Disk 1: *Planet of the Apes ('68) Disk 2: *Escape from the Planet of the Apes Disk 3: *Conquest for the Planet of the Apes Disk 4: *Battle for the Planet of the Apes Disk 5: *Beneath the Planet of the Apes Disk 6: *Be... more »hind the Planet of the Apes (bonus disc) *Documentary ¬"Behind the Planet of the Apes¬" *Planet of the Apes trailer *Beneath the Planet of the Apes trailer *Escape from the Planet of the Apes trailer *Conquest of the Planet of the Apes trailer *Battle for the Planet of the Apes trailer *Planet of the Apes Cross Promotion trailer *TV Spot for Behind the Planet of the Apes *Fox Interactive Presents: Behind the Scenes of the Planet of the Apes game« less
R. Monteith | Ft. Lauderdale, FL United States | 04/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This upgrade of the August 21, 2000, Fox "Evolution" APES boxed set is a significant improvement over that release. All of the films are now available in 16x9 anamorphic transfers, but more importantly each film has been remastered with improved picture and sound quality.
The first, and best, film PLANET OF THE APES (1968) is here actually a reissue of Disc 1 of the 2-Disc "35th Anniversary Edition" Fox released on February 3, 2004 (the extras-loaded 2nd disc has not been included in this set), with the same menu screens and sparse commentary tracks (thankfully one from the late, great Jerry Goldsmith), but it's a fine picture transfer of this important film, with the original 4-channel stereo soundtrack elements remixed in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS, and sound is very good for recordings that are over thirty-five years old. (The DVD picture upgrade from Fox's original non-anamorphic one isn't perfect though, with some flicker and scratches visible. Hopefully Fox will do another improvement from archival restored elements before this title comes to High Definition DVD.)
The picture quality of the four sequels to the original SF classic have been vastly improved with these THX-mastered anamorphic transfers. The images on all are much brighter and sharper, with truer color fidelity, and just as importantly, their new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks feature much better stereo separation and directionality than the previous DVD release. (All the sequels were originally released theatrically in mono sound only.)
Still disappointing is the lack of extras for the sequels. No commentary tracks, little if any still and poster galleries. (There are Easter Eggs of behind-the-scenes footage on the discs for ESCAPE and CONQUEST, though, that have been lifted from the 2nd Disc of the Anniversary edition for the original.) The trailers for all of the films are still non-anamorphic, though, and that doesn't seem right. Could it be that Fox is holding off on such things until the inevitable High Definition DVD release, possibly in time for the 40th Anniversary of the 1968 original in 2008? Let's hope so.
Also disappointing here is the egregious cover art for each film, which I think is an effort to try and link these films to the ill-conceived 2001 "reimagining" of the franchise. Fox should have stuck with something based on the original theatrical ad and poster campaigns. This is usually what fans desire, but for some reason the people working for these home video companies don't seem to know it.
Finally, the disc of "Behind the Planet of the Apes," the 1998 documentary on the making of the APES franchise, has been included once again here. It's the exact same thing as found in the original DVD release with no enhancements. Clips from the films are still non-anamorphic. While this documentary was fine for its day, it's now nearly a decade old and should be retired. Hopefully it won't reappear in any future High Definition release (new making-of featurettes should be produced).
So, if you're an APES fan and care about seeing these films in the best possible quality -- but don't care about paying over $100 for a "Collector's Head" -- this "Legacy" boxed set is an excellent buy... that is, until HD and Blu-ray DVDs."
Great Concepts, Great Characters, Classic Moments, Chilling
Stephen B. O'Blenis | Nova Scotia, Canada | 01/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rank the original "Planet Of The Apes" series very high among the plentiful output of science fiction movies of their era. Although the special effects are not brilliant by today's standards (compensated for somewhat by the quality designs of what they were trying to capture, even if the execution seems somewhat hampered in retrospect) and the action sequences are occasionnally rather low-impact, the strengths of the series - a great, thought-provoking and memorable story that weaves through all five movies; solid and impressive characters among both human and ape; a nice job on the photography; and mind-blowing endings to most of the movies; make up for any shortcomings.
The endings have become legendary, especially the finale to the first movie (which I'm certainly not going to give away here, in case anyone reading this is among the 22 or so people on the planet who don't yet know it; they even used to have the final shot on the Cover of one of the editions of the boxed set, for crying out loud). The secrets of the conclusions to "Beneath The Planet Of The Apes" and "Escape From The Planet Of The Apes", however, aren't nearly as well-known by people who haven't seen the movies yet, which is good, because it gives one a chance to have some of the surprises unhampered by foreknowledge. The end moments of "Escape", in particular, are haunting, the kind of thing that can give one chills just remembering it.
It's hard to talk to much about the latter movies in the saga without giving away far too much. The original, "Planet Of The Apes" has Earth astronauts making an emergency crash-landing on an unknown world, where it turns out that apes, not humans, are the dominant species. Captured, the humans - indigineous to the planet but very primitive, in addition to the more scientifically advanced spacefarers - find themselves imprisoned in wooden cages (rudimentary equivelents to the barren metal cages of old, pre-'simulated natural habitat' zoos?). The apes of the world are diverse - there are some who view the human population as mindless beasts without rights, while others are sympathetic to the humans's plight. There is also considerable friction between the three races of apes - gorillas, orangitans, and chimpanzees (notice quite a few real-world parralells yet?).
The series - which continues through "Beneath...", "Escape...", "Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes" and "Battle For The Planet Of The Apes" (disc 6 in the collection is a behind-the-scenes documentary) has some recurring characters, continues to introduce new ones, introduces new concepts and layers and twists to the concept. By the 4th and 5th entries, the series is admittedly losing some steam, but judged on their own each of those is still a good movie. Great price, too. Any fan of adventure movies, science fiction, or movies that offer volumes of fodder for thought and dream, should consider picking this set of classics up."
What The Hell Would I Have To Say To A Gorilla?
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 10/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to sci-fi, some people get quite dorky. Most become trekkies and Star Wars fanatics, and all those schmucks can have their Jean-Luc Picard cheesewheels, coz I'm a proud member of the Planet Of The Apes camp. And I'm not monkeying around! I absolutely love these films and have almost all my life. Sure, as the sequels go on it tends to get a bit corny(especially when J. Lee Thompson takes over), but never becomes a joke. The first one just can't be surpassed, but the second is a great followup and pretty damn dark. Who as a kid wasn't creeped out by the telepathic humans even before they removed their masks? Escape's concept seems like a bit of a stretch( like the apes could have salvaged Heston's ship from 300 feet of water and repaired it. How the hell did they even know where it was?). It also starts changing the rules that were established in the first film(the whole existence and downfall of intelligent man was kept a secret from the ape society, yet in this film it's common knowledge. There's even an ape holiday like the 4th of July celebrating the apes' independence from humans. This contradicts the first film and takes away from the corruption, paranoia and mystery of Zaius' charcater. It's still a cool film that flipflops good guys and bad guys and has one hell of a downer ending. By Conquest it becomes a little easier to chuckle at the films, though it's still cool as hell. Same goes for Battle. The dates tend to get mixed up a bit too after the first film. The rescue mission sent to find Heston lands about thirty years before Heston's landing in the first film! I'm getting all nitpicky, but the fact is that these things are quite easy to overlook and are rather forgettable. The documentary is a great two hour film that covers almost everything you wanted to know. It's bizarre to think that up until Conquest they were trying to make "family" pictures and they all received G ratings(Conquest received a PG coz of some bloodless gun battles that were considered nonstop gore). It's cool to think that in those days, seeing a guy killed by machine gun spray, talk of mating and castration, swear words, bare buttocks and skinless mutants were acceptable family entertainment. This is a good set with a great treatment given to the films. If you've got your eye on the big ape head set, let me offer some advice. It's actually cheaper to buy all three sets individually if you find them for a decent price. That way each disc is in it's own keepcase(which I prefer personally), and you don't have to feel like a schmuck with that rotten Tim Burton film sitting in your home. I guess it's all a question of if you want the big head or not, which does look cool. Go Ape!!"
Well, it's about time
SpookyChick | in tha' world! | 04/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Word up to my pee-pees! "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" is FINALLY available in it's extended cut. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: "Battle for..." is the nadir of the series, etc. Well, I'm not going to pretend that the extended cut somehow transforms the movie into a lost masterpiece. BUT it does improve the movie considerably. This isn't incidental cutting-room footage, but rather very integral material that is vital to the entire "POTA" story arc. I won't spoil any potential surprise if you haven't seen or heard about the restored footage, but it deals with the mutant humans and the doomsday bomb. I can't imagine why this material was ever cut from the theatrical presentation!
As for the rest of the set, well the real reason to upgrade is the 16:9 transfers and the 5.1 Dolby Digital mixes that the sequels all have. You can get the extended "Battle for..." separately if the better transfers and mixes aren't essential for you. But if you look at the cost of the individual "Battle" disc and the cost of buying this new "Legacy" box, you might want to just take the plunge.
I love the Apes series, but I balked at the Ape-head mega set. I HATE the Tim Burton doo-doo version. I already have the live-action TV series. Originally there were plans to make the animated series available separately, but that release was pulled. I've never seen the cartoon series, maybe someday they will release it on it's own. The Ape-head package looked sweet, but for the cost I'm fine with the upgraded films in the Legacy box.
I just wish they had produced a new documentary, the "Behind the POTA" has been reissued to DEATH (even though it is good, enough's enough! Who (that actually wants it) doesn't have this release in some form by now??)."
Hard to rate a mixed bag, but these films are fun neverthele
Steven Hedge | Somewhere "East of Eden" | 06/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like the Airport Terminal Pack (Airport/Airport '75/Airport '77/Airport '79 - The Concord) the "Planet of the Apes" film series widely ranges in quality. ALL of them are fun enough to watch, however, the last two are extremely campy and very poorly made.
Back in the day when producers made sequels, prior to the VCR/DVD era, the films consistently earned less money with each sequel; therefore, less money was spent on each sequel as the expected turnout and revenues would be less. That is not the case today with the VCR/DVD generation wherein if people missed a film in the theaters, they could rent or purchase it later. This meant a larger audience for a film as it would have, in a sense, multiple releases: first would be the actual theater release, then the plain first edition on VCR/DVD within about six months, then followed by a "special edition" the next year, and then a "director's cut", and "special extended version" followed, and so on. This allows for a film to get a larger following; therefore, sequels and prequels have become big business. This means producers put more money into these films now than they did before to pull in not only the established fans of the film series, but also new fans who may have just caught up with the series by renting or purchasing the prior films.
With that having been said it should be no surprise at all that these films range widely in quality and effort as they were before the VCR/DVD era. Below are my ratings for each film and in the correct order of their release (the disk order is NOT correct in the package):
***** Planet of the Apes: An absolute classic sci-fi film with good special effects and set designs (even by today's standards) and solid performances by all, most notably Roddy McDowell who was in all the films and the short-lived TV series, Kim Hunter, and Maurice Evans who had to portray emotions with their voice, eyes and hand gestures moreso than other actors because of the heavy make-up they wear which is outstanding.
*** Beneath the Planet of the Apes: The effects and make-up are still very good and so is the acting, but the storyline is rather bizarre, convoluted, and just doesn't seem to fit with the Apes series real well.
****Escape From the Planet of the Apes: I loved this sequel which reverses the storyline by having the intelligent talking apes back in our present day rather than in their future world. Naturally, this saved the producers lots of money by only having to put make up on only two actors rather than many. The performances are top-notch by McDowell and Hunter who continue their roles from the first two ape films.
Both the "The Conquest of" and final entry "The Battle for the Planet of the Apes" are cinematic disasters for which I give them both **. The make up had been reduced to laughable rubber masks and the special effects consisted of terrible paintings, obvious minatures, and flimsy cardboard sets. Roddy McDowell's performance had become somewhat pedestrian in the title role by these two final films, but his voice and delivery was always pleasant to the ear. These two films do, however, continue the storyline which ends up explaining how Earth eventually became The Planet of the Apes. To me, that's an important part of any sequel and why I gave these films two stars and not one or zero.
The bonus disk on looking over the "Apes" series is hosted by McDowell, who always looked great for his age, and sadly he died shortly thereafter from cancer. This special was done to re-introduce the "Ape" films to a new generation just prior to the release of the Ape films on tape/DVD and the planned release of the remake by Tim Burton (Planet of the Apes (Special Edition) which was surprisingly original and in many ways superior to the original film with Charlten Heston who has a cameo in the remake.
In any event and in spite of the wide ranging quality of these films the entire series is worth owning and the sequels do build on each other and tell a coherent story (not counting the silly second entry into the series even though the third film still builds upon it). I highly recommend this set and the remake by Burton as well."