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.
Showtimes for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" can be found in our Smyrna-Vinings Patch at AMC Parkway Pointe 15 at 3101 Cobb Parkway. And there's plenty of opportunities to see it as the film is playing on two screens with daily showtimes in the morning at 10:00 and 11:00.
Those are followed by afternoon and evening sceenings at 12:30, 1:30, 3:00, 4:00, 5:30, 6:30, 8:00, 10:30 and 11:30.
After the Movie:
In sticking with a primate theme, Children of Conservation continues to sell Dinner and a Cause cards to benefit efforts to educate the children of conservation workers in African wildlife sanctuaries.
Children of Conservation is the main project of the Stumpe Foundation, a Vinings-based 501(c)3 nonprofit, founded in 2009 by Michele and Kerry Stumpe. This husband and wife duo volunteered in Africa for years before establishing the Stumpe Foundation. While the foundation makes donations to wildlife sanctuaries in Africa, its main focus is to educate children of sanctuary workers through its Children of Conservation initiative.
The Dinner and a Cause benefit is the first public fundraiser for Children of Conservation. Participants donate by purchasing Dinner and a Cause dinner cards for $25 (recently reduced by 50 percent). The card authorizes users to 20-percent off dinner during the month of August at more than 80 restaurants throughout Metro Atlanta including and in Smyrna and in Vinings.