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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the battle begin!
Although I swore I wasn't going to start re-buying movies on blu-ray, when I found this one on sale it was too good to pass up. Housed in a really nice sturdy box, these five discs are loaded to the gills with special features, most of which weren't available on the original DVD box set. That helps make the double dip a lot less painful.

I won't go too much...
Published on Aug. 30 2010 by LeBrain

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "It's a mad house! A mad house!"
"Planet of the Apes" is a film whose strength comes from its premise. That's not to say that the film's performances, production design, and make-up don't add up to anything, but all of these components are overshadowed by its premise. And what a premise it is!
Charlton Heston is Col. George Taylor, the commander of a space mission that has gone bad. He and his...
Published on March 5 2003 by Steven Y.


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the battle begin!, Aug. 30 2010
By 
LeBrain - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Although I swore I wasn't going to start re-buying movies on blu-ray, when I found this one on sale it was too good to pass up. Housed in a really nice sturdy box, these five discs are loaded to the gills with special features, most of which weren't available on the original DVD box set. That helps make the double dip a lot less painful.

I won't go too much into the story, except to say that very loose interpretations of physics are used to catapult 3 astronauts forward in time. These astronauts, commanded by Charlton Heston's Taylor, find themselves on a planet dominated by apes, where humans are the animals. This flip allowed the first film to use allegory in much the same way that Star Trek was doing at the same time. Take a social commentary and place it in a science-fiction environment and suddenly it doesn't seem so much like social commentary. The first film taken on its own is still one of the most intelligent science fiction films of all time.

Taylor, of course, finds that the Planet of the Apes was not at all what he thought it was. A search party, headed by Brent (James Fransiscus) somehow manages the exact same time travel as Taylor and arrives shortly after him. Brent discovers the planet has another race of intelligent inhabitants -- mutants.

Meanwhile, offscreen, the apes Cornelius (Roddy McDowell), Zira (Kim Hunter) and Milo (Sam Mineo) have repaired Taylor's ship and left the planet. Using the same loose interpretation of physics again, the apes are transported back in time to 1970's Earth where they shock the entire population with their ability to speak and reason. While they find that they have become celebrities in human circles, some are plotting to ensure that their race never becomes dominant. Soon they are fugitives seeking help from circus owner Armando (Ricardo Montalban).

20 years later, a mysterious plague has wiped out all dogs and cats on Earth. Taking apes as pets and then as slaves, humans now live in a strange totalitarian state. However, the son of Zira and Cornelius, Caesar (Roddy McDowell again) vows revenge and refuses to see the apes live as slaves. Rebellion is inevitable.

Later still, humanity have destroyed most of the Earth in a nuclear war. A small group of humans and apes led by Caesar live in an imperfect but tranquil village. War is brewing, however, because the gorilla general Aldo doesn't like nor trust humans. And there is a group of surviving irradiated humans living in a destroyed city, caretakers of a nuclear bomb capable of finishing the job that the war started.

Will humans and apes ever live in peace? This is one of the major running themes through all five films.

Although this set is only five discs, it does include Behind the Planet of the Apes which was previously included as sixth bonus disc on the DVD editions. Here it is included on disc one, along with multiple commentaries, makeup tests, a public service announcement from ANSA, and much more. The third film and fourth films are both available in original and extended editions, previously unavailable on DVD. On each film's disc, you will also get featurettes and introductions from the ape Lawmaker.

The box itself is really nice, with a huge full colour book inside. This book, if sold on its own, would be over $20 itself. There is also a nice timeline included to help you keep all the different threads straight. The discs are held in place by rubber tabs, which can be a bit of a pain to work with, but you shouldn't find your discs sliding out.

This set is simply excellent value for the money. It looked crisp and clear, sounded great, and makes all DVD editions obselete.

5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Apes, Feb. 22 2012
By 
Argus - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"The Planet of the Apes" (1968) is a gem of a movie! Everything, from Jerry Goldsmith's atmospheric music to the excellent ape make-up by John Chambers, comes together here.

An intelligent screenplay skillfully directed by Frank Schaffner, imaginative sets and a plot which builds to an astonishing climax, contribute to make this a landmark of science-fiction film-making. Taylor (Charlton Heston) is the cynical space explorer searching for "something better than man" who finds himself in a world populated by advanced apes. From that point on he struggles to defend mankind against brutality and prejudice in one of the film's several neat ironies.

Heston is admirably supported by Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter, who play the sympathetic chimpanzee scientists Cornelius and Zira, along with Maurice Evans as the formidable Doctor Zaius. The final iconic scene on the coast is among the great moments of cinema. This film generally holds up extremely well despite its age. The bluray version is top quality and packed with special features.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant classic, June 12 2004
This review is from: Planet of the Apes (VHS Tape)
With its excellent performances and tight, smart script written by Rod Serling and Michael Wilson (based on the book by Pierre Boulle), this is a film that stays fresh and interesting even with repeated viewings. Released the same year as "2001: A Space Odyssey", both films are at the top of my "super sci-fi" list, and stack up against the best of what has been released in recent years, which relies more than ever on special effects to tell the story; the effects in "Planet of the Apes" are minimal, and it's the latex make-up that is the marvel, and garnered John Chambers a Special Award at the Oscars for his work, which allows the ape characters full freedom of facial expressions. Oscar nominations went for costume design, and the marvelous score by Jerry Goldsmith.
The cinematography by Leon Shamroy is also fantastic, and I love the aerial descent that starts the film.
Charlton Heston as the astronaut who lands in an "upside down world", and Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall as free thinking scientists are superb, and in smaller roles, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore and James Daly terrific as authority figures in the ape colony.
This film had four sequels, a TV series and a cartoon series, as well as a multitude of merchandise from plastic figurines to bubble gum cards, but the original stays pristine and untarnished by its often silly spin-offs, and is a one-of-a-kind classic.
What this film has, that one can appreciate even when one knows what it is, is that rare thing...a great ending. Very few films leave one with a satisfied feeling at their close, but this one is unique, brilliantly filmed, and like a perfect dessert after a good meal.
Total running time is 112 minutes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic blu-ray package, June 25 2010
By 
Cheryl - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
For any fan of the Planet of the Apes saga, this blu-ray box set is ideal. The visual quality of these classic 70's films is gorgeous but unfortunately the clarity will further enhance the lessening budget from sequel to sequel. (The 5 films / discs are: Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from Planet of the Apes, Conquest for Planet of the Apes & Battle for Planet of the Apes.) There are many extra features which may account for the occasional audio compression issue (loud effects / score vs. softer dialogue). The Planet of the Apes disc has a plethora of extras including audio and text commentaries, "science of" featurettes, archival footage, and the full-length documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes which also includes interactive texts and clips. The other discs include trailers, galleries, d-box, and isolated scores, as well as making-of featurettes or retrospective documentaries. Additionally "Conquest" includes both theatrical and unrated versions, and "Battle" includes both theatrical and extended versions. The package design is unique with saga timeline and a wonderful pull-out hardcover book, The 40 Year Evolution - Planet of the Apes (200 pages of photos, trivia, text etc.). Overall this epic tale of oppression is fascinating and thematically reflective of the still relevant civil-rights movements - and the Planet of the Apes 40th Anniversary blu-ray package is fantastic. Highly recommended.

(minor issue - getting the discs in and out may be annoying as the center holders are made of an odd rubber texture mold, and not always easy to work)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fundamental sci fi movie, June 9 2004
By 
Hiram Gomez Pardo (Valencia, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Planet of the Apes: 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Widescreen) (DVD)
In the authority chain, you may distinguish the clear diference between the apes too.
One spacial navy suddenly falls in a hole time and it's carried hundred years after. The landing in a unknown planet, carries to these man and it shows them a world ruled by apes who dictate its own rules and have established the official story.
The man is under them in the evolutive chain. The men have lost his speaking capacity and they only make gutural sounds. Their state is something less than pitiful.
George Taylor is wounded in his throat and that's why he can not articulate even a single word.
The dramatic sequences in the same point he pronounces the first word,(Do you remember the miracle worker and the wild child?) creates a true revolution among the ape scientist. This behavior are against the rules. The law is the law.(The island of Dr. Moreau)
And so, Taylor is involved in a constant fight for surviving. His friends can not help him anymore , one is dead and the other suffered a lobotomy.
The dramatic ideas exchange between Taylor and the master science of the ape comunity include hilarious bits and obviously undeniable conflicts between the science and the faith. Forget all you learned about Darwin and please watch the mirror image. All the concepts are reverted and so the anguish and the poor human condition is less than zero.
Finally our hero ¿wins? and he can carry Nova his only possibilitie for sow the next human seed generational, but he will find out the astonishing revelation.
Since its release, this film involved just once more the fever for new concepts and ideas. Fahrenheit 451 (1967) and 2001 was released the same year and the world was in a decisive turning point. The man conquers the moon and the screen must be part of this decisive event.
So the people turns back over Asimov, Bradbury, Boulle, Stanoslav Lem and will read over and will find out new universes, bitter nightmares spacials. In a very close state the fifties had a coommon behavior. The ancient films of sci fi were released, and others were remade.We had to expect four years for Solaris directed by Tarkovski in 1972.
In this sense, you can not forget the political behavior in many countries in that age. There were many dictators all around the world , and the figure of the ape was a clear methapor of them.
Undoubtly, you may be find the film , thirty years after, a little bit aged, but the dramatic implications that a nuclear conflict involves, still feed the imagination of many people.
Charlton Heston was a true icon of rthe anti hero in the fifties (with his religious films) and in the sixties (with historical roles), then he would make another war films but keeping always that undeniable majesty for make prevailing the truth, no matter what's the prize you pay.
Sensational direction of Franklin Schaffner and arresting sequences, like the human chase and the scape from the jail (or the concentration camps) .
Another cult movie and the best of its following entries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reviwing the film, April 2 2004
By 
T. Callahan "*Um...A Signature?*" (South Euclid, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Planet of the Apes: 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Widescreen) (DVD)
I am strictly reviewing the film, not the DVD features.
Many people are complaining this film is too confusing for some, but I must point out that ONLY TIM BURTONS VERSION WAS CONFUSING. I will now explain the ending to those who were confused...
Future humans waged an atomic war againts themselves, destroying the most of the species. Apes however, survived and built a new civilization. Over time, the humans became stupid.
Story:
A time warped astronaut (Heston) crash lands on a world where apes rule over a primitive race of humans. He then must rely on two chimps (McDowell Hunter) to escape from the planet.
Whats Good:
Pretty much everything. The story is respectable for a sci-fi film of the 60's, delivering a good message, and haunting finale. Alos, it stands it's own when giving out some great qoutations I.E. Damn them, Damn them all to hell. Notthing to violent,, good for the family. Very thought provoking
Whats Bad:
The ape make-up takes sometime to get used to. Although not laughable, it is alittle odd. Also, the opening walk through the desert is a wopping 30 minutes. It does a fair job of standing it's own against the book, but not as good.
Final say: 5 Stars : This film is definantly a keeper for the ages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Planet of the Apes!, March 18 2004
By 
Cubist (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Planet of the Apes: 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Widescreen) (DVD)
20th Century Fox released the film previously on DVD by itself and in a box set with the rest of the Apes films plus a bonus DVD of extras. Now, for those who just want the first (and best) film of the series and all of the extras, Fox has released an excellent two-DVD special edition of Planet of the Apes to celebrate its 35th anniversary.
The DVD's extras get off to a shaky start with the two lackluster audio commentaries. The first is by legendary composer, Jerry Goldsmith, and the second by actors Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter and make-up artist John Chambers. Both commentaries could benefit from some extensive editing. There is way too much dead air that one has to sit through to get to the few interesting tidbits of information. The DVD producers should have edited down these commentaries to only the scenes in the movie that are actually commented on, like with the audio tracks on the Glengarry Glen Ross and The Right Stuff DVDs.
The text commentary by Eric Greene, author of Planet of the Apes as American Myth, redeems things by cramming a ton of interesting factoids on the screen in the form of subtitles. It's scary when the text commentary is better than both audio commentaries combined.
The second DVD contains the bulk of the extra material. The first section, "Exploring the Apes," contains a comprehensive, two-hour documentary entitled, "Behind the Planet of the Apes." Hosted by Roddy McDowall, it takes a look at the entire Apes saga from the films to the cartoon and TV series with an emphasis on the first (and best) film. Fans of the Apes films will be delighted to see all the major players from the films back for new interviews done exclusively for this documentary.
Also included in this section is the make-up test reel with Edward G. Robinson that convinced the 20th Century Fox brass to pony up the money for the film. There is "Roddy McDowall Home Movies" taken while making the first Apes movie that shows the step-by-step application of his ape make-up. There are 19 minutes of dailies and outtakes from the film.
There are also two vintage featurettes from 1968 and 1972 respectively. They are nothing more than superficial promos but are now fascinating time capsules of their times. Finally, there are two brief featurettes that showcase footage of directors Don Taylor and J. Lee Thompson shooting a scene from the Apes films that they worked on. These last two extras feel like unnecessary padding.
The "Publicity" section contains theatrical trailers for all of the Apes films, two glowing reviews for The Planet of the Apes and a collection of movie posters from all around the world.
The "Galleries" section features sketches by costume designer Morton Haack and a small stills gallery.
Finally, the "Ape Phenomenon" offers a brief glimpse into the vast Apes merchandising empire with a gallery of action figures. Also included is a collection of costumes and make-up from the films.
This new two-DVD set does justice to this landmark science fiction film. The transfer is amazing clear and free of any artifacting. The movie also hasn't sounded better with a crystal clear 5.1 surround soundtrack. While the audio commentaries are a let down, the two-hour documentary more than makes up for it. This is well worth picking up if you are a fan of the first film and want all the supplemental materials included in the box set without having to pay the extra money for the inferior sequels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "20th Century Fox Wants You to Go Ape", March 3 2004
By 
Michael R Gates (Nampa, ID United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Planet of the Apes: 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Widescreen) (DVD)
The brainchild of producer Arthur P. Jacobs, 1968's filmic adaptation of Pierre Boulle's novel LA PLANÈTE DES SINGES (PLANET OF THE APES) is a superior mix of action, suspense, and satire that is today deservedly regarded as a science-fiction classic. Franklin Schaffner's dynamic direction is brilliant, and the script by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling (yes, THE Rod Serling) is simultaneously witty and thought-provoking. In the lead (human) role, Charton Heston delivers one of his best and most convincing performances, and accomplished thespians such as Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, and Maurice Evans give outstanding supporting performances that help make the film's fantastic plot believable. Also contributing to the film's genuine simian aesthetics is Jerry Goldsmith's musical score, the style of which has since been frequently imitated but was at the time so daring and unique that it was almost considered avant-garde.
The plot of PLANET OF THE APES is actually a subtle satirical socio-political allegory that addresses the hotbed of civil-rights and racial-equality issues of the late 1960s (and of today, to a lesser degree). On a broader level, the film's subtext also addresses the injustices of class stratification in modern Western society that tends to be drawn along religions, political, financial, and educational lines. Occasionally the film also touches on other disputatious socio-political issues, such as women's rights or the humane and ethical treatment of animals.
Heston plays George Taylor, an American astronaut who awakens from cryogenic sleep to discover that his spaceship has crash-landed on a world where gorillas, chimps, and orangutans have evolved into the planet's dominant intelligence. In this simian dystopia, orangutan's are the governing members, with ultimate authority over the direction of scientific advancement, the establishment of religious theology, AND the interrelation of the two; the chimpanzees are the scientists and engineers, but they are subjugated by the orangutans; and gorillas, at the bottom of the social ladder, are the soldiers and menial laborers. (The film's primary race-relations satire is obviously allegorized here: The orangutans are light-haired and light-skinned; the chimps are light-skinned but dark-haired; and the gorillas are dark-haired AND dark-skinned.) Much to his dismay, Taylor learns the hard way that apes have supremacy over homo sapiens--who themselves are little more than mute tree-dwelling brutes--and regard them as the most vulgar and reprehensible animals on the planet. Indeed, humans are hunted for sport and used in all manner of vile medical and scientific experiments.
In the late 1960s, some critics claimed that the plot structure for PLANET OF THE APES was really just an embellished rehash of an episode of TV's TWILIGHT ZONE in which astronauts from Earth are kept as exhibits in an alien zoo, and they supported this argument by pointing out that the script was co-written by the TV show's creator, Rod Serling. With the television episode, a situation is created that forces the audience consider the possibility that humans might not be the most advanced life-form in the universe. In PLANET OF THE APES, however, the entire animal kingdom is turned upside-down, with mankind now at the very bottom, so that via allegory and satire, the Western socio-political structure can be dissected and its faults "safely" exposed.
To help the audience suspend their disbelief and thereby give in to the fantasy of the film, stunning simian make-up was designed and engineered by John Chambers. Using a combination of latex appliances, custom wigs, and conventional make-up, Chambers was able to transform actors into convincing apes while still allowing them to maintain articulation with a good portion of their facial muscles. While make-up FX have come a long way since then, his work was innovative and groundbreaking, and many of today's make-up experts--including Rick Baker, who designed the fantastically realistic ape make-up for Tim Burton's 2001 "re-imagining" of PLANET OF THE APES--have said that Chambers' work in this film inspired them to pursue the art of make-up as a career. Chambers went on to win the Oscar for his efforts that year, only the second make-up person to do so, and it was chiefly his work on this film that lead the Academy to establish a permanent make-up category for the awards.
The 2-disc Anniversary DVD from Fox Home Entertainment will make any film lover go ape! It offers a beautiful anamorphic widescreen transfer of the film from an excellently preserved print, as well as TONS of extras. One of those extras is the documentary BEHIND THE PLANET OF THE APES, which itself has been offered for sale at a standard DVD price BUT WITHOUT THE FILM included! Now you get both. The audio feature commentaries are a bit of a let down, as there are long gaps without any commentary at all. However, a text-based commentary by film historian Eric Greene is also included, and it can run simultaneously with one of the audio commentaries and thereby fill in the gaps.
All in all, PLANET OF THE APES is one of the best SF films of the latter 20th century, primarily because of the great acting, top-notch directing, excellent make-up, and an intelligent and socially relevant script. It still plays as well today as it did nearly four decades ago. And the 2-disc Anniversary DVD from Fox is reasonably priced and, with all the cool extras, provides hours of simian-based entertainment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still is relevant, Feb. 28 2004
By 
K. Gittins (CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Planet of the Apes: 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Widescreen) (DVD)
This movie is a social/political satire of the human race, transferred to a planet of apes. There is a definite class division between the orangutans (top) chimpanzees (middle) and gorillas (bottom). The primitive mute humans are just...well, animals.
Charleton Heston and crew crash land on the planet, and are captured by the apes. Heston befriends a pair of chimpazee scientists who eventually help him escape from captivity.
One detail easily missed is during the trial of the chimpanzees by the orangutans, when the 3 orangutans cover their eyes, ears and mouth in the classic "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" when they are being told things they do not agree with.
Whether you like the movie or not, the ending scene of the movie is one of the best in the history of cinema.
The DVD has numerous extras, but in fact all three commentaries are hugely disappointing as they are quite sparse, and much of it is repeated verbatim in the included and good 2-hr documentary about the movie and all the sequels.
Spectacular scenery, oscar-winning makeup, great score, great story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Movie gets 5 stars anyways..., Feb. 17 2004
By 
Rob "Revuman" (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Planet of the Apes: 35th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Widescreen) (DVD)
As for the DVD...I question some of the choices that were made by 20th century fox. For anyone who doesn't know the film, "Planet of the Apes" is based off of the Pierre Boulle novel, also author of the acclaimed The Bridge Over the River Kwai. In the film, Taylor (Charlton Heston), the captain of an expedition crew in deep space, is about to set the ship on a direct course home and put himself into hyper sleep. However, as he goes to sleep, something goes terribly wrong and the space ship crash lands on an unknown world 2000 years in the future "give or take a decade". Now, everything that Taylor believes in is about to get tested as his very search for something "better than man" pits him face to face with a planet of apes that DO consider themselves "better than man".
The film also stars the late Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter as the pair of scientist apes that befriend Taylor and help him discover why apes rule this planet and why this intense hatred for man exists.
When released in 1968, (alongside the release of Kubrick's Sci-fi epic 2001) the film was met with huge success (as well as controversy) due to the political and social commentary apparent in the film. And while the film is nigh on 37 years old, those commentaries are as true today as they were in the 60's and 70's. And what really makes the movie stand the test of time, aside from the wonderful performances include the expert direction of Franklin Shaffner, the unconventional score by Mr. Jerry Goldsmith, and the groundbreaking special effects (which still stand the test of time) by John Chambers.
Now to the DVD: The film is presented in digitally remastered 5.1 audio in 2:35:1 anamorphic widescreen and looks rather good. I didn't perceive any color issues or transfer issues the first time I watched it, which is always nice to see. As for the commentaries on the first disk, they are rather useless as commentaries go. Roddy McDowall passed away before this set was released so I assume that his parts of the commentary are recorded from earlier interviews. As for the rest of the voices on that commentary, their insights are few and far between. In essence the track serves more as a 2.0 audio track for the film than a true-blue commentary.
Then there is the "live" (thankfully) music commentary track by Jerry Goldsmith. It gives some insight into the musical choices as well as instrument selections by the acclaimed composer, as well as other small bits of information. On the whole, it's nothing overly amazing. Thankfully, Goldsmiths music speaks for itself.
Finally, there's the text-only commentary by Eric Greene, Author of "Planet of the Apes as American Myth". It's not bad if you're into text commentaries. But at points, it just becomes a nuisance. It makes you wonder why they couldn't have just added another voice commentary that might have actually been worth listening to.
Then we come to disk two...which is chocked full of goodies. The two hour featurette "Behind the Planet of the Apes" - Hosted by the late Roddy McDowall, is a great view into the history of this film and its four lesser sequels. Then there are some also smaller featurettes, including the 1968 original making of. Also included are dailies and outtakes from the original 1968 stock footage (with no audio track) and some of Roddy McDowall's home films shot on 16mm (at least that what I guessed from the camera he was using...it might have been 8mm). Again, these have no audio, but have been filled in with some of the music from the movie. The problem here is that "Behind the Planet of the Apes" has some of this same footage in it, so you're basically seeing the same thing twice.
So, is it worth it to buy this 35th anniversary dvd? By all means yes. This film is a classic by all rights, and it's worth being a part of everyone's DVD collection. And while the commentaries are on the weak side, there's enough here to keep the general DVD enthusiast happy. It really is true what they say...they just don't make films (sci-fi or not) like this anymore.
`Revu
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