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Life Arts

Rise of The Planet of the Apes; Movie Review From a Progressive Angle

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This was an excellent movie-- entertaining, riveting, stimulating, smart-- smarter  than some of the past episodes in the series. It has stayed the top selling movie the second weekend it ran. 

I have an unusual relationship with the movie. I read the original 1963 novel, by Pierre Boulle and it was the first time I ever said to myself, "this book should be made into a movie." So, when it came out in 1968, I cut class for the first time in my life to see it on the opening day. 

This is the first time that the apes in the film are digitally created and that makes a big difference.  Actor Andy Serkis does a brilliant job portraying Caesar, the first ape to be infected with the genetically engineered retrovirus that makes apes smarter. 

Watching the movie reminded me of Daniel Quinn's book, Ishmael, which has as its main character, a genius ape who gets the reader thinking about man's place on the planet, among all the other creatures. 

The movie unfolds Caesar's gradual awakening as an intelligent being. He decides he should ride in the back seat of the station wagon, not the back of it. He starts to put things together to understand his roots, the ways he's not treated right. 

He looks around him at the primate facility he's put into and sees chimps, orangutangs, apes, gorillas-- all acting brutishly, screaming and yelling-- kind of like tea partiers. He sees the apes entertained by violence-- by ape on ape or by the human guard, portrayed by Tom Felton, who played evil Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. 

Finally, Caesar takes action and wakes up his fellow apes, organizes and leads them to freedom. It takes some script magic to make that happen. 

Watching the movie, I was totally sympathetic with the apes. They were mistreated, abused, oppressed, downtrodden-- kind of like most of the humans on this planet. 

The thing is, with humans, you don't have to raise their IQs. You just have to raise their consciousness-- make them aware of the power they possess, the injustices they are suffering and the possibilities that they can free themselves and, if necessary, fight back. For humans who are oppressed, the problem is not other humans. It is corporations. 

Once Caesar figured things out, he helped his oppressed fellows to reach for and find freedom.  

It was an interesting surprise to see Slumdog Millionaire actress Frieda Pinto play a major role in this latest Apes flick, since I'd seen her star in a smaller movie, Miral , about a Palestinian Israeli girl's waking up to awareness of the injustices heaped upon the Palestinians-- one of the few movies with top actors (Willem Dafoe and Vanessa Redgrave) that explore the maltreatment of the Palestinians. Pinto is a rising star who could easily give Angelina Jolie competition as the next generation Femme Fatale yet could also play the kinds of nuanced roles Annette Benning has played.  Rise of The Planet of the Apes

This was an excellent movie-- entertaining, riveting, stimulating, smart-- smarter  than some of the past episodes in the series. 

I have an unusual relationship with the movie. I read the original 1963 novel, by Pierre Boulle and it was the first time I ever said to myself, "this book should be made into a movie." So, when it came out in 1968, I cut class for the first time in my life to see it on the opening day. 

This is the first time that the apes in the film are digitally created and that makes a big difference.  Actor Andy Serkis does a brilliant job portraying Caesar, the first ape to be infected with the genetically engineered retrovirus that makes apes smarter. 

Watching the movie reminded me of Daniel Quinn's book, Ishmael, which has as its main character, a genius ape who gets the reader thinking about man's place on the planet, among all the other creatures. 

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Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.


With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..

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I initially wanted to see this, but doubts kept gn... by Scott Baker on Monday, Aug 15, 2011 at 10:59:32 AM