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mdtinney's Movie Reviews (315)

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes 
Get your paws off me you damn stinking ape!!
3.5/4 stars

What can I say? I was lucky enough to be a kid in the '70s when Ape-mania was at it's peak, due to the continuing Planet Of The Apes movies, the TV series, the comics, the toys... the franchise is so ingrained in my psyche I was completely disheartened when I heard they were making a new Ape movie. I needn't have worried. This film delivers, and it delivers magnificently. The best place to start is with the story, and it was enthralling and captivating, as we watch Caesar's beginnings. To my surprise I found it completely heartbreaking in points, something I didn't truly experience with any of the original films. There are moments that will move even the hardest of hearts, and moments that will enrage. The cast were perfect, with James Franco excellent as the scientist who befriends and rescues Caesar, Brian Cox the wicked animal warden and the imperious John Lithgow as Franco's Alhzeimer's addled father. There were some neat nods to the 1967 epic, especially the short but poignant shots of Charlton Heston's doomed mission to Mars. They also appear to have neatly confronted the 'why humans end up mute' question, with the release of a deadly virus. All will be revealed in future sequels I'm sure. Finally then the special effects. All I can say is absolutely staggering. Not for one moment did I feel I was watching a movie filled with cgi apes. Caesar & Maurice in particular are just incredible pieces of computer animation, literally jaw dropping. The sfx are arguably the finest I've seen in any movie, period. That just about sums up my thoughts on this truly astonishing piece of work. From what was a skeptical start I now cannot wait for the next installment


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