers face dozens of police vehicles mobilized in five minutes, SWAT squads, sharpshooters, helicopters, etc. Where were all these resources? Busy at another film?

When the monkeys go to the bridge and cause a huge traffic jam, the police attacks them with... mounted policemen! None equipped with nets to capture the monkeys, nor with guns, but with sticks (!!!). These guys attack the monkeys like in some bad version of a roman battle scene. (Yeah, but it's gonna look great on the big screen!)

Eventually a single helicopter shows up (I guess it's because of Obama's cuts on the defense budget, they could only afford one...). That one is brought down by a gorilla (probably a "guerrilla" gorilla... ouch!)

There is a confrontation (if you can call it that) between the monkeys and an army platoon at one end of the bridge. Six monkeys turn over a bus and push it easily for some 50 yards (Are monkeys that strong? Is a bus that easy to push? Yeah, but it's gonna look great on the big screen!). As the monkeys jump over the bus to attack the troops, the soldiers drop their weapons on the ground and run away as fast as they can! (maybe they were in a hurry to get out of this terrible movie!...)

It is indeed a pity they didn't turn the script over to Caesar... I'm sure he would have done much better! The story deserved more than this.
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A new attempt at rebooting/reimagining/remaking/calling it what you will the Planet of the Apes franchise.

So forget the originals and the 2001 version - as well you might in the case of the latter - because this is a whole new take on things, having no tie in with those films whatsoever.

James Franco plays Will Rodman, a scientist trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's. Not least so he can help his afflicted father [John Lithgow]. When work on chimps with a new drug yields unexpected results he is left with a baby chimp to care for. Who is eventually named Caesar. Caesar is very smart. A bond between humans and apes forms.

But when Caesar gets to see the worst humanity can offer, and when the drug trials lead to more unexpected developments, the future of two species might be changed forever.

Caesar is brought to life via actor Andy Serkis in a motion capture suit and cgi, a la Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies. The end result is just as good. He is a character you can't help but sympathise with and root for. It's very easy to forget at times that he's not a real creature.

Human wise Will Rodman has a decent amount of depth to him and James Franco acts the character well. Frieda Pinto takes the somewhat thankless role of his life interest and does catch the attention regardless of her character not being quite as deep as she could. And John Lithgow does tug at the heartstrings when portraying a man who simply can't remember any more.

The rest are cold hearted and ruthless or ignorant as required, but all are played well.

The film moves at a decent pace throughout. This is a 12 certificate film, thanks to some moments of violence and angry apes that might not be suitable for younger viewers. It all builds to a very satisfying last act which begins with a great punch the air moment. And has a few more during what follows.

Both a decent action movie when that kicks in, and a solid drama about the bond between two indiviuals, this is excellent movie making and an excellent way to start a franchise. Not least because although it's relatively self contained it does at the same time set a few things up to follow. The first of them in a pretty clever way. The second you will find out more about at the start of the end credits, so keep watching those.

There are two short scenes which are done with subtitles. There's no way to switch those off. But they are necessary. You'll see why.

There is also one great homage to the original.

Forget the 2001 version. This is an attempt at franchise rebooting that wholeheartedly succeeds. Which is why the sequel will be along shortly. And why I look forward to it.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English Spanish German Italian.

Subtitles: English Spanish Danish Finnish German Swedish Italian Norwegian.

There are no extras at all.

It begins with one trailer that you can skip via the next button on the remote.

And one that you can't get past like that, unless you use fast forward.
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on 4 November 2011
i haven't even seen it. but it sounds like a great movie full of monkeys and action and apes and drama and simian antics and i think it ends with a big tea party where they all throw custard pies at each other, amd i love the scene where they move a piano up the stairs. if you like monkeys and films then watch this film about monkeys. if you don't like monkeys WHY don't you like monkeys! your great greatt great grandfather was a monkey and thats science- you monkey hater!!!
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on 27 November 2011
I enjoyed this film. It certainly engaged me, and i wanted to see how it resolved.

The monkeys were really well done. i always think the test is when you forget that it's a man in a chimp suite or cgi and just find the incredible character credible. and they really nailed this for me.

What disappointed me about this film was the human characters. Not the lead, James Franco was good, believable, an achievement when acting along side a monkey that isn't really there, but the other human characters. Tom Felton plays a sort of monkey prison guard. It's an absolute parody of an evil prison guard. He plays him exactly the same as Draco Malfoy, i kept expecting him to call the monkey 'Potter.' 'What are you looking at Potter?' but he actually says monkey. Even Malfoy's weak, bullied assistant, is a parody of that.

The worst character. Quite possibly ever. The evil pharmaceutical company boss, played by David Oyelowo. I've never seen him before, and he's lined up for a few films coming out next year, so someone must think he's good, but i don't. From the moment he opens his mouth you know he's going to be evil because he has a strong british accent. it's that kind of a film. and he is. he's a caricature of an immoral drug company boss, who threatens to fire people, has no ethics, only cares about money. it's weak and quite frequently unintentionally funny.

the film holds your hand all the way through. they plant devices that you know they will use later. and this makes it predictable. as in black and white war films when someone starts to talk about their girlfriend back home and their plans to get married after the war you say to yourself 'he's dead' and sure enough next thing.... and the surprise of the moment is ruined because it was so obvious. this film does that all the time and we as an audience have moved on from that.

nonetheless the film has been well received and is quite entertaining. I see this is rated 12, which is probably about right. Ironically the monkeys were let down by the humans.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 October 2014
I first saw the recent "Rise Of ..." on satellite, and thought it was very good. With the new sequel coming, I wanted to watch it again so it was fresh in my mind before seeing the sequel, and when I found this DVD with the original Charlton Heston film included for a very reasonable price, it was a no-brainer.

I very much enjoyed watching the original once again. It is many years since I did so, and it has inevitably aged, but is still nevertheless highly enjoyable, although of course that enjoyment is now limited by the fact that there cannot be many people left on the planet who are in total ignorance of the twist at the end, which was a huge part of this film when it first came out. I was lucky enough to know nothing of the story when I first saw the film, and when you don't know it's coming, the impact and shock of that ending is really huge, and it remains for me one of the greatest cinematic moments, etched indelibly on my memory for ever.

The recent film is a very clever attempt at a prequel, explaining how the rise of the apes began. I was slightly surprised at how clumsy and unreal some of the cgi ape animation looks when given the chance to analyse it a little more thoroughly on a repeat viewing, but this doesn't detract too much from a very good story. I must say too that, given the current news surrounding Ebola and its daily inexorable spread, the ending credits of this film are rather chilling to watch.
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VINE VOICEon 28 April 2015
With an iconic series that fizzled out over time and treated to a less-than-impressive reboot in 2001, this was another telling of the story where apes rise against humanity; a daring and brave sci-fi story told in an era of superhero and big-budget drama movies. With a tense story, some exceptional special effects and a great cast, this serves as the reboot the series needed and also the fresh interpretation for a new franchise.

Full of surprising levels of humanity and emotion from leading stars James Franco and Andy Serkis, the amount of detail put into the creation of digitally rendered Caesar is breathtaking, and it's hard to tell at times where the digital primates begin and the real ones end.

With a good amount of time spent telling the story of how man and primate are established in modern society, there is lots of tender moments to be had but also growing tension as Caesar's intelligence develops and he becomes more and more independent; figuring out how to open locks and eventually talk is done very well and is far more believable than others could have handled it, creating a sense of nightmarish fantasy that could very well be something that the future of evolution presents us with.

And that is the core of why this films works so well - believeability. Franco, Lithgow and Pinto deserve their praise for working alongside actors in mo-cap suits and acting to figures not present, as they do it so convincingly and heart-felt. However it's Andy Serkis, a man whom I was unconvinced of at first for his role as Gollum in 'The Lord Of The Rings', now I am totally in awe of his ability to create and personify a character, be it primate, human or goblin. From the movement of Caesar to his sounds and facial expressions ranging from angry, to sad, to happy and curious, Serkis helps Caeser become more than just a digital creation - he becomes a real character you journey with and feel for more than most in cinema history.

This leads steadily to a well executed finale, not full of CGI devastation seen so much in summer blockbusters, but one of heart and some real eerie scenes as humanity and primates clash, and where brains dominate over brawn. It's tightly shot, well directed and well acted with the effects dominating things to the point where it seems too real to be true. It's probably the second best Golden Gate finale behind 'A View To A Kill' but miles ahead of 'X-Men: The Last Stand'.

It's the blockbuster with brains, but also good sci-fi fun at heart and never forgetting the idea it is toying with to leave you feeling depressed and bored. There are thrills, humour and great action sequences unlike anything you've seen in modern films. And more than ever in today's society, the underlying threat of the Gen-Sys drug proving deadly to humans is something that the Ebola virus had every potential of becoming in different circumstances.

A stunning film, and very brave in it's presentation but very deserving of the positive reception for laying strong foundations to build on even more for the future.
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