Planet of the Apes [Movie Review]

Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death.

Overview: The scientific foundation of the movie, the “twin paradox” effect proposed by Albert Einstein in the early 1900s, is actually legitimate. As an aside, there have been scientific experiments involving paired and synchonized atomic clocks — one in orbit around earth and the other on earth itself. After a period of time, one of them was progressing a little slower than the other.
Anyways — Charlton Heston and his team of Superheros– I mean astronauts, go on a space mission, and due to a computer error end up touching down about a millenium AFTER they had intended to land, on an unknown planet. Populated by Apes! (sorry to spoil that for you) The movie illustrates a lot of the arguments we make about evolution, from the reverse side (that ape evolved from man) and (in my opinion) how silly the arguments against it sound. Very progressive considering it came from the late 60s. I’d be interested to see if that aspect of the movie is squelched or muted in the remake.

Noteworthy Actors/Actresses: Charlton Heston (as the gun-toting Taylor)

Verdict: This was a great movie. The first third of the movie I found quite maddening (partially by Heston’s bravado-style acting… Ben Hur is over, man!) but mostly because ignorance of any flavor pisses me off.The fact that the movie was able to cause those frustrations to emerge from me speaks a lot for the movie’s quality. What I found most interesting though was that the feelings of frustration were almost immediately turned into those of understanding and compassion by the end of the movie, when you realize that the apes aren’t ignorant, just scheming. Any movie that evokes emotions from its watchers, positive or negative, gets a thumbs up in my book.
Aside from the screenwriting though — the makeup was AMAZING. I’m sure everyone has seen screencaps or footage from this film before, but just watching it… wow. This was back before people used CGI as a crutch for poor films, when they had to rely on creativity and makeup artists to do it…and I swear it looks that much more convincing.

Definitely worth watching!

From IMDB: (1968) Charlton Heston and two other astronauts come out of deep hibernation to find that their ship has crashed. Escaping with little more than clothes they find that they have landed on a planet where men are pre-lingual and uncivilized while apes have learned speech and technology. Heston is captured and taken to the city of the apes after damaging his throat so that he is silent and cannot communicate with the apes.