The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 105 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: James Franco, Frieda Pinto, John Lithgow, Tom Felton, Brian Cox, Andy Serkis
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Music by: Patrick Doyle
Written by: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 13, 2011
"Evolution becomes revolution"
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is a revolution; an action-packed epic featuring stunning visual effects and creatures unlike anything ever seen before. At the story's heart is Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug's creator (James Franco), Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned. Seeking justice, Caesar assembles a simian army and escapes -- putting man and primate on a collision course that could change the planet forever.
Will Rodman (James Franco), a neuroscientist living in San Francisco is working to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by testing on chimpanzees, giving them a human level of intelligence. After a test subject’s baby, Caesar, is orphaned, Will takes him at home and winds up raising him on his own with his Alzheimer-stricken father. What begins simply as a continuation of his experiment quickly turns into a problem for Will, as Caesar is taken away from him and forced to live in a primate facility. As Caesar’s intelligence continues to grow, he begins to stake his claim as the leader of his new primate counterparts, which will ultimately lead to the rise of the planet of the apes.
Rise of the planet of the apes takes a different approach by starting at the beginning of the ape franchise mythos. It begins with Caesar and Will, an orphaned baby ape and a pharmaceutical chemist that are thrust together by difficult circumstances and come to establish a close relationship based trust and familial bonds. Caesar is the product of drug enhanced hyper intelligence passed on to him by his late mother and as such sees the world around him with a heightened sense of awareness that is manifested both emotionally and intellectually. As a result Caesar sees himself as more than what the world sees him as, a pet. Despite the fact that he is loved by and loves Will, Caesar struggles with feelings of resentment under the umbrella of ape subordination. It’s when he is taken from Will and suffers maltreatment at a local primate sanctuary that Caesar comes to understand his place and what must be done.
I saw Rise of the planet of the apes in the theater with my son earlier this year. Now I must admit that my initial reaction when hearing of its release was one of apprehension. I am not one that despises the Tim Burton film starring Mark Walberg but it did little for the franchise. As a kid I loved watching the original Planet of the apes which starred Charlton Heston and company. The subsequent releases got worse and worse and watered it down. This film eschews the sociopolitical footings of the original series in favor of a contemporized narrative with a humane perspective and focused character development. The screenplay is pitch perfect while the slick production elements and strong performances, especially by James Franco and Andy Serkis (via motion capture) enhance the proceedings. I really enjoyed “Rise…” and look forward to the next installment of what looks to be an excellent re-imaging of a beloved film franchise.
The rating is for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Rise of the planet of the apes comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.
This 35mm film rendering on Blu-ray looks terrific and boasts rewarding high definition video that exhibits high level detail and definitive sharpness that brings out the lifelike textures captured by the camera’s lens. Dimensional perspective has a near infinite appeal that can be visually stimulating. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension. Colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. Fleshtones are rendered with vivid tonality and discerning complexional depiction. Contrast is boldly applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and brightens whites without washing away detail. Blacks are rich, gradational and dynamic which makes them pop nicely during sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure in backgrounds. This is a pristine and reference quality presentation that looks great.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. Patrick Doyle’s excellent music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, play an intricate role in the presentation. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is noteworthy. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. This audio mix compliments the video presentation and sounds great.
- Audio commentary by director Rupert Wyatt
- Audio commentary by writers Rick Jaffe & Amada Silver
- (HD) 12 deleted scenes
- (HD) Mythology of the apes – 7 minute featurette
- The genius of Andy Serkis – 7 minutes featurette
- (HD) A new generation of apes – 9 minute featurette
- (HD) Scene breakdown
- (HD) Character concept art gallery
- (HD) Breaking motion capture boundaries – 8 minute featurette
- (HD) Composing the score with Patrick Doyle – 8 minute featurette
- (HD) The great apes – Documentary (3 segments totaling 22 minutes)
- (HD) (3) Theatrical trailers
- BD-Live: Live Extras – “Ape school” 2 minute production featurette
- Bonus DVD of Rise of the planet of the apes
- Digital Copy
Rise of the planet of the apes is a reinvigorating shot in the arm for a popular film franchise. It features a retooled story, capable direction, and slick production elements that are perfect for scratching that intelligently crafted, well enacted, sci-fi/drama itch felt by genre fans. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox in a technically proficient offering that is sure to please audio/video enthusiasts. The supplemental package includes a pair of audio commentaries, concept art, deleted scenes and a look behind the scenes at the production. I look forward to the next film installment and highly recommend that you check out Rise of the planet of the apes on Blu-ray.
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