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War For The Planet Of The Apes Blu-ray Review

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“War for the Planet of the Apes” is a towering achievement.

At the beginning of “War for the Planet of the Apes,” we learn that the clan of Apes (led by Caesar) are living in the woods. Their peace is interrupted when they are ambushed by a rogue military outfit known as Alpha-Omega. After the apes win the battle, Caesar calls for peace, but the Alpha-Omega leader (The Colonel) wants none of it. The Colonel attacks and ends up killing Caesar’s wife and one of his children. Things only get worse for the apes as the movie progresses. With revenge and rescue on his mind, Caesar leads a team made up of Luca, Rocket, Maurice, and later a young mute human girl (Nova) and a talking chimp named Bad Ape to the Border where Alpha-Omega’s camp is located. Aside from the main storyline, there are two key subplots involving a new home for the apes and the Simian Flu virus and its effects on humans.

As any film fan knows, it’s rare to see sequels that work. It’s even rarer to see a franchise reboot AND its sequels work. It is clear though that this new Apes trilogy defies the odds and manages to be as good as the best entries of the original series. Moreover, this new trilogy manages to get better with each passing installment as ‘War’ just might be the best of the new trilogy. Believe me, that is no easy feat given that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” are fantastic films.

Although director Rupert Wyatt deserves a ton of credit for rebooting this franchise with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” it is ‘Dawn’ and ‘War’ director Matt Reeves who has really crafted something special. “War for the Planet of the Apes” isn’t just another Hollywood blockbuster sequel. This movie takes risks. First off, there are barely any human characters and one of the main characters is mute. Secondly, the film is primarily comprised of CGI apes (courtesy of WETA’s groundbreaking visual effects and the ultra talented motion-capture performers). Third, there is little dialogue here as there are lot of silent moments and scenes where ape characters speak in sign language (with subtitles). Fourth, this movie is about mankind’s extinction and you’re seeing it through the eyes of apes. I don’t think I need to say how challenging and gutsy that is. Obviously, this is all exceedingly rare stuff that you just don’t see in modern mainstream movies.

Rarities aside, ‘War’ is just a flat-out compelling and layered story that also beautifully ties into the original series. There are so many easter eggs here that will be especially rewarding for longtime fans.

Performance wise, it is time Andy Serkis gets an Oscar nomination. His work as Caesar is easily his best yet. He’s doing things very few actors can even do and he’s been doing it for a long time. Not to be forgotten here as Steve Zahn as the comedic Bad Ape, Woody Harrelson as the crazed Colonel, and newcomer Amiah Miller as the child Nova.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? This visually striking film gets the A+ transfer it deserves.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? There’s so much going on in this movie and this perfect 7.1 track handles it with ease.

Extras: DVD copy, Digital copy, 10 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Matt Reeves, concept art gallery, 3 “War for the Planet of the Apes” trailers, a near 30 minute featurette on the construction and story of this installment titled “Waging War for the Planet of the Apes,” “All About Caesar” is exactly what it sounds like, “WETA: Pushing Boundaries” is an extra about the breathtaking visual effects work, a bonus feature on the fantastic score titled “Music For Apes” (the material on percussionist Emil Richards is particularly fascinating), a featurette on the franchise titled “Apes: The Meaning Of It All,” “The Apes Saga: An Homage” points out the homages in the new films to the original films, and a solo commentary by director Matt Reeves.

Overall Thoughts: If you have yet to see ‘War,’ now is the time to do so. It is far and away one of the best films of 2017. Now, hopefully, we will get more ape films in the near future.

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October 21, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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