I thought I was going to have to follow the heartbreaking review about firing a friend. Thankfully now I only have to follow a review about earbuds. That makes what I'm about to say much easier...
"Get your stinkin' paws off me, You Damn Dirty Ape!"
A good friend of mine, let's just call him "Justin," celebrated his 31st birthday this past Saturday. His only wish was that we would have a Planet of the Apes marathon, a "Day of the Apes" if you will. After asking my wife if I could waste an entire day watching movies I'd be sure to regret, I conformed to the torture I was in for. Don't get me wrong, I like movies (50 out of 60 of my reviews are movie related). I even like bad movies. (If you haven't seen "The Room" you must watch it now) But I don't like watching multiple bad movies in a row. I have always hated when I hear people say "I just wasted 2 hours of my life!" Get over it. But I think I can honestly say I wasted 8 hours of my life, and not even feel like a hypocrite.
The whole affair was topped off with great food. And by great food I mean snacks that will give you guaranteed diahrea within a half hour. We had Taquitos and Nacho Cheese, Mountain Dew, and sour gummi worms. It's a meal that I like to call "The Slacker's Delight." And to keep with the theme, we had monkey bread. Our depravity knows no bounds. I will proceed to give mini reviews of each movie and the growing senility within me as the hours passed.
The first Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston is a pretty decent movie. If I saw it in the 60's I might have been impressed. Sadly now, everything about it is a joke. Basically Heston is an astronaut and crashes onto this planet and becomes a slave on a bizarro world where humans are animals, and the apes are civilized. He tries to escape from his cage at least 8 times. Though I don't know why he would because they caged him with the megababe Nova(Linda Harrison). If I was a chauvinist, I would say she is the perfect woman: Exotic looks, perfect body, and doesn't say a word. But thankfully I wouldn't mention those things because I respect women. Each movie has a underlying social commentary. This movie is all about the unjust dominance of the superior ape species and how poorly they view men/animals. We are introduced to Dr Zaius, who knows the evils of mankind but doesn't want it brought back into light. The two main apes are chimpanzee psychologists/archeologists named Cornelius and Zira. Zira is into beastiality with her not so subtle crush on Heston and eventually helps to free him and get him into the forbidden zone. (and I thought the forbidden zone had to do with getting too comfortable with girls. Ever post needs at least one unecessary sex joke.) The ending of the movie is pretty great especially because of Heston's lines. We blew it up. What a shock! That movie gets 3 stars.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Essentially it is a retread of the first. Heston is only in 5 minutes, so they have a new astronaut who looks exactly like Heston crash onto the planet and do everything from the first movie. Even hook up with Nova. Then he goes to the forbidden zone and that's when things get weird. He and Nova get captured by humans who can communicate with their minds. But these humans are just wearing masks because they are mutated because of nuclear war 2000 years earlier. They all belong to a cult that worships a 1950's nuclear bomb. This movie is all about war destroying everything. Deep. The apes attack the mutants and Heston, Nova, and Heston 2 are caught in the middle. Let's just say that weird things happen with crystals and the bomb goes off completely destroying the Planet of the Apes. Everyone dies. Was that explanation clear enough? 1 Star, barely.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes is entirely on earth during the 70's. Somehow, even though they didn't think flight was possible, Cornelius, Zira, and a new monkey rebuild Heston 2's spaceship and fly back in time. The military is baffled by apes that can talk. They question them harshly and find out that mankind is destined to be slaves to the apes, but Cornelius and Zira manage to win the hearts of the public. There is honestly a good half hour of them going to disco parties. I wouldn't be suprised if they had cameos from Andy Warhol and Truman Capote. But then everything goes awry when the government finds out that Zira is pregnant. They try to kill the baby but Zira puts it in a circus and she and Cornelius end up murdered by a sneaky government official trying to save mankind from a growing ape population. Even though this movie is cheesy, it's still light years better than the second movie. Yet it only gets 2 stars.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes takes place in the distant future of 1991. 7 years ago a plague wiped out every cat and dog on the planet. Mankind, to replace their household pets, took to raising apes, which eventually led to slavery of the ape species. That's plausible, right? Cornelius and Zira's son, Caesar, is very smart and hiding with the owner of the circus(Ricardo Montalban in an understated role). Caesar still has a price on his head and the futuristic governor spends the whole movie searching for him. The weird thing about this movie is that the hundreds of apes shown are humans in costumes (as if it's understandable that's how monkeys look when they age) In other words, they look exactly like Caesar. But then the movie actually shows real chimpanzees in a cage and expect the audience to believe these are actually the same creatures. Caesar is the modern day Frederick Douglas, and vows to free every ape from slavery. He eventually leads a revolt and the movie ends with the apes taking a stand against their oppressors. 2 stars.
There is a final movie "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" in the series but at this point, Justin said "We don't have to watch the 5th movie. It's just too terrible." Too terrible?! Unbelievable! What did he think I had been watching? I just love that all of a sudden he decided he had standards. So sadly(fortunately) we did not finish the series. Though I am a completist and will watch it soon. I can't help it.
The Day of the Apes was a complete waste of a Saturday but somehow I look at it with fond memories. Though that could be because my stomach is still churning from the Tacquitos and Nacho Cheese.
I give the entire day 2 stars!
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 Kenny D