I loved Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes -- it was 1,000 times better than I ever expected it to be. I'll be posting a mini-review soon in my summer 2011 round-up, but for the moment, I'll say that it's my favorite movie of the year that's NOT called The Tree of Life, primarily due to how little I expected from it, and how thoroughly it kicked my ass, both emotionally and viscerally. The mocap work that Andy Serkis did was astounding, and the more-or-less flawless/seamless CGI certainly set some new standards. But beyond the film's obvious technical merits, what I liked most about it were its ideas, the bleakness of the ending and how it tied into the original series of films from the 60's/70's, and how a large portion of the film was silent and focused on the plight of the apes, rather than the human characters (Franco and company are mere window dressing in the film as Caesar is wisely presented as the primary protagonist.) In the end, I liked pretty much every decision the filmmakers made, and my hope is that there's a longer director's cut in store for the fall which will shed more light on Caesar and his apparent "romantic" subplot that was excised from the theatrical cut.