Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by Rupert Wyatt
Starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis, David Oyelowo, Brian Cox, Tom Felton
Release Date: August 5, 2011

Next to Star Trek the Planet of the Apes series is my favorite science-fiction and adventure film franchise by far. I can watch each one of the films, even the lesser sequels like Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and come away with something new to think of every time. Each film was a bold and heady Molotov cocktail of intriguing ideas, complex characters, pitch-black satire, and rousing adventure. With the exception of Battle, none of the films ever reached a fully optimistic conclusion, and despite some last-minute tinkering not even the ending of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was all sunshine and relaxed laughter. The movies were all about the downfall of the human race, brought down by their own imperial arrogance and replaced in the pecking order by the highly evolved apes once treated as pets and slave labor by the ruling elite. It’s certainly one of the most influential series of films in the history of the medium, the original genre franchise, and a merchandising powerhouse years before Star Wars and Harry Potter even existed.

Even though the series reached its end in 1973 with Battle, the Apes franchise endured for decades to come; there was an ill-advised attempt to relaunch the Apes film series in 2001 with the Tim Burton-directed “reimagining” of the original Planet of the Apes and attempts to keep the Planet of the Apes thriving in live-action and animated television that never had achieved the impact of the films. Now the series is getting another shot in the arm with the long-awaited prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which approaches the legend of the Planet of the Apes from an interesting new direction.

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SDCC 2011: Tarsem Singh’s ‘Immortals’ Panel
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Cinephiles have followed visionary director Tarsem Singh‘s stunning visual spectacles for years in films like The Cell and The Fall. As a fan of his films, my only regret has been that as an indie director his work has been somewhat overlooked by mainstream audiences. With Immortals being produced by the producers of 300, Tarsem finally has the opportunity to helm a true tentpole epic.

At the Immortals panel today at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 included Tarsem, 300 producers Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari, and cast members Freida Pinto as the Oracle, Stephen Dorff as Stavros, Luke Evans as Zeus, Kellan Lutz as Poseidon, and (future Superman) Henry Cavill as Theseus.

Tarsem revealed that the actual film is quite darker in tone than recent ads have revealed.

Footage shown was an amazing visual feast for the eyes. Imagine a cross between 300, Spartacus: Blood & Sand, or Troy, but completely in 3D, and on an exponentially more epic scale. Diamond arrows, golden armor, and thousands of warriors shed blood across the screen in terrific stylized slow motion.

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Second Trailer For Tarsem Singh’s ‘Immortals’ Released
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The first trailer for Tarsem Singh‘s new Greek mythology epic, Immortals, showed us that the director was definitely bringing his stunning visuals master–touch to the game once again while setting up the story. Now a second trailer has been released to expand on that with even more to look at.

We don’t know if the movie is going to be bad or good, but one thing is for sure: you’d have a hard time finding trailers with more beautiful shots than the first two we’ve seen for this one.

You can follow the link above to see the first trailer for Immortals, and you can continue on below now to see the new second trailer, as well as read a lengthy synopsis for the film.

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Watch Now: Full Trailer For ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’

The full-length trailer for the latest in the Planet of the Apes saga, a long-in-development prequel entitled Rise of the Planet of the Apes, has debuted and you can watch it below.

The last time 20th Century Fox attempted to reboot their valuable Planet of the Apes franchise the result was Tim Burton’s 2001 “reimagining” that despite being one of that year’s biggest hits was little more than a mediocre summer action picture that was heavily compromised in the rush to meet the release date that had been locked down before the movie even went before the cameras. A decade later and the studio has decided to give it another shot, but this time it looks like they may have done it right and created an Apes installment that could measure up to the best of the original film series, which debuted with the modern classic Planet of the Apes in 1968 and concluded with Battle for the Planet of the Apes in 1973 (not counting the live-action and animated television spin-offs that followed in the wake of the release of Battle).

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Epic First Trailer For Tarsem Singh’s ‘Immortals’ Is Here
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The very first trailer for Tarsem Singh‘s upcoming Greek mythology epic, Immortals, has been released online for the masses to see.

The trailer shows off stunning visuals — as we all have come to expect from Singh, who has previously directed The Cell and The Fall — and looks seriously epic. It also features an impressive cast led by the new Superman, Henry Cavill, as well as Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz, John Hurt, and Mickey Rourke.

You can read a full synopsis for Immortals and see the new trailer by continuing on below right now.

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