The Planet of the Apes Collection
Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, et al.
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner,
- Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan only)
- Widescreen, PAL
- ASIN: B00005NOMI
- Catalogue Number: 22371DVD
six these movies look
stunning in widescreen anamorphic transfers. All of the movies (with the
weird exception of Escape, which is in mono) are in Dolby stereo. The
first movie has been remixed in vivid Dolby 5.1. All the movies feature
trailers and photo galleries, but no commentaries alas. All in a handsome
If you believe that pan 'n' scan is better than widescreen, then you
are (a) pig ignorant, (b) a tool of Satan or (c) both. Nowhere is this
more apparent than in the first Apes movie. If you are used to having seen this
movie on either TV or pan 'n' scan video throughout the years,
then this is a revelation: its cinematography is fantastic, and the
widescreen version makes sure you see every inch of the stark landscapes.
Also, one of the movie's best-known visual gags simply gets lost - that
of "monkey see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil". Because the sides
of the image gets lobbed off in pan 'n' scan video you only get to see two
monkeys! One supposes that in a pan 'n' scan version of the Bible there
would only be seven or eight disciples because the others got cut off at
the edges . . .
Planet of the Apes remains a classic, it reputation only enhanced by the recent
remake. It looks fantastic on this disc. SPOILER ALERT: My only
complaint is that the set's cover gives away the movie's surprise ending -
I know lots of people who have never actually seen the original and this isn't
really a clever thing to do. END SPOILERS!
The series gets downright weird in the second movie,
Beneath the Planet of the Apes, with telepathic
mutants that worship an atom bomb! All of the movies look fantastic for
their age and much better than they had on video all these years, but
Beneath has some small bits where its age shows through, particularly
Escape from the Planet of the Apes is probably the best of
all the sequels. A whimsical tone
in which many satirical points are scored soon turns serious as a time
travel paradox similar to that of the Terminator evolves.
Conquest of the Planet of the
Apes is the darkest movie in the series - now there is nothing subtle about the
series' social commentary whatsoever. Still, unlike most of today's genre
movies, it is at least about something, and not just a spectacle in
The cheap budgets show through on
Beneath the Planet of the Apes, which is achingly bad
really. Like some of the other movies, it can still however be enjoyed for
its camp value though . . .
Behind the Planet of the Apes is a two-hour documentary hosted by regular Apes star Roddy McDowall (who
alas passed away recently). The first hour focuses on the first movie,
while the rest focuses on the many sequels as well as the two TV shows,
one of them animated. It also looks at the series' pop cultural importance.
Although it mentions the hilariously funny Apes spoof in an episode of
The Simpsons, we only get to see a small sequence from that particular show.
Lots of interesting info for the Apes fan here.
RECOMMENDATION: Get your damned dirty paws on this DVD set now!