Thursday, April 4, 2013

F This Movie! - Planet of the Apes

Patrick and JB go ape.

Download this episode here. (25.4 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: Spring Breakers, No, Room 237, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Comedy


  1. Oh man. I've been saving up the podcasts recently for my three day drive from Adelaide to Perth that I'm doing next week, but this one is very tempting to do early. I'll hold off, but Damn, this'll be good!

  2. Some times I think you guys live in my head. I've watched Planet of the Apes twice in the last month, and keep telling myself I need to pick up the BluRay box. Going to listen to this now. I watched Room 237 this weekend and was wondering if that and the Shining might be next?

  3. So I was going to google Linda Harrison's feet and share my findings, but I accidentally Googled Linda Hamilton's feet. I still got this result, anyway.

    Also, hooray Planet of the Apes. The 1968 original is awesome and I love it. Unlike some plot twists, the ending to that movie will always be awesome to me, and I agree that knowing it in advance doesn't take away from the rest of the movie.

    (Sorry, I'm not sure how to add a link onto text on here or else I would have done that.)

    1. I am so excited about the directions this comment thread is going to take.

    2. Actually, here's a better version of the picture.

      Also, I have to note that apparently there is a website called...Wikifeet.

    3. "Is this a thing?" Are you kidding?

    4. Try again, Hollywood.

      Just have had to deal with guys like that.

  4. When you guys mentioned The Sixth Sense I couldn't help but think the movie still works even after knowing the twist. It's just that it becomes a drama instead of a thriller/horror movie. Am I alone on this?

    And Willis gives a great Bruce Whisper performance.

    1. Hmm. I never really saw it that way. Maybe it's worth a rewatch with that mindset. I've just been bored with if for a long time, thinking "okay, now I see where it's going. After watching it twice, I don't think I really need to see that anymore." It's kind of like that for me with The Blair Witch Project, too.

    2. Sure, I can go along with that. It's certainly a tragedy at that point.

    3. I've enjoyed watching it after knowing the twist because it's interesting to watch how the interaction between the Shrink and his wife seems real the first time and then you see what you missed.

  5. Planet of the Apes is on WTTW for Chicago-area folks on Saturday night, by the way. I've set a recording for it since I realized I've not actually seen it in quite a while.

  6. The reason I know that I will never get my hands on a time machine is that in 2001 I went to see the remake of Planet of the Apes in theaters, and no future Marc stopped me. Furthermore, when 2002 Marc went to buy Planet of the Apes on DVD, no future Marc stopped him.

    AMC showed all the original movies back to back (to back etc) a couple of months ago. Pretty great experience, even with all of the life insurance commercials I had to fight through by 3 AM when we were drawing near the finish line. I could see myself doing a marathon at Music Box or Patio if presented the opportunity.

  7. Famous line from PotP: "I'm under contract too!" :-)

    Will always love the PotA series because it's a movie franchise that had the balls to "reimagine" itself midway through. When we start out Cornelius has no idea that there was ever a human society. In fact, it's necessary to the "science vs religion" theme because he doesn't realize that his discoveries risk ripping away the facade. Then we get to "Escape" and suddenly it's that they are taught as children scripture that describes how an ape rose up against his human master and said "No"(and therefore setting up this and at least one more film). But people went along with it because the films were enjoyable.

    But am I the only one who - when they started remaking films like this - became convinced that it was purely to strip any subtext from them because 1) they're scared shitless of "Moms Against (fill in the blank)". Like the TV movie of "Carrie" the mother looked almost reasonable because they didn't want the Christian community to freak out if she was the Bible-thumper of the novel. Or that they don't want to give audiences something to think about anymore. That in cases of films like PotA and Rollerball they want the new film to "kill" the old version because we're now living a lot of the stuff that that film warns about and they don't want that pointed out.

    Even the "old" Star Trek compared to the "reimagining (with lens flares)". Wrath of Khan is filled with subtext from the "Tale of Two Cities" fate of Spock to Khan's obsession to the comparison of Khan (scientifically created life where humans decided what attributes were "good" and what was "bad" inflicting their prejudices onto it and what they create is dangerous and twisted) and the Genesis Device (also science creating life but this time through natural selection from the elements it finds and even when Khan tries to use it as a weapon it ends up creating something beautiful).

    What is the subtext to Abrams' Star Trek? "No attempt at a good deed (Spock's) goes unpunished"?

  8. In defense of the film's opening forty minutes, when I first saw the movie in my youth, I still found the whole trek through the desert pretty involving. And I was the type of kid who'd impatiently whine waiting for the monster to show up while watching creature features.

    Part of the reason I think it worked for me then is that it captures that old planetary romance/Star Trek thrill of humans exploring an unknown world, even if we know in the back of our minds that apes will figure into it somehow. Part of it might be that it plays out as a sci-fi survival drama like Robinson Crusoe on Mars. We know these guys have limited supplies. Will they find food? Will they find water? How far will Charlton Heston overact to stay alive?

    After the period of character development J.B. mentioned, both aspects of the opening minutes get paid off in a series of escalating surprises. We're relieved and amazed when they find a single specimen of plant life. Then there are the scarecrows. Then there's the oasis. Then we discover other humanoids are present. Then the orchard (and Nova!). Then apes... on horses... with guns. Then holy shit, talking apes!

    Also, speaking of Apes remakes, reboots and... shudder... reimaginings, I was curious as to your take on Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I don't think I've heard or read what you guys thought about it anywhere on the site or the podcasts to this point.

  9. Hi, JB, I love you too. I would still love to meet at Wonderfest.I don't know if I'm going THIS year, but this summer my family might be in Chicago for a day or two. Just throwing that out there....

    This episode was great. I liked the reflection of how the times have made this movie just as relevant (or more) as ever. What with the whole war on science and all, as mentioned.

    You gentlemen are wonderful. Great show.

  10. I'm going to weigh-in (like always FAR TOO LATE).

    First off love the episode.

    Though I don't recall any discussion of some underlying themes of the movie, which in context of 1968 would have hit very hard on the nose.

    Class oppression by those in a different time, would have been "beneath".

    Take one scene as an example: George Taylor (Heston) getting hosed down in a cage.

    If this doesn't remind anyone of Birmingham, then I give up.

    The trial of Taylor is much like the Dred Scott case (oh I already made my point, okay).

    But I don't think that these images would be lost on viewers, even younger ones in '68.

    It is the morality tale of a young person's (not just boys) adventure movie about apes, riding on horses, shooting people (western?).

    Even the science of PotA echo 18th century justification of "racial evolution". The politics of PotA kept "apes" in line through ignorance (sound familiar).

    I know its hard to divorce Heston from the NRA, old man image (no political commentary there). But remember he marched in the civil rights movement. No really! He was present during "I have a dream". Crazy right?!

    So when we say the '01 version doesn't hold up: its this!!! its that it doesn't resonate with what's going on in society (remember it was released in July of that year). It actually follows the book much closer. But the '68 version was much more aware of the audience than the '01 was. So what was the '11 saying? different thread

    sorry for the lack of foot fetish tangent.


  11. Cracked had an article some time ago, talking about the rise of foot fetishism. Hang on, maybe I can find it...

    Really though, we should save foot fetishism for a Tarantino podcast because WOW(!) does that guy have a thing about women's feet.

    I like some of the Planet of the Ape movies, but none of them have ever been my favorite. The first one, Escape and Conquest are pretty good. I don't remember Beneath hardly at all, and I remember the Battle all too well.

    I worked with Booth Coleman, who was Dr. Zaius in the TV show back in the 80s when he was doing Scrooge at Meadow Brook Theater. I was a kid and didn't know about the show then, but he was a really great guy.

  12. Re: Room 237 (if I misunderstood what you disliked about it, sorry)

    Can I suggest that rather than a showcase for the theories of the interviewees, this film is "inquiring" into the effect that the film has on people. That it's more about showing how the film leads people to these conclusions.

    The Calumet guy mentions that he lived in the Calumet Valley and hunting for Indian items was a good childhood memory. The guy investigating Nazis sees hints of the Holocaust. One interviewee even mentions "what you bring to art".

    Could it be that Kubrick did put all of these things like disappearing chairs, typewriters that change color, rooms that shouldn't have windows and changing carpet patterns because he thought he needed something in the movie to keep the audience on edge and uneasy other than the story and a kid who couldn't act. He knew that small visual changes like that tell the brain that something is wrong (that subliminal advertising research?) so he did all of these things.

    Maybe these people with these theories were so thrown off by these things as they watched that their minds searched for something there that make them feel safe. Therefore the Calumet can and the German typewriter and the mind needed to assign importance to them?

    It's more of shining a light on how these theories develop?