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Customer Review

152 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THX Goes Ape!, April 9, 2006
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This review is from: Planet of the Apes - The Legacy Collection (DVD)
This upgrade of the August 21, 2000, Fox "Evolution" APES boxed set is a significant improvement over that release. All of the films are now available in 16x9 anamorphic transfers, but more importantly each film has been remastered with improved picture and sound quality.

The first, and best, film PLANET OF THE APES (1968) is here actually a reissue of Disc 1 of the 2-Disc "35th Anniversary Edition" Fox released on February 3, 2004 (the extras-loaded 2nd disc has not been included in this set), with the same menu screens and sparse commentary tracks (thankfully one from the late, great Jerry Goldsmith), but it's a fine picture transfer of this important film, with the original 4-channel stereo soundtrack elements remixed in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS, and sound is very good for recordings that are over thirty-five years old. (The DVD picture upgrade from Fox's original non-anamorphic one isn't perfect though, with some flicker and scratches visible. Hopefully Fox will do another improvement from archival restored elements before this title comes to High Definition DVD.)

The picture quality of the four sequels to the original SF classic have been vastly improved with these THX-mastered anamorphic transfers. The images on all are much brighter and sharper, with truer color fidelity, and just as importantly, their new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks feature much better stereo separation and directionality than the previous DVD release. (All the sequels were originally released theatrically in mono sound only.)

Still disappointing is the lack of extras for the sequels. No commentary tracks, little if any still and poster galleries. (There are Easter Eggs of behind-the-scenes footage on the discs for ESCAPE and CONQUEST, though, that have been lifted from the 2nd Disc of the Anniversary edition for the original.) The trailers for all of the films are still non-anamorphic, though, and that doesn't seem right. Could it be that Fox is holding off on such things until the inevitable High Definition DVD release, possibly in time for the 40th Anniversary of the 1968 original in 2008? Let's hope so.

Also disappointing here is the egregious cover art for each film, which I think is an effort to try and link these films to the ill-conceived 2001 "reimagining" of the franchise. Fox should have stuck with something based on the original theatrical ad and poster campaigns. This is usually what fans desire, but for some reason the people working for these home video companies don't seem to know it.

Finally, the disc of "Behind the Planet of the Apes," the 1998 documentary on the making of the APES franchise, has been included once again here. It's the exact same thing as found in the original DVD release with no enhancements. Clips from the films are still non-anamorphic. While this documentary was fine for its day, it's now nearly a decade old and should be retired. Hopefully it won't reappear in any future High Definition release (new making-of featurettes should be produced).

So, if you're an APES fan and care about seeing these films in the best possible quality -- but don't care about paying over $100 for a "Collector's Head" -- this "Legacy" boxed set is an excellent buy... that is, until HD and Blu-ray DVDs.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 30, 2008 6:49:35 AM PDT
S. Lee says:
As dated as "Behind the Planet of the Apes" may be, don't discard it yet... That retrospective was recorded by Roddy McDowell himself in 1998, and it's a joy to watch. What would they be able to add to a retrospective of films that were made so many years ago, anyway?

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 6:54:22 PM PDT
M.B. says:
i agree with Mr. Lee,the original documentary must never be removed.its as relevant as the movies themselves.usually younger audiences wish to discard what is considered old and out dated.i would never want to see any modern day re-make of that documentary.

Posted on Jul 21, 2011 12:56:09 PM PDT
Star Bux says:
I was disappointed with the new version.
The older younger Charlton Heston one
is still the best.

That scene has come to have new meaning :
"They" wrap a whip around his throat,
damage his vocal chords, keep him from

"Tell me Neo, what good is a phone call if..."

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 3:35:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2013 12:16:42 PM PDT
ronnie007 says:
don't care about paying over $100------ from what i see it says $35. where do you see $100?
now it says $28....6/22/13

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 7:54:00 AM PST
M.B. says:
Hes talking about another version, boxset, that came with a big bust of the head of one of the apes. He was just stating that hes happy with this version.

Posted on Sep 22, 2012 3:10:15 PM PDT
morsaus says:
Can you tell me if all the movies have Spanish subtitles ? spoken languages ? i need that info to buy the bundle. thanks

Posted on Jun 22, 2013 10:10:00 AM PDT
Michael F. says:
You mentioned anamorphic widescreen... are these true 1080p, or are they simply upconversions?
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