Scott Hardie | August 7, 2001
Saw it today. Kelly finally got her wish and got me to go to a matinée with Jason. Though I was impressed on a technical level (and virtually every movie this year has impressed me that way, so it's not a big deal), I found myself wondering what the point was.

Every movie exists first and foremost as a product, with the purpose of earning a profit. But there are many other minor reasons for particular films to exist. There could be a high demand for the movie, like with many sequels to popular series. There could be artistic reasons, as a writer or director or actor or producer wanted so badly to make the movie that they willed it into existence. The director might have something to say, and might want to say it with a lot of metaphors and symbolism. There are lots more reasons, too.

But this movie? A remake (fuck 'reimagining') of the classic "Planet of the Apes"? In the summer of 2001? Um, profit. That's about it. Burton didn't want to do this movie until Fox dangled a big fat paycheck in front of him, and it obviously ranks among his least personal films. Frankly, given how much Burton gets involved in even commercial films like "Sleepy Hollow," he didn't seem to give a shit at all about Apes. He's turned into a mercenary. Tim fucking Burton.

Well, these days, you can film just about anything for two hours (let's 'reimagine' Andy Warhol's "Sleep") and still turn a huge opening weekend profit on it if you advertise it out the ass. That's what it's all about. It's really kind of sad. That M&M commercial before the show, spoofing "American Beauty," showed more inventiveness and creativity than Apes did.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to express is the central problem of the film, that the audience isn't given any reason to care. Hell, the fucking protagonist doesn't care! He insists several times that he doesn't give a damn about the people on that planet and that he just wants to go home. Why should we invest any interest in how things turn out? The hero (I think his name was said precisely twice, so I shall call him Marky Mark) was too stiff to generate any audience involvement. The only character about whom I cared was Helena Bonham Carter's, and that's because she was the only major character who seemed to possess a brain. That, and Carter can act the pants off of all of the other major actors, with the possible exception of Tim Roth. Even under all of that makeup (less than she wore in "Fight Club" I think), even with that terrible script, she could still act, and could still generate a sympathetic character. Kudos to her. I wanted Marky Mark to stay with her at the end, only because her presence might make him smarter.

Just a bunch of random thoughts here. Only minor spoilers.

- What a shitty surprise ending. Why did Roger Ebert claim that he loved it? I suppose it was poetic justice for Marky Mark because he didn't care about the humans' plight, but it was still shitty. And he should have stayed with Carter.

- The apes worshiped the programming language CMOS?

- Were Marky Mark and Estella "I had more lines in fucking Driven" Warren supposed to be attracted to one another? She spent the whole time looking at him without speaking, and he barely even looked back at her. But he bothered to give her equal time at the end with Carter, so maybe she's supposed to maybe mean something. She probably got paid a million dollars for those two or three lines that she spoke.

- (spoiler warning for this paragraph) ... So, the simians evolved over a few thousand years into intelligent bipedal creatures with opposable thumbs, while the humans stayed exactly the same? If one evolves, so should the other, but then again, neither would be able to evolve at all in that short a span of time. And what the fuck? Marky Mark wasn't tipped off to the origin of the apes by the fact that they all spoke English? Minor complaint, the apes could not have evolved that much over a few thousand years, but the English language would have mutated into a completely unrecognizeable form by then.

Anyway, this movie was a low "It was okay" on my TMR scale, which means it was even worse than "Shrek." Yikes. To their credit, Kelly disliked it as much or more than I did, and Jason hated it. It wasn't a bad movie, just almost completely devoid of anything that might cause you to like it. It was neutral. It was the cinematic equivalent of a glass of warm water. Warm water with a good performance by Helena Bonham Carter.

I just want to say Marky Mark one more time.

Anna Gregoline | August 7, 2001
I want to say Marky Mark again too.

Marky Mark.

Kelly Hardie | August 9, 2001
SPOILERS!

I'm sorry. Did I miss the fact that they had apes on the ship? Where did they come from? And didn't these apes kill all the humans onboard? Even if some escaped how do you get people on the planet now are black and asian. I mean really black and asian....so a black couple managed to escape the apes and have an entire race of people? Sorry, no.
I just don't get it.

END SPOLIERS

Man, this movie had plotholes infants could see through.


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