Film Review's Ultimate DVD Main Contents of this issueSelected ReviewBuy it
This issue's contentsSelected ReviewBuy It
Reviews of Region 2 discs from Ultimate DVD #26
Planet of the Apes:

Just one selection from Ultimate DVD's Region 2 Reviews section.

This is a Region 2 release. Many more reviews in issue for Region 2, Region 1
... or both!

In the issue:
Stars Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth and director Tim Burton talk about this version of the classic story. Plus a special wrap-around cover!

Over 60 more Region 2 reviews in this issue


The Feature

Tim Burton makes films for masochist fans, who delight in spending hours in pubs defending his latest works. That's certainly the case here, with the visual genius somehow behind a poor B-movie remake of the sci-fi classic which aside from a few skeletal scarecrows lacks his usual magic. Wahlberg's spaceman arrives on a world where extremely well rendered - but colloquialism-spouting - monkeys rule, and an hour later it's all finished bar an extended battle and a teeth-grindingly contrived twist ending with a statue. 2 stars - Disappointing DiscMovie reinterpreting: just say no.

The Extras

Disc one contains two Commentaries which – as with Edward Scissorhands – comprise Burton on one, composer Elfman on another. The musician talks about his approaches to composition, the effects he was trying to achieve, and when he's not speaking, there's an Isolated Score. Burton's Commentary is another matter, most interesting for the last 10 minutes where he admits he has no idea what the ending means, only that it's right it can't be understood. Er, yes. Otherwise, it's a welcome trip with one of the best directors around, his care frequently evidenced by observations of details you'd barely notice. Sadly this makes the flat end result even more frustrating.

The first disc also contains DVD-ROM materials (there's more on the second disc), Cast & Crew Profiles (including audition tape Easter Eggs) and a version of the film which branches into items explaining how a sequence was achieved, and demonstrating test footage and preparation.

Disc two is the official extras disc, and it's packed. As you'd expect with a Burton movie, the Gallery section is vast, comprising design sketches for props, costumes, storyboards, locations, etc. Making of the Apes shows the work involved in creating the simian characters, from posture and poise to make-up and ‘quadrapedding'. Five sequences are presented as multi-angle, accompanied by production art, different audio tracks, script and behind-camera footage. There are also five Extended Scenes.

An HBO special brings together 26 minutes of clips, interviews and behind-the-scenes material, though by now the ‘how they made the monkeys' stuff is getting very familiar. Paul Oakenfold's reworking of the film's music gets a well-edited video, and there are also Trailers and TV spots, posters and press kit, 4 stars - Damn Good Discwith even an advert for the soundtrack.

Ian Atkins

Are the monkeys
still in business?

Order Planet of the Apes (2001) on DVD

Cast Mark Wahlberg,
Helena Bonham Carter,
Tim Roth,
Michael Duncan Clarke
Director Tim Burton
Year 2001
Duration 115 mins
Screen Ratio 2.35:1
Anamorphic Yes
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS
Chapters 32
Language English
Subtitles Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hebrew, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, English for Hearing Impaired
Release Date February 18
Distributor 20th Century Fox



Chapter 35 - Welcome Home

The shock ending is the highlight simply because it's the only aspect provoking discussion: mostly along the lines of "but it makes no sense!"


Order the Region 2 DVD @BlackStar: discount on pre-orders!

Review © Visual Imagination Ltd 2002. Not for reproduction

From Ultimate DVD #26
UltimateDVD footer • Back to top