Planet of the Apes : 3 of 5

Planet of the Apes (Special Edition)Even though I saw Tim Burton's re-imagined movie in the theater years ago, I decided to watch it on DVD after reading the plot synopsis in Timeline of the Planet of the Apes, but unfortunately my so-so opinion remains about the same. The new story definitely has some good points (I like how the ape evolution is still essentially caused by humans, and the Calimar legend from "Caution Live Animals" is cool), but once you take Earth out of the equation, the plot just falls flat for me. I did gain a new appreciation for some aspects of the film, especially Paul Giamatti's fantastic acting as the human-trading orangutan. It was fun to re-notice references to the classic movie, such as the "damn dirty human" species reversal and Charlton Heston as a dying ape giving his "Damn them all to hell" line. Visually, there's no doubt that some of the make up is fantastic, although I think the chimpanzee nostrils are a little too weird looking (especially on Helena Bonham Carter's character, who ends up looking like Michael Jackson somehow), but the gorillas are certainly spectacular. As far as humans go, Mark Wahlberg is just campy to the point of being ridiculous (and I don't even think he is trying to be campy), the blond female lead is too slutty to be interesting, and Kris Kristofferson is so out of place that I laughed as soon as he shows up in the hunt scene (which is otherwise excellent). The DVD includes a cool enhanced viewing mode with short documentaries, interviews, and special effects secrets (I was extremely impressed that they used miniatures!) that pop-up in content with the movie, but there's no way to view this material separately, which would have been nice. I guess overall I can think of as many good aspects of the film as bad ones, but that simply balances out to a mediocre movie. As a serious Planet of the Apes fan, I definitely wanted more, and now I remember why I haven't re-watched this version in the past nine years!