Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This summer has been a low point in movies. For me-- lowest ever. Something officially went wrong this summer. I felt like the system broke down. It stopped caring about the audience. Green Lantern. Cowboys and Aliens. Super 8. Transformers 3. Thor. Captain America. Worst kind of garbage. I felt all summer long there was nothing to see. Even friggin Pixar dropped the ball with the undoubtedly terrible Cars 2. This pile-on of terribleness over the last couple summers has been slowly killing my motivation to go to the movies altogether. Ripoff worthless 3D annoyingly forced down my throat to boot?? Thanks for the bonus...

This summer I only went to the movies out of sheer boredom. Or rain. I wasn't psyched to see anything. I didn't care about big movies anymore. I've been more compelled and emotionally affected by watching friggin television. Early in the year I was psyched for Green Lantern and as it got closer it was like a green fart cloud. Cowboys and Aliens trailer landed on my forehead with a wet gooey slap. Captain America looked crumbly stale saltine. What was going on?! I love summer movies! Was it me?? An inner voice told me in a singsong tone that I might simply be getting too old for 11AM blockbuster matinees. That I should holster my fistful of Twizzlers and wait for Netflix. Maybe this kind of stuff wasn't meant for me anymore. Maybe it was time to move on...

Too often disappointed. Too often scammed. Too many stupid remakes that usually damage the original. Too many action scenes edited in a cheaty blur. 8 out of 10 blockbusters were near unwatchable. I'd usually walk out of the same feeling when I walk out of a bar that serves $12 drinks. Angry, stupid and suckered (with a mild headache to boot.) Sure, now and then something cool will come along-- but one good movie can't make up for the constant dumbpummels of what's been going on for years. For frucks sake! You made me sit through Captain America!? And you made me sit through Super 8?! Nightmare on Elm Street? Iron Man 2?! And you expect me to motivate to see an opening day matinee of a Planet of the Apes prequel!? I was barely interested. How good could it be, anyway? I hoped better than the Tim Burton diaper diarrhea version? But that's where I set the bar??

Inside of five minutes I felt like I was getting a cinematic sponge bath. Deep cleaning. Rinsing away Captain America grime. Scrubbing between my toes to get at the cheese of Super 8. Scrubbing my buttcrack to remove the Thor. This movie soaped me up while telling me everything was going to be alright. That those other terrible movies this summer are gone now. Washed away and down the drain. I'd never have to see them again. And if I do it'll be on the spinner rack at Rite-Aid for $6.99. This flick rinsed me down with warm water, hushed me-- and let me know that the Apes were here. The Apes would make everything better. It patted me on the back like an old friend. Gave me a fluffy towel and a new white robe-- then it quietly told me to sit back and relax. Things weren't just going to be just 'ok'--  things were going to be great. My fist gripped my Twizzlers so tight-- Twizzler juice squeezed out from between my fingers.

I was floored by this movie on all three levels. Plot, effects, and emotional impact. The Apes looked amazing. Fascinating to watch. But more importantly, scene to scene shot to shot I was sort of boggle headed over how deeply I felt for this movie. For the apes. Love for the ape. Sympathy for the ape. Love of the new franchise. And thankfully (although clunky and stretchy)-- love for the rare coherent plot. I couldn't get enough of this flick. I loved it.

Like I was in the backseat of a car. It flew down the road away from the strip mall and dingy franchise restaurants. It just roared. Engine was tight. The scenery was sometimes surprisingly dark. I put down the windows and let in the clean air. Newness. Freshness. Action. I plowed through my Twizzlers. Thrilled. Relieved. Mouth hanging open at some visuals. Moments in monkey jail hit me in the gut. A full spectrum of emotion. Pride. Imprisonment. Desperation. Heartbreak. Strength. Revenge. Awe. Shock. Control. At times it felt like the car might skid off the road. I'd hear the gravel (plot stretches, underdeveloped characters, Franco flatness, worthless love interest)-- but then the driver would regain control. I trusted it. It hugged its road.

This car only slammed on the brakes once and it skidded to a screeching stop. The dark smoke of the hot tires clouded around us. I got nervous. I was like, 'What?! What's wrong? Don't breakdown!' The driver slowly turned to me and said, 'This is how you wanted it? This is how it's fucking done.' I nodded in amazement. The driver smiled and imitated my dumbfounded nod. Right back at me-- we nodded in sync. Eyes locked. Then the driver whipped back around and floored it. I was pinned back in my seat, feeling it in my face, and took it all in at such a high level of absolute truthful respect that I wondered if my summer movie desperation had simply made me go critically crazy.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- I cried twice. Once from emotion. Once from special effects.
- Whatever I took issue with I was able to easily puff away like a dandelion cloud.
- The set up to the next Apes locked me all the way in for the series.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- James Franco was clunky miscast. He showed up empty handed.
- Them apes sure did multiply fast when they needed to. And contagiously smart.
- The initial setup stretched things close to the point of breaking it right out of the gate.

All in all, I keep sort of pinching myself to check if I'm nuts or if I saw what I think I saw. Regardless-- what I saw was something much more powerful and endearing than I ever expected. I felt it throughout. I can't deny it. I felt this movie deserved much more than the typical nod of a job well done (like Star Trek). For me, this movie goes into a different category. It felt it was cinematically life affirming. It blasted away the lingering stains of countless summer movie disappointments-- and put a stop to a backslide that was getting dangerously close to becoming old-man-on-a-porch cynical.

<<<<Movay Board Chyatt

<<< Read Guest Reviews