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Planet of the Apes

By anansi in Culture
Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 08:03:29 AM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)
Movies

Four thumbs up! (Well, maybe three and change.) If you've seen the trailers, you know what to expect, and Tim Burton delivers as advertised, no more and no less.


The first thing that draws you into this film is the art direction. Each time there's a new film set in medieval times, I'm curious to see the folk art. The benchmark standard for me is Dark Crystal and this one compared favorably without becoming distracting.

The biggest problem I had with POTA was that the plot was numbingly simple...up until the suprise ending that's almost completely different from Charlton Heston's suprise ending. Astronaut crashes, meets ape, escapes, and has a big showdown with the bad guys before discovering something Truly Awful(tm). The ground is well travelled and the pace doesn't lag. At 110 minutes, it feels just the right length.

After seeing Helena Bonham Carter in Hamlet and Fight club I think she was perfect for this role. She's able to carry that existential crisis even through that mask. And her attraction to the astronaut is creepy in a fun way, I kept waiting for one of them to suggest rishathra and was relieved when they finally did something about it.

It's true that Chuck makes a cameo appearance, but the only way to tell is from his voice. None of the characters resemble the actors inside, though it's amazing how much acting they are able to do inside all that latex. I thought there was no way to improve the makeup design from the original, but I was wrong; these apes are tougher, leaner, and more physical than the 1968 version.

It was the Orangatan slave trader that really stole the show. If someone can remember that character's name or the actor who played him, please post it; I want to see what else that guy has done!

Is the premise outdated? I was late coming into the theater, and the only person I could find to tear my ticket was cleaning the candy display... except she pointed me towards the door, and there was the guy I'd missed, standing perfectly still. He joked that he was in camoflage, since the door was a dark stained wood, and he was black... and at that moment, I felt not just caucasion, but white. Honkey white. I couldn't have asked for a better setup for a movie first made in the afterglow of the watts riots.

I kind of wish this version had done more with the racism aspect. The Chimps, Gorillas, and Orangatans in this version are all social equals, lording over the less evolved humans. You'd think there would have been more subtle racism among their ranks.

All in all, I'd recommend this film to any SF fan. The plot holes are numerous, but easy to overlook. Unlike Bradley Steinbacher, I wasn't thrown by the twist ending... but it took some twisted thinking to make sense of it.

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Planet of the Apes | 52 comments (46 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
The orangutan is Limbo. (4.66 / 3) (#2)
by Artful Dodger on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 02:35:32 AM EST

And he's played by Paul Giamatti

Re: Paul Giamatti (none / 0) (#28)
by Mzilikazi on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 12:50:00 PM EST

To me, he'll always be "Pig Vomit" from Howard Stern's "Private Parts". Not that I'm a huge Stern fan or that I loved the movie, but it was the first large and recognizable role for that actor.

So Friday night in the theater, my friend leaned over and whispered, "Hey, the slaver is Pig Vomit!"

Yeah, I'm sure he'd prefer to be known for other things, but it could be worse. (Ref. Ned Beatty)

[ Parent ]

Twist Ending *Spoiler* (4.60 / 5) (#3)
by anansi on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 02:47:44 AM EST

So Brad Steinbacher from the Stranger (next week it'll be here) has offered $100 to anyone who can explain the ending of the movie to him.

Here was my attempt... Comments?

-------------- OK, I don't imagine you're serious about the 100 clams, and if so, I don't imagine I'm the first to give you the 411, but here goes:

Most science fiction stories have a single punchline based on some scientific principal. POTA does a dirty trick by giving us two punchlines in one. This will make more sense if you're a sci-fi fan, so find one if you're not.

You know the old time travel paradox story: go back in time, step on a cockroach/kill your grandfather, and destroy the future. I've always thought it would be fun if the time traveller altered history, but only _his own_ history. So he might return to his former present, only to be locked into a different timeline, kind of like sliders with no rewind button.

That's what marky mark did with his little slave rebellion. Just like H.B. Carter's character predicted, his visit became a legend that everyone would get wrong, and people wouldn't believe. In fact, they found it so unbelievable that the great emancipator of the slaves would be a mere human, that Tim Roth's character got all the glory instead. We were supposed to be so distracted by the story of 'adam' (that space-chimp) that we would be blindsided by the 'future' story of Jesus/Lincoln (marky mark).

That's the first whammy. The second whammy is a lot like that old classic star trek episode, the one where the enterprise goes to the planet with the roman empire, and Kirk and Spock are put into the gladiator's ring. Remember how the poor persecuted apes ^H^H^H^H christians kept yammering about 'The Sun', only Uhura told us it was really 'The Son' they worshipped?

The gimmick behind that show was what they called parallel evolution, the social ecology on that planet happened to evolve exactly like the roman empire, except with television. (I'm sure the renegade starship captain had something to do with it, I can't remember, thank god!)

So when our intrepid astronaut/time traveller returns to his present, he finds that he's changed history just a tad, but the overall structure of social evolution remained parallel to our own.

*with one very large leap of faith. Obviously, the slave rebellion didn't take place in civil war times, it took place in medieval times. But to the target audience of this movie, those are are just different chapters in the same history book, so this plot hole might be forgivable if you just cross your eyes and squint.

So in order to make sense of it all, you have to finally believe that just like the charlton heston version, this movie takes place on earth, except in an alternate past instead of the future.

The Oberon didn't start out orbiting another star, it was orbiting Sol. That ringed planet really is saturn. And the time warp led to earth all four times: the chimp, the the hero, the poor oberon crew, and the hero on his way 'home'. They just went to four different time periods in history.

I could ramble on a lot more, since I really like this film. But that's the best I can do with the ending. It didn't confuse me hardly at all. I just wish I knew the actor's name who played the slave trader orangatan. That guy stole the show.


Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"

I like the theory... (4.50 / 2) (#5)
by gr on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 04:24:51 AM EST

... because it does twist things back towards the original plot point in an interesting way, but I really have to object to the whole thing based on one piece of your evidence.

[SPOILER WARNING STILL APPLIES!!!]

With this:
The Oberon didn't start out orbiting another star, it was orbiting Sol. That ringed planet really is saturn.
I agree. But, with this:
And the time warp led to earth all four times: the chimp, the the hero, the poor oberon crew, and the hero on his way 'home'. They just went to four different time periods in history.
I strongly disagree. Great effort was made to portray the planet on which delta pod, the Oberon, and then alpha pod all landed as not being the third planet around Sol.

This can be seen most clearly when alpha pod takes back off from the planet: the neighboring planets are nothing like our solar system, and the planet itself is mottled red with darker (bluish) patches of water, drastically different from our own earth, which shows large chunks of green and blue (with way more cloud cover) from orbit.

More than this, the pod's orbital computer is instantly able to peg the film's final planet as earth, while it was incapable of recognizing the one on which most of the actions of the move take place as such.

Even more, it is suggested by the Oberon's flight recorder that the chimps were able to adapt to the planet's environment far better than their human keepers. Because of their more rugged nature? Because they were able to breed with species present on the planet? Who knows, but nobody'd have to adapt to earth, even if it was in a wildly different (but still habitable) time period. Our atmosphere and gravitational layout have changed that much, but only on the geological scale of things. Anyway, you'd sure think the Oberon would have been able to recognize this planet as earth.

I also do not buy that alpha pod's initial jump was backwards in time (the chronometer on board, presumably calibrated by relative star position, spins forward every time it enters the anomaly, never backwards), but I'm not sure that's a wonderfully relevant concern.

While I'm picking arguments, though, why, if the ape general had done his work and expired in medeival times, does his statue appear, in the United States, manifested in place of Abraham Lincoln? Why are his remains on the American continent at all? Most of all, why is his statue clad in a mid 1800s business suit rather than the armor we saw him wearing? How did the apes grow to modern earth state still holding his name up in the way they are? Have we any statues or governments based directly upon the actions of Beowulf?

So, I wouldn't be too surprised if Brad Steinbacher takes issue with largely the same things and doesn't send you your $100. I also don't think this plot twist is either particularly defensible or particularly worth defending. By the time that I was seeing the Oberon's flight recorder, I'd resigned myself to the fact that this particular screenwriter had chosen to do away with the earth twist of the original plot (in which the apes on earth were supposed to have taken over, not those that came in from the stars with a mess of humans), and I was a little peeved at a flimsy attempt to resurrect it.

But that said, I feel that my $5.00 (yay, student discounts) was well spent. I really liked the film. I just didn't much care for the last five minutes. Which beats the living hell out of how I feel about the ending to A.I....

[ Parent ]
Okay then... (3.50 / 2) (#16)
by anansi on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 07:24:45 PM EST

If it was a different planet from earth, and earth is 'now' contaminated with the ape-reality, how did that happen? And specificly, how do the modern apes know about Thade and his great deeds?

It's true that the film went overboard to convince us this wasn't earth, but I think this was just to mislead us into accepting a "new" suprise ending. It's the same film as '68, with the same ending... just farther into the sequels.

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"
[ Parent ]

the ending (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by joeyo on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 09:08:15 PM EST

[This post inherits the spoiler warning from above]

Personally, I thought the "first" ending was rather clever and fresh in it was different from the original. However I have some beef everything that happens after he gets back in the Alpha pod to go "home".

  1. He left the sexy human cave-woman with nothing more than a kiss. Riiiight.
  2. I fail to understand how him going to earth (in any time period or alternate history) can possibly be affected by happenings on The Planet Of The Apes. And don't even try to tell me that he was on Earth all along. I refuse to accecpt that The Planet was Earth. Great pains made to show how different earth looked as compared to The Planet.)
As far as I'm concerned the final ending was spliced-in as some sort of homage to the original POTA movie (only this time it makes MUCH less sense) and so that a sequel would be possible (see 1. above for more proof, also some dialogue seems to beg for a sequel as well)

If that all doesn't convince you that the WTO is evil, perhaps you should consider the possibility that you are evil. -- Parent ]

the end in the book (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by jmesnil on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 07:02:31 PM EST

I haven't seen yet the movie but i just read the book (from Pierre Boulle). The Burton version seems to be closer of the book.In the book, the character played by Mark Whalberg is well accepted by the apes (they know he comes from a different planet). There are some discoveries that the human existed before the apes and that the apes overcame them a long time ago (like in one of the original POTA sequels). But it IS on a different planet than the earth. Then he has a child with the woman and the apes start to be afraid that they could be overcome by these clever human. So the three escape, go back to space and return to Earth a long time after (i believed it took Whalberg 500 years to go to the POTA and another 500 years to back to earth). Then they landed at Paris (the book is french!) to be welcomed by ... a gorilla. So they go back once more to space looking for a planet where they can live peacefully. The book implied that the apes overcoming the human is the next step in the evolution... But it makes clear that the POTA and the Earth are two different planets (and there's no time travel). I think I'll go to see the movie to check how close it is from the book.

[ Parent ]
Closeness to the book. (none / 0) (#45)
by Scooby on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 08:53:31 PM EST

Well, I've read the book and seen both movies. The first movie was closer plot-wise, in the book there is no mention of a war at all, and the ape culture in the book has progessed to almost what the humans on earth were to (Almost like 1950-70's kinda thing), they even had airplanes. However, I think that Burton's movie was a lot closer in terms of the theme.

[ Parent ]
Aperaham Lincoln (2.33 / 3) (#27)
by Refrag on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 11:24:24 AM EST

"if the ape general had done his work and expired in medeival times, does his statue appear, in the United States"
Why are you so sure that is was the ape general? I wasn't able to read the entire enscription, but I don't think that Aperaham Lincoln (as I call him) was the ape general.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Too many moons too ... (3.00 / 4) (#17)
by joegee on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 10:21:19 PM EST

Two moons in the sky in one night scene ...

I didn't mind the movie but to me the beginning dialogue was terribly awkward. It's hard to make a decent actor sound like Keanu Reeves, but the scriptwriters seemed to have a flair for putting awkward phrases in their characters' mouths that made even a decent actress like Bonham-Carter sound stilted.

I think that matinée or discounted price is just about the "nice price" for this movie. Don't spend more than five bucks if you can help it, and don't go expecting high drama, clever satire, or Academy Award caliber performances. If you can get in cheap and forgo expectations (and put your forebrain on idle) you'll probably not be disappointed.

Foreign (or thinking) audiences -- I'll bet you'll hate this one. You're probably better off saving your money.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
A slightly better explanation? (4.50 / 2) (#23)
by DoomHaven on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 08:39:33 PM EST

I better explanation (found on Slashdot), was that Thade figures out the technology, then plots revenge by going back to Human Earth, and back in time, and converts the Earth apes into intelligent apes. That way, when the protagonist returns, his Earth has been conquered by the Apes.

To defend this, we know that:
1) Thade is locked in the command module of the Oberon, and has the records and the controls at his fingertips, once he learns it. We assume he can learn it, because he has descended from less-intelligent apes that could be taught it.
2) We have two pieces of time-traveling technology, complete with partial records: the remains of the Oberon, and the remains of Delta Pod (assume that the humans can be coerced to retrieve Delta Pod). As well, Thade, by definition, knows that the technology does in fact exist. If we knew time travel was irrevocably possible, we would figure it out, on those simple grounds.
3) We have a decent pilot to teach Thade the controls in Pericles (who, as we know, can pilot a pod better than a human can).
4) As stated above, below, and on Slashdot, we know that the planets are not the same, and that the statue of Thade is dressed in a 1850s vintage suit, rather than PotA armour.
5) The dedication to Thade reads "in the Hearts of Apes". If Thade was to be cast as the hero of the humans, should not this read: "in the Hearts of All Species/Apes and Humans"?

As pointed out before, the Planet of the Apes cannot be the Earth for three reasons:
1) PotA has 3 moons.
2) Delta Pod does identify it as Earth.
3) Visually, the system is our system, and from orbit, the planet doesn't look like Earth.

We can hopefully assume that PotA, while un-inhabitted by sentient life prior to the Oberon crash, was inhabitted by horselikee creatures that could be tamed as horses. They became "horses" by either the humans or human-influenced apes domesticating them and creating saddles, etc, for them. I mean, that flora would need some fauna to consume it, right?

However, the last planet most definitely is Earth, maybe "a" Earth (a la parallel universe).

One last thought: the plot of the first (and hopefully only) sequel. The human, played by Mark Wahlberg, is imprisoned and interrogated by the apes, escapes, hitches a ride on the Apes in Space program, goes back in time to combat Thade, and succeeds in putting an end to Thade's new order. The time line is restored, and every lives happily ever after.

Hollywood may have any ideas presented here, for free, if they can set up a week of hot, passionate sex between me and that Kate Winslet lookalike.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
damn cheap crack... (4.50 / 2) (#25)
by DoomHaven on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 06:57:49 AM EST

Ahem! Let's try that again, shall we?

As pointed out before, the Planet of the Apes cannot be the Earth for three reasons:
1) PotA has 3 moons.
2) Delta Pod does not identify it as Earth.
3) Visually, the system is not our system, and from orbit, the planet doesn't look like Earth.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
No fuel (none / 0) (#46)
by Scooby on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 08:55:54 PM EST

There was no fuel left in the ship for Thade to have piloted it back to earth, even if he did learn the controls.

[ Parent ]
A good point, but: (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by DoomHaven on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 10:17:09 PM EST

what kind of fuel? Hydrogen, which can be seperated from water pretty quickly? Oxygen?

While the Apes are a low-tech culture, we have been distilling those gases for over a hundred years (almost a 150 years, I think since 1870).

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
More explainations of the ending... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by anansi on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:09:47 PM EST

The contest has ended, and to no one's suprise, the $100 prize has gone unawarded. Brad Steinbacher quotes the following:

Bruce Snyder, head of distribution at Twentieth Century Fox, "It [the ending of POTA] wasn't really supposed to make sense.... Everybody keeps looking for [the answer], but you've got to remember you just watched a movie about talking monkeys in outer space. Don't look for too much logic, you know."

This is exactly the kind of slap-dash reasoning that has kept science fiction film in the gutter for far too long. May Mr. Snyder end up on his on POTA some day.

To read other entries in the contest, look here

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"
[ Parent ]

Re: More ... (none / 0) (#51)
by Kalani on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 02:32:46 AM EST

you've got to remember you just watched a movie about talking monkeys in outer space
Damnit they're apes ... APES!

-----
"I [think] that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement; in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board."
--Richard Feynman
[ Parent ]
One question: (2.16 / 6) (#4)
by spacejack on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 03:14:24 AM EST

Did he fuck it up as badly as Batman? If he did, then forget about it. Anyhow, I never was a big "Planet of the Apes" fan. I saw the first one on video a few years ago for the first time and it was like, ehh.. not so good. The only good line in it really was Charlton Heston going "Damn you all to hell!!". The rest of it was pretty much crap, not to mention really fucking dumb 60's sci-fi (apes take over the world.. I mean, really).

So, basically, what it comes down to is that I have no interest in this movie whatsoever. Except that the monkey faces look pretty nifty, but I already have the quicktime trailer on my HD and looked at it in slow motion and, well, ok it looks nifty. But otherwise, why bother?

I give it four thumbs down.

What!? (3.33 / 3) (#9)
by Danse on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 06:52:01 AM EST

What about, "Get your stinkin' paws off me you damn dirty ape!"

Gotta love that line too :)






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Please refrain from rating movies you haven't seen (4.00 / 2) (#20)
by Sheepdot on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 01:30:40 PM EST

4 thumbs down would mean something, had you actually *seen* the movie.


[ Parent ]
Marky Mark & the Monkey Bunch (1.50 / 4) (#11)
by finial on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:03:34 PM EST

I haven't seen the movie. All I've seen are the trailers and I'm bummed. I was really hoping for a Charleton Heston outfit, but it looks like MW doesn't even go topless. -1 from me.

Full of cheese (3.25 / 4) (#12)
by GusherJizmac on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:30:59 PM EST

It's really, really cheesy. There are so many "groaners" in this moview, it's amazing. There's many, many lines that have no point, and some of the dialog is Starship-Troopers-style laughable. I will give credit that there was no happy ending, so that redeems it somewhat.
<sig> G u s h e r J i z m a c </sig>
My thoughts on the movie (4.33 / 6) (#13)
by OOG THE CAVEMAN on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:42:12 PM EST

I pissed away $6 on the movie yesterday and came out thinking that I could have done a lot better with that $6. I don't think POTA was necessarily a bad movie, it just came across as a waste of time.

Like most other critics, I just didn't see a point to this movie other than to cash in on the POTA name. With everybody aware of the whole "Oh my gosh, I was wrong: It was earth all along!" ending of the original, the remake had to pretty much twist the plot around to keep suspense while simultaneously attempting to preserve to feel of the original. Unfortunately, it doesn't work both ways.

The whole space scene at the beginning was only a half-assed attempt at a backstory which seemed like it was there just to make the ridiculously coincidental event at the end of the battle scene seem possible. Also, I really disliked the initial scenes in the ape village. It was hopelessly wavering between camp humor (the whole overdone apes acting like humans thing: aww the ape woman is bitching about a bad hair day, isnt that cute) and coarse, bland satire (the whole humans right thing where they just talk about "those damned human rights"; same goes for Charlon Heston's bit, where you couldnt even tell it was him). That was rushed and pointless, and fortunately over in only a little bit.

Most of the characters were pretty flat and cliche (strong stoic hero, hyper-sensitive female, ambitious traitor, traitor's brainwashed lackey). Humans and apes alike had no personality, perhaps save Thade, Ari, and Thade's sidekick. The whole love triangle between Ari and the human girl should have been all or nothing. I hate needless romantic subplots, but it could have made the hollow plot somewhat worthwhile had it been explored (thankfully I didn't have to see any gratitious "bestiality" scenes which had been planned). Otherwise they should have avoided the whole thing and concentrated on more important elements.

Also, I was especially surprised at the way none of the humans had any qualms about rushing into battle to get slaughtered or the way Ari and her ape friend didn't seem to mind aiding the destruction of their own race and freely killing their people. The battle scene itself had real promise, though the way it ended was predicitable and conveniently occured at just the right time. As for the ending, it was definitely intriguing, but the way it reeked of "sequel setup" left me unsatisfied. When the sequel comes around, I'll just read some spoilers instead.

What I did like about this movie was the frantic chase and battle scenes as well as the connection of the apes to Leo's old ship (though this should have been developed more). At least the remake improved on the effects department with the acrobatics of the apes and fast paced action (I wasn't too fond of the costumes, particularly HBC's, but they worked). POTA did manage to deliver in the mindless entertainment department for most of the movie.

Anyway, I hate sounding like a film snob, but POTA really has nothing to offer other than mindless fast paced action (and that is even offset by the overdone cuteness). Maybe I would have liked the film more if it made up its mind about being a one track action film, a cute family movie or a relevant social satire. I'd give it around a 1.5-2 out of 4 stars.
OOG BREAK HEAD WITH OPEN SOURCE CD!!!
Backstory (none / 0) (#42)
by shadarr on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 07:39:01 PM EST

"The whole space scene at the beginning was only a half-assed attempt at a backstory"

I assumed that was there so when we saw Marky Mark crash for the second time we'd realize he was an incredibly bad pilot, because the pods are so simple that a monkey can fly them.

[ Parent ]

Are you joking? (2.85 / 7) (#15)
by redwolfb14 on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 01:19:59 PM EST

This movie was no where near good. This movie was HORRIBLE. First off the plot was simple with loads of holes.

1. Marky Mark lands on planet
2. Marky Mark is enslaved
3. Marky Mark gets out of slavery
4. Marky Mark fights
5. Marky Mark goes on about his business

There was no plot or anything to keep you interested or thinking in the movie. The ending so was bad it wasn't even funny, you'd think that they would at least answer some questions in the ending. However I don't really want to spoil anything for anyone. The visual effects were nice however the story, plot was boring. There are a couple of parts where you tend to get excited but ultimately you're always disappointed.

Please just don't go see this movie.
Say what you want because I already have.
what the hell? (2.50 / 2) (#18)
by Refrag on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 11:24:45 AM EST

What the hell is this?
Is the premise outdated? I was late coming into the theater, and the only person I could find to tear my ticket was cleaning the candy display... except she pointed me towards the door, and there was the guy I'd missed, standing perfectly still. He joked that he was in camoflage, since the door was a dark stained wood, and he was black... and at that moment, I felt not just caucasion, but white. Honkey white. I couldn't have asked for a better setup for a movie first made in the afterglow of the watts riots.
Why is this in the review? And what... did you feel guilty because someone else joked about a fact of life?

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

Caution: Spoiler! (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by Zeram on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 01:19:49 PM EST

Is it just me or was I the only one who seems to think that the end of the movie meant that When Leo went through the anomoly again he got shifted to a different time line where Thade managed to kill off all the humans?
<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
Also a spoiler (none / 0) (#41)
by shadarr on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 07:33:40 PM EST

I don't think it works no matter how you look at it. Mainly because of that stupid magic clock in the space pod that showed the years ticking by. Because of that clock, we know that he went into the future to begin with, and then back to 2029 at the end. If it weren't for that, we could've spent the movie thinking that he'd gone forward and at the end found out he'd actually gone into the past. But that still doesn't explain the fact that the Apes magically built exact replicas of the Washington memorial and Lincoln monument.

Basically, it was stupid. That's the bottom line. The whole ending looked tacked on, like they really did re-shoot it in the last week before release. It's like in the Back To The Future movies, only in this case the drastic change is caused by something he didn't do. This is a very shallow movie that doesn't hold up to any sort of scrutiny.

[ Parent ]

Okay. (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by Sheepdot on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 01:43:26 PM EST

It's pretty inevitable that when someone does a favorable review of a movie that everyone else will slam it, while if someone does a movie review ala Katz, and slams it, everyone will post about how much they liked it.

I'm going to agree with the author of the article and disagree with everyone else that has been posting replies by saying it *was* a movie worth the matinee fee I paid (when you can download movies for free of the net, *no* movie is worth more than a matinee).

Firstly, it essentially was a remake, so any complaints about the plot being dull are pretty weak considering you should have known most of it before you entered the theatre anyway.

Tim Burton has the ability to make a movie seem creepier than it normally would be, but unfortunately I don't think he came through in that respect on this one. General Thade sure came off as a dangerous individual, especially during both the scenes when he went psycho, near the end and right before the end.

As for the very end of the movie, I would like to state that it was *not* the intention to end the movie that way, but several endings were shot, one idea was to have a happy ending where Marky Mark just blasts away into space, the other was the crappy one.

IMHO, I think someone on the production team got a bug up his ass or maybe Burton did himself, and they decided to go with this ending even after they had been told it was too wierd. It does *not* open for a sequel, as the sequel set in such an era would be a complete failure, much along the lines with the equivalent PotA sequel (set in the same timeframe) from the originals.

Still, if you don't know how the movie ends, either goto www.corona.bc.ca and look it up, or go pay the matinee fee to see the movie. It's not a waste, but it really isn't anything new.

If you've never seen PotA, I'd suggest this one over the original.


I was wrong (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by Sheepdot on Sun Jul 29, 2001 at 06:50:22 PM EST

I was just informed that Tim Burton did *not* intend to end the movie this way, but he was contractually obligated to leave it open for a sequel. God I hope they don't make one though, it is sure to horrid.


[ Parent ]
It wasn't a remake. (none / 0) (#47)
by Scooby on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 08:59:07 PM EST

It was a different interpretation of the original novel. The original movie was way closer to the novel in terms of plot. I liked both movies either way :)

[ Parent ]
Terrible movie (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by johnjtrammell on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 11:03:43 AM EST

Flaw #1: Some astronaut. He crashes twice; how come the chimp (who he trained) is so much better at landing than he is?

Flaw #2: And what's this crap about the POTA chimps being afraid of water? Puhlease.

Flaw #3: OK, you have about 100 standard humans with sticks and rocks up against 10,000 armor-clad apes that can jump 20 feet in the air and run as fast as a horse. Sure, Marky kills about 50 of them with his little trick; I suspect the other 9,950 would mop up in about 2 minutes flat.

My advice: wait until it's in the dollar theater.

Combat (none / 0) (#30)
by Merk00 on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 01:14:16 PM EST

Flaw #3: OK, you have about 100 standard humans with sticks and rocks up against 10,000 armor-clad apes that can jump 20 feet in the air and run as fast as a horse. Sure, Marky kills about 50 of them with his little trick; I suspect the other 9,950 would mop up in about 2 minutes flat.
First of all, there was a more equal distribution of forces than that. More importantly, the Apes attacked in waves, which is an advantage to the defender as they can use a local numerical superiority against the attackers. The most important part is that the Apes were extremely spread apart in their attacks. If the humans had stayed in a tight formation they would have ripped the Apes apart. Simple heavy infantry tactics dictate that much.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Heavy infantry? (none / 0) (#34)
by johnjtrammell on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:26:43 PM EST

Riiiight.

[ Parent ]
Infantry (none / 0) (#36)
by Merk00 on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:56:21 PM EST

Heavy infantry is simply any infantry that fights with a hand-to-hand weapon (sword, spear, pike). Light infantry is anyone that fights with a ranged weapon (bow, javelin).

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

4x more humans (none / 0) (#37)
by ScrO on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 03:48:15 PM EST

OK, you have about 100 standard humans with sticks and rocks up against 10,000 armor-clad apes that can jump 20 feet in the air and run as fast as a horse.

It is stated earlier in the move that the humans outnumber the apes 4 to 1. (=

ScrO!

[ Parent ]

Apes in Water (none / 0) (#31)
by Mzilikazi on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 01:19:49 PM EST

Real apes can't swim, they're not buoyant and simply sink to the bottom. I'm guessing it's just one of those little ape facts that they decided to leave in for the sake of moving the plot along without too much thought. Of course, there's nothing to prevent them from building boats.

None of the movie stands up to much scrutiny, though... Plot holes big enough to drive an oddly-constructed space station through. ;)

Hey, has anyone here read Great Apes by Will Self? While I didn't really like the novel overall, I did think his view of an ape-dominated world to be incredible, with a lot of attention to dominance structure and grooming. The bit with the humans in the zoo is definitely not to be missed.

[ Parent ]

Apes can't swim (none / 0) (#33)
by johnjtrammell on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:22:16 PM EST

Not that I believe everything I read on the internet, it looks like you're oversimplifying:

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/pan/p._troglodytes.html

http://www.chimps-inc.com/faqs.html

I think you're mostly right, but the movie still sucked.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for the links... (none / 0) (#35)
by Mzilikazi on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:34:54 PM EST

I was simplifying, and of course it's always dangerous to make blanket statements. I suppose it would have been better to say that apes don't float and aren't really equipped for swimming. Baby chimpanzees and gorillas are terrified of the water and will drown, unlike human babies that can float and swim and keep their noses closed to keep from breathing in water. (This is part of Elaine Morgan's "aquatic ape" theory of human evolution.)

Again, the movie apes were so far removed from real apes that it's all pretty moot. :)

On a different note, was anyone else annoyed by the fact that the spacesuits worn by Marky Mark and the chimpanzee weren't sealed? The chimp wasn't wearing gloves and Wahlberg didn't do anything to seal his gloves to his sleeves. I guess the idea is that if your cabin depressurizes, your hands will explode first before you die when all the air flies out of your suit. Would have made a cool scene. ;)

[ Parent ]

Wait for video (none / 0) (#29)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 01:06:38 PM EST

Ok, I just saw this movie on opening night. I will agree with you on the point about art direction but that's about it. Helena Bonham Carter plays her part very well, but she seems to carry most of the weight in terms of character development, expression and dialogue. In general, the dialogue is a of a very low caliber and tends toward the blunt rather than the subtle. There are also a lot of blatant moral statements and cultural references that don't fit well as it is but wouldn't fit at all for a non-modern audience. Mark Wahlberg's character is a typical military non-conformist. I have no qualms about the use of character archetypes but Wahlberg's character feels comprimised. Blatant formulaic moral agendas make his character shallow. He lacks discretion and foresight and you can almost see the media executives thinking for him. That is unfortunate. Other acting in the movie is even worse. For example: the human boy who can't listen to reason, falls on his horse, and gets saved from the apes at the last second. The role was so typical, formulaic and contrived I don't think any amount of acting could have saved it. So what did I like? Basically, like anansi said, the art direction. The opening cinematics were done very much in a format resembling that of Batman (1989) and I loved it. But without good plot and character development to back it up, this movie can't hold my interest for long. My advice, wait until it's on VHS or DVD. It's worth seeing maybe once.

An awful movie- wait for the video (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by abe ferlman on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:16:53 PM EST

I saw this movie last night and I'd like to save you all from it. The original was a good movie with bad special effects. This is a bad movie with good special effects. A *really* bad movie. The dialog is awful, and the corniness of Paul Giamatti saying "can't we all just get along?" ala Rodney King pops any semblance of suspension of disbelief you may have managed to that point. Charleton Heston bizarrely overacts, like he's auditioning for the part of Captain Kirk in a TV movie or something.

What would make this movie good? Someone needs to do a Phantom Edit style makeover on this movie. Leave the cool ape sound effects/etc., but overdub most of the dialog with something remotely interesting that does not insult the audience's intelligence.

If you must see this movie, wait for the video, then turn the volume off while you watch it. The plot is hammer-to-the-head simple, so you won't be missing anything important, and all the good performances are very heavy on gestures so you'll be able to get the gist anyway. Maybe try playing Pink Floyd's "The Wall", see if anything lines up Wizard of Oz-style.

Finally, turn the movie off after the first unexpected kiss. You'll thank me. It's that dumb.

Bryon

My issues with Planet of the Apes (none / 0) (#38)
by ScrO on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 04:00:57 PM EST

I liked the movie overall, but had the following issues:

  1. The human female 'lead', some collagen-enhanced model, had like 5 lines. Granted, there isn't all that much dialog in this movie, but all the previews seemed to paint her in a bigger role. I didn't even remember she was there for half the movie, and when she was there, it certainly didn't seem very important.

  2. Maybe I'm odd, but I got a fairly strong anti-genetic research message. It seemed to me that a main message was: "We genetically modified these apes and monkeys, and look, they got too smart and killed us all and took over this planet. We better not screw around with genetic research!"

  3. Finally, of course, the ending. I have yet to read or think of one good theory about the ending.

    **SPOILER WARNINGS**

    I figure either Thade (the evil general ape) figured out how to get into space somehow (he was locked in the ship with the logs) and traveled back to Earth (in the past) and staged a revolt (a la one of those original Planet of the Apes sequels),
    OR
    Marky Mark went in to the future a fair amount, and apes had evolved on Earth like they had on the other planet, and taken over the Earth. But that still doesn't explain the Thade/Lincoln statue. *shrug*

ScrO!

Planet Of The Apes ending (none / 0) (#43)
by Orion Blastar on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 10:44:37 AM EST

My theory is that the Time-Storm had created an alternate reality where the Space Station had crashed on Earth instead of that other planet. Alternate Thade on Alternate Earth rose to power and took over the humans and then took over the Human's technology.

Either that or the Apes freed Thade and got info from the Station Computer and salvaged the escape Pod that Leo used to fix the Space Station and then went into the Time-Storm into the Earth of the 19th century and then took it over. Thade took over control of the US from Lincoln and then later the world.

I bet you can't wait for the next movie? :)
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]

About #1 (none / 0) (#44)
by Scooby on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 08:45:02 PM EST

Well, in the book, with the exception of a few words later on, she didn't talk at all.

[ Parent ]
Unimpressive (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by tripwyre on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 04:06:25 PM EST

When you consider that this movie is supposed to be a summer blockbuster, it wasn't very good. The characters were boring and the plot was predictable. Anyway, check out Filthy Critic's review of the movie. It was more entertaining than actually watching the movie, IMHO.

Jonathan Groth

sucks... big time... (none / 0) (#48)
by cruiser on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 11:42:36 PM EST

what a waste of money... I agree with many of the comments here... what a waste of a movie budget...

Racism in Planet of the Apes (none / 0) (#52)
by gaimerNY on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 02:01:58 AM EST

"You'd think there would have been more subtle racism among their ranks." anansi Actually, the "sublte racism aspect" was blatant. Check out the skin tones on the apes in relation to their governmental hierarchy. Top officials were very light in color, top guy is almost white. Continue down to the soldiers, greasy black skin tones. Although, I found the story interesting, I'd have liked a different ending where Marky returned through time to where he began. I suppose they'll sequel us to death until Marky finds the right electric storm to get him back to Kansas. There's no place like home.

Planet of the Apes | 52 comments (46 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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