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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Blu-ray Review

“Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” is one of the best films of 2011.

While searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s, a scientist (Will) tests a gene therapy drug on chimpanzees. Over time, Will finds that the drug increases the chimp’s intelligence. Will gets to see the effect the drug has first hand as he raises a baby chimp (Caesar) who tragically lost his mother in a lab altercation. Eventually, Will tests the drug on his father (who is suffering from Alzheimer’s), but unbeknownst to Will, however, the drug/virus is actually fatal to humans. This plays a major part in the story later on.

Meanwhile, as Caesar grows older and wiser, he becomes weary of human beings. He really begins to distrust them when he is placed into a primate shelter. Wanting to stand up to the humans, Caesar carefully begins to plot an uprising against them with the help of the other apes in the shelter.

How do the virus and ape uprising plots come together? You will just have to see for yourself.

When ‘Rise’ was first announced, I was slightly worried. Fans (including myself) of the original series had already burned once with the horrendous Tim Burton film and the thought of CGI apes replacing costumes concerned me. After seeing ‘Rise,’ I am sorry I ever doubted this project. This film is everything ‘Ape’ fans could ask for. Not only is it a faithful prequel that fits in continuity with the original 5 films, but it also contains several references to the original film. More important than all of that, however, is the lead Ape character (Caesar) who is arguably the best Ape character in the entire franchise.

Caesar (played by veteran motion capture actor Andy Serkis) is one of the true breakthroughs in CGI. He communicates so much without saying so little. Every facial expression, movement, emotion speaks volumes. It’s no surprise Serkis is getting Oscar buzz because he is what captures the audience’s attention. He is what makes the film work.

Equally impressive is a character no one seems to talk about- Maurice. Maurice is the Bornean Orangutan in the film who uses sign language. He doesn’t have much screen time, but he has some of the most memorable moments in the film as he communicates with Caesar.

Summary: “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” (along with “X-Men: First Class”) are perfect examples of how prequels should be done. This is a must see movie.

Video/Audio:

The film looks a bit too grainy for my taste, but the CGI looks quite impressive in 2.35:1 1080p.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is one of the best Blu-ray tracks I have heard. From the ape noises and score to the dialogue and action set pieces, everything sounds phenomenal here.

Extras:
* DVD and Digital Copy.
* BD-Live extras including Live Lookup.
* Character concept art gallery.
* “Composing The Score With Patrick Doyle”- Speaks for itself.
* Fox trailers and 3 “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” theatrical trailers.
* 11 deleted scenes including footage of the actors in motion capture suits. It is fascinating to see Andy Serkis acting in the suit.
* “Mythology Of The Apes”- A featurette on the franchise, apes, and this prequel film.
* “The Genius Of Andy Serkis”- A featurette on actor Andy Serkis that covers his amazing work in the film.
* “A New Generation Of Apes”- This featurette discusses Apes and motion capture technology.
* “Scene Breakdown”- A look at the various stages of production of a scene.
* “Breaking Motion Capture Boundaries”- Another featurette about visual F/X and motion capture tech.
* “The Great Apes”- Factual featurettes on Chimpanzees, Orangutans, and Gorillas.

*2 commentaries. One by director Rupert Wyatt and one by writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The Wyatt commentary is quite dull and features many long pauses in between comments. The writer commentary is more interesting as they talk about characters, scene inclusions, references, etc.

December 30, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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