Oct 262017
 

War for the Planet of the Apes is a strong conclusion to a well done trilogy. This one features a fantastic motion-capture performance from Andy Serkis and some excellent visual effects to aid.

 

 

War for the Planet of the Apes
(2017)

Genre(s): Drama, Action, Fantasy
Fox | PG13 – 140 min. – $34.99 | October 24, 2017

Date Published: 10/26/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Writer(s): Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (characters); Mark Bomback & Matt Reeves (written by)
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Ty Olsson, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gallery, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 43.3 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


There are very few trilogies that are near perfect and a few where the third film was on par or even better than the previous two. The Dark Knight Rises has plenty of detractors. Return of the Jedi arguably the worst of the Original Trilogy. Return of the King was satisfying but overlong. One could make the argument for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And we won’t mention The Matrix Revolutions or Spider-Man 3

Now we get War for the Planet of the Apes and while Rise and Dawn were fine movies, this was perhaps easily the best and most emotional, and sometimes emotionally draining, of the three films. The previous two films, from memory, had the apes and (good) humans sharing screen time between James Franco, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell, but this go around the focus is squarely on Caesar, Bad Ape and Maurice amongst others.

The plot this go around takes place some years after Dawn and the humans and apes are at war with the military going full on assault on the apes habitat in the woods as Caesar (ANDY SERKIS) attempts to seek peace by sending back captors with a message to their leader, Colonel McCullough (WOODY HARRELSON). This is an offer soundly rejected when he personally invades the ape cave encampment and kills Caesar’s son and wife. Now it’s on.

From there, it’s a rather straight-forward story. After the ape colony decides to move camp in fears of further human military infiltration, Caesar instead he’s out for revenge against McCullough. He receives help from Maurice, Rocket and Luca, who accompany him on the long journey, along the way encountering a deserted soldier who is killed when he draws his gun on them, and while searching the area come upon a mute young girl later named Nova (AMIAH MILLER). Eventually, they also meet another speaking ape just named Bad Ape (STEVE ZAHN) with knowledge of the compound run by McCullough and which has captured apes used as slave labor.

What struck me while watching and afterward, War for the Planet of the Apes does an amazing job placing Caesar, and his friends, at the cornerstone in terms of characters while the humans take a backseat and Andy Serkis truly is incredible bringing him to life, perhaps even more so compared to Rise and Dawn, real confliction and sorrow not only not wanting war but realizing the internal demons, namely the ghost of Kubo, he must fight internally in his quest for vengeance. If Patrick Stewart is getting a push for an Oscar nod for Logan, why not Serkis?

The only human character with any substance is Woody Harrelson and throughout the film, he does come across as cartoony villain but there are a few fine scenes where we do get some background and how he has the viewpoint he does, and it’s quite a heartbreaking story. Now, by the end, you don’t have very much, if any, sympathy for the guy but he is at least has shades of a third dimension.

War for the Planet of the Apes sees the return of Matt Reeves into the director’s chair, also has a co-writing credit, and I won’t go as far as to say this was a masterpiece of filmmaking, it is still pretty damn good truly making have emotions for a computer (motion captured) character. Between this, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Let Me In remake and found footage Cloverfield, has proven to be a near phenomenal director, can’t wait to see his take on The Batman.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.25/5


This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. There is a fair amount of features here including, all told, 87-minutes worth of featurettes.

Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director Matt Reeves. As with Dawn, Reeves provides a lively discussion on the process of making the final movie of the trilogy from the story to breaking down how and where some scenes were shot.

Deleted Scenes (23:03; HD) – There are 10 scenes that failed to make the cut for a variety of reasons, mostly to move the plot along, as explained by Matt Reeves in an optional commentary.

Waging War for the Planet of the Apes (29:38; HD) is a semi-lengthy making-of featurette looking at where the story picks up and the progression of the characters.

All About Caesar (12:40; HD) looks at the progression of the character through the trilogy and Andy Serkis’ performance.

WETA: Pushing Boundaries (10:36; HD) is on the visual effects work done on the film.

Music for Apes (6:20; HD) is on the scoring, by Michael Giacchino.

Apes: The Meaning of it All (20:15; HD) has the cast and crew share their love of the old Apes series through the new trilogy and the messages within them all.

The Apes Saga: An Homage (7:48; HD) is on the scenes from the old movies that pay homage in these new ones (like Nova, apes riding on horseback, etc.).

Concept Art Gallery

  • Characters
  • Drawings
  • Paintings

Theatrical Trailers (6:54; HD)

  • Teaser Trailer
  • Official Trailer
  • Final Trailer

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


War for the Planet of the Apes is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio, a departure from Reeves’s 1.85 for Dawn, and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture here does look quite good even though the film itself is dark both in look and tone. There is, nevertheless, some good natural color throughout and detail is fantastic, particularly when it comes to the apes fir and eyes.

AUDIO – 4.75/5


Like Sony, for whatever reason instead of giving the Blu-ray an Atmos track, we’re relegated to an old-ass DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track (why I never!). Even so, this is a very strong soundtrack in conjunction with the clear dialogue levels coming through the center channel and the other speakers get excellent usage for the various action sequences, especially in the climax. But what was impressive was some of the more subtle elements like rainfall in the opening, the waterfall during a key scene or just general sounds of nature.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, War for the Planet of the Apes is a strong conclusion to a well done trilogy. This one features a fantastic motion-capture performance from Andy Serkis and some excellent visual effects to aid. The Blu-ray released by Fox has great video and audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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