There have been a number of movies released this year that could all be considered contenders for the title of Movie of the Year 2011. We have had the X-Men prequel, X-Men: First Class which, although received criticism in some areas, was surprisingly pleasing and is bound to receive a sequel off of the back of its success. Then there was the latest Twilight offering and it was always going to be obvious that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 was going to be a success at the box office due to the fanbase of the franchise. However, the movie received much criticism and is possibly the worst of the Twilight franchise to date.
We have also had a number of superhero offering. As well as the X-Men prequel, there has also been Captain America: The First Avenger, which was a good film but we were expecting so much more from it, and Thor, which was fairly disappointing, but what could you really expect from it. It was never going to be as good as those superhero movies before it and, considering the poor reception it received, it still managed to make over $400 million meaning a sequel is inevitable. The there is Green Lantern and the less said about that the movie the better. However, again it made enough money for Warner Bros. to consider making yet another superhero movie sequel.
We could talk about this year’s movie releases all day but we don’t have the time and you would get bored. So we will get down to it. The movie that we have voted as Movie of the Year 2011 is Rise of the Planet of the Apes. There are a number of reasons that this movie stands out for us and one of them is the fact that we were expecting it to be a huge flop. It was never going to be as bad as the 2001 Tim Burton attempt but we were still not expecting a great deal from it and boy were we wrong. Rise of the Planet of the Apes blew our minds.
Then there was the performance of Andy Serkis as Caesar the leader of the ape uprising. While many have been calling for Andy to be nominated for Oscar recognition (us being one of those) it is highly unlikely that he will. Too many people do not believe that what Andy Serkis does can be classed as real acting but we think he is an absolute star. There will never be anybody who can make motion capture seem so natural and real. Andy Serkis is the king of motion capture and his performance as Caesar was one of the best performances of the year and certainly made Rise of the Planet of the Apes as successful as it was.
Another person who deserves a mention but who is all too often skimmed over is John Lithgow. John’s performance as an Alzheimer sufferer is spot on and he brings a certain emotional element to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Then there is Tom Felton, who is getting a reputation for playing bad guys. While his American accent was not the best, he does get to deliver that immortal line, made famous by Charlton Heston, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape” and, while many have criticised the inclusion of this line, calling it cheesy and cringey, we loved it and the fact it acknowledges the brilliance of the original.
Finally a mention for the director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, who brought the whole thing to life and did an absolutely fantastic job. Rupert Wyatt will be remembered for taking a franchise that many believed should be left alone and making it great once again. The way Rise of the Planet of the Apes ended leaves it open to a sequel and the only way the sequel will ever do justice is if Rupert Wyatt is in the director’s chair. There have already been talks of possible storylines and we hope they do not wait too long to bring us the sequel. Everybody involved in Rise of the Planet of the Apes did a great job and that is the reason that we have made Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie of the Year 2011.