Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to the Planet of the Apes...

In just under two weeks now, Rise of the Planet of the Apes will be released theatrically in the United States. 

To help celebrate the debut of the first new Planet of the Apes film in a decade, I'll be posting reviews here this week and next of all the Ape films, including the Burton-helmed, 2001 re-imagination.

I'll also be remembering episodes of the 1974 TV series starring Roddy McDowall, James Naughton, Ron Harper and Mark Lenard. 

If I have time, I might even get to the 1975 cartoon series...

Don't worry: our regularly scheduled summer series -- the Cameron Curriculum -- also continues this week with a review of Titanic on Friday (and next week with True Lies).

In fact, there's even a weird sort of connection between Planet of the Apes and James Cameron.  Back in the 1990s -- shortly after Titanic --  there was hope that Cameron would helm the remake, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role.  Today, we can only wonder what a Cameron Apes film might have looked like...

So join me in the upcoming days as this blog returns to a topsy-turvy world where the apes evolved from men, or something like that. 

It'll be more fun than a barrel of...well, you know.


  1. Anonymous5:48 PM

    Can't wait!

    --Rich Handley

  2. Wasn't Oliver Stone once attached to an APES film? I seem to recall that.

    This sounds great, John. Look forward to your thoughts on these films. Always enjoy watching them, esp. the political one later on in the series.

  3. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he said, screaming his head off.

    The Planet of the Apes series used to be my favorite film series, back in the late 70s, before a second Star Wars film had been made, before any Star Trek film or Indiana Jones...

    A local tv station---NOT the one that usually showed sf or fantasy movies and television shows in syndication---had an afternoon weekday movie timeslot, before the advent of Phil and Oprah and etc--and on at least two or three memorable occasions, screen the entire Apes series all week long. The trouble was, they ran from 3 to 5...and I didn't get off school till 3. I always missed the first 15 minutes. One time, they were nice enough to show them the first week of school, Labor Day week, so I was able to see the first 15 minutes of the first film. I've read one book about the Apes franchise, The Planet of the Apes Chronicles by Paul A. Wood (which has mixed reviews at Amazon). We own 2 & 3 because of Ricardo Montalbán's appearances (my wife is a huge fan of his), but I'd like to own them all and the tv shows, too. And I'd love to own both of Rich Handley's books (not just because you prefaced the Lexicon, according to Amazon, LOL...but because I'd have wanted this book at 12, too!)

    I have seen one episode of the tv show and owned one packs' worth of the bubble gums, and watched a few episodes of the animated series. This upcoming article series will be right up my alley!!! (big grin)

    Have you ever seen ANSANAUT's amazing website?

    Gordon Long

  4. Definitely looking forward to your essays, especially on the TV series. And if you can get to the cartoon, excellent!

  5. Hi folks!

    Rich: Great! It's wonderful to have you along, as the expert in residence on all things APE!

    J.D.: Yes, Oliver Stone was involved, for a time, with a proposed remake of the film back in the 1990s; good memory. The project seemed to change hands a lot before Tim Burton took control of it.

    Hi Gordon: I haven't seen the ANSANAUT site, but now I'll be sure to check it out. I can vouch for Rich Handley's books too: they are amazing. And that assessment has nothing to do with the fact that I was allowed to write the foreword for the Lexicon. With or without that foreword, the book is an amazing treasure trove of Ape minutiae, trivia and detail. Glad to have you on board to "Go ape!"

    Hugh: I will definitely try to make time to get some cartoon reviews in, before August 5th and the "Rise of the Apes!"

    best to all,

  6. This is the ANSANAUT site, for anyone interested.

    His big interest is in the ships, the ANSA space program, and the astronauts of the Planet of the Apes series. His site is extremely amazing. Of various sites I've seen, his is one of the coolest. There are some very good, better-balanced Ape websites out there, but I don't think any of them do the space program parts of the film better.

    Jumping over to the first film for commenting now, but I also want to put in my two cents in about the cartoon series.

    Gordon Long

  7. Anonymous9:54 PM

    John: Thanks for the plug, man! Sorry I've been absent in the comments lately--I've just been swamped with work. But I still do read when I can. :)

    --Rich Handley


Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: "Twiki is Missing"

In "Twiki is Missing," a space iceberg moves perilously near Earth, endangering the entire planet as an ion storm approaches....