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Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes

3.8 11
Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter


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This big budget "re-imagining" of the 1968 original departs somewhat from both that classic science fiction film and the source novel by author Pierre Boulle. Mark Wahlberg stars as Leo Davidson, an astronaut of the early 21st century whose unauthorized mission to rescue a chimp companion from a mysterious space storm goes awry when he and his ship are lost through a


This big budget "re-imagining" of the 1968 original departs somewhat from both that classic science fiction film and the source novel by author Pierre Boulle. Mark Wahlberg stars as Leo Davidson, an astronaut of the early 21st century whose unauthorized mission to rescue a chimp companion from a mysterious space storm goes awry when he and his ship are lost through a rip in the fabric of time. Leo crash-lands on a planet where intelligent, talking apes are the dominant species and humans a conquered slave class. Befriending both a chimpanzee activist named Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), who's sympathetic to humans, and a beautiful human rebel, Daena (Estella Warren), Leo quickly becomes a prominent figure of resistance to his fellow humans. This makes him an instant source of irritation for the militant and ambitious General Thade (Tim Roth) and his trusted adjutant, Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan), who intend to hunt Leo down and crush the burgeoning human uprising. War looms between ape and human as Leo and his band head for a sacred site deep in an off-limits desert, where secrets about the planet's ape and human ancestry wait to be revealed. Planet of the Apes is directed by Tim Burton and features the original film's star, Charlton Heston, in a cameo role as the dying father of Thade.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Tim Burton’s opulent remake of the well-remembered sci-fi shocker bears even less resemblance to Pierre Boulle’s novel than did the 1968 original, but it's a visually stunning, intensely absorbing film in its own right. Mark Wahlberg plays an American astronaut stationed aboard a space station in the year 2029. An abortive deep-space rescue mission ends with him crash-landing on an Earth-like planet ruled by intelligent, fierce, talking apes who have enslaved their world’s human inhabitants. Supermodel Estella Warren is fetching as Wahlberg’s same-species vis-à-vis, but the ape characters -- sporting unbelievably authentic-looking prosthetic makeup created by Oscar winner Rick Baker -- are far more interesting. Submerged beneath pounds of rubber and fur, an unrecognizable Helena Bonham Carter nonetheless shines as a sympathetic simian member of the ruling class. Her subtle performance contrasts nicely with that of Tim Roth, who’s marvelously malevolent as a power-seeking commander of the warrior apes. Director Burton (Sleepy Hollow) imposes his unique point of view on the material and occasionally slips into the darkly satirical mind-set that characterizes much of his screen work. But his vision of the ape world and its societal conventions is dazzling in its originality, which makes this Planet well worth visiting. The two-disc DVD Special Edition offers commentaries by Burton and composer Danny Elfman and presents the film in an enhanced viewing mode that permits viewers to jump to behind-the-scenes material at intervals of their own choosing. Other extras include an HBO First Look program, five extended scenes, six featurettes on various aspects of the production, art and photo galleries, multiangle looks at isolated scenes, and DVD-ROM content (including script/storyboard comparisons).
All Movie Guide
Perhaps the best way to evaluate Tim Burton's "re-imagining" of the science fiction classic Planet of the Apes is to regard it as a product of its time. Despite occasional accusations of being dated, the 1968 original transcends the cinematic trends of its era and continues to find a new and appreciative audience. Whether the same will be said of Burton's interpretation remains to be seen. Whereas the 1968 film needed the marketing skill of producer Arthur P. Jacobs and the star power of Charlton Heston to ensure financial success, the 2001 incarnation relies upon its status as a summer blockbuster, verified by record earnings. As a blockbuster, the film possesses the swift plot, special effects, and action sequences that are requisites for this kind of film. Along with verbal and scenic references to the original, Heston makes an appearance as the chimpanzee father of the villainous Thade (Tim Roth) and, appropriately, keeper of the apes' past. These acts of homage seem out of context, but perhaps this is for the best since Burton is attempting to create a whole new planet. As with the original film, Burton's Apes will probably be best remembered for its makeup and set design. Makeup artist Rick Baker, who has some experience with cinematic primates (having worked on the 1976 King Kong remake and Gorillas in the Mist), achieves a refreshing three-dimensional reality in an age dependent upon computer enhancement. Set designer John Dexter creates a vine-laden Ankhor Wat metropolis, seen briefly as the film speeds along, for the intelligent simians. Ape City also seems the place where Tim Burton appears most comfortable, achieving the whimsy and fantasy memorable in earlier efforts like Edward Scissorhands and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. An ending termed "thoughtful" by producer Richard Zanuck replaces the original's twist but seems to create only confusion.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Dvd:; Audio commentaries by Tim Burton and Danny Elfman; Blu-ray:; Commentary by director Tim Burton; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mark Wahlberg Leo Davidson
Tim Roth Thade
Helena Bonham Carter Ari
Michael Clarke Duncan Attar
Kris Kristofferson Karubi
Estella Warren Daena
Paul Giamatti Limbo
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa Krull
David Warner Sandar
Erick Avari Tival
Glenn Shadix Senator Nado
Lisa Marie Nova
Charlton Heston Actor

Technical Credits
Tim Burton Director
Colleen Atwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Baker Makeup Special Effects
James Bayliss Set Decoration/Design
Bill George Special Effects Supervisor
Rosemary Brandenberg Set Decoration/Design
William Broyles Screenwriter
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Katterli A. Frauenfelder Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Luke Freeborn Set Decoration/Design
Sean Haworth Art Director
Rick Heinrichs Production Designer
Lawrence Konner Screenwriter
Chris Lebenzon Editor
Philip Too Lin Art Director
Josh Lusby Set Decoration/Design
Richard Reynolds Set Decoration/Design
Mark Rosenthal Screenwriter
Philippe Rousselot Cinematographer
Steven Schwartz Set Decoration/Design
Gerald Sullivan Set Decoration/Design
Jason Weil Set Decoration/Design
Ralph Winter Executive Producer
Don Woodruff Set Decoration/Design
Richard D. Zanuck Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Planet of Apes
1. Main Titles
2. Pericles
3. Eye of the Storm
4. Davidson's Risk
5. Crash Landing
6. The Hunted
7. A World Upside-Down
8. The Slave Trader
9. A New Owner
10. The Dinner Party
11. Ari's Admirer
12. The Thing From the Sky
13. Escape
14. An Ape Ally
15. No Turning Back
16. Back to the Pod
17. Limbo Intervenes
18. Martial Law
19. A Father's Secret
20. The Way to Calima
21. Fire and Water
22. Call to Arms
23. Calima
24. A Human Leader
25. The Mark of a Human
26. Not So Different
27. A Way to Fight Back
28. The Humans' Power
29. Thade Strikes
30. Krull's Last Stand
31. The Prophecy Fulfilled?
32. Thade's New Power
33. The Caged Animal
34. A Chance to Go Back
35. Welcome Home
36. End Titles


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