War for the Planet of the Apes is the third installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot series, beginning with the events in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and continuing in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. War for the Planet of the Apes tells the story of Caesar as the reluctant leader of the simians, who is masterfully played by Andy Serkis.
The movie begins with a group of soldiers tracking the location of the apes command base in the forest. Once they open fire, the apes retaliate and end up capturing a few of the soldiers. Tired from all the bloodshed, Caesar spares their lives to send a message to the Colonel (Woody Harrelson), that the apes were not their enemy. It’s a decision that Caesar ultimately ends up regretting as it results in a tragic incident that sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Director Matt Reeves does an excellent job developing the character arc of the protagonist Caesar throughout the movie, providing the perfect balance between Caesar’s struggle with his humanity against his primitive instincts.
War for the Planet of the Apes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Available October 24th on store shelves and online everywhere comes War for the Planet of the Apes on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox. This film is available at many retailers like Amazon for $24.96.
You can also order War for the Planet of the Apes in standard or high definition at any of these digital stores: Apple’s iTunes Store, Amazon, Google’s Play Store, Vudu
Video Rating – 4 out of 5
Even though War for the Planet of the Apes is not filmed in true 4K and is a 2160P transfer, the amount of detail in the scenes with a natural environment are impressive. The opening scene which was filmed in Muir Woods is absolutely breathtaking as it creates a vivid and immersive environment for the viewer. The detail of the apes is equally impressive, as I could distinguish many of the features on Caesar’s face. However at times because of the precision of the detail, I found myself getting distracted by the artificialness some of the CGI created such as when the apes are riding the horses and the avalanche scene near the end. The green/blue hues of this movie seen slightly overexposed since at times during the movie Caesar appeared to have bluish/tealish fur.
Sound Rating – 5 out of 5
The sound is presented in Dolby Atmos/Dolby True HD 7.1 and right from the start, the movie takes full advantage of its Atmos channels in the very first battle scene between the humans and the apes. The gunshots, arrows, and explosions all hit satisfying notes and continue over the course of the movie. I was also impressed as the soundtrack had a perfect balance throughout the movie, having witnessed movies where the effects and sound end up overpowering the dialogue. The producers did an excellent job with this track.
Extras Rating – 5 out of 5
If you’ve watched the film in 4K Ultra HD, then you’ve already noticed that there’s only extra–the commentary from Director Matt Reeves. Now it’s time to insert the Blu-ray disk into your player for the nearly 90 minutes of features, 23 minutes of deleted scenes, three concept art galleries, and yes, audio commentary from the director.
Concept Art Gallery is broken down into three categories: Characters, Drawings, and Paintings. The first two are very short, taking no more than two minutes of your time. Paintings, of which there are over 50, is a must viewing. It’s the kind of thing you stare at for however long you like, even wishing you owned a handful of the pieces by the time it’s over. The artwork is terrific.
The Blu-ray disk comes with six extra features which span nearly 90 minutes. They are the following:
- Waging War for the Planet of the Apes – In-depth documentary on the making of the film (29.38)
- All About Caesar (12:40)
- WETA: Pushing Boundaries (10.36)
- Music for Apes (6.20)
- Apes: The Meaning of it All (20:15)
- The Apes Saga: An Homage (7:48)
I tend not to watch the features, only the deleted scenes of most films. After watching the former today, I have to say that if you’re a fan of Planet of the Apes Universe, I implore that you watch these.
All About Caesar covers the progression of the main character of the trilogy of films. WETA: Pushing Boundaries covers the technical aspects of this film’s making. You get to see how the human actors are transformed into the digital ape counterparts over the span of three films.
Music for Apes is a 6-minute discussion by Director Matt Reeves and Composer Michael Giacchino regarding the film’s score. You get to see and hear from Emil Richards, a percussionist from not only of this film but on the 1968 Charlton Heston original.
Throughout all six features, you see so much of the five original films and the current trilogy.
Also included with the Blu-ray disk are 10 Deleted Scenes which span 23 minutes. Watch them with or without the director’s commentary. They are the following:
- Barrier Wall
- “I Owe You One”
- “A Great Man”
- “Do Not Lose Hope”
- The Colonel’s Speech (3:40)
- Malcolm and the Dinosaurs (7:37)
- “I Am Like Koba” (6.20)
If you’re only going to watch a few of these, I recommend you watch the last three with and without the audio commentary. The first nine deleted scenes are unfinished scenes. While they’re fully shot, the actors are seen in their suits, not as apes. The last deleted scene “I Am Like Koba” is a completed scene and must watch. I wish it remained in the film. It had to be a last minute deletion.
Malcolm and the Dinosaurs is a great scene between the Colonel and Caesar. There’s this terrific line where the Colonel says “You Apes, so strong. I wonder what kind of world would you build on our graves.” There’s even a mention as to the fate of Malcolm from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Here’s another one where I wish more of this scene appeared in the film.
Blu-ray™ Technical Information
- Screen Format: Widescreen 16:9 (1.78:1)
- Audio: English DTS-HD-MA 7.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
- Commentary: English SDH, French, Spanish
- Rating: PG-13
- Film Run Time: 139 Minutes
- Studio: Fox
4K Ultra HD Technical Information
- Screen Format: Ultra Widescreen 2.40:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
- Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48 kHz, 24-bit); Spanish, Czech, Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Spanish, German, Italian: DTS 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, Polish, Swedish
- Commentary: English by Director Matt Reeves
- Rating: PG-13
- Film Run Time: 139 Minutes
- Studio: Fox
All photos and videos are used with the permission and are the property of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment © 2017.
Jesse J Lin covered the 4K Ultra HD portion of this review.