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Review: Planet of the Apes

JonKatz posted more than 13 years ago | from the -when-movie-remakes--don't-evolve- dept.

Movies 343

In the pre-Net era, aging Boomers like me often marked the phases of our lives with dumb TV shows and a handful of arresting, even ground-breaking movies or cultural offerings we remember all our lives, much the way younger folks may recall Star Wars or Myst. Planet of The Apes, released 30 years ago, a movie that morphed into a series, then a cult fad, was one of them. It looks a bit grade B these days, but at the time, it was a real and imaginative shocker that dealt directly with race, class, space and the Nuclear Age. And it ended with a conclusion that stunned audiences -- a real rarity in American movies. In fact, I can't think of another that matches it. I always pegged it at the top of the list of the era's sci-fi movies. The new one won't be. Spoilage warning: Plot discussed, but no details of the ... er ... shocking ending.

This only matters because it may affect the way older people see Tim Burton's reimagined Planet of the Apes. It's a generational thing, admittedly, of no importance to anybody under 30, who can go see the movie with less baggage.

But in that context, this movie doesn't match up, or come close. And it pretty much squelches hopes for a great movie of this summer (with the possible exception of Shrek). Unless American Pie 2 really delivers, there just ain't going to be one.

The costuming and computerized effects in Planet of the Apes are really terrific, and the movie is at times witty, imaginative and entertaining, no small accomplishment, especially this summer. It reminds us that when it comes to ominous design and atmosphere, nobody can top Burton. Where he seems to have trouble is with storytelling.

In the original, Charlton Heston played the towering hero Col. George Taylor, the arrogant and stranded space traveler. In this re-engineering, rechristened Capt. Leo Davidson, Mark Wahlberg, takes over. As great as he was in Three Kings and Boogie Nights, historical comparison isn't kind to Wahlberg, who seems to really lack stature. He looks stunned from the minute he lands on this strange planet, and he spends much of 125 minutes mumbling platitudes to simians and humans and running from some ferocious, brilliantly-rendered and truly mean apes. (The exception is a literal human-rights activist and bleeding heart named Ari, played by Helena Bonham Carter.) This movie really needs George Clooney or a younger Harrison Ford.

You'll find all sorts of winks and nods at the earlier films, including landscape and architectural references, and an uncredited appearance by Heston himself as the ape general's father. There are also mutations of the earlier version's best known lines -- including the classic "Take your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" You had to love Heston at that moment in the first movie, a towering old-school Hollywood superhero insisting on his dignity in world that didn't want to give him a shred, but which, ultimately, had no choice. Capt. Davidson never gets far enough past his shock and disorientation to get mad. In keeping with this era, he's a sensitive hero, concerned but incapable of outrage.

Tim Roth playes Thade, the Simian general who truly loathes humans and exudes hate and rage with every movement and facial expression.

Thade finds people so disgusting he literally bounces off the walls and hangs off the ceiling waiting to get to them so he can tear them apart. Yet oddly, he loves Ari, the liberal human sympathizer. (In another echo of the past, she loves the spaceman, of course, and there is even an interspecies smooch that had the audience in my theater feeling volubly yucky.)

But don't look for too much intellectual exercise. The movie makes the point -- fittingly, through Heston -- that the smarter humans become, the more damage they seem to do as a species. The first movie clearly had racial and class messages to pass along (it was adapted from La Planete des Singes, a novel by Pierre Boulle, whose target was European class snobbery).

There are things to admire here. The faces and expressions of the apes are much more expressive than they were 30 years ago. They're more expressive, in fact, than Wahlberg's. The computer-rendered battle scene, becoming a staple of Hollywood action movies, is impressive.

And the opening 10 or 15 minutes are promisingly fabulistic. On a spaceship that sends trained monkeys out in pods rather than risking humans, Capt Davidson's favorite, Pericles, gets lost in a nebula. It's a neat sequence, with Davidson defying orders to set out after him. Strange space storms wreck his navigation systems, though, and he crash lands on the nearest planet. Leo barely hits the ground, though, before vicious ape soldiers out to capture and sell humans into slavery are after him and his kind. We are clearly meant to see none-too-subtle slave-trade analogies here (plus echoes of animal-rights arguments). But even movies about apes ought to evolve -- does anybody in 2001 really need convincing of slavery's evil?

Nevertheless, to make the point, the movie's humans get treated with utter contempt and brutality, bought and sold and doomed to menial labor, caged at night. In one manipulative but effective sequence, a small child, adopted as a pet by an ape girl, gets locked in a birdcage at night. In what is perhaps a reference to slavery and the Old South, ape society seems to be becoming more narcissistic and decadent, its cruelty to humans undermining its own sense of moral value and purpose.

Dahlberg, who seems ill at ease in this movie and is flat throughout, simply wants to get home. Hardly any other motive or thought occurs to him until very near the ending. Ari, protesting brutality against humans, helps Leo escape to rouse the battered, hopeless remnants of the human race.

I don't want to give anything further away, except to say that either Burton or 20th Century Fox went for still another memorable ending to this Planet of the Apes. I suppose you have to admire their guts, and this one is also a jaw-dropper, but alas, mostly because it's so dumb.

Let's be clear: Planet of the Apes is more than good enough to go see, but you will have forgotten every scene by Labor Day. In 30 years, you'll be eagerly awaiting the remake of something else -- hopefully. Maybe it will be less of a disappointment for you than this one was for me.

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fp (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2184710)

My lord this story is generating a lot of interest! 7 minutes after it's posted we dont have an fp! yet.

Man.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2184711)

I couldn't get past the first sentence. "In the pre-Net era'? What the flipping hell is something as inane and banal as that doing opening a movie review?

My God, why doesn't someone do us all a favor and just start re-posting Ebert's reviews. He at least sees summer blockbusters for what they are: Action flicks so we can forget reality.

What's next? Land of the Lost 2001? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2184712)

Starring William Shatner as Marshall, Wierd Al Yancovic as Will, Elvira as Holly. And Mark and Brian as the Sleestack. Hey kids! It's got dinosaurs!

Re:Katz not liking a movie (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2184713)

No, he didn't.

Katz wanted to be *in* Matrix but Reeves stormed off the set saying, "Even *I* have some standards."

New policy: (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2184716)

Let's be clear: Planet of the Apes is more than good enough to go see, but you will have forgotten every scene by Labor Day
Okay, this is just enough. From now on, let's mod up the first AC who cuts-and-pastes a real review, and then people who want to know about the movie can just scroll a little (okay, so a lot) and have it.
(Note: if you moderate using Over-rated or Under-rated you won't go to meta-mod. [Since it doesn't make sense to metamod either of those if you don't have a score to go with it....])

In this proud new tradition, I submit:
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution [accessatlanta.com] - (grade: C+) "Maybe Darwin was wrong: this remake shows no sign of evolution."

  • Chicago Tribune [metromix.com] - "...a rouser, a screaming-banshee fun house."

  • CNN.com [cnn.com] - "...this is one really bad script."

  • Deseret News (Salt Lake City) [desnews.com] - (3 stars) "...when it's good, it comes close to being great."

  • E! Online [eonline.com] - (grade: C+) "...offers an eye-appealing world but a truly disappointing story."

  • Entertainment Weekly [ew.com] - (grade: C+) "...[features] everything...but imagination."

  • L.A. Weekly [laweekly.com] - "...underwritten..."

  • Los Angeles Times [calendarlive.com] - "...over-plotted and under-dramatized..."

  • Mr. Showbiz [go.com] - (rating: 2/5) "...despite its presentation, the film is so very ordinary, without urgency or revelation."

  • New York Times [nytimes.com] - "...both a gas and distant, a toy sealed in its unbreakable box."

  • People [aol.com] - "The fault lies not in the stars here but in the script."

  • Roger Ebert [suntimes.com] - (2.5 stars) "I expected more."

  • Salon [salon.com] - "...stops far too short of being completely seductive."

  • San Francisco Chronicle [sfgate.com] - "...an amazing display of imagination."

  • TV Guide [tvguide.com] - (2.5 out of 5 stars) "...sorely deficient on the story front."

  • USA Today [usatoday.com] - (3 out of 4 stars) "...[the costumes] allow the power of the performer inside the ape gear to break on through."

  • Search the Movie Review Query Engine [mrqe.com]



And now Ebert's review:
BY ROGER EBERT

Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes" wants to be all things to all men, and all apes. It's an action picture and a satire of an action picture. It's a comedy and then it gets serious. It's a social satire and then backs away from pushing that angle too far. It even has a weird intra-species romantic triangle in it. And it has a surprise ending that I loved, even though Matt Drudge spoiled it last weekend with a breathless "scoop."

The movie could have been more. It could have been a parable of men and animals, as daring as "Animal Farm." It could have dealt in social commentary with a sting, and satire that hurt. It could have supported, or attacked, the animal rights movement. It could have dealt with the intriguing question of whether a man and a gorilla having sex is open-mindedness, or bestiality (and, if bestiality, in both directions?).

It could have, but it doesn't. It's a cautious movie, earning every letter and numeral of its PG-13 rating. Intellectually, it's science fiction for junior high school boys.

I expected more. I thought Burton would swing for the fence. He plays it too safe, defusing his momentum with little nudges to tell you he knows it's only a movie. The 1968 "Planet of the Apes" was made before irony became an insurance policy. It made jokes, but it took itself seriously. Burton's "Planet" has scenes that defy us to believe them (his hero survives two bumpy crash-landings that look about as realistic as the effects in his "Mars Attacks!"). And it backs away from any kind of risky complexity in its relationships.

The key couple consists of Leo (Mark Wahlberg), who is the human hero, and Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), who is the Eleanor Roosevelt of the apes. They're attracted to each other but don't know what to do about it, and the screenplay gives them little help. Leo is also supposed to be linked romantically, I guess, with a curvy blond human named Daena (Estella Warren), but her role has been so abbreviated that basically all she does is follow along looking at Leo either significantly or winsomely, as circumstances warrant. At the end, he doesn't even bid her a proper farewell.

Leo, to be sure, is not one for effusive emotional outbursts. He's played by Wahlberg as a limited and narrow person with little imagination, who never seems very surprised by anything that happens to him--like, oh, to take a random example, crash-landing on a planet where the apes rule the humans. He's a space jockey type, trained in macho self-abnegation, who is great in a crisis but doesn't offer much in the way of conversation. His basic motivation seems to be to get himself off the planet, and to hell with the friends he leaves behind; he's almost surly sometimes as he leads his little band through the wilderness.

The most "human" character in the movie is, in fact, the chimpanzee Ari, who believes all species were created equal, casts her lot with the outcast humans, and tells Leo, "you're sensitive--a welcome quality in a man." Helena Bonham Carter invests this character with warmth, personality and distinctive body language; she has a way of moving that kids itself.

There's also juice in a character named Limbo (Paul Giamatti), a scam artist who has a deal for everyone, and a lot of funny one-liners. That he sounds like a carnival pitch-man should not be held against him.

The major ape characters include the fearsome Gen. Thade (Tim Roth), his strong but occasionally thoughtful gorilla lieutenant Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan), and Sen. Sandar (David Warner), who is a parliamentary leader and Ari's father. There's also a cameo for Charlton Heston, as a wise old ape who inevitably introduces a gun into the plot and has a curmudgeonly exit line. Watching the apes is fun all during the movie, while watching the humans usually isn't; the movie works hard to bring the apes to life, but unwisely thinks the humans can take care of themselves.

It's interesting that several different simian species co-exist in the planet's ape society. It may be a little hard to account for that, given the logic of the movie, although I will say no more. One major change between this film and the earlier one is that everyone--apes and humans--speak English. The movie explains why the apes speak English, but fudges on how they learned to speak at all.

The movie is great-looking. Rick Baker's makeup is convincing even in the extreme closeups, and his apes sparkle with personality and presence. The sets and locations give us a proper sense of alien awe, and there's one neat long shot of the ape city-mountain that looks, when you squint a little, like Xanadu from "Citizen Kane." There are lines inviting laughs ("Extremism in the defense of apes is no vice") and others unwisely inviting groans ("If you show me the way out of here--I promise I'll show you something that will change your life forever"). And a priceless moment when Leo wants to stop the squabbling among his fugitive group of men and apes and barks: "Shut up! That goes for all species!"

"Planet of the Apes" is the kind of movie that you enjoy at times, admire at times, even really like at times, but is it necessary? Given how famous and familiar Franklin J. Schaffner's 1968 film is, Tim Burton had some kind of an obligation to either top it, or sidestep it. Instead, he pays homage. He calls this version a "reimaging," and so it is, but a reinvention might have been better. Burton's work can show a wild and crazed imagination, but here he seems reined in. He's made a film that's respectful to the original, and respectable in itself, but that's not enough. Ten years from now, it will be the 1968 version that people are still renting.

Copyright © Chicago Sun-Times Inc.





Let's make a tradition of this!

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (2)

Virtex (2914) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184725)

I was kind of wondering where the horses came from. Surely they didn't have any on the space station.

--

Re:Why is Kats doing movie reviews anyway (1)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184726)

Why is Kats doing movie reviews anyway
Jon Katz does movie reviews because people, just like yourself, read them and comment on them. Whether or not anybody agrees with him is irrelevant because any given Katz feature will pretty much always generate at least a few hundred comments.

It's simple.

Re:Why remakes almost never live up to the origina (4)

Genom (3868) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184727)

The only remake I've seen that lived up to the original was Evil Dead 2...which was, for all intents and purposes a remake of Evil Dead - although they set it up as a sequel.

The Ending (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184728)

I wonder if the movie ends like the book? That's what lacked the most in the first movie.

By the way: read the book. It's really good science fiction.

--

No big movie of the summer? (1)

Steev (5372) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184731)

I can't believe that he has the gall to say that there's not going to be a BIG movie of the summer, when Jay and Silent Bob Stike Back [newsaskew.com] has yet to come to theaters. Screw all the rest of them...I am admittedly a *huge* Kevin Smith fan, and I think that this one is going to be his piece de resistance.

Unfortunately, he's also said it's going to be the last of his movies that features the dynamic duo [viewaskew.com] of Jay and Silent Bob [viewaskew.com] .
--
Join my fight against Subway's new cut!
http://spine.cx/subway/ [spine.cx]

Re:Major Problems (serious spoilage) (1)

Calloway (8670) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184738)

I agree with most of the problems you mentioned. However, I just wanted to comment on the apparent problem of artificial gravity. When I was watching the movie, it hit me immediately, so much that I even started to stare at the actors' feet to see if they were wearing anything that could be construed as magnetic boots. But anyway, I thought about it for a little longer, and it occurred to me that it may be conceivable that since the Oberon is orbiting Saturn, assuming that it was oriented correctly, it could be positioned in the right orbit for a sufficiently apparent gravitational field aboard the station. I started to try to do some calculations in my head, but then I had to stop myself so I didn't miss any of the movie. =P

Spoiler Request (1)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184750)

I don't want to give the MPAA any more of my money. Can someone fill us in, how did the first one end? How does this one end?

Dahlberg?!? (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184755)

Wahlberg. Get your teen heart throbs straight!

Re:Only old people can know old movies? (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184756)

I think what he meant is that old people such as him felt the message of the original film more deeply because they lived in fear of nuclear war. While this is true to some extent today, nobody I know has a fallout shelter in their back yard. This version (which I have yet to see) probably just didn't have the same deeper meaning that the original had, which makes sense sense it wasn't created under the shadow of the cold war.

And I don't think Katz was implying that younger people can't appreciate the original film, since he even said or implied that it is still a popular rental today (I, too, am 22 and have seen it 3 or 4 times).

______________________________

Re:"Fabulistic"? (1)

PovRayMan (31900) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184763)

Yes Jon Katz is a professional writer!

13th paragraph down...

Dahlberg, who seems ill at ease in this movie and is flat throughout, simply wants to get home.

Well he could have slipped worse and said "Marky Mark, who seems ill..."

----------

You're not thinking four dimentionally **SPOILER** (5)

Fapestniegd (34586) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184765)

You need to look closely at the clock on the spacepod as he travels through time. (we won't even get into why that makes no sense) But We started in 2029. Marky Mark Goes through a time-unstable LIFO wormhole and end up 400 years int the future at a distant world. Perecles Went in first so he came out last. The Mothership went in last so it came out first, crashed and the apes take over. Now to my point: If you look at the clock on Marky Mark's spacpod on the return trip, The last date you see is 21xx which means he is 100 years into OUR earth's future. This being the case, and assuming that the only genetically engineered apes in the universe were not on Marky's Mothership, would it not be conceiveable that the genetically engineered apes on earth could have a revolution as well? Could this be a anti-genetic manipulation theme. And Yes I realize I'm reaching. But my logic filters demand satisfaction.

Re:Shock Value -- ya think? OffT apes, OT films;) (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184766)

To tell the truth, I thought Ace Ventura: Pet Detective had more of a shock ending than Shawshank Redeption or the 6th Sense ... tell me you didn't get the idea that Willis was dead throughout 6th Sense?

I'm trying to think of better examples of shock endings though without much success.

What Lies Beneath had a little shocker toward the end, I'd day. There's a movie about Voodoo / Santeria starring Charlie Sheen ("The Believers"? I dunno English title, saw it only in German) which has what I thought was a pretty gruesome shocking ending. And unlike Angelheart, it was much less strongly hinted at. Angelheart though -- YOIKS! Scary movie.

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (5)

pdice (41822) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184773)

I enoyed most of the movie, except the ending. The ending made no sense. I went with three other people and none of us could reason it out. I've talked to other people online and have come up with three explanations, but none make complete sense.

1) Somehow he really went into the future instead of into the past and the apes were somehow able to evolve further and just happened to make washington look like it does now.

There are a bunch of holes with this one, but it thought i would post it at least.

2) The storm cloud also allowed to travel through dimensions and he went to another dimension where apes ruled.

Okay, this one is even funnier than the first one.

3) The general was able to use the technology from the ship and construct some kind of spacecraft, go through the storm before the main character could get back and conquered earth before he arrived.

This one makes more sense, but there is less proof of it.

What do you think?

Whoops (2)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184775)

Orbits, by definition, are in free-fall.
--

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (2)

ender- (42944) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184784)

"They had primitive tech so I dont seem to think they are survivors of oberon."

The survivors of the Oberon crash were subsequently attacked and killed by the enhanced monkeys from the ship. I believe the humans in the movies were the decendents of some Oberon humans who managed to escape the monkeys and live primitively in the forest.
Aside from numerous other inconsistencies/impossibilities, I think it is reasonable to assume that after 600 years worth of living in the forest on the run from intelligent apes, humans wouldn't have much tech left.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong [apologies to Miller...]

Ender

Re:You're not thinking four dimentionally **SPOILE (1)

CentrX (50629) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184787)

The ship is Ca-Li-Ma btw.

Re:There will be a good movie this summer... (1)

Field Marshall Stack (58180) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184790)

There's already a good movie out (well, at least in major cities). It's called Ghost World, and it's directed by the guy who did Crumb.

Comes out in wide(r) release on August 3, in case you'd like to see something good before your Kevin Smith movie comes out.
--
"HORSE."

In was'nt good. Period. (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184793)

I went to see Planet of The Apes on opening night. Because I liked the original movies, but mostly because I'm a big Tim Burton fan : he's my favorite director. But in planet of the apes, Tim seems lost in all this technology and none of it bears the distinctive Burton mark that we have grown to love in Sleepy Hollow or the Batman series (I and II). It just didn't feel right. Sure, the jungle was nice, the city too. But everything else seemed out of place for a Butron movie. It seems to me that Burton maybe is not the director to choose for sci-fi movies, even tough he did he great job in Mars Attack. Mars Attack at that wackiest touch that Burton had always had fromt he caracters to the objects like the alien guns. In planet of the Apes, Burton seems to have fallen to the false premise that everything in the future has to be slick and white. The worst part of the film in my opinion is truly the beginning, and there's that time travelling thing that I really did buy at the beginning **** SPOLIER ALERT **** and that travelling back to his time trough the same portal at the end, seems too stupid to be coming from a Burton movie. This director makes intellingent movies. When a scene looks strange, it's because it's meant to. **** SPOLIER ALERT END **** The acting is good, but what I really missed in this movie was dialogue. Human dialogue. I know this movie isn't all about humans, mostly about apes, but I didn't feel there was much interaction betweem humans, except running away and fighting apes. I was exceping better from a Tim Burton movie. But at least, the ending, which has Tim Burton written EVERYWHERE on it, is probably the best part of the movie, only surpassed by the fact that I could finally get out of the theater and move on.

"The answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is... 42"

symmetrical and parallel universe (1)

cryocode (65290) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184795)

in one of the original movie, some scientist suggested that the different planes of our parallel universe was like two peices of mirror, reflecting each other's image, what happened in one plane will affect the other, so its theoretically imposible for a time travller to go back to his original time and space.

for this new movie, the only difference was that the EM storm transported him to a "different" planet.

imagine that we are all decendants of not our forefathers but of our great-great---.....grandson...like a never ending loop

the story is just mind boggling.

Re:Spoiler Request (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184796)

You can probably find a lot of details on fan sites or at IMDB [imdb.com] .

Re:Why is Kats doing movie reviews anyway (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184797)

I've gotten to the point of almost enjoying Katz's reviews because they are so orthogonal to my reasons for viewing a movie and yet they help me to see how other peoples' minds may approach the issues involved in modern entertainment.

Re:Too demanding (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184798)

I haven't yet seen the movie, but I'm told this ending is a lot more in tune with the original book the movie is based on.

Too demanding (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184800)

You can't live up to nostalgia. This movie proves it, but any of the negatives people are whining about would be on the Standard Blockbuster Disclaimer agreement theatres should have you sign before you watch anyhow (I promise I will not expect anything too deep, etc ...) The ending, which everyone seems to be complaining about is really a nod to the old series. That was the camp .. neccessary; the original stands the test of time, but find me a fan who won't admit camp was part of the series.

It's a different time (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184801)

Incidentally, exposing racism for the ugliness that it really is was part of the original brilliance of the movie. These days, I think people are more tired of the equality issue than anything (as demonstrated by the recent resurgance of neo-racist and neo-sexist punchlines in comedy and advertising), so the thing that made the original so effective and head-slapping is responsible for making the message in the remake sound strained and cliched.

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184805)

Where did the non-monkeys on the planet come from? If they only had chimps on the ship, and not so many people...
1. Why are there all species of ape on this planet?
When was the last time two monkies bred and produced a Gorilla? Uhmmm... never!
2. Why are there all distict races of people on this planet?
If they were truely all descendants of the original crew, much more uniform tribe
--Mike--

Only old people can know old movies? (3)

mcarbone (78119) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184811)

It's a generational thing, admittedly, of no importance to anybody under 30, who can go see the movie with less baggage.

This is plain wrong, Katz. I am 22 years old and Planet of the Apes is one of my favorite sci fi films. I certainly had said baggage when watching Burton's film and I know many of my peers (and younger) carried the very same. The original is a classic that everyone should see.

Re:fp (2)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184813)

Honestly, I haven't seen more than one or two good reviews come out of JonKatz's mouth.. err.. hands in the last few months. Are mainstream movies really that bad, or is he a pessimist? I think it would be preferable if slashdot did reviews and ratings by the type of poll segfault uses, where users can give something a rating on a scale of one to ten; then we can have people's actual opinions averaged (and possibly also with standard deviation so we can see the amount of variance). It could also be broken down into categories, perhaps; "Rating by persons having seen film", "Projected rating by persons having read reviews", "Projected rating by persons having seen previews". Anyway, just my $.02. Apologies for the troll-sounding introduction.

"Slow down cowboy!" Twenty seconds my ass.

Argh... (1)

szcx (81006) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184814)

Want some cheese with that whine? I'm so sick of seeing people like Katz complain that "film x isn't nearly as good as it was in the Good Old Days" -- try watching Star Wars or the original Planet of the Apes without the decades of fanboy nostalgia. No doubt, they were good films but they weren't the be all and end all of film-making.

Do geek reviewers have a Review-o-Matic in the background somewhere they can just turn on, enter "remake", and leave it to do its thing?

*bzzt* *clik-t* *whirrrr* "Film X is indicative of filmmaking today, it has none of the mystique of the original masterpiece..." *clang*

If you can't judge a film on its merits, don't bother reviewing it. All I want to know as a moviegoer is was it any good.

Why is Kats doing movie reviews anyway (2)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184817)

Has anyone asked/answered this question? Most of his viewpoints never seem to agree with the general populace here (at least from what I have seen), so what is he doing telling us what we will/wont like?

I saw the movie oneping night, and personally, I was very impressed, and I reccomend it to anyone. Mind you, its is obviously not a mind-bender, nor does it follow the original plot, as it is not a remake of the original, as Burton has said many times. Its more of a "Burton's take" on the story. And a cool one at that.

Why remakes almost never live up to the original (1)

fishlet (93611) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184823)

I'm hard pressed to come up with any remakes that live up to the original. It's because it's always a derivative work, the original having a strong bering in the screen writers mind the whole time. No doubt the inspiration for the original came from a different source, perhaps a variety of sources. Unless the new version is inspired of the same sources, it's doomed to just seem like a shallow replica of the real thing.

Monkey's land better than men ;) (1)

Snowbeam (96416) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184827)

Let's see, Mark Wahlberg's character crash landed twice in the movie and the monkey he disobeyed orders for landed with such perfection? I perssonally felt the monkey made a better actor/pilot by the end of the movie.

Mark Wahlberg has grown since his days of being Markie Mark. Call this movie what you will, but don't deny that it's brought some of his good acting abilities out to the forefront.

A simple question (1)

ChodaBoy (97144) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184828)

Here's a plot hole that actually woke me up the night after the movie (there are others I'll admit, but this one stood out).

The apes evolved from the genetically enhanced trained apes aboard the Oberon in about a thousand or so years. It's a stretch but I'll suspend disbelief for that. The humans are apparently descendents of the survivors from Oberon who survived the initial ape attack. Sure, OK, I'll accept that with reservations.

The question no one seems to ask is:

WHERE DID THE HORSES COME FROM?

You can't expect me to believe they just happened to have a couple horses aboard the Oberon. Most people missed this one because, well, there were horses in the original movie so it's normal for them to be here in this one. But Tim set this on some other planet than Earth (I was led to assume it was some terraformed moon of Saturn since opening scenes looked to have Oberon orbiting Saturn. We won't go into the obvious problems of a cold airless moon out by Saturn turning into a verdant jungle world in a thousand years).

ChodaBoy

Re:Too demanding (1)

ChodaBoy (97144) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184829)

The problem is, none of the rest of the movie is in tune with the original book, so why drag that obviously out of place ending into it?

What gets me is they made something like five different endings, and this was the best of them?

ChodaBoy

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (2)

rosewood (99925) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184832)

They are on pre mamal earth. Ny crashing they destroyed our history. The humans you see are a mix of 1st humans and survivors (thus enlish) & thats why at the end when he lans @ earth its Apes. MUAHAHA

Rushhour 2 and stuff that is on topic (3)

rosewood (99925) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184833)

That is Aug. 3rd. That is your other chance for a good movie, btw. Imdb's RH2 Stuff [imdb.com] . Just my $.02. Oh - POTA. I was really expecting total crap. I had read the Salon review that bashes it for a paragraph and then goes on to tell the history of the Apes series. I can not find that review. Oh well. Anyways, I also read the CNN review that bashed it all to hell. I thought the story was good enough to keep my attention for 2 hours, but had it got 2hrs, 2minutes - I woulda died. It really pushed to the end and quit. That to me is a good characteristic in movies. All and all - was worth the $5 student discount ticket.

The book (1)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184834)

I read the book several weeks ago and found it to be very well-written and somewhat disturbing. And I was pleased to see, last night in DC's Uptown theater(DC residents will know how much buttock that theater prods), that some of the book was well-preserved in the film.

Several reviews I read seemed to disdain the ending as a cheap sequel setup. But I saw it as a good adaptation of the book's ending. The entire movie was good, though - highlights included the old rich orang and his young chimp wife, the references to the original (damn dirty human!), the apes themselves, the interspecies romance, and the rain of flaming monkeys. Sorry, apes. And the music was pretty good.

I really recommend the book - they've republished it with a cover that I don't like, but in paperback. Definitely worth the US$6.99 .

My prediction for this discussion: Original purists vs book purists vs people who loved this movie. Also, extended arguments about time and space and which planets were where when. My friends and I coudln't really come to a conclusion about that, despite an hour's worth of argument. I guess we'll just wait for the inevitable sequel (which I can't see as being as good).

Ooook.

-j

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (2)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184835)

1. That didn't bother me. I found it fitting. The gorillas in the book reminded me of Klingons, too.

2. Those humans were survivors of the Oberon, I think. That seems to make sense.

3. Well, yeah, but religion is a powerful thing.

-j

Great Ape Project (2)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184836)

How do you suppose they [greatapeproject.org] have responded to the movie? "See, we'd better be nice to them!"

This makes me wonder. Do you suppose there were bonobos among the apes in the film, too?

-j

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (1)

cybermage (112274) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184857)

They are on pre mamal earth.

It was not Earth. Note the following:
  1. It had three moons
  2. He went 600+ years into the future

Re:Spoiler Request (1)

cybermage (112274) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184858)

Can someone fill us in, how did the first one end?

Note: First movie was made during height of the cold war. American space ship crashes on planet dominated by Apes, but there are humans. Like this movie, it's pretty clear they've gone forward in time.

Ending: Heston, riding away along a coast from the Apes, along with a freed human female, comes across the remains of the Statue of Liberty, suggesting, as the Heston character points out, that most of humankind has blown itself up leaving the world to the Apes.

Re:Not the Earth?! (1)

cybermage (112274) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184859)

If it was not the Earth how does the Statue of Liberty end there?

Have you seen the *new* Planet of the Apes that just came out? The Statue of Liberty is not in it. This movie is not a retelling of the original story.

Major Problems (serious spoilage) (2)

cybermage (112274) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184861)

I saw the movie on Friday and although I liked it, it had some major problems:
  1. Starting the movie in 2029 isn't really a problem. But the technological leaps made in 28 years are staggering. Artificial gravity? Long-range, manned space flight? The Oberion (sp?) appears to be in orbit around Saturn, but it can't be unless the storm also moves you through space as well as time. The planet is not Earth (note the three moons.) So the planet isn't in our solar system.
  2. We know he's going forward through time, about 600+ years, and yet the monkeys have evolved dramatically (into other species infact) over that time period. Perhaps the Oberion went backwards in time when the storm hit it, but that seems unlikely and isn't supported by the Apes timeline.
  3. Are we to believe that enough people survived the crash of the Oberion and the slave rebellion of the monkeys that they could grow a human population that is "four times" that of the Apes.
  4. The ending makes no sense at all except to setup the inevitable sequel. I agree with Katz on this. It was shockingly stupid, even by comparison to the balance of the movie.
I did enjoy the movie and found it to be a welcome retelling. I think Wahlberg did a fine job in the lead. The story doesn't require the stereotypical hollywood hero actor. The character is clearly a reluctant hero, at best, and Wahlberg is well suited for it.

What about Columbine? (1)

DoninIN (115418) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184864)

What does this have to say about the way we mistreat our outcast geek-youth?

The Ending (No Spoilers) (4)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184865)

Certainly, as someone who has not seen the original and thus does not view the new one through the glasses of the old, I thought it was a solid summer film. Furthermore, I felt the Wahlberg character was more realistic than the Heston one Katz describes.

My point, however, regards the ending. I think Burton made this ending intentionally jarring and, well, stupid so that the audience could mentally edit it out. He was contractually obligated to leave room open for a sequel. He hates sequels. This ending thus says two things, IMHO:

  1. "Make a sequel out of this, assholes!"
  2. "Audience, this clearly has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, please erase it from your mind."
    1. I do find it impossible to believe Burton thought the ending was an actual good idea for its theatrical merits.

Face it: THE ORIGINAL SUCKED (1)

makisupa (118663) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184866)

Okay, I was born after the original came out, so I must not have been dosed with whatever is causing you fools to think it was anything other than a cheesy B-movie.

Wait... oh yeah... there were actually five movies. Taken as a whole I'd have to revise my review of them from 'cheesy b-movie' to 'inexplicably shitty'.

I did see Tim Burton's version yesterday and felt it was better overall. That's not saying much, so I'll also include that I liked it.

Unlike the original I wasn't distracted by crappy costuming or set design. I wasn't distracted by the lead actor's cheesy delivery or bizarre personality. Finally, I wasn't distracted by an implausible and unexplained plot.

I think it's time to check the 'exclude Katz' box on my /. prefs...

Re:Why is Kats doing movie reviews anyway (1)

kninja (121603) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184869)

I think you are far more likely to hear criticism than praise on Slashdot, or nearly anywhere. I personally don't want to waste my time leaving criticism, and Jon takes in more than enough. Maybe he's trying to build his resume? Who knows, who cares, just don't read the article if it's going to get you steamed. Haven't seen the new movie btw, but I saw the old one when I was 4! The squeaky wheel gets the grease!!!

Lots of holes in the story (small spoilage) (3)

acoustix (123925) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184870)

I previewed this movie Thursday afternoon at the theatre that I work at. Unforturnately it was a beautiful day that I wasted on this film. The film wasn't good, but it wasn't bad. I wouldn't pay to see it though. Here are my thoughts:

1. The apes came from the monkeys. So where did the horses come from on the planet?

2. Ending - how can the future effect the past? As I understand it the majority of the movie takes place in the 27th century (or something like that). So at the end when he goes back to the 21st century how can there be a memorial to General Thade when he doesn't exist until the 27th century?

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184872)

It was not earth so there could have also already been humans on the planet.

:)

They had primitive tech so I dont seem to think they are survivors of oberon.

Jeremy

Ending (no spoiler) (1)

dane23 (135106) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184877)

"...either Burton or 20th Century Fox went for still another memorable ending to this Planet of the Apes. I suppose you have to admire their guts, and this one is also a jaw-dropper, but alas, mostly because it's so dumb."

You got that right! My suspension of disbelief was horribly murdered, never to return, after seeing that poor excuse for an ending.

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (4)

jspaleta (136955) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184878)

I vote for number (3)

3) The general was able to use the technology from the ship and construct some kind of spacecraft, go through the storm before the main character could get back and conquered earth before he arrived.

This explanation is straight out of the transformers beast machines storyline.....I just wish the writer's for beast machines would get the credit for coming up with the solution to the age old question "how do we make a sequal if we have the good guy winning in the end of the first installment"

but seriously...this explanation is very viable. They didnt kill the general...they left him in an operation control room of the space station....we know there are atleast a couple of unaccounted for space pod ships, that might have survived the crash. -jef

Doesn't anyone get what Burton did to Heston? (2)

DJ Wipeout (139210) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184881)

Sure, on the base level, "oh look, it's Chuck with a gun, ha ha. Damn dirty NRA." But look beyond that. Heston's message in the film is solely about the evils of the human race, and technology, personified in a rusted gun. In effect, Chuck is saying "guns are bad." And Thade's undoing is directly related to his desire to master the human technology, further reinforcing this. (Personally, I'm surprised Thade didn't off himself accidentally)

On a side note, it'll be interesting to see if the protest scene and the cross-species sex scene make it back into the director's cut.

I hate to agree with Katz... (1)

subsolar2 (147428) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184887)

Being an aging computer geek that watched the orginal many times over, this won't be a classic like it was.

The effects were wornderful, but it was way to predictable, even the ending(s). There was actually two endings to this movie ... the real one, and the second one that burton tacked on the tail to thumb his nose as another poster pointed out.

This is a good movie, if a little predictable, and other than Shrek the only other watchable movie this summer I've seen (I have not watched AI yet).

Of other Sci-Fi movies of the periods that I think should be mentioned are the following.
Soylent Green (sp?)
The Omega Man
Both classics depicting dark futures and starring Charston Heston as the main character.

- subsolar

Re:fp (2)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184891)

It might have something to do with the fact that most people have better things to do on Sundays than wait to make "first posts" on Slashdot. Just a thought.

You're new here, aren't you?

Hollywood is lamer than ever, and this is proof! (1)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184892)

In 30 years, you'll be eagerly awaiting the remake of something else

Why is it that so much pop culture is regenerative or derivative of stuff from the past? It seems like all we get now are remakes/retreads of old movies, TV shows, character types, plots, etc.

Is it just that the media moguls want to make money off of nostalgic baby boomers, or what?

I'm very bored with all this, is anyone else?

Review Intellectuals under 30 (spoilage) (1)

DeICQLady (150809) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184893)

I went to the movie quite excited, with almost no recollection of whether I had watched the original or not. The previews somehow screamed that I would get some juice. I got the juice in the costumes. . .In my opinion there was bearly a plot, and instead of a message, a cosmetic social commentary. The movie came across emotionless and I remember feeling a lingering empty space while watching it. I developed no attachement to the characters and could care less whether the Captn were to find his way home.

In short I must say a disappointment. I was especially perturbed (and I know some guys who thot this too) at how miraculously a woman fighting apes in the desert had time to pad and wax down her breasts and to put on red lipstick! I found Nova (the "human-lover") to seem to have more of a brain capacity and more entertaining than the woman (did they make her a blonde on purpose? so depressing!). Neither characters were as believable though.

I left the movie feeling less than entertained and only trying to figure out why they would make the replica of Washington just to make the point that he (the Captn) didn't really get home. {rant}Are we as humans so convinced that our ways of expression are so right that if this situation (apes evolving) were to really happen they would express themselves exactly as we had?{end rant}

Even if I did not watch the original, I would think somehow Tim Burton would think to let me in on the secret.

God damn you all to hell! (1)

Joao (155665) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184896)

And in the end, we see our hero, watching the ruins of a great masterpiece before his eyes, go down to his knees while yelling out in ultimate outrage: "You finally really did it....... You maniacs! You blew it up! Ahhhh Damn you! God damn you all to hell!!".

No, I'm not talking about the final scene of the original movie. I'm talking about my reaction when I saw this new piece of crap version.

The Simpsons are better ! (2)

sniters (164729) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184901)

Better watch the Simpson's Planet of the Apes [nbci.com]

This is only a link to some pictures and sound bytes. THey are not mine but enjoy !!

That makes my decision easier. (2)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184905)

Katz hated it. I'll go watch it.

The Trailors Drove Me Off (1)

AgentOBorg (178136) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184906)

I saw originals movies when they were re-aired on TV years ago. That Planet of the Apes had a good plot with thought and irony.

The trailors to this one were enough to disturb me. They seemed to shift the focus all on to "action," violent and otherwise; like many movies of the last decade or so, the trailor reminded me of the beginning of the Transformers cartoon, lots of stuff zooming around with flashes of violence. It was as though the the plot and implications had been thrown-out and all the influence placed on flashy effects and "exciting" action (that has become so cliche as to not to excite anyon anymore). OK, maybe the concept is well known, but if nothing is added to that.... it is though the these movies are being produced for (and often by) a culture that has been conditioned to find fast action and flashy effects as *THE* basis of enjoyment, yet is so habituated to them that they can never have enough or be really satisfied (so just lay it on more and more, "when everything feels like the movies").

The original was not an action movie, it had no hint of that style, and I think no intention of it. It was a story with a plot, a lot of points, and good use of irony. The trailors give the impression of a movie that rips of the Planet of the Apes name and setting to make proffiteering sequal, and cheapnes the whole idea in the process.

The trailors sold me on NOT seeing this moving long ago.

POTA (1)

+Majere+ (178506) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184907)

I watched POTA last night with my girlfriend, and I couldn't hardly stay awake. I don't think it has the same feel as the first at all, or is as powerful.

"Fabulistic"? (3)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184910)

Katz is a professional writer, right? I mean, one of the rules of writing is that you can break rules when it serves a purpose in the writing. But I can see absolutely no purpose to pulling that word out of his butt, and nothing in the context signals any "playfulness" with language.


--

Re:fp (1)

Happy Monkey (183927) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184912)

Are mainstream movies really that bad, or is he a pessimist?

Are the two mutually exclusive?
___

Re:Great Ape Project (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184913)

Has anyone bothered to see how the Grape Ape [yesterdayland.com] feels about all this? Did he protest against ape society, or was he a supporter in their vast human slave-trade machine?

Re:Great message (2)

shokk (187512) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184914)

As if we needed another intelligent species on the planet for human slavery to exist on this planet. Think the message that "slavery is evil" is quaint in the 21st century? It still exists [cnn.com] , meaning some still don't get it [un.org] .

Re:Rushhour 2 and stuff that is on topic (4)

shokk (187512) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184916)

Your reference to Salon.com's [salon.com] articles on the classic movies and series for Planet of the Apes [salon.com] , and their review [salon.com] for the movie.

Re:Why is Kats doing movie reviews anyway (1)

kacp (188529) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184917)

Well, if all we saw on /. was views the majority agreed with, I'm sure it would slowly became a rather bland place. Variety makes for interesting reading...or something like that.

On the other hand, first, I would like to see a /. review by someone who rather liked the movie. Second...umm...Katz, I'm just curious, what DO you feel a good movie is? I get the impression that you don't like ANY movie...

What about the HORSES? (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184919)

Okay, so the apes and humans came from the crashed mothership/station. Where the hell did the horses come from?

You're off by 10%, Katz (2)

dstone (191334) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184921)

The phrase "30 years ago" was repeated at least three times in the review. Dig a little deeper, man. Like into the URL below. Planet of the Apes was released February 8, 1968 [imdb.com] . 33 years ago.

I think nearly everyone agrees that the original was a great film, so get the facts straight and check out good old IMDB for more tidbits...

(Original) Planet of the Apes [imdb.com]
(Original) Planet of the Apes: Quotes [imdb.com]

You maniacs!! (1)

flikx (191915) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184923)

Damn you!! You ruined it!! Damn you all to hell!!

Katz you damn dirty ape!


--

SPOILER ALERT!!! (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184934)

What I want to know is, if all the apes and humans came from Wahlbergs ship eons ago, wouldn't they all be horribly inbred? I mean, like with notre-dame class hunchbacks, slack jawed yokels and the like? And not to be racist, but where did the black guy come from? I'd imagine that even if there was a few people of African descent on the ship, the skin color would have been diluted away in all the caucasian stock that seemed to be the rest of the crew.

But then again, enjoying most any movie requires a suspension of disbelief. I loved the movie, and for once, generally agree with Katz's review.

Oh yeah, if his ship was still partially functional thousands of years later- well, I'd like to be that kind of engineer!

Re:What's next? Land of the Lost 2001? (1)

fenix down (206580) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184947)

I'd pay to see that!

Lack of all the things you expect in a good movie (2)

smagruder (207953) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184948)

  1. Whatever happened to imaginative, gripping, suspenseful storytelling?
  2. Whatever happened to developing characters with emotion and realistic motivation?
  3. Whatever happened to allowing characters to spend time in a scene, being real and exuding drama?
  4. Whatever happened to the idea that to "suspend disbelief", you have to create a believable plot, tying up as many loose ends as possible?

Those are the questions I asked myself continuously while watching the new Planet of the Apes.

Steve Magruder

Re:There will be a good movie this summer... (1)

The Troll Catcher (220464) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184955)

Yup - the movie was worth it just to see that trailer.

That movie is going to ROCK.

Re:Planet of the Apes... (2)

mike260 (224212) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184961)

Tim:How are you Phil? Were where you last night?
Phil: Oh, I went to see 'Planet of the Apes'.
(2 second of silence)
(People burst into laughs)
Tim: You went to see what!


Tim sounds like a really condescending, smug git to me. Why would Phil hang out with such a closetted fool?
Can you please supply more dialog? I want to know more of Tim and Phil's relationship.

And Rightfully So... (1)

Johnny Starrock (227040) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184964)

"He looks stunned from the minute he lands on this strange planet..."

I'd look stunned too if I had just landed on a planet infested by talking monkeys with murder on their minds..

Just unfortunate..... (1)

spongebob (227503) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184965)

I really was looking forward to POTA. However, I did have a knot in my gut that it was going to suck out loud and it did. I was not really amused by the revamps of the old standard lines. Just goes to show that Heston will whore out to anyone that will show him and a weapon in the same frame and context. The line about superiority being derived from a gun was just too much. Heston is a whore for doing this film!

The problems I saw with the movie (small spoilage) (2)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184966)

  1. The apes talked just like star-trek's klingons. That kindof ruined a lot of the movie for me. Ok. No Kindof. It made it downright painful!!
  2. If the apes evolved from the monkeys that came from the crashed ship (sheesh...I figured that out in the first 10 minutes of the movie. No surprises there!), where did the humans inhabiting the planet come from? Or are these humans 'leftovers' from us destroying the planet?
  3. The ending was far too abrupt. One minute you have every army-ape in the world against the humans, and the next they're all buddies. Especially the big guy (2nd in command?). It just wasn't believeable that their acidic hatred of humans would disappear just like that.

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (2)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184967)

From the little footage that we got to see of the post-crash, it appeared that just before the apes escaped that they killed all of the humans.

That's why it didn't make sense to me. The crew wasn't that big, was it? And the odds of a guy and a girl who breed...well..

There will be a good movie this summer... (5)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184974)

And it comes out on August 22nd.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

And on that day, I shall give Hollywood money, only because Kevin Smith is a genius, and Joey Lauren Adams is, umm, amazing.

Re:That makes my decision easier. (1)

3prong (241218) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184980)


Question: How long do we have to wait for huge fx-movies *plus* compelling story-lines!?

This will be difficult. The huge fx movies all require vast amounts of money. The people with the money insist on being involved, and their involvement inhibits the "artistic vision" of the movie maker. It's all because nobody wants to take a risk with $150 million by doing something interesting and unique when it's safer to put out a movie with all the standard cliches and hollywood endings.

Re:Only old people can know old movies? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 13 years ago | (#2184993)

Jon Katz:
It's a generational thing, admittedly, of no importance to anybody under 30, who can go see the movie with less baggage.

mcarbone:
This is plain wrong, Katz. I am 22 years old and Planet of the Apes is one of my favorite sci fi films. I certainly had said baggage when watching Burton's film and I know many of my peers (and younger) carried the very same.

I'm 38, before I watched 'Planet' (in it's first showing on TV in the mid 70's), I watched a man walking on the moon, and Star Trek in reruns on a black and white TV. My introduction to written Science Fiction was Robert Heinlein, not Robert Jordan.

Star Wars was a few years off yet, and Star Trek in a movie theatre or back on the small screen was a fantastic hope at best. I lived in a city of 50,000, it's Star Trek fan club in 1974 had fifty members, and no Klingons.

Before you were born, I watch as a Russian and an American shake hands in space, an event considered significant enough that all the television networks carried it live. About the time you were born I watched a spacecraft called Enterprise glide to a landing on the desert floor, and knew the day would soon come when it flew in it's natural environment. And when you were in elementary school, I, and the world watched as a resurgent Soviet Union renewed it's bid to spread it's evil.

I watched as my teachers struggled with integration and racial sensitivity. I watched a President self destruct, and saw the hippie lifestyle first hand. Computers were remote, monolithic mechanisms, and simple handheld electronic calculators cost $50.00 or more. The most complex electronic device most people owned for the first half of my life was their TV. And for a majority of them, for a majority of that time, it was black and white, and hooked to an antenna, (not a dish either).

These are my memories, this is my baggage when seeing the original 'Planet'.

Tell me again how many of these experiences, memories, and baggage you share?

Planet of the Apes... (1)

Strangely Unbiased (313686) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185000)

LOL.I have never met anyone who'll ever go and see such a ridiculously-named film (not in the 21st century, anyway):

Tim:How are you Phil? Were where you last night?
Phil: Oh, I went to see 'Planet of the Apes'.
(2 second of silence)
(People burst into laughs)
Tim: You went to see what!

Not funny,really. Especially when there's nothing better to go and see.

Pierre Boulle's other movie (1)

geoswan (316494) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185005)

The first [Planet of the Apes] movie clearly had racial and class messages to pass along (it was adapted from La Planete des Singes, a novel by Pierre Boulle, whose target was European class snobbery).

Pierre Boulle wrote another book made into a terrific movie The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) [imdb.com] .

The Maltese Falcon, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2)

geoswan (316494) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185008)

The famous, Humphrey Bogart, version of Dash Hammett's novel was the third version to be filmed.

The Maltese Falcon (1931) [imdb.com]
Satan met a Lady (1936) [imdb.com]
The Maltese Falcon (1941) [imdb.com]

I think it would have been interesting to see Bogart (3rd version) play opposite Bette Davis (2nd version).

The 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a remake of the 1964 Bedtime Story [imdb.com] . The original starred David Niven opposite a young Marlon Brando. I preferred the remake, although it would have been interesting to see Michael Caine play opposite Brando. Watch both films, back to back, and you will be amazed at how far superior an actor Michael Caine is to David Niven. Compared with Caine, Niven seems more wooden than Pinochio.

*yawn* (1)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185011)

Geekizoid already did this [geekizoid.com] . Why do we need a windy, pointless review when someone's already gotten straight to the point?

--

Re:Hollywood is lamer than ever, and this is proof (1)

WoefullyFat (324813) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185014)

Sticks Us asked why pop culture is all so derivative. I have 2 theories. Theory 1 is that it's hard to be creative. What takes more effort, coming up with the idea of a planet where apes rule men, or the idea to remake that movie 30 years ago about that planet where apes ruled men? Theory 2 is that people and corporations don't like risks or surprises. I guess it would be more accurate to say that people like predictable surprises. I know Freddy is going to pop out of the walls again, but when? Anyway, I think that many people enjoy the idea of going to a movie that they "know" already. I can't count the number of people that I've heard say, "That Planet of the Apes is going to be awesome! I loved the original movies!" The same goes for Charlie's Angels(no surpises, and hot chixx to boot, why wouldn't you make that movie?) and almost every sequel. I could go on and on... Star Wars Episode 1 was the same familiar Star Wars that we know and love, but with surprising new characters and spaceships. American Pie II == American Pie in college. People like being comfortable. They love to be entertained, but they don't like it when the entertainment makes them feel stupid. How many times have you heard someone leaving a theater say, in a disappointed tone, "It wasn't what I expected."? Think about it. Like, Woe

Re:Argh... (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185017)

I've had a similar discussion with a roommate of mine. He loved the movie Clear & Present Danger, and I hated it mostly because I read the book. After getting fed up with my "What the fuck were they smoking when they mauled this story?" complaints, he started to claim that I just wasn't rating the movie on it's own merits. (But hell, it stank even as a "sequel" to The Hunt for Red October, Baldwin was a much better Ryan than Ford, etc. etc....)

At that point I countered with the way the movie was more of a Steven Segal flick than Harrison Ford, the way it was more action gun flick than anything that had anything to do with the intrigue it pretended it had, so on and so forth...

In short, it is possible for those of us who saw the original anything to hate a derivative on its own merits.

the original (1)

petrel (411863) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185018)

You had to love Heston at that moment in the first movie, a towering old-school Hollywood superhero insisting on his dignity in a world that didn't want to give him a shred, but which, ultimately, had no choice.

for a moment, i thot JonKatz was referring to some actor-studio squabbles in making the original.

a quick check found that Heston was in fact enthusiastic about the movie (at the start): see here [nbci.com] and here [nbci.com] .

Heston on the prospects for the movie: "The novel was singularly uncinematic; there wasn't even a treatment outlining an effective script. Still, I smelled a good film in it."

yeesh.

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (1)

mamba-mamba (445365) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185021)

The ending was far too abrupt. One minute you have every army-ape in the world against the humans, and the next they're all buddies. Especially the big guy (2nd in command?). It just wasn't believeable that their acidic hatred of humans would disappear just like that.

Hah! If that wasn't believable to you, it is only because you don't understand how apes think. Especially, hyper-intelligent, genetically-enhanced apes.

---MM

Ape Review (3)

JBowz15 (451573) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185028)

Did anyone else get the feeling that they were watching Crouching Rhesus, Hidden Chimpanzee?

Charlton Heston has a cameo as a damn, dirty ape. He talks about guns. Big surprise. I guess what they say is true about art imitating life.

Previews (1)

Samer (452371) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185029)

One of the ways I decide on seeing a movie is the preview. After all, a preview is between 30-120 seconds and is there to convince me this movie is worth seeing. If it fails, then I really should not be spending my money on a movie that can't hold my interest for two minutes...

Now, there are the obviously bad movie previews, and those are warnings that you go to see this stinker are your own risk. But there are those that look pretty decent, but warn you - usually quite loudly - that you should avoid this movie.

I've generally come to the conclusion that any preview that begins by telling who is in the movie or, worse, who directed it, is usually a movie to avoid.

The POTA preview I saw in a movie theater started with titles that said "From the director of Batman and Sleepy Hollow". If that did not scream "this movie cannot stand on its own", I don't know what would. Check out two previews online [apple.com] .

Samer

Re:fp (3)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185031)

It might have something to do with the fact that most people have better things to do on Sundays than wait to make "first posts" on Slashdot. Just a thought.

By the way, I take Jon Katz's reviews with everyone else's. The more opinions, the better. If I can take the opinion of a technical movie by a friend who until just recently thought Linux was permanently damaging her modem, I sure as hell can take Jon Katz.

Re:Man.. (1)

The Visitor (456954) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185032)

Katz not liking another movie. The mind reels.

Re:Was it just me or ... (1)

genstan (458987) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185033)

I don't see it. Granted, I don't think Janet Jackson is particularly attractive, so a comparison of her to a character from Planet of the Apes isn't entirely surprising, but I don't see it. All of my friends think I'm nuts. Even my mother commented on how much Ari looked like Janet Jackson when she bought one of the new TV Guides. I still don't see it. Maybe I just haven't seen enough Janet Jackson pictures/videos lately. Maybe it's because usually when I saw her I was staring at her breasts instead of her face. Who knows?

By the way, I think Planet of the Apes sucked on a variety of levels. I don't even understand why anybody bothered to make it, and I don't know who will bother to waste their time with it. Roger Ebert said in his review that in ten years, people will still be renting the original and this remake will be forgotten. I agree with that.

Re:The problems I saw with the movie (small spoila (1)

Twiki (471742) | more than 13 years ago | (#2185043)

Heh, I was wondering this myself. Perhaps the main ship was some kind of "Space Ark" that actually housed many different Earth species, not just the chimps. Who knows!

I find it amusing, though, that everyone has issues with whether or not the "other" planet was earth or not, and missed the most blatant mistake in the movie.
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