Planet of the Apes--well....

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Remo D
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Planet of the Apes--well....

Post by Remo D » Sun Jul 29, 2001 7:22 pm

All right, so it isn't "horror," but I figure this is where most of us are going to look first--I think that the entire PLANET OF THE APES phenomena has enough relevance to everyone on this board to merit a little discussion here.

I was really looking forward to this one--since they didn't play stupid "hide and seek" games with the ape creations in the publicity, I knew that the look and atmosphere of the film would be simply fantastic. And visually, Tim Burton has done it again--there's enough to LOOK at to merit a recommendation for those who want above all else to see the techniques that make it all happen.

You also know that I've never automatically had it in for remakes--just ask me about THE MUMMY, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG if you think otherwise.

But let's make it plain and simple--there's something about the original PLANET OF THE APES that makes it the better film about ten times over. It's always going to be the one with the staying power, and it's always going to be the one that we'll have the fondest memories of.

Characters? Tim Roth stands out in the new movie as General Thade--his performance is sufficiently possessed (and the effects used to enhance it so seamlessly integrated) that you not only believe in him as a character, you damn well believe in him as an APE! By comparison, Helena Bonham Carter, though a fine actress, still looks like a human actress in ape makeup--and hell if I can even remember her character name--or those of just about anyone else. One doesn't forget Taylor, Cornelius, Zira or Dr. Zaius--and I don't just mean those who've seen the first film a hundred times, either. Those were memorable CHARACTERS, not merely great effects.

To my horror, the new APES (it's certainly not a remake of the familiar story, so it's not predictable in that sense) actually bored me at times. I could not believe that we were seeing yet another "slow buildup to the battle followed by... the battle itself" series of events. Again, different story--but remember how well the first one worked even though the "action" as such was confined to the middle of the movie? Nobody got bored towards the end because they were caught up in what the characters were DOING, and what they were talking ABOUT. Why is a massive simian army (the kind they couldn't do in the late 60s) any different from a tribe of jackal warriors in THE MUMMY RETURNS?

In such a day and age where video distributors happily plaster the image of the Statue of Liberty on the box art for the original film, it almost seems pointless to try to come up with a twist ending--in advance, everyone will be thinking "Okay, here it comes!" Still, it's amusingly handled and takes a page from the Pierre Boulle novel that was never explored in the first film. Homework was done, no question about it. But the rich mine of social, political, religious and scientific satire available in the APES mythos is trotted out as a series of catchphrases and quick conversations here, as it's apparently far more important to overwhelm today's viewers with the visuals. Remember how long the first film kept your attention with barren landscapes before anything actually HAPPENED? Notice how I keep going on and on about the first film no matter how hard I try to talk about the new one?

The new PLANET OF THE APES demands to be SEEN at least once. But to the critics who claim that it surpasses its inspiration, I can only say... I envy you your youth.

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[This message has been edited by Remo D (edited 07-29-2001).]
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Post by Chris Slack » Wed Aug 01, 2001 7:04 am

Although the animal rights stuff was laid on a little thick for my liking I really enjoyed the film. Sure it wasn't particularly heady and (as Remo stated) the characters weren't too memorable but it was a fun flick. Catch it at a bargain matinee, it's well worth the 4 bucks Image

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[This message has been edited by Chris (edited 08-05-2001).]
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Rich
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Post by Rich » Sat Aug 04, 2001 11:21 am

I really enjoyed Planet Of The Apes and thought Mark Wallyburg did a good job in his role considering I'm not the biggest fan of his work (well, Boogie Nights is an exception). Maybe the reason I like this is because I'm not too familiar with the first film unlike a lot of sci-fi/horror fans. I have seen it but cannot remember it quite well. I remember the Statue Of Liberty fitting in somewhere and the humans not being able to talk as much. Time to take a trip to the rental store and check out the original again! I'd definitely check this remake out.

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Post by shawn » Sun Aug 05, 2001 8:52 am

I enjoyed this one, I pretty much agree with Remo, the original can't be touched. I saw the original when I was around 10 or 11, the Grand lake theatre in Oakland Ca, was showing all 5 in a row and my Grandmother took me to see 'em. The ending of the original totally blew me away, its my favorite ending in movie history...So there is no way in hell that this remake could come close that and believe me it doesn't, but it was still entertaining for different reasons.
One thing that I really dig about the new one was you actually believe these are apes, I mean they don't simply act like men in apes suits like the original, these apes act like animals! The actors did an excellent job of incorporating ape mannerisms and traits into their roles. Not just the way they walk, but just about every aspect of their of their being, it was awesome to watch. And Tim Roth was fucking brilliant! Just fucking amazing! Tim Roth made the movie period, he was the shinning moment of this picture, they could make 100 sequels to this and if Roth is in them, I'm there.
Its worth a look, and thats coming from someone that is a huge fan of the original series.
Oh, and the ending...Remo is right, the ending gives a serious nod to the original book, but did the ending make sense? There will be some spoilers here if you want to stop reading....
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How is it that Thades face is on the Lincoln statue? Thade was not on earth. The apes Planet had 2 suns so it couldn't have been Earth. Also, when Marky Mark is traveling back to Earth his time clock is running backwards. And when he lands, the fire trucks and police cars look like they are out of the 60's. I'm not sure I understand how the apes took over earth, why the cars look like they are out of the 60's, and how the hell Thades face is on the monument when Thade was 1000's of years in the future on a different planet in a different solar system... Maybe I'm thinking too much about this and it is simply set up for a sequel and all this crap will be explained. It doesn't make sense, but neither do talking apes for that matter...but anybody have any ideas???


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Post by Remo D » Sun Aug 05, 2001 4:55 pm

SPOILERS CONTINUED...

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SPOILERS CONTINUED...
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If we can buy into anything in this movie, the original film or the original book, we can give credence to the possibility that Wahlberg's character quite simply never returned to Earth--going back through the storm gave him the comforting notion that he was indeed travelling backwards in time and setting things right, but if he were truly reversing the original course, he'd wind up back on his ship with his crew, no? Sorry, guy--you went to yet another parallel dimension. What happens on one planet affects those that it parallels--though of course, the inhabitants of those other worlds would never know it. Granted, using General Thade made things seem just TOO damn specific--surely the image of an ape on the statue would be enough, but I guess people would want to know just what it was a memorial FOR. But in the meantime, you and I are still in our world, going to see a movie called "Planet of the Apes" while Wahlberg is being booked by the gorillas in the world in which he landed.



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"Nya-nya, nya-nya, nyahh-nyahh... I made you eat your parents!!!" --Cartman
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Post by Darth Tanner » Wed Aug 08, 2001 2:50 pm

I went to see this last night and thought it was one of the best movies I've seen so far this year. I wouldn't call it Tim Burton's best movie (I still thought SLEEPY HOLLOW and BATMAN were better), but it was still a lot of fun although I still haven't seen the original movie or read the book. I totally agree on the Tim Roth comments too. He was definitely the best actor out of the bunch and made a great villain. As for that ending, I thought it was clever but at the same time had me scratching my head trying to figure out how it was possible. I think it an ending to either set up for a sequel or let the viewers make their own conclusions. Or else it was rushed at the last minute without much thought, but I doubt Tim Burton would do something like that without reason. Any of the above explanations for the ending could be possible, but these time-travel movies are sometimes too complex for me. It was hard enough for me to keep up with everything in the BACK TO THE FUTURE series, so don't even get me started on all the time-travel consistencies/inconsistencies in this movie Image

Other than that, chalk up another sure winner for 2001.
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Post by AC » Wed Aug 08, 2001 6:31 pm

Can't go wrong with talking apes!
AC

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Post by Griff [Mola] » Wed Aug 08, 2001 10:37 pm

What about Oprah Winfrey?

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Post by AC » Thu Aug 09, 2001 3:36 am

Don't insult talking apes by lumping Oprah in with them Image
AC

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Post by Griff [Mola] » Wed Sep 05, 2001 8:34 pm

Well, okay, so I took my time but I finally dragged my arse down to the cinema to see this one. Most of the criticisms I'd heard where of the 'it ain't as good as the original' variety, a problem that doesn't usually bother me. After all, how could it be?

Nobody mentioned that this movie quite simply stinks and is, basically, an exercise in mediocrity. I'm sure ten year olds love it.

Now, I'm just gonna fire off a few random, senseless ramblings about what pissed me off with this movie:

1. 'Marky' Mark Wahlberg. Now this guy doesn't piss me off as much as say Keanu Reeves but basically he's still taking up acting jobs that could've gone to actors. Essentially, this guy is a blank slate. He's uncharasmatic and never brings anything to his roles other than a degree of the boring everyman. Which was perfect for BOOGIE NIGHTS where he played some uninteresting kid who's lack of personality was exceeded only by his penis size, but that's not really what would have worked here in APES. If the humans want a leader, he'd better be someone interesting or they'll stop listening to what he has to say ("Never send a monkey to do a man's job"), real fast.

2. The female ape make up. I thought Helena put in the best performance in this flick but it was sadly undone by the ridiculous make up. In an effort to make her look attractive to humans for an underdeveloped and ultimately abandoned interspecies romantic subplot, she consequently looks like neither ape nor man. She doesn't even look organic and comes across as merely an unusual make-up effect. I can't believe Rick Baker... would he have done it for GREYSTOKE? Then why do it here?

3. Teen apes hanging out and drinking at night? Oh, you're hilarious Mr. Burton. These apes don't live in much more than a glorified tree-top community. I find it a little difficult to believe their youth would be so socially isolated from their community that they'd hang out drinking in leather jackets like 50's greasers. Not too mention how they play American football, outfits and all. I spose they had hula hoops, platform shoes and wallet chains too, we just didn't see them. They should have called it PLANET OF THE TRENDS.

4. Science for simpletons. George Lucas could have come up with something more plausible. The big mind-expanding issues delt with here are about as compelling as the theologian ramblings of a stoner.

5. That warrior kid. He wants to fight but he's told to stay with his people. He takes a stand anyway only to fall off his horse in an effort for Marky Mark to actually do something heroic in the movie by saving him. C'mon, this kinda cliche element belongs in a Disney movie.

6. Invincible chimps. So they cop a full blast from a freakin' space rocket that should've burned them all to cinders. But hang on, they recover faster then from a fart in the face. That makes sense.

7. Jumping gorillas. I'm no expert but I've never seen one of those bad boys jump around on tv. They do alot of charging but leaping 12 feet in the air? Leave it to the chimps, fellas.

8. God monkey. So that space chimp knocks the apes' socks off eh? C'mon, that puny thing would have been about as awe-inspiring as a space retard would be to humans. Its a concept that could've played but not the way these guys played it.

9. Everlasting LED. That spaceship has been there for thousands of years, withered away to nothing but all the controls still light up, let alone work? And the power - sure, its nuclear, but without something to cool it down, we would've seen THE CHINA SYNDROME on this damn planet of the apes ...which would've explained The Forbidden Zone if they'd bothered to mention it twice.

10. The ending. Completely illogical. Nice idea but it just doesn't hold water for more than 5 seconds.

11. The usual. Lack of characterization, plot, interesting dialogue and issues etc. etc. etc... Your basic dumb action movie riding on the shoulders of a classic that sadly, for the most part, takes itself seriously. It would make a nice double feature with THE HAUNTING (1999). Actually, forget succeeding as a remake, merely succeeding as a movie would have been nice.

Although its hard to finger exactly the extent of a director's contribution to a flick, I doubt Burton contributed much to this flick that your average gun-for-hire hack couldn't have done just as well. Straight and to the point without any feeling whatsoever. STAR WARS fan-filmmakers shall inherit the Earth.

Unfortunately, I felt that what little was achieved (some good make up, new ideas) was undone by what great was neglected (see above).

If you think I've been a bit harsh on this movie, just imagine my response if I'd gone into this with a chip on my shoulder.

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