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Bizarro's Movie Reviews (8)

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes 
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
4/4 stars

After watching the somewhat disappointing Tim Burton effort, Planet of the Apes, I must admit I had my reservations about paying to go watch this one. One of the reason I decided to go was that they made clear that this will be a prequel, and not a reboot, which there seem to be an abundance of these days.

Directed by visual effects guru, Rupert Wyatt, this chatper in the apes saga is probably more in line with the earlier Charlton Heston effort than Burton's reboot. It had a lot of back story to fall back on, seeing as the franchise dated back to the 60's.

The story is well-developed, and one gets the feeling that the writer spent a good amount of time on fleshing out the human aspect of the film. If there are more to follow, this may be the last time one sees humanity for awhile.

James Franco and Freida Pinto deliver good performances, especially Franco, as he delves into his affection for Ceaser and the moral conundrum he finds himself in. Who does one choose: your own kind or the opressed and mishandled primates?

Memorable supporting turns from veteran actors John Lithgow, as Franco's father with Altzheimer's, and Brian Cox, as the animal shelter owner. Tom Felton also spreads his wings successfully as Cox's redneck son who mistreats the apes.

The real shining performance here is Andy Serkis, who has for a couple of year's been the go-to guy for mocap, but here shows some hefty dramatic acting as the Primate leader, Ceaser.

All in all, it's a film worth watching purely for it's message, and might well be the film that causes the most thought-provoking in the year.

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