Friday, August 5, 2011

The Cinematheque Reviews: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I have always loved Planet of the Apes.  Considering I was just a year old when the first movie came out back in 1968, I probably saw the short-lived (just 14 episodes) 1974 TV series first, followed by the five original films on television sometime over the next few years.  I also remember having the Planet of the Apes MEGO action figures as a kid too.  Let's face it - I liked me the Apes.  To this day one of my biggest pet peeves is when someone calls an ape a monkey.  Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangutans - they are not fucking monkeys, they are apes!!  But I digress.

Needless to say I hated the Tim Burton remake from 2001 (the only thing that keeps it from being my least favourite Burton film is last year's Alice in Wonderland travesty), but that didn't stop me from having hope going into this latest reboot/prequel (in actuality a remake of the fourth film of the original series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes).  Hope by the way, that was more than fulfilled.   A rollicking good moviegoing time that save for J.J. Abrams' Super 8, has not been equaled in any of the would, coulda, shoulda potential blockbusters of the year so far.  And they are apes, not monkeys dammit!!  Again, I digress.

Besides being a rollicking good moviegoing time, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is full of fun references to the original series - none of which I actually mention in my review so I will take the time now.  These include, but are not limited to an Orangutan named Maurice (after classically trained actor Maurice Evans who played Orangutan Dr. Zaius in the first two films) and a human character named Dodge Landon (the names of Taylor's two not-so-lucky shipmates from the first film).  We also are given some hints about possible sequels - the most obvious of which is in a background story of a lost space ship called Icarus.  Hmmm.   Anyway, my review of said rollicking good moviegoing time is now up and running over at The Cinematheque.

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