So sorry this review has taken us so long. We actually saw this last weekend, but ended up watching too much Mad Men on Netflix to review either this or Crash...yes, we still have yet to watch Crash. Hey, at least this builds some anticipation, right? Well, let's get down to the monkey, we mean, ape business!
The Wife: I've never seen any of the other "Apes" movies, but the husband explained the plot of the original for me. I really do think Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a good film, even though the title is way too long. This movie could be viewed as a prequel to the original series or as a complete re-boot, however you want to see it. I do think it made enough money and set up potential for sequels. Overall, I did like this movie, but it was VERY hard to watch. I am a huge animal lover and absolutely fell in love with the Caesar character. Obviously, if you have a heart, you probably side with the apes in this film. I was very upset with the way they were treated and it was sad to see the relationship between Caesar and James Franco's character change. While I do believe Caesar still loved Franco, it was just flat out heart breaking. I had the same sick feeling watching this movie as I did when we saw Marley & Me a few years ago.
Acting wise, it was decent, even though I find it hard to believe Franco as a scientist. He is probably one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, but he just seems better suited to rolls in films like The Pineapple Express and as the awesome Harry Osborn. Third Rock From the Sun dad did a good job playing Franco's character's dad, who was suffering from dementia/alzheimer's. As for Draco Malfoy, I mean Tom Felton, I thought he did pretty good (this was the first film I've seen him in outside of the Harry Potter franchise). However, at times I felt like I was watching Draco because it seemed that Felton's British accent slipped through occasionally. I do love me some Draco Malfoy though, so all was forgiven! Girl from Slumdog Millionaire's character didn't add much to the film, but I think her character was used to show that Franco's character was moving on with his life.
Looks wise, some of the CGI seemed a bit too cartoonish, but it was still enjoyable, nonetheless. I don't know if I could stomach seeing this again because I just get so emotionally attached to the apes, but I would certainly recommend it. (I apologize for not using the characters' actual names.)
Hobo Dan: Rise of the Movie of the Stupid Name wasn't half bad. I freely admit I hated on this for many reasons. One of those reasons was the amazingly sour taste the last apes movie left in and around my mouth. Tim Burton and Marky Mark really screwed the pooch on that one. Another part of me is just sad Hollywood can't come up with new ideas and just has to keep reusing old franchises. It makes me sad. I can't hold that against this movie though. For what it is (either a reboot or a prequel; I can't tell) it is really good. There are several uneven places here and there. The acting is not the greatest, but the story works and you really feel for the poorly rendered CGI apes. I understand there are scenes in the film that require computer animation, but there are other times that don't. Caesar, the main ape, must be CGI'ed, so I guess to keep everything even they decided to animate them all.
What does this mean for the future of the apes? Well I will go into full on guns blazing revolt if they decide to remake the original Planet of the Apes. I say go the route of the most recent Star Trek movie and invent a new history of the planet. But here I am discussing the sequel for a film I whine and complained about being made in the first place; so I digress. Here is one good idea, a giant ape poo fight over control of their budding civilization. One can only hope.