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Humans Get Primal Smackdown in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

It has taken more than four decades, but finally Hollywood has it right.

This week's movie: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Chimps, gorillas and other primates take some mind-altering drugs and give a big hairy smackdown to the puny humans in this week's featured film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

James Franco plays a scientist trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease, the same disease that has stricken his father (played by John Lithgow). After trouble with one of the test chimps, all of the chimps are put down – all but one, a newborn chimp that Franco's character rescues and names Caesar. 

Caesar grows up to be a very smart monkey – a little too smart. As a result, he is sent to a "primate shelter" or, as I call it, ape prison. Angered by his incarceration, Caesar uses his brain to rally the other apes. Eventually the apes break out and terrorize San Francisco.

This is the seventh Planet of the Apes movie and the best by far since the 1968 original with Charlton Heston. In fact, this is the prequel to that movie. The great Andy Serkis, best known as Gollum from the Lord of the Rings films, provides yet another wonderful performance-capture acting role as the CGI-ed Caesar. This is his movie.

Breaking it down, the ape uprising due to the evil prison guards seemed a bit cliche but the monkey mayhem afterwards was enjoyable. The flick-o-meter gives Rise of the Planet of the Apes four out of five. This prequel to the 1968 sci-fi classic explains exactly how Earth came to be overrun by apes while the human population died out. The film's central morals of human arrogance and corporate greed were a bit heavy-handed, but it wasn't a big enough monkey wrench to mess with the movie.

Send me an email to let me know what you think by scanning the QR code in the video with your smartphone. Just point your phone at the screen, take a pic, type a message and send it.

Dinner Selection

Try in Toco Hills Promenade off North Druid Hills Road. And check out their new Mississippi Creole Pie: Andouille sausage, fresh roasted tomato, onion, mushroom, banana pepper, mozzarella, goat cheese, topped with Cajun sauce and fresh cut basil. Sounds killer.

After that, head to for the movie. Check showtimes here.

Kathy August 06, 2011 at 11:34 AM
I loved this movie. Loved the story; loved the special effects. James Franco was excellent. I liked that the movie took place in San Francisco and that the apes ended up in Muir Woods. I agree with 4 out of 5 stars---there was a little campiness here, but it still worked, mainly because of Caesar.

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