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Rise of the Planet of the Apes (***)
directed by Rupert Wyatt
written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, from the novel by Pierre Boule, but more than a little influenced by the previous Ape movies.
Principal Cast
James Franco -- Will Rodman
Freida Pinto -- Caroline Aranha
John Lithgow -- Charles Rodman
Brian Cox -- John Landon
Tom Felton -- Dodge Landon
David Oyelowo -- Steven Jacobs
Tyler Labine -- Robert Franklin
Jamie Harris -- Rodney
David Hewlett -- Hunsiker
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Rise of the Planet of the Apes The new Planet of the Apes movie is enjoyable, favoring appealing characters over heavy-handed satire. I enjoyed all of the five original Ape movies, hated the remake a lot. This film is a new beginning, and the setup for a new series. Whether it will take us all the way to the half-sunken Statue of Liberty remains to be seen. At least this time they're telling the story forward, instead of backward.

For those of you who have not seen the previous Ape series: this is not a sequel. They are starting over from scratch, which is probably a good thing. The previous series used time travel to make a complete circle, and while it ended on a hopeful note, it didn't really leave much room for new additions. By starting over, we have an open-ended story, a substantial part of which (including the credit cookie) is a setup for the next film. The now-famous battle on the Golden Gate Bridge makes a good action climax, but leaves the future of Apes and men very much up in the air.

Watch the trees.

Copyright © 2011 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at

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