Blu-Ray Review: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

rise2 Blu Ray Review: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Hail Caesar!

I’m not talking about the Roman Emperor, I’m talking about the bright eyed ape that led a revolt in San Francisco in convincing fashion.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is hands down the best movie of the year.  While James Franco takes the lead credit role, it will be Andy Serkis performance as Caesar that made the film an emotional and exciting ride.  We don’t see Serkis actual face because he was motion captured but the facial expression on the revolutionary ape is so life like and convincing that you root for the primates instead of the  humans. 

The story is simple enough.  Caesar, the ape, is raised by a semi mad scientist, Will Rodman (James Franco).  Will secretly raises Caesar in his home, in hope of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which his dad suffers.  Will developed some chemicals that fights the disease but also managed to make Caesar as smart as humans and maybe even smarter.  Caesar feels like a pet even though Will raises him as his own kid because he’s always sheltered and leashed when they go out of the house.  Caesar gets sent to a primate shelter for attacking the neighborhood jerk after defending Will’s dad.  This is where Caesar makes his decision to live with Will once he’s freed or fight for his specie. 

Even though the overall CG isn’t that great, the facial expressions from Caesar is superb.  There’s a lot of close ups of his face and his emotion ranges from excited to confused and anguished.  Without this, Rise of the Planet Of The Apes would have just been another summer CG movie.  Adding that depth made the movie stand out from the other movies of 2011.  There are also nice homages to the original movies which makes the movie even more deeper. 

Grade: A

The transfer is natural and lifelike.  The color palette ranges from bright (Will’s house) to dark (primate shelter) and they’re handled very well.   There’s no pixelization and the CG monkeys look pretty good on my LED.  There are some grains in the last action sequence but this was done deliberately to set the mood and effects.  This is a great transfer.
Grade: A

For a summer blockbuster, majority of the movie is dialogue driven.  It’s only in the last 30 minutes that the dynamic surrounds kick in.  It’s a sound design that works because viewers aren’t bombarded with sound effects from the start of the movie that they become immune to it.  Gunshots have a nice pop, while the roars of the apes are violently scary.  The last action sequence is demo worthy.
Grade: A

Fox is on a role lately with their Blu-ray releases (X-Men: First Class).  They’re packed with extras and this one is no exception.  It has 2 commentary tracks (one from the director, the other from the writers).  Both tracks are equally pleasing because they explain their love for the original ‘Planet’ movies as well as the special effects behind it.  There’s also 12 deleted/altered scenes.  It’s a good insight to what the filmmakers were thinking, the original ending (the theatrical ending was the second) isn’t on here though.  Other extras include behind the scenes look at Andy Serkis motion capture work, visual breakdown and three trailers.  All the extras are in high def.
Grade: A-

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a great movie that was carried by Andy Serkis’ Caesar.  It’s a fun flick with a lot of heart.  The presentation is awesome and the extras make the viewers appreciate the movie even more.  Must own!
Overall Grade: A

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