More On Planet Of The Apes

Back in mid June, Mr. X caught us up with the state of POTA at that time. Below is what we originally printed…


Mr. X: In a nutshell – the latex makeup for the apes is markedly different for the female lead chimp (Zira) than it is for the others. You know how in Cats they tried to make the females up to look sexy? Same idea. In this version ALL humans can talk. Instead of one man searching for the truth of the past, it’s more like he plays a pseudo prophet come to deliver the humans from bondage. So it comes full circle. First we had Moses playing Taylor, now we have Taylor playing Moses. The difference between the humans in ape suits and the apes in the background battle sequences is almost comical. Any gorilla or chimp or orangutan in the background runs on all fours in the same sideways manner that the gorillas did in Congo – the resemblance is striking in fact. These “infantry” apes – because there is a fairly long battle sequence between a human army and the apes – run on all fours while the cavalry apes charge on horseback. Think Patriot, Braveheart, and The Postman thrown in a blender. Slap on some hair, and a pinch (and I do mean just a pinch) of Pierre Boulett’s original novella and you have the recipe. Wahlberg’s “C’mon! We can DO it!” sounds so much like Rob Schneider’s lines in the various Sandler movies I did a double take. The soundtrack (which I was told was not yet finalized) sounds like some suit told the music director, “I want it to sound like Darth Vadar’s march…only peppy and techno.” The movie is overlong (something I was told was being corrected) coming in at just under 3 hours. The battle sequence looks identical in many ways to the attack of the Pygmies sequence in The Mummy Returns. My understanding is that the final cut is targeted at 2 hours even.

There is a major subplot about the human tribal politics reaction to the arrival of Taylor that will likely be the first thing to go. Every time they cut to the “chambers” of the rulers the movie slows down like a snail in warm taffy.

Now, with the opening of the few a few days away, more is coming out about this disaster in the making.

We already know about Fox demanding some music re-cues from Danny Elfman. We already know that the press and trade screening were pushed back. We know that Fox TV was having trouble getting Burton to sit down for an interview to accompany the “Making of POTA” special that airs this Wednesday. We know how stupid it is to set a release date before the film is finished, or how stupider it is to not move the release date if you just AREN’T FUCKING READY YET!

Last night, Cheesehead dropped by my favorite sports bar to watch the Rockies game with me, have a few beers and talk about POTA…

Cheesehead: Would you like the surprise ending to spoilr

FilmJerk: Sure.

Cheesehead: The movie is set in an “alternate universe”. The Lincoln memorial has an ape face on it… but that’s beside the point.

FilmJerk: What is the pointr

Cheesehead: The big “surprise ending” is that Wahlberg tries to get back to his time and ends up going forward in time like 50 years on the same ape planet setting up the sequel. Nothing even close to the level of the Statue of Liberty, its like they didn’t even try.

FilmJerk: They must have known they couldn’t top it.

Cheesehead: True, but that doesn’t make this ending really sucky. Its like they didn’t try, which makes the ending that much more sucky… especially considering they teased a “surprise ending”.

When I got home, I called Mr. X to get his thoughts…

FilmJerk: How did the print of POTA you saw endr

Mr. X: With a bullshit time shift paradox, reminiscent of the one in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. The humans are backed into the Forbidden Zone at the start of the “big battle”. He see’s a time shift in a cave and watches a time loop play out that explains the rise of the Apes to power and gives him the secret to their defeat – which is with words of truth, not weaponry. Then he goes through the inner turmoil. He watched humanity fuck up and hand the world to the Apes in the history shift and debates which is the wisest course – to give humanity back its power and have it destroy itself again down the road (making an even bigger loop in the time continuum) or leave the Apes to their destiny. Finally, in the spirit of “can’t we all just get along” he works out a way for co-existence and equality.
FilmJerk: So it looks like they changed the ending after all.

Mr. X: Yeah, I can tell that from the newest trailer.

FilmJerk: Haven’t seen it

Mr. X: How do you know the ending is changedr

FilmJerk: I have my sources =)

Mr. X: What is the new endingr

FilmJerk: That the big “surprise ending” is that Wahlberg tries to get back to his time and ends up going forward in time like 50 years on the same ape planet setting up the sequel

Mr. X: Balls. I knew they’d have to keep SOME of the time shift footage. There was just too fucking much of it to throw away. Now I’m gonna have to sit through that fucking piece of worthless shit again just to see the re-edit of the last reel and a half. I knew the ending was different when I noticed the removal of the pivotal part of the trailer. It’s just after Walberg leaves the cave. He turns to the “elders” of the human tribe and says, “We can win this thing, right here and now!” It’s chopped right out of the trailer. His next line there (which never WAS in the trailer because it revealed to much) was “But I just don’t know if we should.”

We have another grunt who is going to do their damndest to get into the POTA premiere in New York this week. This is going to be a train wreck, from everything we’ve heard. You know you won’t be able to just look away.