Rise of the Planet of the Apes

November 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

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I struggled with whether to put this above or below “Super 8.”  I think that one is, overall, a more complete picture; it is funnier and more charming by spades.  But, this is groundbreaking CGI.  Every time a human being is the focus, “Planet of the Apes” lacks focus.  The dialogue is hollow and corny, the plot teetering on ridiculous (even for sci fi), and the acting was flat (I am having real doubts about whether or not James Franco can act).  As such, the beginning of the movie was slow and silly at times.  However, everything starts to change halfway through when Caesar is caged with other apes.  His transition to hating humans and plotting revenge is brilliant theater.  Though he cannot speak, this CGI ape’s emotional range is as clear as Charlie Chaplin’s.  I was glued to the rest of the film and fascinated by what could be accomplished with CGI.  So, for that vision of future cinema alone, I put this movie where it is on my list.  Certainly, it is a movie of the moment and will matter not at all in a couple of years.  But, what a moment…

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