I'll be the first person to admit that I perhaps overuse the word mind-blowing. After all, if so many things are mind-blowing, how have we not collectively run out of mind to be blown? But, I genuinely do mean what's up there in the headline. There are special effects in Rupert Wyatt's surprisingly excellent film - seriously, if you dismissed it based on the trailers alone, do yourself a favor and see it anyway. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the kind of sneaks-up-on-ya movie that makes people eat their words - that stopped my brain dead in its tracks. I stared glossy eyed at the screen a number of times trying to discern whether or not what I was looking at was a digital creation or a man in a suit. In particular, there is an orangutan character (and the apes are legitimate characters, which is arguably the best thing about Rise of) that more often than not simply does not look like it was created on a hard drive instead of in real life.
It's mind-blowing stuff, and frankly the below behind-the-scenes video doesn't do the boundary-pushing motion-capture work justice (I've yet to see any marketing materials that properly indicate just how good the final film is). But then again, it would be a shame to have all the magic of this film digitally autopsied on opening day, so perhaps it's a good thing that this video is as cursory as it is. It's not that it's bad (we're sharing it with you for a reason), it's just that after last night's midnight screening left me feeling an infatuation with a blockbuster no studio film had given me so far this year, I'd gladly spend hours watching making-of materials for Rise of the Planet of the Apes.