Sunday, February 7, 2010

#46 Planet Of The Apes: Get your stinkin' paws off of me, you damn dirty ape!

1968. dir. Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans.

Seen it before? No.

One of those movies, like Soylent Green or The Sixth Sense, where everybody in the entire world knows the twist ending. If you've seen the Simpsons episodes "A Fish Called Selma" or "Deep Space Homer", you know what I'm talking about:
Troy McClure: Oh my God, I was wrong
It was Earth all along!
It's such common knowledge by this point that even the cover of the DVD gives away the ending. Thus I was pretty surprised that my wife didn't know they were on Earth. I think she needs to go to remedial Simpsons school...

In any case it should have been obvious from the start. Four astronauts are on a mission to another planet. Due to relativistic time dilation, centuries pass by outside the ship but only a few years inside. The ship crash lands in a lake, in a desert that looks suspiciously similar to the southwestern USA. The sky is blue, there's vegetation just like Earth's. They find a tribe of humans, then they get captured by apes riding on horseback. Why didn't the astronauts figure out that it was Earth? How stupid were they? And how did they crash land on Earth anyway? Aren't space missions usually planned pretty carefully?

Charlton Heston is the lead astronaut, and the only one who survives most of the movie. He really truly was an awful actor. He chews the scenery, and he does this stupid thing with his teeth the whole movie. I think Troy McClure would have done a better and more subtle job.

So then we move into Obvious Political Allegory Land. The apes think the humans are stupid, because they can't speak or reason. Blah blah blah, they re-enact the Scopes trial, the Salem Witch trials, the HUAC hearings. I hate that, when they sledgehammer in political content to make the movie more "serious". It's a freakin' talking ape movie! Damn you! Damn you all to hell! (sobs)

Position on the list: 227
Something I did like about this movie: The score. It's random and atonal. Very 1960's.

No comments:

Post a Comment