Planet of the Apes
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After a spectacular crash-landing on an uncharted planet, brash astronaut Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself trapped in a savage world where talking apes dominate the human race. Desperate to find a way home, Leo must evade the invincible gorilla army led by ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth) and his most trusted warrior, Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan). Now the pulse-pounding race is on to reach a sacred temple that may hold the shocking secrets of mankind's past - and the last hope for it's salvation!
The DVD release of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes is so loaded that the second disc needs six screens to list all of the features--or maybe it's just an excuse to show off the great-looking animated menus. The most interesting features are six substantial documentaries about aspects of the filming, including examinations of how the apes run and a spotlight on Lake Powell, where both this film and the 1968 original were shot. The "enhanced viewing mode" on disc 1 is fun: picture-in-picture video segments offer actor comments or shots of sets and miniatures, and Easter eggs provide access to even more background on the visual effects. There's also a commentary track by Burton (he had to be convinced to remake Apes) and another one with isolated score by composer Danny Elfman, discussing how he works with frequent collaborator Burton and the current state of film composing. But don't expect Burton to give an explanation of the film's much-discussed conclusion, and no alternate ending appears among the DVD's five rather routine extended scenes. --David Horiuchi
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