With recent tests proving that DVD reviewing is so easy monkeys could do it, we were reluctant to review "Planet of the Apes". But after being assured there were no scenes of chimps throwing together DVD reviews, we take a look at this two-disc "King Kong" of a release for Tim Burton's 'reimagining'.
Picture Tim likes his films dark, but as he explains in his commentary, he was trying to create a highly textured, 3D world. He won't be disappointed with this DVD transfer that just oozes detail in the shadowy world of the apes.
Sound You might as well get a chimp to select whether you want either the Dolby or DTS 5.1 mixes, because both are very impressive. The DTS effort does seem to offer even more complex effects during louder moments, like the spaceship crash, but both are impressively atmospheric.
Audio Commentary One (Disc One) Tim Burton invites us into his world for a dissection of what he was trying to achieve with this film. As he jokes, it was a project that had been around so long the execs finally got so low on the list they asked him to direct. Interestingly Tim didn't want to use lots of CGI effects for the movie, instead preferring to use sets and miniatures for a more 'realistic' effect.
Audio Commentary Two (Disc Two) Composer commentaries are usually so dull that it's hard to find anything positive to say about them. So well done to Danny Elfman for providing an interesting insight into working with his long-time co-conspirator Tim Burton, and relating some amusing anecdotes to boot.
Easter Egg 'Commentary' (Disc One) A commentary by chimps? Yes indeed, track down this little surprise and you'll find a whole load of screeching, especially when any apes are on the screen. This is only a short feature though and not a full-length effort
Enhanced Viewing Mode (Disc One) Really a 'White Rabbit' feature, this differs slightly in that little featurettes pop-up with interviews and alternate footage in a window within the film. Therefore, if you're enjoying the film and the featurette is naff, this just becomes annoying, but technically this is clever stuff.
Additional Disc One Extra Features Cast and crew biographies, DVD-ROM screenplay-to-film comparison, and some excellent 3D animated menus.
Disc Two Extra Features
The Making of the Apes Disc two divides into six clear sections with this one being the first. It contains a whole host of featurettes, including a vaguely amusing look at the 'Simian Academy', an interview with Rick Baker on the make-up effects, costume tests for Mark Wahlberg, location footage, stunt work, and the first day of the music score being recorded. There is also a Screen Test feature, which splits into make-up, costume, movement, group, and stunt footage. Each of these splits the screen into four segments, and you can switch around these to select the audio for whichever interests you the most.
Multi-Angle Footage Four scenes broken down in multi-angles, plus you can check out the script, and finished result.
Extended Scenes Five extended scenes but there's no commentary or captions to explain why they were cut.
Promotional Works There's a whole pile of promotional stuff in here including trailers, poster art, press kit, music video, and more. Also included is an 'HBO Special', which is actually quite good. It's hosted by man-mountain Michael Clarke Duncan, and he's got the kind of winning personality that makes this behind-the-scenes promo a pleasure to watch.
Gallery More like a virtual warehouse-sized repository of images covering props, flags, furniture, wardrobe, weapons, and anything else created by the art department.
DVD ROM Features As well as a link to the Fox website, there's a 'graphic record' of Captain Leo Davidson's days on the "Planet of the Apes", and an extract from the novella.
Region: 2 and 4
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1
Extra Features: Scene selection, animated menus, and multiple language subtitles.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.