Blu-Ray quality review
MainManVern | Houston, TX | 11/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a review of the quality of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray. The video looks good for a film as aged as this, but is not even close to stunning. The high def transfer in some cases actually serves to accentuate problems you might not have noticed otherwise. I saw more than a few soft scenes where they looked unfocused. Grain was never too obtrusive, but the colors were uneven through a good portion of the film. Some scenes were rich and vivid, and others washed out. My biggest problem is the sound. They present the sound here as a DTS 5.1 mix, and a mono mix. I chose DTS and was sorely dissapointed. My subwoofer never kicked on. That means that there was never an instance when there was a frequency lower than about 85hz. This made for a very shallow sounding mix. Adding to that, the surround speakers never seemed to register anything, and you've got what sounded to me like a mono mix anyway. All of the sound seemed to come from my center channel. To me, digitally remastering a film soundtrack at this level means accentuating the lower registries by adding lower frequencies, and placing atmospheric and musical elements in the surround channels. If you don't plan on doing that, what's the use of calling it a DTS 5.1 mix? Anyway, this is by far the best transfer I've ever seen of the film, but don't be looking for anything more than a slightly better than average transfer, and a glorified mono track."
This Film Has Stood the Test of Time
Volkert Volkersz | Snohomish, WA United States | 08/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently watched this original version of "The Planet of the Apes" for the first time since seeing it at a drive-in theater back in 1968. First I was amazed at how much of the film I had forgotten. Actually, most of what I remembered was the (then) shocking ending. What I was impressed with this time around was what an intelligent and well-scripted film this was (and still is). Like any good science fiction, this film provides an interesting commentary on the human condition. One the one hand you have the Minister of Science and Defender of the Faith debunking and destroying an archeological dig, because it is contrary to the faith of the Apes, but on the other hand in his reading from the sacred scrolls you hear the accurate description of the destructive (dare I say "sinful?") nature of humans. I've been pondering this segment of the film quite a bit over the past few days. Like others, I think Charlton Heston is in fine form here. It's easy to picture him as president of the National Rifle Association after seeing this film. I still prefer Heston in "Ben Hur" and "the Ten Commandments," but that probably reflects my personal interest in the stories that are told there. As one Academy Award film-maker recently said upon receiving his lifetime achievement Oscar (I think it was Norman Jewison), "Find a story that needs to be told and tell it." This version of "The Planet of the Apes" certainly tells a good story, and tells it well."
Welcome to the Planet of the Apes!
Cubist | United States | 03/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"20th Century Fox released the film previously on DVD by itself and in a box set with the rest of the Apes films plus a bonus DVD of extras. Now, for those who just want the first (and best) film of the series and all of the extras, Fox has released an excellent two-DVD special edition of Planet of the Apes to celebrate its 35th anniversary.The DVD's extras get off to a shaky start with the two lackluster audio commentaries. The first is by legendary composer, Jerry Goldsmith, and the second by actors Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter and make-up artist John Chambers. Both commentaries could benefit from some extensive editing. There is way too much dead air that one has to sit through to get to the few interesting tidbits of information. The DVD producers should have edited down these commentaries to only the scenes in the movie that are actually commented on, like with the audio tracks on the Glengarry Glen Ross and The Right Stuff DVDs.The text commentary by Eric Greene, author of Planet of the Apes as American Myth, redeems things by cramming a ton of interesting factoids on the screen in the form of subtitles. It's scary when the text commentary is better than both audio commentaries combined.The second DVD contains the bulk of the extra material. The first section, "Exploring the Apes," contains a comprehensive, two-hour documentary entitled, "Behind the Planet of the Apes." Hosted by Roddy McDowall, it takes a look at the entire Apes saga from the films to the cartoon and TV series with an emphasis on the first (and best) film. Fans of the Apes films will be delighted to see all the major players from the films back for new interviews done exclusively for this documentary.Also included in this section is the make-up test reel with Edward G. Robinson that convinced the 20th Century Fox brass to pony up the money for the film. There is "Roddy McDowall Home Movies" taken while making the first Apes movie that shows the step-by-step application of his ape make-up. There are 19 minutes of dailies and outtakes from the film.There are also two vintage featurettes from 1968 and 1972 respectively. They are nothing more than superficial promos but are now fascinating time capsules of their times. Finally, there are two brief featurettes that showcase footage of directors Don Taylor and J. Lee Thompson shooting a scene from the Apes films that they worked on. These last two extras feel like unnecessary padding.The "Publicity" section contains theatrical trailers for all of the Apes films, two glowing reviews for The Planet of the Apes and a collection of movie posters from all around the world.The "Galleries" section features sketches by costume designer Morton Haack and a small stills gallery.Finally, the "Ape Phenomenon" offers a brief glimpse into the vast Apes merchandising empire with a gallery of action figures. Also included is a collection of costumes and make-up from the films.This new two-DVD set does justice to this landmark science fiction film. The transfer is amazing clear and free of any artifacting. The movie also hasn't sounded better with a crystal clear 5.1 surround soundtrack. While the audio commentaries are a let down, the two-hour documentary more than makes up for it. This is well worth picking up if you are a fan of the first film and want all the supplemental materials included in the box set without having to pay the extra money for the inferior sequels."
Finally this classic gets a decent transfer!
R. Monteith | Ft. Lauderdale, FL United States | 02/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say that I agree with most of the negative comments already made here over the new "35th Anniversary" DVD edition of "Planet of the Apes" (1968). This appears to been something of a rush job on the part of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to please the die-hard fans of the film. Unfortunately this package doesn't contain enough of the things those very fans covet most: an extensive photo gallery of behind-the-scenes shots, deleted footage from well-known cut scenes, and a gallery of nearly every product ever released with the "Planet of the Apes" logo stamped on it. Also, most of the extra stuff here has been previously released on DVD, with only Roddy McDowall's private 16mm films taken during the production being the most fascinating extra on the two-disc set. Jerry Goldsmith provides a wonderful commentary but there are long stretches between his comments, and there's no isolated score, which would have been nice.So what is there to get excited about? Well, finally this classic Science Fiction film is available in the anamorphic DVD format of 16X9. If you have a widescreen video display with progressive scan this movie is going to look marvelous. For a 1968 flick, the movie looks remarkably good, a tribute to the original Panavision photography. And the movie sounds better than ever, with a stereo that now finally approaches the original 4-track sound of the era. It's true that there's hardly any rear surround information, but this is typical of the era's mono surround track for four channel films. If you're not a fan of the "Planet of the Apes" and hardly know anything of its production, then this DVD is going to tell you everything you'll want to know and more. After viewing everything on this disc you may want to "Escape from the Planet of the Apes." And if you are a member of the "Apes" cult of fans, then just keep writing to Fox for "more, more, more." There are still the four "Apes" sequels waiting to get the anamorphic treatment on DVD."