What can you say about the Planet of the Apes Pentilogy that hasn't already been said?
I love these flicks, enough so that in 2001-ish, Target had the original Planet of the Apes for sale on DVD on a big display with the Statue of Liberty and everything, and I caused a pretty serious ruckus in the video department when I re-enacted this scene from the original POTA.
Like Nova, Jamie remained silent.
SO, this morning I arrived at the Alamo Ritz at 9:35 this morning to see Planet of the Apes unspool in glorious 35mm on the big, big screen. And all of its 4 sequels.
20th Century Fox had sent the actual archive prints to the Alamo. The prints were in insanely brilliant condition. Its hard to explain how great it is to see that film quality from the 1970's when its been restored or looks like its only played a handful of times.
For those already familiar with the Apes series, watching them all back-to-back-to-back works out as a pretty stunning way to experience to witness all of the films/ Apes history. Let us call it "immersive". But the crowd was super into it, and it was an Ape-tastic day.
Apparently the powers that be at the Alamo weren't entirely thrilled with the marathon, and we were told "you get three minutes between each movie, we gotta clear outta here fast because they want to show some lesser movies". So, yes, there was very, very little downtime between movies.
Because Austinites will want to know - yes, I ate all the food and drink I'll likely consume today at the marathon. I started with The Breakfast Club and 2 cups of coffee during Planet of the Apes, a Diet Coke during Beneath the Planet of the Apes, a sandwich and Diet Coke during Escape from the Planet of the Apes, a cappuccino during Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and made the mistake of having the cookies during Battle for the Planet of the Apes. The cookies are what killed me, and I only ate two of them.
The third cookie was consumed by summer-movie-buddy, SimonUK. Si was there before me, and he, too, stuck it out for all five flicks. So credit where credit is due.
Simon and I will have to agree to disagree, but I'm a big, big fan of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The movie kind of makes no sense whatsoever, includes one of the few ape seduction scenes you'll see in a PG-rated movie, is full of these grandiose nonsense speeches and is nothing but ape riot for the final 20 minutes of the movie. But I think that's what I like about it. The flick attempts to put the start of the ape revolution on film, and in getting to the how's and why's, there's some great imagery and unavoidable social commentary mixed in. And, it may be informative that I'm a fan of Kirby's Fourth World, which suggests I'm pre-wired for bombastic, weird speeches and over the top moments enough that its something I think makes for fine literature.
At the conclusion of the Apes marathon, there was a giveaway, and some lucky people received candles with The Lawgiver printed on the glass. Which, yes, I would fight somebody to get my hands on one of those candles.
All in all, a marathon is something I would absolutely do over again*. In case you're wondering, I had a lot of trepidation over my ability to actually handle watching five movies in a row sitting in a movie theater, even the Alamo. It doesn't hurt when you really like the series they've got showing, so that will always be a factor. And, as very few movie series go to five movies, a themed marathon is something I could and would do again. No, not everyone there made it for all five movies, but I'd say of the not-sold-out show, about 2/3rds of the crowd did make it through, and I found that impressive. That's a lot of Apes dedication on the part of Austin.
I sort of thought maybe 20th Century Fox would do us a solid and send us a screener of the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but I'm not sure how kind it would have been to ask us to sit for another two hours. I await the reviews so that I can level-set expectations, but Rise is definitely on the to-do list for summer movies.
end note: Jamie just looked at me as I was looking at clips online and said "I cannot believe you are watching Planet of the Apes clips online. I cannot believe it."
Believe it. I love me some apes.
*but I'd probably need to wait for a few years before another Apes marathon.