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Home > Planet of the Apes Special Edition
Planet of the Apes Special Edition
Planet of the Apes Special Edition


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Sales Rank: 2,016

Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti
Director: Tim Burton
Rating: PG-13
Features: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound, DVD, NTSC
Running Time: 119 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Release Date: February 11, 2003
Theatrical Release Date: July 27, 2001
Studio: 20th Century Fox

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After a spectacular crash-landing on an uncharted planet, brash astronaut Leo Davidson Mark Wahlberg finds himself trapped in a savage world where talking apes dominate the human race. Desperate to find a way home, Leo must evade the invincible gorilla army led by ruthless General Thade Tim Roth and his most trusted warrior, Attar Michael Clarke Duncan. Now the pulse-pounding race is on to reach a sacred temple that may hold the shocking secrets of mankind's past - and the last hope for it's salvation!
Billed as a "reimagining" of the original 1968 film, Tim Burton's extraordinary Planet of the Apes constantly borders on greatness, adhering to the spirit of Pierre Boulle's original novel while exploring fresh and inventive ideas and paying honorable tribute to the '68 sci-fi classic. Burton's gifts for eccentric inspiration and visual ingenuity make this a movie that's as entertaining as it is provocative, beginning with Rick Baker's best-ever ape makeup hand that man an OscarĀ®!, and continuing through the surprisingly nuanced performances and breathtaking production design. Add to all this an intelligent screenplay that turns Boulle's speculative reversal--the dominance of apes over humans--into a provocative study of civil rights and civil war. The film finally goes too far with a woefully misguided ending that pays weak homage to the original, but everything preceding that misfire is astonishingly right.

While attempting the space-pod retrieval of a chimpanzee test pilot, Major Leo Davidson Mark Wahlberg enters a magnetic storm that propels him into the distant future, where he crash-lands on the ape-ruled planet. Among the primitively civilized apes, treatment of enslaved humans is a divisive issue: senator's daughter Ari Helena Bonham Carter advocates equality while the ruthless General Thade Tim Roth promotes extermination. While Davidson ignites a human rebellion, this conflict is explored with admirable depth and emotion, and sharp dialogue allows Burton's exceptional cast to bring remarkable expressiveness to their embattled ape characters, most notably in the comic relief of orangutan slave trader Limbo played to perfection by Paul Giamatti. Classic lines from the original film are cleverly reversed including an unbilled cameo for Charlton Heston, in ape regalia as Thade's dying father, and while this tale of interspecies warfare leads to an ironic conclusion that's not altogether satisfying, it still bears the ripe fruit of a timeless what-if idea. --Jeff Shannon

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