Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This has been the best summer for movies in years. It’s a shame they can’t stretch these out over a few summers instead of cramming them all in now. Yesterday, my husband had to work from home so my immediate thought was, “What’s the earliest time we can see Rise of the Planet of the Apes once I get home from work?” There was a 6:20pm showing that seemed like it would work.

I have to take a moment here to mention how spoiled I’ve been lately. I live in a cluster of small towns in the San Francisco East Bay. I currently live in one of the older, larger towns, because of this we had the first multiplex theater (but I wasn’t living here yet). Over the years some of the neighboring towns have built up and become quite fancy. My downtown now seems shabby in comparison to their sleek, modern stores and state of the art movie houses. And you know what? I love it!

My theater in no ghost town, but it doesn’t offer the “see and be seen” aspect of some of the newer ones. Due to this fact, there’s never a line and I can literally leave my house 15 to 10 minutes before showtime. Friday, we left around 6pm (20 minutes early) to see Rise of the Planet of Apes, because it was opening night, yet all three of us got good seats. Plus, because we are no longer one the hipper areas, we get incentives to patronize the downtown area. We get free parking that is easy to find and our theater lowered ticket prices to $8.50! Since I boycott overpriced movie food, it’s actually affordable for me to go the movies. I spent the week convincing my teenage son to join us. At his age, he pretty much protests anything I say will be cool. I told him he didn’t want to miss this one. He caved and went along.

Talk about an effective trailer. I saw it months ago and I just knew this film was going to awesome and you know what, it was? It’s the first film this summer I would happily go see in the theater again, right now! The best review I can give is simply to say you should stop reading this and run out to see it right now.

There were many pleasant surprises in this film and I don’t want to give anything away. It a great film that unfolds in its own way and should be viewed as such. The first half is gut-wrenching as you watch the relationship between scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) his subject, a chimp named Ceasar and Will’s father he is in the final stages of Alzheimers.

I cried a lot during the beginning part of this film and my husband informed me I’m no longer allowed to see movies that feature monkeys because I always break down in this way. It’s these strong emotions however, that serve the viewer well in the second half. The CGI in this movie goes to a whole new level. There are no real apes in the film at all, which opens a whole new arena for future films that could be made if you did not need to use trained animals. Of course, the computer alone is not what makes this film better than any other CGI film. The genius of Andy Serkis as Ceasar makes me believe that this performance could garner an Oscar nomination. If you don’t believe Cesar you don’t buy into this entire movie. It completely rests on Serkis’ shoulders and he delivers big time!

It was so much fun to see the apes wreck havoc on San Francisco. This movie holds nothing back on the ape rampage and it is the ultimate summer movie fun. The only complaint I had was the lovely Freda Pinto as a compassionate veterinarian was a completely wasted and undeveloped character. It was unnecessary to give Will a love interest simply to have a love interest. Other than that, the summer movies seem to keep one upping each other. I’m not sure any will top this one. Don’t be Afraid of the Dark? Maybe. Probably not.

1 comment:

Dan said...

This looks far better than I expected. Excellent review Colleen.