Monday, May 31, 2010

You Damn Dirty Apes Prequel

A Planet of the Apes prequel called Rise of the Apes is going into production in July. The new movie is an origin story. Three of the original movies were prequels: Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. I’ve read plenty of comments stating that the real origin may have been changed by the events in Escape, and that this movie will tell what really happened. That may be true, but it seems to me that they make these movies for a new generation that has never bothered to watch the originals and not to enhance the existing ones.

Fox also plans on doing all of the apes in CGI ala Avatar. The only redeeming factor of Tim Burton’s “reimagining” was the makeup. You were able to accept the characters for who they were and forget about the actors underneath the makeup. That was how I felt about the apes in the original movies. I think Avatar did a great job of making us believe the Na’vi were real, but they were a totally new race, something we had never seen before. We know what the apes are supposed to look like, and unless they real change it up for this new movie (which could also be a mistake), all they are creating are CGI versions of the apes we’ve already seen. CGI characters have their place in movies; Gollum is a prime example. However, sometimes CGI becomes a crutch, or an easy fix.

Yes, I am a huge fan of this franchise: movies, TV series, comics. (I once dressed as Caesar for Halloween, and I still have my Mego action figures.) And yes, I am ranting right now. Maybe next summer, when the CGI apes are up on the big screen taking over the world, I will be cheering in the theater.  Maybe.

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