When Rise of the Planet of the Apes arrived in August 2011, it surprised the world and became a global smash. James Franco and Freida Pinto shined as the movie’s stars, but the true standout was Andy Serkis and his stop-motion performance that is garnering Oscar buzz. Rise of the Planet of the Apes lands on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, along with a super charming sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, and the solid remake in Fright Night.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Before Charlton Heston was screaming at his dirty apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes us back to how it all began. The film shows how a scientist (Franco) was developing a potential cure for Alzheimer’s. His tests on certain apes proved quite fruitful, especially on one named Caesar. Central to the film is the relationship developed between Caesar and Franco’s scientist. It is heartwarming to say the least… well, until Caesar acts out and is put in an ape facility where he leads a revolution that we know results in Planet of the Apes.
Highlights of the Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack extras include:
Audio commentary by director Rupert Wyatt, fascinating deleted scenes and the behind-the-scenes featurettes astound, especially Capturing Caesar -- Script to Screen and Studying the Genius of Andy Serkis.
Kung Fu Panda 2: The entire Kung Fu Panda gang is back including stars Jack Black and Angelina Jolie as the adventures of Po continue. In this chapter, Po (Black) finds out some background about his family and he and the Furious Five have to fight a nemesis stronger than Kung Fu itself.
Highlights of the Kung Fu Panda 2 extras:
An all-new Po adventure, Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters and a sneak peek episode of the upcoming Nickelodeon TV series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.
Fright Night: Many scoffed when it was brought up that 1985’s Fright Night was getting the remake treatment. But then, we saw it. Colin Farrell is astounding as Jerry, the vampire living next door. Anton Yelchin marvels as the teen who musters up the strength to get combative with the cold-blooded killer Jerry. Great fun, shuddering thrills and it all adds up to a truly satisfying movie experience.
The Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack extras are highlighted by:
Gag reel (unrated), Kid Cudi music video for No One Believes Me, Extended & Uncut Peter Vincent: Swim Inside My Mind and five deleted scenes with intros by director Craig Gillepsie.