Planet of the Apes


Action / Adventure


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July 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm



Mark Wahlberg as Captain Leo Davidson
Tim Roth as Thade
720p 1080p
750.92 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 10 / 25
1.75 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 12 / 37

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dunmore_ego 3 / 10

Marky Mark's Planet Of The Apes

Warning: Spoilers Galore!

Tim Burton remaking this sui generis movie is about as sensible as remaking Psycho - oh, that's right, some idiot already did that - I rest my case.

Movie opens with chimpnaut blundering a simulation, proving he's not that smart from the outset. Marky Mark appears in shot without his characteristic underpants showing, then is turned down by a plain woman who prefers the touch of chimpanzees.

The perfunctory establishing shot of the space station orbiting Saturn for no apparent reason, interior of ship a-bustle with genetic experiments on apes. Must we travel 1,300 million kilometers to Saturn to conduct these experiments? The special effects team decrees it.

Marky's chimp gets lost in that staple of 60s sci-fi cinema - the Time Warp. Marky then demonstrates the space station's mind-boggling security ineptness by stealing a pod without anyone noticing, while simultaneously demonstrating his abject stupidity in mounting a deep-space rescue mission into a worm-hole for an expendable test chimp, with a million dollar vehicle with limited fuel and oxygen supplies.

Before anyone can say `Pointless Remake' Marky has surfed the worm-hole, crashed on an alien planet, removed his helmet without any thought to the lethality of the atmosphere and is being chased through a sound stage that almost resembles a lush rainforest, if it weren't for the kliegs backlighting the plastic trees.

Surprise! It's APES doing the chasing - or at least, it *would* have been a
surprise if no one saw Planet Of The Apes THIRTY-THREE YEARS AGO.

Since Marky Mark did not get to show his pecs, take down his pants, or bust his lame whiteboy rap, he was characterless. Michael Clarke Duncan's gorilla teeth being inserted crookedly helped immensely in establishing *his* lack of character. Helena Bonham-Carter (aka irritating chimp activist), at a loss without a Shakespearean script, did a fine job of outdoing both Marky and Clarke as Most Cardboard Cutout. Paul Giamatti, the orangutan slave trader, secured the role of token comic relief and interspecies klutz. Though I have grown bilious in hearing puns relating to this movie, one review headline captured the essence of this Planet Of The Apes `re-imagining': `The Apes Of Roth'. While everyone else minced about looking like extras from One Million Years BC or Greystoke, Tim Roth, as Chimpanzee Thade, chews massive amounts of scenery and hurls kaka splendiferously. As entertaining as his portrayal of the psychotic Thade was, his character lacked a behavioral arc: Thade is mad when we first meet him... and he's pretty much at the same level of mad at film's end. Nice twist.

The original POTA (1968) featured a leading character, Charlton Heston's Taylor, who was so disenchanted with mankind that he left earth for space with no regrets - yet as that film progressed, Taylor unwittingly found himself locked in a battle to prove mankind's worth - as their sole champion! The original film was ultimately a tale of humiliation, not salvation: when Taylor discovers the Statue of Liberty, he is forced to realize that his species had NOT prevailed. Is there anything that cerebral or ironic to Marky Mark's Leo? Or Roth's Thade? No, but there's lots of running.

The slogans cry: Take Back The Planet .but it's the APES' planet. In this movie, humans and apes crash-landed here together, the humans having degenerated to cavepeople, allowing the apes to acquire speech and sensual body armor; the apes DESERVED to inherit the planet! Along comes Marky Mark, in true anthropocentric arrogance, taking it for granted that humans HAVE to be the apex predators, simply because they're there. `Taking it back' is as ludicrous as apes landing here in 2001, complaining, `A planet where men evolved from APES??!!' and then causing trouble with their overacting and hairy anuses.

Heston was cast in the 1968 POTA because he had established his reputation as a maverick: he WAS Ben-Hur, Michelangelo, Moses! To cast him as the mute, dogged animal in an alien society was to stupefy an audience's expectations: how crazed must a world be where Our Man Charlton cannot command respect? Marky Mark has currently only established that he has tight underpants.

Though Heston was denigrated constantly by the ape council, he dominated the screen with his charisma and stupendous overacting. When Marky Mark tries to instill fervor in the mongoloid humans, it's like that unpopular guy in school suddenly being made classroom monitor, who tells you to stop drawing penises on the blackboard and you throw a shoe at him. Burton tries to elevate Marky to humanity's icon, but he comes off as a chittering deviant. In the original film, the apes deem Taylor a deviant, yet he was, to audience and apes alike, an icon of humanity. That irony again.

It was apt that a man who elevated scene-chewing to an acting technique - Heston - should play the father of this film's primo scene-chewer, Thaddeus Roth. As Roth's ape-dad, Charlton utters his own immortal lines, turned against the HUMANS this time, `Damn them! Damn them all to hell!'

The movie gets dumb and dumber towards the end. While Thaddeus is giving Marky an ass-beating lesson, a pod descends from on high with Marky's chimpnaut in it. Apes demonstrate their hebetude by bowing in obeisance to this incognizant creature, while Marky proves his own hebetude by muttering, `Let's teach these monkeys about evolution.' Firstly, they're not monkeys, you ape! Secondly, it was genetic tampering and imbecilic plot fabrications which brought the apes to this point, not evolution. And what you intend to teach them by blowing them away with the concealed lasergun is called misanthropy, not evolution.

Giving away the twist ending would only confuse viewers into believing that Estella Warren's half-nekkid role was actually integral to the plot (be still my pants.).

No matter that he was humankind's last underpanted hope; in the end, cop apes take Marky away to Plot Point Prison where he was last heard ululating, `It's a madhouse! A MADHOUSE!!...'

Reviewed by James Hitchcock 6 / 10

A Remake of a Film that Never Needed to be Remade

If one wants to remake a movie, the best option is probably to choose and original that was good, but not a great classic. Clearly, any attempt to remake a concept that failed first time around is fraught with danger, but an attempt to remake a classic runs the risk that one's film will be unfavourably compared with the original. The original 1968 film of 'Planet of the Apes' is one of cinema's great science fiction classics. More than an adventure story, it touches on some of the concerns of the late sixties- the fear of nuclear war, race relations- and also raises more fundamental issues about the relationship between man and nature, the relationship between religion and science, Darwinism and animal rights. It was therefore a brave move on Tim Burton's part to try and remake it.

The main concept of Tim Burton's film is basically similar to Franklin Schaffner's. An astronaut from Earth travels to a planet ruled by intelligent apes. Humans exist on this planet, but they are regarded as an inferior species, despised and exploited by the apes. There is, however, an important difference. In the original film, the apes are the only intelligent and articulate beings on the planet. Although they have only attained a pre-industrial level of civilization (they have firearms, but no power-driven machinery, and no means of transport other than the horse or horse-drawn vehicles), they are a far more advanced species than the planet's human inhabitants, who lack the powers of speech and reason and live an animal-like existence. In Burton's remake, humans and apes have similar powers of speech and intellect; it is only the apes' greater physical strength that enables them to dominate the planet and to treat the humans as slaves.

It was this ironic role-reversal, with apes behaving like men and men behaving like beasts, that gave Schaffner's film its satirical power. That film was advertised with the slogan 'Somewhere in the Universe, there must be something better than man!', and the apes are indeed, in some respects, better than man. Their law against killing others of their kind, for example, is much more strictly observed than our commandment that 'Thou shalt do no murder'. There is no sense that the apes are bad and the humans good. Even Dr Zaius, the orang-utan politician, is not a wicked individual; by the standards of his society he is an honourable and decent one. His weakness is that of excessive intellectual conservatism and unwillingness to accept opinions that do not fit in with his preconceived world view. (In this respect the apes are very human indeed).

Burton's film takes a less subtle moral line. It is a straightforward story of a fight for freedom. The villains are most of the apes, especially the fanatical, human-hating General Thade. The heroes are Captain Davidson, the astronaut from Earth, the planet's human population who long for freedom from the domination of the apes, and a few liberal, pro-human apes, especially Ari, the daughter of an ape senator. The apes are more aggressive and more obviously animals than in the original film; they still frequently move on all fours and emit fierce shrieks whenever angry or excited.

There are some things about this film that are good, especially the ape make-up which is, for the most part, more convincing than in the original film and allows the actors more scope to show emotion. (I say 'for the most part' because Ari looks far less simian than do most of the other apes- Tim Burton obviously felt that the audience would be more likely to accept her as a sympathetic character if she looked half-human). The actors playing apes actually seem more convincing than those playing humans. Tim Roth is good as the militaristic Thade, as is Helena Bonham-Carter as Ari. Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand, is not an actor of the same caliber as Charlton Heston, who played the equivalent role in the original film, and Estella Warren has little to do other than look glamorous. (Heston has a cameo role as an ape in Burton's film, and even gets to repeat his famous line 'Damn you all to hell').

Overall, however, the film is a disappointment when compared to the original, a simple science-fiction adventure story as opposed to an intelligent and philosophical look at complex issues. It tried to copy the device of a surprise ending but failed. Schaffner's famous final twist is shocking, but makes perfect sense in the context of what has gone before. Burton's makes no sense whatsoever.

Tim Burton can be a director of great originality, but with 'Planet of the Apes' he fell into the standard Hollywood trap of trying to copy what had already been done and remaking a film that never needed to be remade. It was good to see him return to form with the brilliant 'Big Fish', one of the best films of last year. 6/10

Reviewed by lwjoslin 5 / 10

"Apes Lite"

Tim Burton's new "Planet of the Apes" is actually a remake--excuse me, a "re-imagining"--of the first TWO movies of the old series. Its occasional paraphrasing of lines from the original movie (devoid of any meaningful context), and its cameos by members of the original cast (Charlton Heston and Linda Harrison), only underscore that this new version isn't what the original was, i.e., an original. Mark Wahlberg, as Our Hero, has none of the cynical, edgy complexity of Heston's Taylor, and is in fact the sort of can-do flyboy Taylor found laughable. Much as I adore Helena Bonham Carter, her turn as Ari, a sultry, sexy, meddling, annoying human-rights activist, is ultimately tiresome, and absolutely incomparable to Kim Hunter's brave, brilliant, impish Zira of the old series. The role is also a criminal waste of Bonham Carter's beauty, hidden as it is behind a bizarre makeup that looks neither ape nor human. Rick Baker's highly-touted ape makeups (which I've enjoyed since the days of "Schlock" and "Kentucky Fried Movie") are highly uneven here. Tim Roth's villainous Thade has the best, with most of the rest being just adequate and no particular improvement over John Chambers' work in the original. And the socko ending (keep reading; I won't spoil it for you) is simply tacked on: unlike the jolting end of the original, it neither ties together nor arises from the movie's earlier action in a way that Explains Everything. Instead, it begs so many questions (mainly "How the heck did THAT happen?") that it seems engineered (or contrived) solely to set the stage for more sequels. All told, this is "Apes Lite," a comic-bookish caricature of the original, made for the short-attention-span crowd. It made me want to do something I hadn't done in ages: fire up the VCR and roll the original again. It's typical of the 1968 movie's gritty, clever irony that the first word of dialogue uttered by an ape--his entire line, in fact--is "Smile."

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