My dad loved these movies, so growing up I watched the originals. They never really kept my interest, but then again I was young. We picked up "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" from Redbox last night to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to like it as much as I did.
I believe this movie is meant to reboot the franchise, and is taking a more "science" based approach than "sci-fi"; in this franchise the apes get their intelligence from modern science in the form of experimental drugs. Obviously the film is still science fiction, but the plot is easy to swallow, no time travel or astronauts or spaceships. Another difference is that instead of using humans in make up to play the apes; motion capture CGI was used for the main chimpanzee, Caesar. Andy Serkis, was the man in motion capture suit, which has to make him an expert at this point, but my one criticism might be that I could see Gollum in Caesar.
I once heard that good science fiction reflects social and/or political issues of the times, this movie meets that requirement, giving heed to advances in medicine and the fact that "some things aren't meant to be changed". Aside from it's moral, there are some real heart stirring moments when Caesar asks if he is just a pet and when the family Caesar has always known is taken away from him.
I liked it. I recommend it. If you've seen it, let me know what you thought.