Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Blogging of the Planet of the Apes

You may recall that we watched Soylent Green a few months ago because our recording of Planet of the Apes didn't play properly; well, I recorded Planet of the Apes again & we just finished watching the 5th of the 5 films. That's right, we've watched all 5 in chronological order so I guess I need to discuss them for a few minutes. To begin w/, they kinda suck. I don't think I'd ever actually seen 1 of them all the way through before, but the 1st is by far the best. Like the Star Trek films though, they don't get progressively worse, but rather have a sort of up & down thing happening. The 2nd 1, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, is shit. The humans send another astronaut into the future to find Heston & he & Heston's hot girlfriend find an underground group of mutated humans who worship an atomic bomb. In the end, the bomb explodes destroying the planet. The 3rd, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, follows 2 of the apes, Cornelius & Zira, as they leave the planet just before it explodes, going back in time to 1970s New York (or LA... it's kind of unclear). They become celebrities & even get montages of them getting fitted for fancy clothes in fancy boutiques. It is soooo bad it's got a campy goodness. The 4th 1, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, picks up w/ the story of Cornelius' & Zira's child, Caesar, as he leads the ape/slaves into rebellion about 20 years after the previous film. It's a bit darker than the other films & has some nice commentary on race & power. The final film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a piece of shit beyond anything that the 2nd or 3rd film could ever attempt. Caesar has a power struggle w/ another ape who wants war w/ another set of mutants who live in the ruins of the city (maybe the ancestors of the mutants in Beneath the Planet of the Apes). Over all, I'm glad I finally saw them, but I wish they were a bit better. Oh, & I did see the Tim Burton remake a few years ago too, & that is also a piece of shit. I know some of you have a love for everything Burton, but other than Batman & Ed Wood & to a lesser extent Mars Attacks & Beetle Juice, his films are way way way over-rated. As a side-note, I'm blogging from my car as I'm waiting for a parking spot on campus. Why didn't I just bike, you ask? I had too much to carry today, but I can assure you'll I'll be sure to bring stuff to my office @ other times of the day so I never have to park @ 11:30 ever again. Anyway, had I seen the films as a kid, perhaps I would have more tolerance for them, but as it stands, here are my rankings:
5) Battle for the Planet of the Apes
4) Escape from the Planet of the Apes
3) Beneath the Planet of the Apes
2) Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
1) The Planet of the Apes


Jeremy said...

yes, the Tim Burton version is crap...but, come on---he's made some great movies...Big Fish is a blast, Pee Wees Big Adventure is priceless...The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride are really special films...

I'm a harsh movie critic---but, Tim Burton---if you want to be entertained---carries a lot of weight with me---and though I was disgusted by his Apes movie---he usually does a great job---I even dug how creepy his updated Willy Wonka was--but maybe that's cos it was closer to the book...

Andre said...

I admit I haven't seen the animated films. I Big Fish I thought was alright and Pee Wee's is more a Pee Wee film than a Burton film. In fact, I was surprised he directed it. Maybe it's because it was so early in his career, but he didn't really put his stamp on it. Willy Wownka just didn't do it for me. Sleepy Hollow is alright, but it's so far removed from the Washington Irving, that I wished he'd changed it a little more & pretended it wasn't supposed to be that story. Kinda like Demi Moore's Scarlet Letter.

Stephanie said...

Good wrap up, I agree with your rankings too.
I watched them all with my dad when I was a kid and remembered them being so much better.
Oh well, it was fun watching them!

Anonymous said...

Wild...these very movies came up in class today. The kids just heard of them from somewhere and were asking me about them. I made it a Teachable Moment and talked about how it was meant as a commentary on races. I hope they got that point. I know they were fascinated about the ape idea.

You taught me something. I had no idea that Tim Burton directed Pee Wee's movie. And yeah, Burton's Planet of the Apes sucked ass.

Joe said...

I actually liked the Tim Burton version. I own it on dvd.