Extremely brief review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes was solidly-above-average summer blockbuster fare. The CGI and motion-capture work done on the apes, especially on the character of Caesar, as well as the underlying performance by Andy Serkis, were amazing both from a technical and emotional/character-development standpoint. Some fairly petty grievances (considering the genre) -- apes of average size jumping through shatter-proof glass as though it were paper without so much as a running start and emerging completely unscathed, primitively armed apes (providentially cloaked in fog) overtaking squadrons of human police without the police firing a single shot in retaliation, the faux-science etc. -- kept the film from being fully enjoyable for me. In the end it's a fun film, but not worthy of comparison to the original.
With that out of the way, the actual point of this post is to highlight some vivid parallels between large portions of this film and Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain. While some of the parallels could be seen as mere genre conventions and might be written off as simply coincidental taken individually, I think when the parallels are observed collectively it would be astonishing if the filmmakers weren't influenced by Aronofsky's film, consciously or subconsciously.
The parallels are wholly confined to the laboratory segments of both films. Beyond that there doesn't seem to be any influence at all, but within the laboratory sequences the films practically mirror each other.
In The Fountain, Tom, played by Hugh Jackman, is a highly motivated research scientist heading a team who are investigating possible cures for certain diseases, and who are experimenting on monkeys. Tom has a personal agenda because his wife has a terminal cancer and is likely going to die soon if he can't find a cure. He is embroiled in the politics and economics of the research work that he is doing, while not caring primarily about it. Tom's team of researchers stumble upon a compound that doesn't heal the cancerous tumor on one of their monkeys, but does reverse the aging process in the monkey. The results are beyond anything they could have hoped for, but weren't exactly what they were aiming for.
It almost appears as if the creators of Rise watched The Fountain and thought "wouldn't this be a cool way for the apes to have taken over in a prequel to Planet of the Apes?"