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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I grew up under the tutelage of two science fiction junkies. My mother was, and remains, a Trekky. My father on the other hand has always been an advocate of darker narratives. Thus I grew into an appreciator of the entire genre.  From written works by Heinlein, Asimov, and Burroughs, to films like Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, and Colossus: The Forbin Project. However, when considering the medium of film the Planet of the Apes series must be mentioned.

Earlier this year I purchased the blu-ray box set containing all five of the original movies. By far the greatest collectors set I own it includes a plethora of bonus features Apes fans will go bananas for. From the behind-the-scenes featurette starring Roddy McDowell, to the Lawgiver’s pre-roll for each chapter it leaves no stone unturned. Furthermore, the included timeline and 200 page hardcover book certify it as a must buy for any sci-fi fan worth their salt.

For those of you who are not sci-fi fans, or at least not familiar with the Planet of the Apes, the story surrounds humanities future failures and the primates push for power. The first film starred gunslinger Charlton Heston, and saw him spiraling into a future ruled by apes of all types. This introductory chapter was remade in 2001 by Tim Burton, and was met with disdain by critics and fans alike. (It was sad to see the series re-envisioned with so little imagination).

Ten years later Rupert Wyatt and the geniuses over at WETA released their take on the origin story. Using elements from Escape and Conquest this recent rendition entitled “Rise” was a certified breath of fresh air. It centers on the original series star Caesar, and granted the character a new background story. Although I remain a fan of his first write-up, Rise was far from a disappointment. The writers paid homage to the important bits, and filled in the blanks with quality plot twists. Furthermore, Andy Serkis who plays Caesar is deserving of a Golden Baby nod for Best Actor. Having played King Kong in Peter Jackson’s adaptation he relived his ape act with additional brilliance, (he truly stole the show).

Overall this film reminded me of two things. First, how much I’ve missed sci-fi on the silver screen. Second, that remakes and re-imaginings are not always a bad thing. Too often we as fans fear going forward. Certainly in doing so we must face many failures, but we are just as likely to find success, and Rise is definitely an example of exactly that. I absolutely loved it, an emotion central to my life at the movies.

 

 

***Sci-Fi to look forward to***

Comments

  • Chris Elliott

    Very well-done piece my man! I really enjoyed reading this one. I have never been a Sci-Fi guy (lol), but I actually really want to see this flick. This summer we are being absolutely SPOILED with amazing blockbusters, and it seems as though this one will be no exception. I read an amazing write-up about this in the Star, and like yours, they too mentioned the shining effort delivered by Andy Serkis. Can’t wait to see this dude. Thanks for the intro’s into the others as well! Slime!

    • Anonymous

      Yes, there is little question that Serkis will get a nomination from the Academy. After putting in 3 movies of amazing motion capture acting already, it is finally time for them to recognize the art of the craft. This may win my best blockbuster of the summer, only time and some internal debate will tell. 

  • Chris Elliott

    Very well-done piece my man! I really enjoyed reading this one. I have never been a Sci-Fi guy (lol), but I actually really want to see this flick. This summer we are being absolutely SPOILED with amazing blockbusters, and it seems as though this one will be no exception. I read an amazing write-up about this in the Star, and like yours, they too mentioned the shining effort delivered by Andy Serkis. Can’t wait to see this dude. Thanks for the intro’s into the others as well! Slime!

  • KWgirl

    So I’m not sure if I’m a Trekkie or a Trekker but I do know that I seriously LOVE Sci-Fi! 

    This film actually reminded me of the amazing job they did on the Star Trek Prequel. Don’t you absolutely love when a franchise comes up with such a BRILLIANT idea that ties a lot of questions from the old series and makes you want to see more!

    I agree that Andy Serkis was beyond amazing. You honestly couldn’t detect the CGI or whatever it is that they do to make everything so realistic. Of course the original movies didn’t have this kind of special effects.
    I’m just glad they came up with this whole “new” concept…what a great summer at the movies!

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