Planet of the Apes
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THE PLOT: George Taylor and two other astronauts experience some type of time warp in space and crashland on a distant planet over 2000 years in the future. They soon discover that highly evolved apes rule the planet while humans are disdained "animals."
WHAT WORKS: First of all, Charlton Heston is outstanding as the disillusioned humanity-hating Taylor. Taylor is brilliantly put in the ironic position of representing humankind to the apes. Although I love Heston in other films like "Ben-Hur" and "The Ten Commandments," I believe Taylor is his best role and performance. Heston was, incidentally, 43 years old at the time of filming. He's utterly captivating in the role and charismatic in an anti-hero sense.
The first 35 minutes of the film involve the crashland, the search over the wastelands, the discovery of primitive humans and, finally, the potent cornfield revelation of the intelligent rulers of the planet. This segment is one of my favorite parts of the film. The desert wastelands are awe-inspiring and one can't help but enjoy Taylor's amusingly pessimistic antics. This part of the film is highly mysterious in nature. Where ARE they? Why are there so few signs of life? Did Taylor hate humanity so much that he was literally willing to escape his home world? Who made the strange X-shaped scarecrows? Why can't the primitive "cavemen" speak? Who planted the crops of corn?
When the story shifts to the ape city the film takes on an entirely different vibe.Read more ›
The DVD's extras get off to a shaky start with the two lackluster audio commentaries. The first is by legendary composer, Jerry Goldsmith, and the second by actors Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter and make-up artist John Chambers. Both commentaries could benefit from some extensive editing. There is way too much dead air that one has to sit through to get to the few interesting tidbits of information. The DVD producers should have edited down these commentaries to only the scenes in the movie that are actually commented on, like with the audio tracks on the Glengarry Glen Ross and The Right Stuff DVDs.
The text commentary by Eric Greene, author of Planet of the Apes as American Myth, redeems things by cramming a ton of interesting factoids on the screen in the form of subtitles. It's scary when the text commentary is better than both audio commentaries combined.
The second DVD contains the bulk of the extra material. The first section, "Exploring the Apes," contains a comprehensive, two-hour documentary entitled, "Behind the Planet of the Apes." Hosted by Roddy McDowall, it takes a look at the entire Apes saga from the films to the cartoon and TV series with an emphasis on the first (and best) film. Fans of the Apes films will be delighted to see all the major players from the films back for new interviews done exclusively for this documentary.
Also included in this section is the make-up test reel with Edward G.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
20th century fox have reissued the original charlton Heston classic on blu-ray again
the HD transfer & 5. Read more
Arguably the best science-fiction movie! Brings back my youth of seeing it at the cinemaPublished 6 days ago by Rock
Still good after 45+ years. Amazing special effects. Love Charlton Heston!Published 14 days ago by clarice mounier
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