Monday, September 10, 2012

Planet of the Apes (1968) vs. Planet of the Apes (2001)

For Spectrum Culture's Re-Make/Re-Model series, I have tried to discuss remakes with artistic credibility in their own right, to show that not every retread is simply a lazy cash-in on an established property. I wanted to find any such merit in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, which I had not seen since its release when I was 12. But man, was it worth all the disdain I had for the movie even as a tween. Where the original film combines several major subtexts (white slavery panic, nuclear holocaust fears) into solid, simple high-concept film, Burton's has no central point to make, content to just monkey around, as it were. It's a shame, as the production design and prosthetic work are so wonderful that, stylistically, this blows the recent reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes out of the water. But even that inconsistently plotted movie comes off as a classic next to Burton's movie.

My full piece is up now at Spectrum Culture.