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Planet of the Apes (2001)
DVD disk
10.07.2004 By: TH Xavier
Planet of the Apes (2001) order
Director:
Tim Burton

Actors:
Mark Wahlberg
Helena Bonham Carter
Tim Roth

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Captain Leo Davidson is a scientist on a space colony; he’s in charge of the chimpanzees, orangutans and other simian creatures that serve as test pilots for exploration spacecraft. When Leo’s favorite chimp gets lost in space, Leo hops into a space pod and goes looking for him, however he finds a space-time wormhole. This transports him to another planet – a planet ruled by intelligent apes, and the humans are considered slaves, pets, or hunted down for sport. Leo’s next mission – get off this planet and get home.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Hey, I liked it! Nobody will be taking home an oscar for their roles, but it’s fun stuff. It’s your typical Hollywood style film, and it can be easily enjoyed by most audiences. Fans of the original series may be disappointed – even I have to admit that the 1968 version was much better in all respects, minus the makeup and special effects. It’s a real departure for director Tim Burton, though. He’s put out some stellar work – “Ed Wood” and “Edward Scissorhands” are some of my all-time favorites. Tim was the ‘goth-punk-rocker’ of Hollywood, and his best films have a sweetness and innocence to them. Hard-core fans of Tim Burton may say he’s sold out. I disagree – Tim’s put out some really poignant and thoughtful fare – I don’t have a problem with him having a little fun in the mainstream. I expect him to challenge me in his next picture – but for now, I’m having too much fun.

But the real star of the show is the amazing makeup and costume design. The actors that play the key ape roles are unrecognizable except for their voices. Rick Baker’s makeup and costume design WILL win the Oscar, no doubt about it. Take the time and pause the DVD to look at this makeup work, it’s freakin’ uncanny! The film also pays clever homage to the original 1968 version. Keep your eyes out for everyone’s favorite NRA spokesman in a cameo role. ‘Nuff said about the movie itself – onto the DVD goodies!
THE EXTRAS
Holy SHAMOLEY is there extras! FOX Home Video is extremely generous with the extras on their titles – and they do a splendid job. Here we go!

Audio commentary with director Tim Burton : Not as good as I would have liked. Tim leaves the audience with some blank spots. C’mon, Tim, don’t be shy – didn’t you had fun making this movie? Overall, pretty good – if you are a Tim Burton fan, don’t overlook – but be patient.

Isolated score with commentary by composer Danny Elfman: Hey, I like Danny Elman’s work. But wouldn’t you rather just buy the CD? Oh, wait – there is no CD available for the soundtrack. Now it all makes sense!

"Enhanced viewing option" with interview vignettes: First introduced in “The Matrix”, this is the ‘hot button’ feature. When switched on, an icon will appear on the screen. Press ENTER on your remote control, and you will be whisked away to a featurette that will relate to the scene. This is starting to catch on!

"The Making Of The Apes" featurettes (105 minutes, total) : Seven – count them, SEVEN little featurettes, which add up to a total of 105 minutes of behind the scenes footage and cast and crew. All of them are entertaining, informative and well worth your time.

Five extended scenes (6 minutes) : Deleted scenes cut from the movie. Quality isn’t too terrific, but interesting, nonetheless.

Multi-angle breakdowns (25 mins, total) : Four scenes from the movie – and you get to choose which angle you want to see – or get this – BOTH. Great supplement!

"Rule the Planet" music video : Cheesy. If you like electronica, go for it. Otherwise, you won’t miss much if you pass this by.

Still galleries: Lots of pictures of posters, concept art, promotional material and still photos from the set. Worth a look.

We also get theatrical trailers , TV spots and a music promo.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Lessee, what do we have here? A fun, entertaining film– hard-core sci-fi fans may be disappointed, but the average movie-goer should get 2 hours of solid enjoyment out of it. Stellar sets and the best makeup and costume design that sets a new benchmark. A choice between high-quality DTS and Dolby Digital for sound. Unsurpassed video quality, worthy of its THX certification. Tons of extras and supplements, and most of them are worthwhile. And it all costs less than thirty bucks! What an excellent, excellent DVD! Highly recommended for either rental or purchase.
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