4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Planet of the Apes (2001) Review

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Well, looks like it’s time to check out another one of the Ape films. I can’t say that I went in with high hopes after the first batch, but this is a reboot. With new directors comes new opportunities right? This one was a solid improvement over the last few as it managed to work on most of my big problems with it. That being said, it’s guaranteed to make you sleepy once you start watching it.

Captain Leo is at his space station when the commander decides to send a chimp into space. Leo protests this, but the commander won’t listen. The chimp doesn’t know how to use the controls so it slowly starts to fade away into the silence of space. Leo won’t allow that to happen so he hops into a pod and chases the little guy. Both of them fall into a portal, which leads to the far future. Apes have enslaved humanity and they now rule the world. Can Leo lead the resistance away from the apes or are they all going to die?

The plot is fairly similar to the first film, but with some improvements. For starters, Captain Leo is actually a likable character. He went after his monkey, which was the hero move and he was pretty cool about it. Unfortunately, he quickly starts to lose his edge once he is stranded on the foreign planet. Good things can’t last forever I suppose. He does stay defiant all the way through to the end though. He may not have been quite as tough as he was in the opening, but he is dealing with meta powerful apes so he has to be careful about how he operates. I dare the new films to think up a more likable character! I rarely mention actors, but it’s safe to say that the actor did a good job here.

Now, the main thing that you are likely wondering about is the animal violence right? After all, that’s what utterly destroyed all of the other Ape films. Well, you’ll be happy to know that it was significantly reduced from the other films. I dare say that this one has the least amount of it although I remember one of the old films being decent about it. Perhaps my memory has started to fade a little sooner than usual. It’s not completely eliminated though and you’ll also feel bad for the horses that are caught up in these petty wars. It’s a negative that is still around, but considering that this is a film about apes, Burton managed to take away as much of the animal violence as he could.

One part of the plot that felt a little like a plot hole were the cave dwellers. In the first few scenes, it seemed like the humans could not talk. They may not want the apes to know that they can talk, but there’s no way that they couldn’t utter a “Huwahhhhhh” or “Gwagggg” as they were being taken away. At least a “Help” at one point would have sufficed. No, they seemed to be totally mindless until they randomly started talking towards the end of the film. I’ll assume that this part simply wasn’t thought about very much as the writers just wanted to go through the plot already.

The ending is pretty epic. I love the concept although it could have been made even better. The film ending with Leo arriving on Earth where Birds have taken over the planet or something like that would have been cooler. As it stands, my take on the ending is that he’s in a parallel world. I don’t think he can be on the same Earth that he was in before because he is back in the past and yet things have not really changed. There’s no way that the past could have been altered from the future and the humans would have not lost so quickly and suddenly. It’s too bad that this didn’t get a sequel to surpass all my hopes and expectations…….or maybe it wasn’t.

One of the main problems from this film is that it will make you incredibly sleepy. As you’re watching the characters drone on and on about things that don’t ultimately matter, you will feel your eyes start to get a little heavy. As you try to keep yourself awake, you’ll slowly start to sink into the pillow that you have on the arm rest of your chair. Slowly, but surely, you will eventually fall asleep and only wake up as the film is ending. Such is the fate of all who eventually watch this film…in theory. It’s simply not very exciting at all and that really hurts how much you can actually enjoy it.

Also, you simply can’t save a bad concept no matter how good the execution is. Attack on Titan is an incredibly good example of this and I always love to use it. The anime played everything just about perfectly, but it still had to adapt the manga and that was the problem. No matter how likable they make Leo or how much they try to get rid of the animal violence, you simply can’t fix the film when it’s using this plot. There will always be some animal violence as long as the apes are the villains. There will always be the human enslavement plot that is not fun to watch because it’s part of the plot as well. That’s why the plot has always been known as a very important part to the film because it can destroy a film just as easily as it can make the title really cool.

Well, we’re getting a lot closer to the latest Apes film continuity, which is supposed to be the best yet. I have my doubts as the trailers did not look very good, but I suppose that you never know when a film will end up surprising you right? I’ll likely be seeing them soon or at some point in the future and then you can count on a review. We’ll see if it ends up topping this one or fading away.

Overall, Planet of The Apes really gave its all into making this film a success, but it simply didn’t work for me. I appreciate the effort though and the animal violence is noticeably reduced, but it’s simply not enough. Leo also had a great start as the main character and then he started to become more generic and less impressive. None of the apes are likable or interesting. You’ll really think that you’ve seen them before because they are all essentially cardboard cutouts of the original apes from the older films. We have the nice scientist/royalty member who wants to live in harmony with humans and her scared husband who is afraid for his life. Then there’s the main villain who wants to take control of the clan. Seriously, you’ve seen this all before so nothing is new on their side. There’s only so much that you can do with this plot after a while. If you want to see a film about creatures deciding to defeat humanity, I recommend watching Future Card Buddyfight 100. The monsters decide to take things into their own hands this time!

Overall 4/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Battle for the Planet of the Apes Review

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It’s the final installment in the Planet of the Apes series. It should really be City of the Apes instead of Planet, but that’s just how it goes. If you’ve seen my reviews for the other titles, then you’ll know that I’ve been less than pleased with the series so far. The first film was the only one that I gave a decent score. (Depending on your definition of decent) Luckily, the series ends on a relatively high note as this one definitely defeats the second, third, and fourth films. I dare say that it can even defeat the first film. Making it an uphill battle for future Ape films to defeat this one. Why was I so impressed with this film? (Compared to the others anyway) Well, this film may have been a little on the boring side for a while, but it also corrected most of the problems that I had with the series.

The plot begins in the far future. An ole Ape is telling his audience about an ape named Caesar and how he had a good adventure. We go back to the past and Caesar now rules over all. The humans had another one of their wars and everyone in sight died. The few humans who lived through it were brought to the Apes to work as slaves. Caesar likes how things have turned out and he even has a kid named Cornelius. Unfortunately, the gorillas are starting to rebel and their newfound leader is Aldo. He believes that humans should be destroyed instead of enslaved and he seems to be pretty dangerous. Caesar doesn’t really consider him to be a threat, which is either brave…or overconfident. It’s a little ambiguous. MacDonald advises Caesar to check out the recordings of his parents and they wander into an abandoned city. Turns out that some mutants (Humans who were affected by the radiation) live there and now it’s time for the war to begin anew. The mutants will launch a final counter offensive to destroy the apes once and for all. Which side will prevail!?

Caesar is back to being our lead in this film although he’s pretty distant at times. He’s technically the main character, but you almost wouldn’t know it from the way he acts. He’s grown old and some of the members are beginning to realize this. The humans essentially work as his slaves right now although he likes to think of it as a friendship in the making. Once the two sides understand each other…there will be harmony. It’s a pretty intriguing strategy, but it’s one that would likely never work. Caesar just isn’t likable by the end because he’s a little too oblivious to everything that’s happening. He never even suspects who attacked his kid and he’s pretty isolated in his little hut. He doesn’t even hear the loud sounds of war when the attack first begins and he refuses to go out because he’s with Cornelius. He’s definitely not the general that you would expect. He still does have a solid glare that he shares with the others once in a while, but it’s just not enough.

MacDonald is in this film, but it’s not the same MacDonald from the last film. This one is the latter’s brother, but he retains the same personality. He wants Caesar to give the humans more freedom, but he plays along with the system for the moment. He has big plans and they all come to the surface at the end. It’s a risky gamble and it only barely pays off. He was all right I suppose, but there’s not much to say about him. He was just there.

General Aldo is one of the main villains in this film. He wants all of the humans to be destroyed and he has several followers. Their goals are ambitious and not even Caesar can stop them. Aldo is openly rebellious and the others seem to fear him. His misplaced pride in his methods keeps him from being a likable character. Whether human or ape, both species have some bad apples. His fight against Caesar was very brief and it definitely didn’t make him look like a powerful warrior. I guess he was all talk after all.

Governor Kolp is The main villain of the film. He is the leader of the small pocket of human resistance and he definitely won’t allow the apes to keep their city. He wants his men to destroy everything so that the Apes can be their slaves once more. This guy is obviously not a sympathetic villain and he’s also pretty weak. He’s the type of guy who ends up going on a long monologue and panics at everything. He’s completely unreasonable and war is the only thing on his mind. Maybe he would be a little more bearable if he would actually fight….but he can’t. He’s a pretty forgettable villain in the grand scheme of things.

So, as I mentioned earlier, this film was a definite improvement over the last one. General Aldo and Governor Kolp are mean villains, but we don’t have to be reminded of this constantly through shocks and other such scenes as in the last film. These guys just come out swinging and they’re not all that subtle about it. The climatic fight between Caesar and Aldo is pretty serious business and while it’s short, it easily beats the last few climaxes. This was a fight that you could get behind and the stakes were real. It was very cheesy and unintentionally funny, which made it more enjoyable than the overly long revolt climax that we got last time.

Of course, that still couldn’t stop the film from being pretty boring. You never really care about what’s going to happen. After all, it’s a story about how awesome Caesar is so there are only so many ways that the film could go from there. Starting out the film as a story is never a good idea. Luckily, the film is decently short so it doesn’t have a whole lot of time to drag on. It goes through the motions and as the viewers, we just play along.

Another negative for the film would be the previously segment. It’s pretty long and utterly unnecessary. If you forgot the plot for one of the most basic franchises out there, then it’s time to go and order some Doritos loaded. We get to see most of the scenes that we’ve tried to hard to forget. From the apes leaving their suitcase where anyone could find it to the final fight scene of the last film. This flashback took up quite a few minutes and we just didn’t need it.

The setting for the film plays out like the Walking Dead. It’s a sandy area without any real kind of life. The civilization is pretty primitive and most of the inhabitants are still finding their place in the world. Enslaving the humans essentially restarted the cycle, which felt a little bit like backtracking as well.

Once again, I’ve also got to criticize the big plan of the Apes. Having everyone lie down in the middle of the road to wait for the enemies to come is a pretty terrible strategy. They could have been stepped on or shot. The odds of such a plan succeeding are pretty low. This doesn’t help to show how much smarter Apes are than humans either. They got off lucky that time, but what about the next time the humans strike? They better have their weapons ready.

Overall, This Apes film was more enjoyable than the others. It essentially did away with most of my complaints. It didn’t develop into a very solid film either, but being boring was really its only big problem. It’s like watching a LOTR film, but at least it only lasts for a little over an hour and a half. Nothing really gets accomplished in the film. The only big event in the film is the human’s attack upon them. The rest is just the Apes talking and everyone being upset about their current predicament. Yes, I definitely wouldn’t recommend this film and you’re better off watching some old Naruto re runs. There is a happy ending though so maybe the cycle can finally stop…maybe. We’ll see if the Burton remake or the latest remake will be able to get a more positive score. It’s hard to picture…but it could happen. After all, this film gave us a ray of hope.

Overall 4/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Conquest of The Planet of The Apes Review

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It’s time for the Apes to return and you can tell that there will be a lot of action in this one based off of the title. That is usually a good thing, but not necessarily for this series. After the last film where the series managed to briefly rise up, this one definitely shot it right back down. Why did this film not succeed when it had so much potential? That’s what we’re about to find out!

The world has changed since the last film and around 10+ years have passed. Dogs and Cats were eliminated from the Earth by a plague and humans decided to take in Apes as pets. (Obviously, they ignored the warnings that this is how the Ape dominion would start) Unfortunately, America then decides to use them as slaves and Milo finds out about this. He switches his name to Caesar and decides to overthrow the humans, but can such a bold conquest really work? That’s the plot for this film. I’ll get into all of the negatives in a moment, but let’s look at the character roster first since it’s so small.

Caesar is the main character of the film and his main goal is to save the Apes. It’s a noble goal, but accomplishing it will be difficult. He starts off by helping the Apes make a mockery of the humans by messing up in their tasks, but it’s not enough. He needs to completely stop their tyrannical rule. Unfortunately, he basically cracks by the end as he decides to destroy all of the humans before enslaving them. It doesn’t look like things will be changing anytime soon and one race will end up enslaved no matter who wins. I also can’t say that I liked Caesar’s plans, but more on that in a minute. Nontheless, Caesar is still better than most of the other apes.

MacDonald is one of the only guys who’s on the heroes side of things. He doesn’t believe in slavery, but there’s not much that he can do about it while in the system. He tries to help out whenever possible, which is good. Unfortunately, it can also be a little sad seeing him since you know that he has no chance of stopping this through peace. War is the only thing that General Breck and his men will understand at this point.

Governor Breck is the main villain of the film. He really believes that the Apes pose a threat to the human race and he really wants to see them enslaved. He’s basically against all Apes and he takes great satisfaction in their imprisonment. He’s a rather petty villain who is definitely not very enjoyable. He needs some more charisma and character development in order to be a good villain. His final speech is also pretty nonsensical as he turns into a philosopher and explains that people only dislike the Apes because they see their dark side in them. I don’t think anyone will really buy that. If only the President was still around to save the day.

Armando is the circus owner from the last film and he’s a good guy. He probably shouldn’t have gone back to meet with the police, but he was basically doomed either way. It’s really Caesar’s fault that things got dicey for Armando, but something had to happen I suppose. Armando was definitely one of the more likable characters in the film and at least he put up a fight against the police. He does have his human rights to think of after all and nobody was going to stop him! The film could have been better if he had lasted a little longer.

The soundtrack definitely isn’t that good. The opening scene is mostly lolz worthy as we get a fairly comedic tune as we see Apes performing all kinds of tasks. A tragic piece of music would have been more appropriate. What’s worse is that the scene takes a very long time to end. It keeps on going and going until you wonder how long this song can actually be. The film finally starts, but it wasn’t a big improvement. Time to see why the film wasn’t that good for me…or rather, why it was pretty bad.

The slavery aspect would definitely be the first part. There’s no way that America would fall so low. Of course, that’s optimistic, but it’s hard to picture America allowing slavery in any form. We just finished getting rid of it so bringing it back for the Apes would not make sense. That was part of the main plot and it was pretty bad. That was definitely a bad sign for the film since the slavery wasn’t going to disappear as the film went on. Maybe a few people would believe that Apes would destroy us all, but certainly not the majority. Only conspirators could possible believe this and it is still taken so seriously.

Another part would be how cruel the people are to the Apes. It doesn’t make economic sense to train them all to do these tasks when they just end up doing it sloppily and are forced to go back for more training. What’s the point of using these Apes for the task? The film explains that they are really useful in some areas, but it never shows us any of them. All we see is the fact that the Apes aren’t really good at any of the tasks because the humans won’t bother tho show them anything. If anything, it takes longer to do everything when you have to worry about apes making a mistake or doing something incorrectly.

Building off of this, the scenes also drag on for too long. We get that the humans are really mean to the Apes so we don’t need to keep on seeing it. At one point, the humans lead Caesar through a lab where we see how the Apes are conditioned. They get practice on how to get beaten up without fighting back, how to get burned to stop being frightened of the fire, and how to get zapped for no real reason except to make them fear humans. These scenes are pretty terrible and they guaranteed that the film was going to get a low rating. The sheer amount of animal violence in the film is off the charts. The Apes don’t typically count as the same kind of animal violence as an average dog or a cat would, but things change in this film. Most of the apes are normal apes now so they are back to totally being animals so all of the scenes are pretty relentless. If you’ve been reading my reviews long enough then you’ll know that animal violence is an instant no no. Viewers shouldn’t have to put up with that and it’s bad enough that Lassie is a fan favorite..

Meanwhile, the acting hasn’t gotten any better. The humans are all right of course, but the Apes still seem very fake. They’ll glare at each other and move really slowly at times for the drama. You almost feel like chuckling when Caesar glares at the Apes from the shadows. The suits definitely need a lot of work, but that kind of work takes time so I wouldn’t expect it to get much better in the sequel. We can hope of course….we can hope.

I also need to criticize Caesar’s military tactics. He’s never fought a war of course, but I expect better out of him. He uses some of the Apes as pawns as he gets many of them to mess up in their duties so they are sent to his base. After they launch the assault, Caesar definitely didn’t count on the villains having guns. The whole army walks right towards them and the complete slaughter of his troops is prevented by the humans hesitating before firing. Most of them still go down quickly and the others only manage to stay upright through plot convenience. The fire plan definitely didn’t do the Apes any wonders. Maybe it’s time for Caesar to step down as leader eh?

By the end, he basically admits that the Apes are doomed for a while and that they’ll have to wait until World War Three to strike again. I guess that means that the Apes involved in this rebellion are probably all doomed. Well, maybe they’ll be able to stay in hiding or something until the tensions die down, but it’ll be tough.

It almost goes without saying that the fight scenes were poorly done as well. We get a lot of Apes tackling humans and vice versa as they wrestle around for a while. The camera makes sure to keep on shifting from side to side and all around so that we get to see many fight scenes instead of focusing on any of them. It becomes rather chaotic and since we can’t root for either side, it’s rather boring. I still don’t buy the fact that any of the Apes lived when the humans had so many guns at the ready. Talk about getting one shotted….

Overall, This is definitely another bad installment in the Apes franchise. It may not have been quite as bad as the second film, but this is certainly open to debate. There was nothing good about this film once again and the characters were unlikable. I liked the circus owner and MacDonald was okay, but they weren’t strong enough to hold up a whole film. The massive amounts of animal violence mixed with the sheer dullness of the film ensured that this would not be an enjoyable experience. I definitely do not recommend checking this film out and you would be better watching a retro episode of the Andy Griffith show. I can only hope that the final installment in this series is better than this one. How can it be worse or even on the same level right? Well, that’s what I thought after the second film…

Overall 1/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Escape from the Planet of the Apes Review

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The Planet of the Apes is back with another film. Surely it can’t be any worse than the first one…right? I can safely say that the series is definitely showing some improvement with this installment. It falls into a few holes, but they would be incredibly hard to avoid. The plot is intriguing, even if it’s a little unnecessary. It’s time for the humans to strike back.

The plot involves three apes who managed to escape the planet before it…met an abrupt end. Sure, that could be a spoiler, but I expect my readers to have seen the last film in the series before reading my review of this one. It just wouldn’t make any sense otherwise right? Back to the plot, the three apes are greeted by the military and they act like normal apes to protect themselves. Unfortunately, the act can’t hold for long when Zira has one of her moments so the two scientists who learn of this (Lewis and Stephanie) decide to show the world. Will the Apes be regarded as friend or foe? They’re about to find out one way or another! (In case I need to clear this up. The Apes have arrived into the past before the Earth blew up and Apes began to rule.

Well, the film already showed signs of improvement from the first one since the setting was better. I’ll take a regular city over a barren wasteland any day. Civilization was finally back and the unfortunate subplots of crazy humans and slavery could be over and done with. Those reasons almost guaranteed that this film would be higher than the last one on principal.

Zira is back and she’s one of the main characters in this film. Unfortunately, I can’t say that she was a very good character. Most of the trouble and problems that arise are really her fault. She talks when the other Apes warned her not too so then the humans find out about it. It’s not like they were even trying to humiliate her or anything. The humans were just testing their intelligence. Then, Zira is tricked into revealing all of the secrets from the future. Her biggest mistake was when she decided to leave her suitcase outside of the hiding place so that the humans could find and destroy them. She’s supposed to be the smart one of the group, but she definitely didn’t look the part in this film.

Milo is the baby who appears in this film. He’s the next generation of Ape you could say and the entire government is after him. He’s still a baby so it’s not like he can do a whole lot. So, I can’t say that he’s an unlikable character, but his final scene isn’t that great. Still, we can’t really judge his character until the next film.

Cornelius is back along with Zira and he’s more of a fighter in this film. He’s definitely more confident and bold as he speaks up against Zira more. He talks to the humans and shows them that he is serious about his work. He definitely overreacted when the humans would use the term monkey though and the scene where he took out the guy holding a tray was intriguing. I don’t see how the guy died from such an attack, but I guess Cornelius is just that tough. He does mess up in the ending though as he goes too far away when looking around the hideout. Not a wise move.

Lewis is the main human of the film or at least as far as the protagonists go. He does his best to help out the Apes, but there’s not much for him to do. He can let the army take him down or he can help the apes in secret. It’s a tough call of course but he ultimately makes the right call. Well…that is pretty arguable since he could have stuck up for them more. He was doomed to lose against politics, but he could have kept on trying until the bitter end. He basically just accepts the end and moves on as the film closes.

Stephanie is certainly not the bravest character out there. She faints when the Apes first begin to speak. Sure, it may have been surprising, but fainting isn’t really the best reaction. She helps out against the cops after that, but that’s about it. She’s a good driver, but she would need more courage for me to be a fan of her.

Dr. Milo doesn’t appear for very long and there’s a good reason for that. He lacks the power needed to keep up with the others. An Ape gets him in a headlock and he can’t break free…so he doesn’t really make it. His role must have been painful for his fans because it’s a very sad way to go out. You’d expect much more of a fight from such a big character. The scene just came so suddenly. At least he gets some hype from the other characters after he is taken out, but it’s not really the same as actually appearing right?

The President was definitely my favorite character. He got to call the shots while drinking his coffee and he never let anything slide. This was a man who was comfortable with wielding large amounts of power and nobody could corrupt him. Unfortunately, underlings tend to get away with a lot when the leader is so far away. The President is always relaxing so he doesn’t really know what’s going on. He still gives it his all though.

Otto is the main villain of the film and he really makes sure that the apes know this. He’s worried that the apes are going to enslave the humans so they must be stopped. Well, I’ll talk more about this in a minute, but he’s definitely an exaggerated character. He should have been locked up right away, but nobody suspected just how dangerous he was until it was too late. He gets away with a whole lot of shooting before he’s finally hit. Then the army finishes the job for him. I can definitely say that Otto doesn’t make for a good villain.

The soundtrack for the film definitely isn’t very good. The tunes just don’t make a lot of sense and they can get repetitive very quickly. The music definitely isn’t as action packed as something like Final Wars, but I suppose that it’ll have to do. It didn’t exactly help the film, but it’s not like the themes could hurt it all that much.

The main offense that I have with this film is that it’s just boring. There aren’t really any moments where you’ll stand up and cheer or even crack a smile. You’re just watching the film in awkward silence as you glance at your watch from time to time. The film isn’t even that long, but it takes a while for anything to happen. In that sense, it definitely rivals the Lord of The Rings/Hobbit.

The climax is also contains less action than usual. It’s really a one on one gunfight, but it’s not official. By that, I mean that one guy shoots someone and then someone else shoots him from behind. I’ve seen more action in My Little Pony and Scooby Doo. The film definitely ends on a low note. The ending was definitely not very enjoyable. Let’s just say that you can probably guess what happens based on the ending of the last film. It’s pretty similar.

The final, final scene is still pretty sad as well. We have someone yelling out a name…over and over and over again. It keeps on going once the screen has gone dark as well. It’s an example of a scene that could have been interesting, but ended up getting dragged on for far too long. Although, the final 20 minutes or so was all pretty underwhelming.

I also think that one of the things that hurts the film is how unbelievable some of the parts are. There’s no way Apes would ever enslave humanity and this guy shouldn’t really believe it. It’s no better than a fortune teller telling them that something will happen in the future. Unfortunately, the Judge and Juries do agree with him to an extent and announce that the baby must be destroyed. That’s rather crude for the United States. So much for Freedom and Independence. Also, I like to think that the general populace would have been able to help them or to at least find out the truth about what the government did. It shouldn’t be too hard to piece the puzzles together.

One thing that I can’t forget to mention is how bad the acting is. Especially for the Apes as their facial expressions always seem fake. They’ll randomly glare at people or engage in eye contact for a very long time. It’s so bad that it can be funny at times. Special effects were limited at the time and I can understand that, but it still doesn’t look very good. This is something that the series likely won’t get much better at until the newer films, but I can hope.

Overall, This film was definitely a step up from the last one. It’s a world of difference in quality and this one definitely wasn’t unbearable to watch. It’s really just boring, which is still a pretty big crime for a film, but it could be worse. What the film really needed was a better ending and better characters. Zira proved that the apes couldn’t be trusted thanks to her sadistic experiments and the humans weren’t any better as they became paranoid very quickly. I can’t say that I’m a fan of the Apes franchise even after this film, but it was certainly an improvement. Hopefully the sequel can fix these issues and gives us a better soundtrack as well. This review wasn’t very long because the film itself was pretty uneventful. It didn’t make too many errors, but it didn’t really try. The first half was just about the Apes having fun and then the ending is where things go south for them. The court scenes were intriguing, although they could have been handled much better. I would recommend watching Godzilla vs King Kong instead of this film though since King Kong makes for a hardcore fighter and the action scenes can be pretty intense.

Overall 3/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Beneath The Planet of the Apes Review

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I’ve never liked the Planet of the Apes franchise. It wasn’t terrible, but the films just weren’t for me. I mean, a series where the main villains are Apes? This will inevitably lead to humans shooting apes and apes shooting people so the films were doomed from the start. Even the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks pretty bad if you ask me. However, even I was not expecting this film to be quite as bad as it was. It actually ranks up there with Sucker Punch…and that’s definitely not a good thing!

The plot takes place shortly after the first film. Taylor and Nova are still aimlessly wandering about. One day, Taylor sees a big fire so he jumps into a mountain, but the mountain wasn’t actually there and he must have met a sad end. Nova moves on with her life and treks across the planet until she finds a guy by the name of Brent. Brent crash landed on this planet along with another guy, but the futureshock was too much for him. (That’s what Judge Dredd calls it anyway) He quickly dies so Brent decides to go with Nova to find out what’s going on. Unfortunately, the Apes still want to conquer the world so Brent runs away, but he’s quickly captures. His only chance is to get off of this planet or to find some more humans who have a mind. The sad thing is…Brent’s doomed either way!!

It’s hard to know where to begin describing this “film.” We may as well go in a semi chronological order. The first scene that you’ll have to wince at is when Brent’s partner wakes up. We get several minutes of Brent telling him to stay alive as he tries to help the poor guy. The guy won’t hear any of it and he loudly exclaims that everyone he knew is dead. That’s pretty obvious since they’ve time traveled 2000 years into the future and Brent doesn’t seem to care. The guy just dies and you have to wonder why he was so weak willed. He was a pretty sad character.

We aren’t given a break either as the next scene involves Nova coming to help. This scene was pretty terrible since it feels like 20 minutes of Brent trying to talk to her. The problem is that Nova doesn’t believe in showing emotion and since she can’t talk and only has limited hearing…it makes discussion difficult. The two of them just stare at each other in awe as they can’t communicate and Brent finally jumps on the horse. The horse looked exhausted after a few steps and I felt bad for him.

Things don’t really get any better as the Ape scenes were pretty boring. Skipping along, the next sad moment was when the Horses started to get shot. This occurs throughout the movie and it was pretty awful. Classic animal violence is something that is common in the Ape films and that’s just too bad. The Apes themselves look so fake that I don’t really count them for the most part, but the horses are definitely enough!

After that, SPOILER ALERT……………………………………………They find a human colony and some more wince worthy scenes follow. The humans have advanced ESP and they attempt to force Brent to drown Nova. After a terrible scene, Brent regains control and heads into the enemy base. They beat him up using their mind abilities while telling him that they are peaceful. In particular, a guy by the name of Ongaro seems to despise humans as he continues to blast Brent. They use their mind abilities to try and make Brent destroy Taylor as well and the two of them have a boring fight. The film wasn’t even two hours and it felt like a millenia.

Another factor of the film that didn’t help was the random violence that jumped out towards the end. It was pretty over the top towards the end as someone gets violently impaled and another one gets shot to death in a graphic fashion. We see live apes burning to death in one scene and even though it is an illusion, it is a realistic one. The statue also begins to bleed a lot and we can’t forget Brent and Taylor’s fight as they keep throwing each other into the spikes. (Well, Brent was getting pummeled the whole time so he didn’t really get a chance) I dare say that this film is much more violent than the two newest Ape films in theaters partially due to the effects. This amount of blood usually doesn’t pore out so quickly and it’s due to the difference in special effects.

Brent is the new main character of the film and I can’t say that he’s very likable. Maybe for the first few minutes, but he died once Nova came along. He is very weak willed as shown when the telepathy people came along. Brent isn’t much of a fighter as he got pummeled a lot and he just seems to be very rude whenever he talks to anyone.

Nova isn’t any better than the first film. It would be good if she could at least react when someone was talking to her or a sound was made, but she’s just lifeless the whole time. Her scenes just aren’t fun to watch and while she does get a big “hero” moment, it’s not very cool and it’s a little too expected.

Taylor is from the first film, but he doesn’t get a huge role and he basically goes out while begging for help. He made an interesting call as he fell down and that was cool, but I can’t really forget how he was weak against mind control as well. Jumping into the mountain was also pretty risky and he had a gun with him so he should have had the edge against any opponent.

Ongaro is the antagonistic human who likes to mess with the primitive humans. He blasts them with his mind for fun and he likes to watch them destroy each other. He claims to be a peaceful person, but you can tell that it’s all fake. He’s just lying to them because he finds it to be fun.

Dr. Zaius isn’t really likable either. He refuses to help the main characters because they cause a lot of destruction as he helps the Apes murder everyone in sight. He doesn’t like to oppose authority and he believes that everything should stay the same. He doesn’t have any ambition in him and he’s pretty weak willed.

Mendez is basically a joke the entire time. He has a nuclear weapon at his disposal and he’s ready to use it against the Apes. The problem is that he waits until they enter his room so they shoot him down before he has time to use it. That’s extremely sloppy and he basically died for no good reason. He didn’t really have a point in the story since he was just going to stand there and die.

Ursus is the leader of the Ape military and he doesn’t really have a point in this film as well. He talks tough and he wants to help end a famine before it begins so he goes into the forbidden zone. There was not any food to be found so you could say that it was a wasted effort anyway. He may be the leader, but he is very interchangeable. He only got a handful of lines and he bit the big one in a very quick fight.

Zira is mostly there to rebel against the government, but she never does anything about it. She’s really all talk and gets written out of the film very quickly. It’s good to talk to the government and try to change them, but she has absolutely no political power so her efforts were doomed from the start. Her husband tries to talk her out of her plans as well, but Zira does get a chance to be leader for a few hours so we’ll see what she does about it…or not.

The soundtrack is nonexistent in this film. It’s too bad since that could have ever so slightly helped the film, but we can’t even have that I suppose. The special effects are pretty bad as well, but this film is ancient so one can overlook that. The photoshopped fire…..it burrrrrns!

Another thing that hurts the film is the fact that the characters aren’t likable. It’s a classic tale of how everyone has been corrupted. The Apes worship their idols and the humans have forgotten God and they now worship a rocket. The humans are completely evil and likewise with the Apes so it’s a lose/lose situation. It’s why the ending was one of the only ways that could have helped the film. It was a good ending (Last 2 seconds anyway) but it couldn’t really help in the end. (Too bad this film got a sequel eh?) I can’t say that I expected the humans to look That bad. Their scenes are also pretty unnecessarily gross as their faces are rotted and they all look like a pile of veins. It’s not pretty and you almost have to exit the room when they appear on screen.

I’m also not crazy about the setting. It’s basically a big desert and the landscape is primitive. Because of this, the heroes don’t wear much and they’re barefoot. Personally, that kind of thing has always bothered me and the acting is horrendous for everyone as well. Every character is constantly grinning, but their face looks like they’re in pain. I’m guessing that the actors were told to grin and squint as if the sun was shining very brightly upon them. It definitely didn’t help from a viewer’s perspective as it just made the scenes that much harder to watch.

Overall, This is easily one of the worst films that I have ever seen. There is not a single redeemable quality about the film and it was painful from start to finish. None of the characters were likable, The Setting was bad, The action was boring, and the violence was really there for no reason. I highly recommend avoiding this film and don’t let the G rating fool you. This is easily PG-13 stuff by the end and the 90 or so minutes of the film actually ends up feeling like a Lord of The Rings movie. This is just one of those films that you should just take a pass on. If you want a good future story, then check out Yugioh 3D Bonds Beyond Time. That film has heart and passion…two qualities that this film could have used. At the very least, I’m sure that the rest of the Apes films cannot be as bad as this one.

Overall 1/10