Planet of the Apes, released in 1968, starring Charleton Heston and his warm living hands, was an instant classic. The film was remade [read: worsened] for modern audiences and released in 2001, this time starring Marky Mark and the Banana Bunch. The universe of “Apes” tells the story of a distant future in which humans are no longer Earth’s dominant species, instead replaced by — you guessed it: apricots. Man, you’re a terrible guesser. No, the answer is apes, of course. Apes, idiot. Apes that walk upright, wear clothes, and speak perfect Midwestern English. Like us, they’re power hungry and they can be total dicks. But they also exhibit their own unique ape traits, such as being apes.
The latest film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is a reboot of the franchise. I saw it with a friend and I enjoyed watching it, although I think they could have named it something less cumbersome. Roll your mouse over the image to see what I had in mind.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Mouse Over
Most, if not all, of the apes in the original(s) were humans dressed up in ape, chimp and orangutan costumes. They looked like the intended species, sure, but you couldn’t look at them and not think “That’s just a dude in a suit. A really good suit, yeah, but still. Will anyone notice if I eat this twizzler off the floor?”
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, features many ape costumes but not a single one touched by a seamstress’s hand. Indeed, all the simians loping about on screens big and small were digitally rendered, stitched together by graphic and animation designers, and with the help of the one and only Andy Serkis, the guy who played Gollum in Lord of the Rings. It’s called motion capture or something. Actors in Rise of the Planet of the Apes got to act and react with a living human face instead of a tennis ball on a string, which goes a long way toward integrating the actors with the ape “actors.” It works. Nothing snaps suspension of disbelief faster than watching an actor do a scene with a tennis ball he was told is upset with him.
There were moments during the film where I knew I wasn’t looking at a drug-induced gentically-modified chimp experiencing the sudden onset of intelligence and sentience but there were even more moments when I bought the premise hook, banana and sinker.
In twenty years there will be entire films made of actors that only exist in computers and on billboards and talking to Regis (or the robot version of him) and no difference short of a pulse will be detectable. Photo-realism is already here, but video-realism is still some years off. Some. Not many.
Anyway, here are the tweets (@Hank_Thompson)I wrote about the movie, in order of appearance by date:
July 22nd, 2011
What I can tell so far about Rise of the Planet of the Apes is that humans are powerless against spears and that apes hate helicopters.
The head ape is named Caeser. The lesson here? Never give your drug experiment ape a powerful name. Wilbur or Harold would suffice.
I really want to see Rise of the Planet of the Grapes. I’m a big fan of testicle-shaped fruit.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes has one too many ‘of the’s. It should be Rise of the Ape Planet. Or perhaps: Look Out! Apes!
If my butt hole were a car wash I would get a lot of complaints because it takes several passes to get clean.
I goofed up a previous Apes tweet. What I meant to say was: Oog oog oog hoo hoo ha ha oog. Oh wait, they haven’t risen yet…
An ape planet would be fun. They’d go to the zoo and marvel at how the humans poop and then refrain from throwing or eating it.
As promotional material for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the studio is sending out free poop to be hurled at the screen on opening night.
Google image the phrase ‘uncanny valley.’ It’s a real creep fest. Just like all those apes in Rise of the Planet of the Creeps.
Bout to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes. As I told the cashier, there better be lots of apes or I’m gonna want my money back.
As a man who also rises sometimes I feel like I can relate to this whole apes rising thing. But as always, it goes away eventually.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was good. I don’t want to give away the ending but let’s just say that the apes rise on a planet.
Once the apes ruin things the next species to take over will be grapes. Movie poster: “Rise of the Planet of the Grapes: Who’s Wining Now?”
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