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Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:01 pm
The CG looked pretty shoddy at times when there were multiple apes moving very fast but overall they did a good job, particularly on the lead apes. Their facial expressions, eyes, and fur textures made them look pretty darn convincing. Even with that I think it worked much better than the more people-like apes from the opriginals. The character development on Caesar was outstanding, showing him growing from a baby to the ape he is today. The time spent working that angle did a great job in making him the sympathetic character he should be. Great pacing too, the film didn't feel like it dragged at all. it could have used a little more development in the relationships of the human characters but one can't have everything. Overall I found it to be a great movie. Your mileage may vary
Re: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:31 pm
Here it is, folks! FORGET the Tim Burton movie. That one didn't happen. HERE is the first post-modern tribute to PLANET OF THE APES that actually WORKS.
It's no secret--though few seem to share my opinion, my personal favorite of the original APES sequels was CONQUEST... and finally seeing the uncut original version on Blu-Ray? Whew...
The Burton remake showed off great-looking advances in makeup and special effects, gave us Linda Harrison for all of two seconds, had an ape use the "damn dirty" line on a human, but the only nod to the original that actually worked was the Charlton Heston cameo. This new prequel (if that's the right word... I suppose it COULD lead to Burton's world, but it doesn't HAVE to, and I'd rather think of this as a reboot) tells a terrific story on its own while working in original series references that actually FIT (picture a caretaker tormenting caged chimps with a firehose or taunting "It's a MADHOUSE!!!!") for instance.
All right, it's CGI effects. No more Roddy McDowall, no more John Chambers makeup. Those belong to the ages and they will never truly die. So we have to be fair--if we want a NEW movie set in OUR present to work, we have to acknowledge that (for example) chimps, orangutans and gorillas are NOT all equally humanoid-sized, and that we need convincing APES. And they hit the jackpot with Andy ("Gollum") Serkis and his motion-capture performance... you got the hint from the trailers, but you really need to see how well the new Caesar is rendered here.
Not that James Franco isn't fine as the human lead, either--this is no simple portrayal of a reckless, greedy scientist--this is someone who cares equally about human and animal life (Caesar can't just grow up hating all of humanity), and the filmmakers scored another coup by casting John Lithgow as his Alzheimer's-afflicted father (the way I avoid publicity finally paid off--I had NO idea Lithgow was in this film and was VERY pleasantly surprised).
As I've suggested, the original APES tributes are there for those who recognize them but aren't simply placed there to call attention to themselves (the Statue of Liberty reference is beautifully subtle, for instance), but RISE does NOT attempt to be an actual PLANET OF THE APES film right from the beginning. Since you're watching this story develop from point zero, you don't miss the fact that the film does NOT feature the gimmick of talking apes throughout, you are NOT waiting for the Chambers makeup and you are NOT waiting for the typical cameos and catchphrases (even though you end up getting some).
And by the way, the closer you live to San Francisco, the more you're going to love this one (unless, of course, your name is Mick LaSalle).
This is one terrific movie and the worthiest APES tribute yet.