recently downloaded and watched the trailer (links can be found at the
bottom of the page) for the Planet of the Apes
remake from the web.
It stars Markie Mark (er, sorry, Mark Wahlburg) and is directed by the
one and only Tim Burton. The movie is described more as a "variation
on themes" than a straight remake, which is a good thing because
there probably isn't a sci-fi fan out there who doesn't know the original
The trailer looks stunning. It is visually interesting and the effects
look top notch. But then again, this is a Tim Burton movie, a man whose
production designs are always interesting while arguably lacking somewhat
in the script department. (His movies include Batman,
Batman Returns, Edward
Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Mars
Attacks!, Beetlejuice and the recent Sleepy
I had reservations about this attempt to revive the Apes franchise,
but when I heard that Burton is doing it I relaxed a bit. (Burton effectively
rescued the Batman franchise from 1960s campiness - check out the 1966
Batman movie. One only realized how good he was at it after seeing
the dreadful Batman & Robin.)
some still remain. Maybe I'm just naturally skeptic about remakes (they
are usually inferior), but the question remains: "Besides updating
its production values, what else does a new Apes movie have to offer us?
Are there more stories to tell? Especially after the franchise has been
milked dry by five, that's right, five movies, more than one TV series
(one of them animated), several comic books, etc.?"
OK, granted how many young people still remember all that? But there
is something very 'Sixties about the Apes franchise. When someone called
it a "hysterical parable on race relations" one knows there
is some kind of truth to that.
Reading the chapters on the late 1960s/early 1970s in William Manchester's
epic history of the USA (The Glory and the Dream 1932 - 1972, which
clocks in at a whopping 1 300 pages or so) recently, I was struck by how
social mores and concerns has changed in many ways since then. The relevant
chapters show how unique those turbulent decades were (especially when
seen in contrast to those before it). Attitudes towards authority, government,
society, race, sex, etc. were very different to today's.
it might at times seem that some of today's concerns are mere hangovers
from that time, but Manchester's book really puts the scale of the unrest
into perspective. It was much more widespread than one would imagine.
My point is that somehow the Apes movies were unique to those
times and that their point would be lost in a conservative era in which
George W. Bush is president of the USA, every second show on American
TV is a cop show in which authority is reconfirmed and every second show
is a lawyer show in which the legal system is shown to work . . .
Any thoughts on this anyone? You can have it out in
Board . . .