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  • Planet of the Apes Triple [DVD] [2017] Planet of the Apes Triple | DVD | (27/11/2017) from £14.49  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Billed as a "re-imagining" of the original film, Tim Burton's extraordinary Planet of the Apes constantly borders on greatness, adhering to the spirit of Pierre Boulle's original novel while exploring fresh and inventive ideas and paying honourable tribute to the '68 sci-fi classic. Burton's gifts for eccentric inspiration and visual ingenuity make this a movie that's as entertaining as it is provocative, beginning with Rick Baker's best-ever ape make-up (hand that man an Oscar®!), and continuing through the surprisingly nuanced performances and breathtaking production design. Add to all this an intelligent screenplay that turns Boulle's speculative reversal--the dominance of apes over humans--into a provocative study of civil rights and civil war. The film finally goes too far with a woefully misguided ending that pays weak homage to the original, but everything preceding that misfire is astonishingly right. While attempting the space-pod retrieval of a chimpanzee test pilot, Major Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) enters a magnetic storm that propels him into the distant future, where he crash-lands on the ape-ruled planet. Among the primitively civilized apes, treatment of enslaved humans is a divisive issue: senator's daughter Ari (Helena Bonham Carter) advocates equality while the ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth) promotes extermination. While Davidson ignites a human rebellion, this conflict is explored with admirable depth and emotion, and sharp dialogue allows Burton's exceptional cast to bring remarkable expressiveness to their embattled ape characters, most notably in the comic relief of orangutan slave trader Limbo (played to perfection by Paul Giamatti). Classic lines from the original film are cleverly reversed (including an unbilled cameo for Charlton Heston, in ape regalia as Thade's dying father), and while this tale of interspecies warfare leads to an ironic conclusion that's not altogether satisfying, it still bears the ripe fruit of a timeless what-if idea. --Jeff Shannon

  • Planet of the Apes Triple [Blu-ray] [2017] Planet of the Apes Triple | Blu Ray | (27/11/2017) from £24.98  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Billed as a "re-imagining" of the original film, Tim Burton's extraordinary Planet of the Apes constantly borders on greatness, adhering to the spirit of Pierre Boulle's original novel while exploring fresh and inventive ideas and paying honourable tribute to the '68 sci-fi classic. Burton's gifts for eccentric inspiration and visual ingenuity make this a movie that's as entertaining as it is provocative, beginning with Rick Baker's best-ever ape make-up (hand that man an Oscar®!), and continuing through the surprisingly nuanced performances and breathtaking production design. Add to all this an intelligent screenplay that turns Boulle's speculative reversal--the dominance of apes over humans--into a provocative study of civil rights and civil war. The film finally goes too far with a woefully misguided ending that pays weak homage to the original, but everything preceding that misfire is astonishingly right. While attempting the space-pod retrieval of a chimpanzee test pilot, Major Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) enters a magnetic storm that propels him into the distant future, where he crash-lands on the ape-ruled planet. Among the primitively civilized apes, treatment of enslaved humans is a divisive issue: senator's daughter Ari (Helena Bonham Carter) advocates equality while the ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth) promotes extermination. While Davidson ignites a human rebellion, this conflict is explored with admirable depth and emotion, and sharp dialogue allows Burton's exceptional cast to bring remarkable expressiveness to their embattled ape characters, most notably in the comic relief of orangutan slave trader Limbo (played to perfection by Paul Giamatti). Classic lines from the original film are cleverly reversed (including an unbilled cameo for Charlton Heston, in ape regalia as Thade's dying father), and while this tale of interspecies warfare leads to an ironic conclusion that's not altogether satisfying, it still bears the ripe fruit of a timeless what-if idea. --Jeff Shannon

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes / Rise of the Planet of the Apes [Double Pack] [DVD] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes / Rise of the Planet of the Apes | DVD | (24/11/2014) from £4.99  |  Saving you £18.00 (78.30%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Rise of the Planet of the ApesDirector Rupert Wyatt brings this action-packed blockbuster standing as a prequel to the popular Planet of the Apes series starring Brian Cox (Manhunter) John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun Shrek) and Oscar nominee James Franco (Spider-man 127 Hours). Father and Son Charles and Will Rodman (Lithgow Franco) are two ambitious and extremely intellectual scientists from San Francisco. Their lives revolve around their work and all of their time is spent in the laboratory. Their latest experiment involving a chimp named Caesar (Andy Serkis) has seen the two spend many years in the lab and they finally think that the hard work is about to pay off. With Caesar becoming more and more advanced by the day there is a great risk that their genetic engineering has gone too far and Caesar is growing too intelligent. Realising his own incredible strength physically and psychologically Caesar now sets out on a mission to lead an uprising of apes to take over mankind. Being the only people that truly know Caesar and what he's capable of can Charles and Will put a stop to Caesar's reign of terror before it's too late? Dawn of the Planet of the ApesA growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace but it proves short-lived as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.

  • Spider-Man Legacy Collection [Limited Edition Numbered] [Blu-ray] [2017] Spider-Man Legacy Collection | Blu Ray | (06/11/2017) from £75.59  |  Saving you £24.56 (24.50%)  |  RRP £100.15

    SPIDERMAN TRILOGY ORIGINS COLLECTION Swing into action with the groundbreaking original cinematic SpiderMan trilogy from direction Sam Raimi. Join Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) as he becomes the iconic webslinging SpiderMan, battles supervillains Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman and Venom, wins the heart of Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), and learns that with great power, comes great responsibility. THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN EVOLUTION COLLECTION The untold story of the legendary webshooter unfolds in the blockbuster Amazing SpiderMan films, directed by Marc Webb. The saga begins in The Amazing Spider Man, as Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) becomes SpiderMan and balances being asuperhero doing battle against the villainous Lizard alongside his developing relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Then when SpiderMan's new enemies including the powerful Electro unite in The Amazing SpiderMan 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. EXTRAS INCLUDE: SPIDERMAN TRILOGY ORIGINS COLLECTION SpiderMan 3 Editor's Cut All New Alternate Version of the Movie SpiderMan 2.1 Includes both Theatrical & Extended Versions The Stan Lee Legacy: From Comic Book to Homecoming featurette Over 18 Hours of Special Features from all 3 films THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN EVOLUTION COLLECTION The Stan Lee Legacy: From Comic Book to Homecoming featurette 15 Rare Archival featurettes Over 7 Hours of Special Features from both films

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes [DVD] Rise of the Planet of the Apes | DVD | (27/02/2012) from £2.09  |  Saving you £17.90 (89.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A galaxy's worth of nihilism buried under a 70s Velveeta topping, The Planet of the Apes series stands today as a dark marvel of pop cinema, a group of wildly variable films that combine to form a giant inescapable kiss-off to the human race. (That said message was able to withstand such distractions as ever-cheapening makeup and Charlton Heston loudly pounding sand makes its achievements even more impressive, really.) Boasting a keen awareness of its predecessors' particular charms and a gem of a central CGI performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes makes for a rather miraculous summer movie: a big-budget special effects extravaganza that also delivers a killer backhand. Sort of redoing 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the film follows the events set in motion when a bereaved scientist (James Franco) attempts to create a cure for Alzheimer's, resulting in a supernaturally intelligent chimp named Caesar. The old bit about science tampering in God's domain quickly applies. Director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) displays an admirable sense of pacing, deftly levying the escalating action scenes with small character moments from the likes of John Lithgow and Brian Cox. That said, the film belongs to Caesar, whose path from wide-eyed innocent to reluctant revolutionary generates the ironic pulp empathy that gave the original series such a kick. Watching the climactic confrontation on the Golden Gate Bridge, it's distressingly easy to figure out which side to root for. Chuck Heston would no doubt grit his teeth in approval. Note: Those skeptical that this revamp could wholly retain the original's doomy backbeat would do well to stick around during the end credits. --Andrew Wright

  • The Spider-Man Complete Five Film Collection [DVD] The Spider-Man Complete Five Film Collection | DVD | (10/10/2016) from £11.48  |  Saving you £4.51 (28.20%)  |  RRP £15.99

    SPIDER-MAN TRILOGY The Spider-Man trilogy features the three critically-acclaimed Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi. Follow Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in these three adventures as he swings into action fighting super-villains Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman and Venom and wins the heart of Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). Special Features: Commentaries Webisodes (Spider-Man 1 and 2 only) THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2 Catch up to the beginning of the Peter Parker saga with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Then, when Spider-Man's enemies are united in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. Special Features: The Amazing Spider-Man Deleted Scenes Filmmaker Audio Commentary Stunt Rehearsals The Oscorp Archives The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Filmmakers Commentary 4 Deleted Scenes with Commentary By Director Alicia Keys It's On Again Music Video

  • Homefront [DVD] [2013] Homefront | DVD | (31/03/2014) from £3.59  |  Saving you £16.40 (82.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Former drug enforcement agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham: The Expendables) is a family man who moves off the grid with his daughter to a seemingly quiet bayou backwater to escape his troubled past. However Broker's world soon becomes anything but quiet once he discovers that an underbelly of drugs and violence riddles the small town. Soon a sociopathic methamphetamine kingpin Gator Bodine (James Franco: Spiderman) puts Broker and his daughter in harm's way forcing Broker back into action in order to save his family and the town. Supported by an all-star cast including Winona Ryder (The Iceman Black Swan) Kate Bosworth (Movie 43 Superman Returns) and Rachelle Lefevre (White House Down The Twilight Saga) Homefront is adapted for the screen by the legendary Sylvester Stallone (The Expendables Rambo) and is the directed by Gary Fleder.

  • Why Him? [DVD] Why Him? | DVD | (01/05/2017) from £7.00  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective dad, visits his daughter at Stanford where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). A rivalry develops and Ned's panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns Laird is about to pop the question.

  • Spider-Man Trilogy [DVD] Spider-Man Trilogy | DVD | (04/06/2012) from £5.43  |  Saving you £7.56 (58.20%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Spider-Man: Peter Parker (Maguire) was a shy, quite nerdy teenager...until he was bitten by a genetically altered spider. Now with the heightened senses and incredible strengths and abilities of a spider, Parker has become the amazing Spider-Man!Spider-Man 2:Two years have passed, and the mild-mannered Peter Parker faces new challenges as he struggles with the gift and the curse, desperately trying to balance his dual identities as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man and his life as a college student. Tormented by his secrets, Peter finds that his relationships with all those he holds dear are in danger of unraveling. His life-long yearning for M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) becomes even stronger as he fights the impulse to reveal his secret life and declare his love. His friendship with Harry Osborn (James Franco) is complicated by the young Osborn's bitterness over his father's death and his growing vendetta against Spider-Man. Even Peter's beloved Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), who has fallen on hard times after the death of Uncle Ben, begins to have doubts about her nephew.Spider-Man 3: Based on the legendary Marvel Comics series, Peter Parker has finally managed to strike a balance between his devotion to M.J. and his duties as a superhero. But there is a storm brewing on the horizon. When his suit suddenly changes, turning jet-black and enhancing his powers, it transforms Peter as well, bringing out the dark, vengeful side of his personality that he is struggling to control. Under the influence of the suit, Peter becomes over confident and starts to neglect the people who care about him most. Forced to choose between the seductive power of the new suit and the compassionate hero he used to be, Peter must overcome his personal demons as two of the most feared villains yet, Sandman and Venom, gather unparalleled power and a thirst for retribution to threaten Peter and everyone he loves.

  • Eat, Pray, Love [DVD] Eat, Pray, Love | DVD | (07/02/2011) from £1.99  |  Saving you £18.00 (90.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Based on the best selling book. After several personal disappointments and a broken heart 35 year old Elizabeth Gilbert decides to venture out alone on a year long journey of self discovery. In Italy she explores the art of pleasure through food language and friendship. In India she goes to her guru's ashram to study the art of spiritual devotion and finds peace with herself through the help of unlikely strangers. In Bali she learns the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence... and accidentally finds her true love along the way.

  • 11.22.63 [DVD] 11.22.63 | DVD | (15/08/2016) from £9.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy was killed, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Take a journey to find out in the genre-busting 11.22.63, an epic new nine-hour event series from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions (Person of Interest, Fringe, Lost), acclaimed international author Stephen King, executive producer/writer Bridget Carpenter (The Red Road, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) and Warner Bros. Television. Additionally, Academy Award® winner Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) will direct and executive produce the first two hours of the series. Based upon the bestselling novel written by King and starring a terrific ensemble cast embodying deeply complex characters, 11.22.63 hurtles viewers deep into the unpredictable darkness of the American dream. James Franco stars as Jake Epping, a high school teacher at a loss with his life, who wants to make a difference and do something meaningful. Encouraged by his ailing friend (Chris Cooper), Jake journeys back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story transports audiences into the world of 1960s Texas as Jake explores the multiple mysteries surrounding the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. But Jake's mission faces threats not only from Oswald, but from Sadie, a beautiful librarian he falls in love with, and from the Past itself... which doesn't want to be changed. And if the Past doesn't want to be changed, it will push back -- often violently. With something for everyone, this edge-of-your seat mystery offers an epic and emotional thrill ride unlike any other. Episodes The Rabbit Hole - Part 1 The Rabbit Hole - Part 2 The Kill Floor Other Voices, Other Rooms The Eyes of Texas The Truth Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald Soldier Boy The Day in Question

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes / Rise of the Planet of the Apes [Double Pack] [Blu-ray] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes / Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Blu Ray | (24/11/2014) from £8.99  |  Saving you £21.00 (70.00%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Rise of the Planet of the ApesDirector Rupert Wyatt brings this action-packed blockbuster standing as a prequel to the popular Planet of the Apes series starring Brian Cox (Manhunter) John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun Shrek) and Oscar nominee James Franco (Spider-man 127 Hours). Father and Son Charles and Will Rodman (Lithgow Franco) are two ambitious and extremely intellectual scientists from San Francisco. Their lives revolve around their work and all of their time is spent in the laboratory. Their latest experiment involving a chimp named Caesar (Andy Serkis) has seen the two spend many years in the lab and they finally think that the hard work is about to pay off. With Caesar becoming more and more advanced by the day there is a great risk that their genetic engineering has gone too far and Caesar is growing too intelligent. Realising his own incredible strength physically and psychologically Caesar now sets out on a mission to lead an uprising of apes to take over mankind. Being the only people that truly know Caesar and what he's capable of can Charles and Will put a stop to Caesar's reign of terror before it's too late? Dawn of the Planet of the ApesA growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace but it proves short-lived as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.

  • The Spider-Man Complete Five Film Collection [Blu-ray] [Region Free] The Spider-Man Complete Five Film Collection | Blu Ray | (10/10/2016) from £12.49  |  Saving you £0.50 (3.80%)  |  RRP £12.99

    SPIDER-MAN TRILOGY The Spider-Man trilogy features the three critically-acclaimed Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi. Follow Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in these three adventures as he swings into action fighting super-villains Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman and Venom and wins the heart of Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). Special Features: Commentaries Webisodes (Spider-Man 1 and 2 only) THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2 Catch up to the beginning of the Peter Parker saga with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Then, when Spider-Man's enemies are united in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. Special Features: The Amazing Spider-Man Deleted Scenes Filmmaker Audio Commentary Stunt Rehearsals The Oscorp Archives The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Filmmakers Commentary 4 Deleted Scenes with Commentary By Director Alicia Keys It's On Again Music Video

  • The Interview [DVD] The Interview | DVD | (08/06/2015) from £3.39  |  Saving you £16.60 (83.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    In the action-comedy The Interview Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show 'Skylark Tonight.' When they discover that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang their plans change when the CIA recruits them perhaps the most unlikely candidates to 'take out' Kim Jong-um. “Naked and Afraid” – Discovery Channel TV special featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco Feature Audio Commentary with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

  • This is the End (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] This is the End (DVD + UV Copy) | DVD | (04/11/2013) from £2.99  |  Saving you £15.00 (83.40%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) first met in their twenties in Before Sunrise reunited in their thirties in Before Sunset (2004) and now in Before Midnight they face the past present and future; family romance and love.

  • Pineapple Express [Blu-ray] [2008] Pineapple Express | Blu Ray | (09/11/2009) from £5.70  |  Saving you £13.84 (69.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Ride high on the Pineapple Express the outrageously hysterical blockbuster from Judd Apatow the director and screenwriter of Knocked Up. A lazy stoner (Seth Rogen) is the sole witness to a murder by an evil drug lord (Gary Cole) and a corrupt cop (Rosie Perez). Marked for death he runs for his life dragging his dazed dealer (James Franco) and his supplier (Danny McBride) with him on a hilarious pot-fueled adventure. Directed by David Gordon Green. Screenplay by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg.

  • 11.22.63 [Blu-ray] 11.22.63 | Blu Ray | (15/08/2016) from £10.59  |  Saving you £0.90 (7.80%)  |  RRP £11.49

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy was killed, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Take a journey to find out in the genre-busting 11.22.63, an epic new nine-hour event series from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions (Person of Interest, Fringe, Lost), acclaimed international author Stephen King, executive producer/writer Bridget Carpenter (The Red Road, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) and Warner Bros. Television. Additionally, Academy Award® winner Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) will direct and executive produce the first two hours of the series. Based upon the bestselling novel written by King and starring a terrific ensemble cast embodying deeply complex characters, 11.22.63 hurtles viewers deep into the unpredictable darkness of the American dream. James Franco stars as Jake Epping, a high school teacher at a loss with his life, who wants to make a difference and do something meaningful. Encouraged by his ailing friend (Chris Cooper), Jake journeys back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story transports audiences into the world of 1960s Texas as Jake explores the multiple mysteries surrounding the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. But Jake's mission faces threats not only from Oswald, but from Sadie, a beautiful librarian he falls in love with, and from the Past itself... which doesn't want to be changed. And if the Past doesn't want to be changed, it will push back -- often violently. With something for everyone, this edge-of-your seat mystery offers an epic and emotional thrill ride unlike any other. Episodes The Rabbit Hole - Part 1 The Rabbit Hole - Part 2 The Kill Floor Other Voices, Other Rooms The Eyes of Texas The Truth Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald Soldier Boy The Day in Question

  • 127 Hours [DVD] 127 Hours | DVD | (06/06/2011) from £2.29  |  Saving you £17.70 (88.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) is traipsing alone through Utah's Canyonlands National Park, minding his own sweet-natured, loosey-goosey business, when an errant step drops him into a crevasse. That in itself wouldn't be so bad if he hadn't managed to get his right hand stuck between a heavy boulder and the side of the cavern--a cavern that will be his grave, if he doesn't figure out how to get himself out. Danny Boyle's film of this real-life 2003 incident builds up to what we all know is going to happen: Ralston must sever his arm between his elbow and wrist, after a few long, lonely days of avoiding the idea. (Superb casual line delivery by Franco: "So I found this great tourniquet?.") Because this is a film by the director of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, we can expect a barrage of visual high jinks, despite the fact that this story would seem to be a simple tale of a man stuck in the desert. Boyle deploys flashbacks and fantasies to fill up the screen, plus he gets some mileage out of Ralston's video camera--and, of course, this director can't resist juicing the soundtrack with pop tunes, from Sigur Rós to Edith Piaf to Slumdog composer A.R. Rahman. Maybe Boyle is simply hyperactive, or maybe he's really onto something about what would happen inside the mind of a man left in extremis for an extended period (who wouldn't have a few Boyle-esque hallucinations, under the circumstances?). The cumulative effect is overbearing, but Franco's performance is spirited and endearing--he makes Ralston sufficiently "of life" that you definitely don't want to see this goofball soul be lost. --Robert Horton

  • Oz the Great and Powerful [DVD] Oz the Great and Powerful | DVD | (01/07/2013) from £3.99  |  Saving you £14.00 (77.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Disney's fantastical adventure Oz the Great and Powerful from the director of the Spider-Man trilogy follows Oscar Diggs (James Franco) a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics. When Diggs is hurled away to the vibrant Land of Oz he thinks he's hit the jackpot - until he meets three witches (Mila Kunis Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams) who aren't convinced he's the great wizard everyone's expecting. Reluctantly drawn into epic problems facing Oz and its inhabitants Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it's too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion ingenuity - and even some wizardry - Oscar transforms himself into the great wizard and a better man as well. Special Features: Walt Disney and the Road to Oz Bloopers

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) | Blu Ray | (12/12/2011) from £3.99  |  Saving you £21.00 (84.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A galaxy's worth of nihilism buried under a 70s Velveeta topping, The Planet of the Apes series stands today as a dark marvel of pop cinema, a group of wildly variable films that combine to form a giant inescapable kiss-off to the human race. (That said message was able to withstand such distractions as ever-cheapening makeup and Charlton Heston loudly pounding sand makes its achievements even more impressive, really.) Boasting a keen awareness of its predecessors' particular charms and a gem of a central CGI performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes makes for a rather miraculous summer movie: a big-budget special effects extravaganza that also delivers a killer backhand. Sort of redoing 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the film follows the events set in motion when a bereaved scientist (James Franco) attempts to create a cure for Alzheimer's, resulting in a supernaturally intelligent chimp named Caesar. The old bit about science tampering in God's domain quickly applies. Director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) displays an admirable sense of pacing, deftly levying the escalating action scenes with small character moments from the likes of John Lithgow and Brian Cox. That said, the film belongs to Caesar, whose path from wide-eyed innocent to reluctant revolutionary generates the ironic pulp empathy that gave the original series such a kick. Watching the climactic confrontation on the Golden Gate Bridge, it's distressingly easy to figure out which side to root for. Chuck Heston would no doubt grit his teeth in approval. Note: Those skeptical that this revamp could wholly retain the original's doomy backbeat would do well to stick around during the end credits. --Andrew Wright

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