Michael Tue Aug 7 00:18:26 2001|
Planet of the Apes (spoilers if you care)
All I can say is, "Sheesh." Did anybody else waste seven bucks on this? Put it off till second-run, folks. It's a stinker.
I mean, OK, yeah, the apes looked halfway decent. Yeah. The effects were pretty good. Yeah. But this turkey has a 6.8 at the IMDb? My God, I could write a better script with my left hemisphere tied behind my back!
That was a strained metaphor, maybe, but not as strained as this movie. Let's see. The space station goes after the lost pilot. Hmm. OK, that's already stupid. The space station *crashes on a planet* with no particular loss of life. The apes take over, yadda yadda, learn to read, yadda yadda, several thousand years pass, the language hasn't changed even though it's obvious that the apes find it difficult to pronounce some human sounds, yadda yadda, and ... wait a minnit. It was a space station ... WITH HORSES? Where the HECK did HORSES come from in this scenario? There were horse wranglers in the credits, but somehow horse wranglers on a deep-space exploration station strike me as, I don't know, INANE.
OK, let's assume that the horses came with all that remarkably terrestrial vegetation, and skip ahead to the fact that several thousand years after crashing, and after all the metal in the space station has eroded away into cheesecake, the motors which operate the bulletproof door into the bridge area still work fine. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? NO! IT'S COLOSSALLY STUPID!
And wait -- the *entire* human population of the planet is there with Leo, right? Must have been at least two hundred of'em. Yet somehow they outnumber the apes four to one?
... And wait, wait. The big gorilla took umbrage at being called a monkey -- why are there monkeys on this world? Was this deep-space exploration station doing, like, MEDICAL research on rhesus monkeys or something? And horses?
But after all that idiocy, Leo decides he's going to fly this little local probe all the way back to Earth, where he finds ... no, I'm not going to say. If you haven't seen it, you can't possibly understand how stupid this ending was, and if you have, you know what I mean. It's just TOO STUPID FOR WORDS.
Y'know, the original movie was already stupid. But for God's sake, it was *intended* to be a B movie. This one cost about a bajillion times as much, and wasn't even as good as the original (although, OK, it did *look* better.)
No, no, the ending, I just have to rant about the ending. If the Lincoln Monument is now the Thade Monument, OK, then WHY IS THERE A FRICKIN WASHINGTON MONUMENT? HUH? DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? NO!! It just DOESN'T. There's no way I can CONVINCE myself it makes sense. The planet he was on just WASN'T EARTH unless we've lost a few moons since then. So how do the continents line up, huh?
And WHY WOULD HIS LANDING TARGET BE WASHINGTON? Does THAT make sense? NO! IT'S STUPID!
I mean, as you all know, I like my nonsense as much as the next guy, or girl as the case may be, but there's a difference between nonsense that sets out to be nonsense, and nonsense that was really intended to make sense and failed, you know? The former is funny, the latter is just bad enough to make you squirm in your theater seat and wonder why people throw money at this unbelievable load of malarkey.
Should I go on? Should I rant about the dorky way the ape actors walked? Should I rant about the way the Native Girl walked? (Watch her hurrying across the wasteland there -- straight out of a mall and she's supposed to be a peasant. Gawd. Maybe I'm too fresh from Europe, but boy, that one is a mall girl fer sher.) Should I rant about the fact that the guns are sometimes energy fire, sometimes projectiles? Should I rant about the stupid local probe design that has an engine pointing down at the back and somehow doesn't go around like one of those spinning fireworks displays?
Was there *anything* good about this flick? Yeah! Once, the local probe braked by firing retro thrusters! Maybe there's a teeny tiny bit of hope for Hollywood, eh? And Thade was a pretty believable character, actually -- in general, the characterization of the apes was pretty good. The humans were straight out of B-flicks, though. Geez. How about some facial expressions there, Leo? (He has, apparently, three.) I'm a little fuzzy on why Thade just happened to have a human slave brand on his fireplace when whats-her-name came in, but eh, that was a teeny little flaw in comparison to the rest of the pure turkitude.
The music to the credits was pretty good. I like techno. The rest of the soundtrack was frankly insipid.
I liked the apes marching as the army set out. That was nicely done (a lot, lot, lot of the camera work was beautiful.) The apes on attack outrunning horses, though -- well, maybe these were really slow, alien horses, but apes don't run that fast, or that far. The only really long-distance runner among the primates is, yeah, H. sapiens.
The ape city looked pretty good -- no, let's face it, it looked great. It was a little too contrived at times, but hey, it's Tim Burton. He's nothing if not self-conscious.
My greatest problem with this movie? At no time was I unaware of myself, sitting there in the theater, thinking, "I could do better than this." I just couldn't lose myself in it, even a little bit.
Maybe this would be another one that would have been better in Hungarian....
Tirdun Tue Aug 7 11:06:04 2001|
Planet of the Wolverines
So.... you didn't like it?
I wrote a screenplay called "Planet of the Wolverines" in which a human pilot lands on a planet controlled by superintelligent wolverines, who realize that he's intelligent and eventually build a translator which converts French (his language) to Wolverine. They don't speak French, you see? THEY DON'T HAVE THE VOCAL STRUCTURES! In the end, they help him build a ship to find earth and he does and they set up trade relations and a fairly expansive set of diplomatic ties.
Nobody bought it.
Then I rewrote it using 2 rhesus monkeys, some darts and a wall full of movie posters. Every time one of the monkeys hit a movie poster, I stole a concept. Whether it made any sense at all or not. In the end, the death wolverine was destroyed by the humans, only to find out that it was in a really low orbit and that by destroying it they were causing millions of tons of molten steel to fall through the atmosphere, which they saved using the Ballistic Missile Defense Shield and the power of love. Then the giant insects overran Hungaria.
I'm expecting a 5 year deal from Fox or New Line.
Michael Tue Aug 7 11:14:40 2001|
Re: Planet of the Wolverines
That's "Hungary," you dope.
Jenn Tue Aug 7 12:20:14 2001|
Giggling at work
Both you two, cut it out! You made me giggle so loud at work that the caterer came out of the meeting room where she was setting up lunch to see what was so funny. "Wolverines!" I said, pointing ecstatically at the screen. "Wolverines and apes!" And now she looks at me funny.
I can top you, by the way, Michael. /I/ watched the SciFi channel's prior to movie release 'The Making of' special, starring Lisa Marie. Heow and I agreed that had they moved the camera angle so that we were focused just a *little* more on the fact that her dress consisted entirely of two plastic strips glued to her breasts, it would have improved the special dramatically.
It was largely due to the special that I decided that we maybe didn't need to see this movie. Ever. Even if they put in subtitles.
Jenn. Who likes horses, especially as a universal constant (Thanks, goats.com)
Tirdun Tue Aug 7 12:23:31 2001|
Re: Giggling at work
> Heow and I agreed that had they moved the camera angle so that we were focused > just a *little* more on the fact that her dress consisted entirely of two
> plastic strips glued to her breasts, it would have improved the special
It probably would have made quite the movie, too. Especially if she were on horseback the entire time and the glue was cheap. Riding across Hungaria. ;p
Jenn Tue Aug 7 14:01:25 2001|
> It probably would have made quite the movie, too. Especially if she were
> on horseback the entire time and the glue was cheap. Riding across
> Hungaria. ;p
With wolverines nipping at her heels? (cue Dr. Zhivago soundtrack) Maybe you should work her into your movie deal. She's quite the little actress. I'm pretty sure her breasts studied under Gene Frankel.
(apparently, she was /in/ the movie...she played the sexxxxy (that's 4 x's, if anyone's counting) monkey wife of some guy.)
nd Tue Aug 7 14:49:30 2001|
it's not my fault
that i thought Helena Bonham Carter was one damned hot little monkey. and i'm not perverse for wishing they would have left in the sex scene. am i?
Tirdun Wed Aug 8 05:53:10 2001|
That Funky Monkey
> i thought Helena Bonham Carter was one damned hot little monkey. and
> i'm not perverse for wishing they would have left in the sex scene. am i?
Yes. Yes you are. You sick little monkey. You know, there are whole websites devoted to just that sort of vile perversion. Darn furries and their sexy drawings of half animals doing nasty, nasty things to each other. You've no idea how much time and effort go into these things. I've looked into it. Extensively. It's horrid. Horrid and sexy and nasty and dirty. Is it warm in here? Whew! Now, lets get this topic back... on topic. What were we talking about?
You know, between that and the discussion of her riding horseback chased by wolverines in a slinky gown, I'm expecting Michael to put up a page to ask if I'm 18 before I read the toonbots forum. ;)
Jenn Wed Aug 8 09:57:16 2001|
Re: That Funky Monkey
*ignores Tirdun and his little beastiality problem entirely*
No, nd...you're a product of a world gone mad. A world in which Lisa Marie and Helena Bonham Carter are in the same movie. (It gives me a headache, just thinking about it) A world in which underaged kids can log onto a forum and be /scarred for life/ by reading about Lisa Marie's breasts. And wolverines.
I vote that we march on Washington. Or maybe Burton's house. I haven't decided yet. Burton probably has better windows, and we wouldn't want Napolean to feel left out...
(though I am somewhat worried about her ability to defenestrate with that spoon sticking out of her mouth. Oh, wait. I'm crossing comics and confusing reality with fiction again. "IT DOESN'T MATTER, YOU BRAINLESS TWITS" Okay. Much better...)
On the other hand, if we march on Michael's house (conveniently surrounded by trenches, after all)...I'll bet he gives us sandwiches. Maybe even a fruit plate. I like strawberries.
Jenn <-- It's as hot as a bear in a hat here....
Tirdun Wed Aug 8 10:37:14 2001|
Re: That Funky Monkey
> A world in which underaged kids can log onto a forum and be /scarred for life/
> by reading about Lisa Marie's breasts.
Ohhhh yeah. She's a bad mamma-jamma. Who's breasts?
> Lisa Marie's breasts
Yo damn straight.
> On the other hand, if we march on Michael's house (conveniently surrounded
> by trenches, after all)...I'll bet he gives us sandwiches. Maybe even a
> fruit plate. I like strawberries.
I suspect that Michael has been fortifying with vigor since the birth of the Jihaad. We may be underestimating the vast undertaking that he has prepared for us. Tim Burton, on the other hand probably has bushes shaped like animals and gothic fan-boys to protect him. And he has more money. I'll bet Michael's taste in interiors is better, though.
Jenn Wed Aug 8 10:50:54 2001|
> I suspect that Michael has been fortifying with vigor since the birth of
> the Jihaad. We may be underestimating the vast undertaking that he has
> prepared for us.
You don't mean?!?! You /can't/ be serious?
Radishes cut up to look like flowers? One of those watermelon baskets filled with fruit salad? Daintily arranged sandwich platters? Dare I dream?
> Tim Burton, on the other hand probably has bushes shaped like animals
I'm probably very, very wrong, but I have this odd feeling in the back of my head that Burton is responsible for Edward Scissorhands. I could probably look that up on the web to be certain, but why do that when I have far more to say while I'm laboring under a delusion? At any rate, this tied in with animal shaped bushes. Bet ya dollars to donuts there are /no/ wolverine bushes on his property, though. Bet there aren't even wolverine shaped ice sculptures.
> and gothic fan-boys to protect him. And he has more money.
I hate when I get gothic fan-boy innards on my Jihad poking stick, too. Even if he has more money, bet he doesn't spend it on watermelon baskets filled with fruit salads. Bet he wouldn't even give us a bucket of water for the wolverines.
> I'll bet Michael's taste in interiors is better, though.
I'm not sure how we'd know this...or even what it refers to. If I had to guess, I'd say a minimalist approach...maybe with floating heads tacked up here and there. But see, there's a wild card - the wife. Could be anything. There could be maps of that mystical land, Hungaria. Could be Hungralitan artifacts on shelves.
Napoleon Wed Aug 8 13:36:28 2001|
> I'm probably very, very wrong, but I have this odd feeling in the back of
> my head that Burton is responsible for Edward Scissorhands.
He is also responsible for The Nightmare Before Christmas. You do NOT mess with anyone responsible for that piece of awesomeness. Or I get upset. Very, very upset.
This means Danny Elfman is off-limits as well.
Jenn Wed Aug 8 14:01:39 2001|
> He is also responsible for The Nightmare Before Christmas. You do NOT mess
> with anyone responsible for that piece of awesomeness. Or I get upset.
> Very, very upset.
Ooooh. And this is my point...I find it hard to reconcile TNBC with what people are telling me about the ape movie.
> This means Danny Elfman is off-limits as well.
Now...that man is genius, really. I read a review once talking about how it's a shame that he never received some award that some guy who did the soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans got. Cause his music is just as brilliant, but he never gets the serious appreciation cause he writes for comics and stuff.
Napoleon Wed Aug 8 14:31:08 2001|
Re: Danny Elfman
> Now...that man is genius, really. I read a review once talking about how
> it's a shame that he never received some award that some guy who did the
> soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans got. Cause his music is just as
> brilliant, but he never gets the serious appreciation cause he writes for
> comics and stuff.
Does pretty good in deathmatches against Eddie Vedder, too.
...errr, sorry. Random in-joke.
Michael Wed Aug 8 15:04:35 2001|
> I'm not sure how we'd know this...or even what it refers to. If I had to
> guess, I'd say a minimalist approach...maybe with floating heads tacked up
> here and there. But see, there's a wild card - the wife. Could be
> anything. There could be maps of that mystical land, Hungaria. Could be
> Hungralitan artifacts on shelves.
This thread is getting kind of wacky.
For what it's worth, my interior decor consists mostly of lots of pictures of family on the living room wall, some fairly standard potted plants which are doing much better since they got to stay outside all through July, and a number of labels which my daughter made for various walls, doors, etc. I particularly like the coat closet, which is door "E".
We have one room which is mostly taken up by a refrigerator box, to which has been added an annex (the box from my *19" monitor* which was on sale, oooh, it's good to be back home and off that leetle laptop screen.)
The decor of my secret subterranean base is white-painted block walls. And a map of the world. (This is how I plot my conquests, you see.) And a couple of futons for comfy reading. And a whooooole lotta bookshelves.
The attached two-car garage is characterized by a lot of plastic containers for miscellaneous kept items, a number of gardening tools, no lawn mower (that's what money is for -- to pay someone to mow your lawn), and a minivan.
We have no shelves for Hungaritan artifacts.
Michael Wed Aug 8 15:06:56 2001|
Oh, and any Jihad members stopping by are welcome to sandwiches, whatever leftover Hungarian cuisine can be found in the fridge, and you can sleep in the refrigerator box. Or on a futon in the subterranean base.
We have no animal-shaped bushes. We do have a whole lot of plain-vanilla bushes, though, which I hack out from time to time and pile up in large piles.
Brother Emsworth Tue Aug 28 10:30:35 2001|
Re: Planet of the Apes
> All I can say is, "Sheesh." Did anybody else waste seven bucks
> on this?
Well, I just did, last Friday night (though it’s taken me awhile to post this, I know), despite all the negative reviews. Apart from animation screenings at Comic-Con, my father and I had only seen two films together this summer (Atlantis and Pearl Harbour), and Planet of the Apes was much easier for me to sit through, and overall annoyed me less, than Pearl Harbour (or "Titanic with Explosions," as Napoleon called it.) Dad was wanting to do something to relax after several long weeks, and it would be harder for us to go to any movies once the new semester starts up, and I really just wanted to be able to sit in comfortable theatre seats eating hot popcorn in a larger air-conditioned space. And at present, our other options included the likes of "American Pie 2" and "Rat Race" and "Captain Corelli's Mandolin." So we went with the monkeys.
I enjoyed it overall, really, much more then I intended to. Not a classic, of course, but isn't there something fascinating about watching all those surprisingly real looking monkey personages moving around on-screen? The parade through the ape city was a particular delight (showing everything from monkey barbers to As for plot logic, I'd recently been watching old Charlie Chans, so if one can accept public elevators with trap doors, a radio station in the same building as a govt. research lab, a chamber in the govt. lab which can create snowstorms, the fact that the person who's revealed to be the master spy was shown in a studio at the same time as they were supposed to be delivering a sinister message through a complicated telephone system so that the message is typed out on a contrived dicto-typewriter, and a wacky cleaning lady/detective with one of the worst Swedish accents I'd ever heard (to say nothing of the one with the masks and the strong lady), monkeys on horses are nothing. The gorilla’s line about being called a “monkey” reminded me of Pratchett’s Librarian too much to consider the line as anything other than a throw-away gag, not meant to be analyzed too seriously.
I didn’t care too much for Mark Waklberg myself, and agree that the human characters seemed much flatter than the monkeys. Moreover, it seemed like the better actors were cast as the apes (as they had to rely more on vocal delivery, body language, etc. to make an impact apart fropm their make-up and costumes). Still, they definitely did a fine job, in my opinion. Sadly, David Warner was largely wasted as Helena Bonham Carter’s father, given little to do apart from displaying dignity and paternal concern, but he made the most of it. Glenn Shadix, in his brief appearances as Senator Nado, was a delight, a wonderful caricature of the typical, pompous, ineffectual politician, complete with ditzy trophy wife (yes, that was Lisa Marie), and I quite enjoyed the character voice he used for the role. And then there was Paul Giamatti as Limbo the orangutan. With his distinctive hustler voice and delivery, which managed to find a middle ground between sycophancy, smarminess, and nervous self-awareness, Limbo was easily the most interesting character in the film for me (apart from Thade, perhaps.) He was also given many of the best lines, and stole every scene he was in. Quite frankly, he made the movie for me, and helped compensate for other failings.
Towards the climatic battle scene, the ape sounds and constant jumping was beginning to seem a tad tiresome (and I confess that I wouldn’t have minded if that obnoxious human kid had been trampled by the chimp flank.) The ending was rather bizarre, yes, but I enjoyed, in much the way one might enjoy the ending to a Twilight Zone episode which one didn’t fully understand. Besides, the mere sight of the “Aperaham Lincoln” memorial was simultaneously chilling and ludicrously amusing, to me.
Plus, the popcorn was good, and the seats reclined. So overall, I enjoyed myself. Again, not a classic, but a much better way to spend one’s time in a theatre than Pearl Harbour, especially if you’re suddenly in the mood to watch a monkey film.
::wolverines liked the monkeys, but thought Mark Wahlberg looked especially appetizing, and have already begun to gather the mustard and olives::