RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

The sweet irony here is that we find ourselves cheering for what we
know going in will mean the extinction of human civilization. But who
cares, when everything you could possibly want in this type of flick
is here: utterly believable special effects, an engrossing story,
roller-coaster camerawork, and James Franco. Strong performances
throughout — but a special nod to Andy Serkis (as the leader ape) and
the CGI geniuses who create “acting” with ones and zeros. The
original's famous “damned dirty ape” line reappears in an exquisite
mirror image and at exactly the right moment, just as the movie kicks
into its higher gears. Credit as well to the filmmakers for telling so
much of their story clearly and grippingly WITHOUT dialogue, like a
great silent film. This is not just the regeneration of a franchise,
but a great opportunity for multiple sequels that could form a story
arc as grand as glorious as LOTR. — Jeff Schultz

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