‘Apes’ pre-make trilogy wraps with masterful ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

Watching "War for the Planet of the Apes" – now available via Redbox and streaming – is like seeing a movie from the future. Every scene has an ape in it; there's never a sense that the filmmakers are being frugal with the special effects, but at the same time, they aren't showing off. While I know the trick is achieved with motion-capture and computer animation, there are moments when I wondered if actual chimpanzees were used (They were not, the web tells me).

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‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ explores human nature via apes, brilliant special effects

The "Planet of the Apes" franchise shows us we're not much different from apes, and we're both victims of our respective races' propensity for violence and destruction. But 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" gave the apes a fresh opportunity: Caesar (Andy Serkis plus motion capture computer effects), the first member of a new breed of apes with genetically enhanced brains, grew up in modern human society, and he learned morality from – as Caesar calls him – "a good man," Dr. Will Rodman (James Franco).

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How did the apes get that way in the first place? ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ has the answers

A cool thing about science fiction novels is that not only do they explore future possibilities, they also inspire other writers' imaginations; sometimes one writer's little idea leads to a whole line of fictional exploration he didn't originally intend.

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