Is it wrong to currently feel warmer toward Rise of the Planet of the Apes than I do toward Tree of Life?
(Okay, Jeff, stop freaking out. Yes, I'm half-teasing about ToL. But, that half-not-teasing... Oh no. At least I still like The Tree of Life I've seen more than The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I haven't seen.)
Rise is my favorite big budget Hollywood Blockbuster since Iron Man and I already like Rise a lot more than Iron Man.
The cg apes are better than any cg creatures I've seen since Spielberg's Jurassic dinos.
There are some weak moments (the over-the-top ape hater at the ape shelter, the boss that throws aside every safety concern for a quick buck, the underuse of Lithgow, etc), but even the film's reliance on a few stereotypes/shortcuts can be forgiven considering everything else that works so well.
The emotion is real and is what carries the film. If you don't/won't/can't buy Caesar's awakening intelligence and the social/moral implications that come from it, then I'll guarantee right now that you won't like this film. The action made me giddy. Like Iron Man, this movie may fall out of my favor. Right now, it's everything I'm looking for in a piece of not-so-serious entertainment.
I wouldn't mind sitting through a Rise/Contagion double feature. For those who've seen both, you know what I'm talking about.