Thursday, December 22, 2016


I'm a big fan of the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes and when younger, was a fan of some of the sequels. These days, only Escape seems all that watchable, as we see some of the intelligent apes from the original movies somehow manage to recover the astronaut's spaceship and slingshot back through time to the world that had launched it to begin with.

I said watchable, not sensible. In any event, both the first sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and the final films in the series, Battle for and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, are hackneyed and in the case of the last one just plain silly. Which considering the premises of the series, is saying something indeed.

I saw the 2001 Tim Burton version of the story that tried to mix the first movie with the Pierre Boulle novel from which it was drawn, doing so without much success. I've watched none of the more recent remakes, which revolve around Andy Serkis moving around with a motion-capture suit on so the intelligent chimpanzee Caesar can be superimposed on him via computer. Apes get smart and take over -- in this case, because a plague has wiped out most of humanity. I've seen it before, and I'm a cheap meanie who doesn't want to waste time or money on this particular retread.

The new series is up to its third episode, the July 2017 release War for the Planet of the Apes. Reading the pop culture site io9, I learned that it will contain a character from the original 1968 movie. A mute human girl is shown playing with a metal logo plate taken from a car -- a Chevrolet Nova. Stranded astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) bonds with a woman he names Nova (Linda Harrison) in that movie, and apparently the girl in the 2017 movie is the same person as the adult woman in the 1968 one, according to a story in Entertainment Weekly. Even though the movies in the reboot series are taking place in the first half of the 21st century and the 1968 movie is supposed to have happened in 3978. Makers of the current movie say that the story will explain the matter.

In case you thought that a squadron of irradiated human survivors using a school bus in attacking a treehouse village of intelligent apes was the silliest thing this particular franchise has ever brought about.

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