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Now 20th Century Fox in an effort to gouge the fans some more have released "The Planet of the Apes" ultimate collection with deluxe Ape head packaging consisting of all the theatrical movies, TV series, animated series and Tim Burtons version. After considering the cost of the new ultimate collection the Evolution set is definitely a great value for any "Planet of the Apes" fan and a great place to start.

They used to have "Planet of the Apes" week on channel 7 out of Detroit and like any other kid I ran home from school everyday to watch them. I absolutely love the "Planet of the Apes" Evolution boxed set. You get all five "Planet of the Apes" movies plus a sixth bonus disc containing all the wonderful special features. It's all here except the superior picture and 5.1 digitally remastered sound found in the new Legacy box set.

The picture and sound are a definite improvement over any of the television broadcasts but they still don't compare to the Legacy set. I don't understand why 20th Century Fox Studios didn't take the time to remaster all the movies at the same time when they had the chance.

20th Century Fox have always had the ability to remaster these films, because the Legacy set is proof of what can be done. How many times can a studio release the same titles over and over and not make any improvements in picture & sound quality? If the ultimate picture and 5.1 sound are what you're after then I suggest holding out and purchasing the legacy set. I hope this review was helpful.

Films Included:

- Planet of the Apes (1968) - NASA astronaut (Charlton Heston) is stranded on a planet where apes dominate humans.

- Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - continues the original film pitting militant apes against mutant humans dwelling in the subterranean ruins of New York City.

- Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) - Cornelius and Zira travel backward in time restoring the dominance of the apes once again.

- Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) - Roddy MCDowall plays Caesar, the son of Cornelius, leading an ape revolution against the humans.

- Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) - Roddy McDowall as Caesar attempts to defeat the gorillas and human mutants to establish the hierarchy introduced in the original film. This was the final film in the series.
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on April 13, 2002
You would think that this boxed set could have been a POTA fan's dream, but whoever put it together failed to do the series justice. There is very little in the way of extra features--the one bonus disc is merely a scaled-down version of a two disc "Behind the Planet of the Apes" set that is available to purchase separately. (The bonus disc includes a great documentary originally presented on AMC but it is not even an original production for this set.) Worst of all, the disc of the final movie is an edited version of the original commercial release, deleting all reference to the doomsday bomb that ties the human community in the fifth movie to the one found in the second movie. Of course, none of the sequels do justice to the original so some could argue that this is no big loss. But the only person that could possibly want the entire series would be a true fan, who wouldn't want even the corniest material cut out. So the producers of this boxed set have ruined it for the only market that might get some satisfaction out of it. This patent lack of respect for their own customers makes this a good reason to avoid wasting money on the set, especially since the original movie and the documentary (the only things probably worth owning anyway) are both available for separate purchase on DVD.
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on April 2, 2006
Product reviewed: Planet of hte Apes: The Ultimate DVD Collection with Ape Head Packaging

Great set, of course, and a wonderful collectible case. For the fan and collector of POTA, there is little extra here. It is finally a treat to have an official release of the animated series "Return to the POTA" from 1975. Fans have been exchanging poor copies of this for years. The quality of the print was not cleaned up, so although the colour is clear, there are many artefacts visible on the screen. For a cleaner editions of Return to the POTA, see the indivually released 2-disc DVD set of 2006.

The only other advertised bonus here that was not present on previous releases on dvd were the TV spots for the live-action series. Unfortunately, there are NO TV SPOTS on these discs!! Inaccurate product description was misleading. So, the only new thing here is the animated series, nothing else.
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on March 9, 2013
Shipped directly from Amazon, and I'm happy with the purchase. I wish that the dvd's were not individually contained in separate cases, other then that it is a very good series and i'm pleased with my purchase.
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on October 28, 2003
Okay, let's start this review by saying if you have not seen Tim Burtons version of Planet of the Apes... DO NOT SEE IT EVEN IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. IT HAS A HARD TO UNDERSTAND STORYLINE AND THE ENDING MAKES NO SENSE! Anyway, let's go back about 35 years ago when Charlton Heston was young and healthy, when the Planet of the Apes saga began with Planet of the Apes. Now here is a list of the films in this set:
Planet of the Apes- The Best in the series. Starring Charleton Heston as Taylor and Roddy Mcdowal(Did I spell that right?) as Corneleus. The ending us shocking and it is the only one the critics like.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes- Not as good as the first, but still excellent. Starring James Franciscus as Brent and our friend Charelton Heston as Taylor again.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes- The Best of the sequels and the last with original characters. Starring Mcdowall as Corneleus and Ricardo Montalban as Armondo.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes- The revolt of the Apes is very well done. It's the only ape film rated PG. Starring Mcdowall as Corneleus's son Caeser and Ricardo Montalbon as Armando.
Battle for the Planet of the Apes- Sadly, the last of the series and another battle between the apes anf d humans. Starring Mcdowall as Ceaser again.
Behind the Planet of the Apes- a documentory for all the films. I haven't seen it, but my uncle said it was good.
So here are your options: 1. Buy this on DVD or video 2. rent them 3, Watch them on AMC.
Go Apes!!!!!!!!!!
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on September 21, 2003
I loved these movies as a child!!! I remember seeing each film as it came out in the theatre. I was so enthralled by them that I also purchased the movie novelizations (the lone exception being Pierre Boulle's original book that was the basis for the first film). Being an adult now, I can watch them in a whole different light. I can now see the parallels of the stories that mirror the times in which they were told. Back then, I was just happy that the first movie wasn't anything like Boulle's book. This is an excellent boxed set of DVDs that collects all 5 films in one shot. I will admit up front that the plot does wear thin as the series goes on (and the running times also keep getting shorter) but you have to admit that with the exception of 2001 (which was released the same year as Planet Of The Apes) these movies pushed the boundaries of filmed sci-fi. Okay, from the top - Planet Of The Apes (1968 - 112 minutes). This is the first one that got it all started. It was based on Pierre Boulle's translated novel. With the strongest storyline (co-scripted by Rod Serling), a good cast (headed up by Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall), and music by Jerry Goldsmith (available on CD), this is easily the best entry in the series. This was followed by Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970 - 100 minutes). The notable things about this one are that Cornelius is played by David Watson (McDowall isn't even in the movie !!!), Heston returns as Taylor, the music is by Leonard Rosenman, and Natalie Trundy puts in her first appearance of the series as the mutant Albina. Next up is Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971 - 98 minutes). This marks the return of McDowall (as Cornelius), Goldsmith again doing the music (part of which can be found on the above mentioned POTA soundtrack CD), Trundy playing a normal human (Dr. Stephanie Branton), Sal Mineo doing a cameo (as Dr. Milo), and Ricardo Montalban (as Armando). A year later Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972 - 88 minutes) was released. This finds McDowall playing his own (Cornelius') grown up son (Caesar), Trundy switching over to an ape (Lisa), Montalban again playing Armado, Severn Darden playing Kolp, and Tom Scott doing the music. The fifth and final installment, Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973 - 86 minutes), finds Darden returning as a mutant Kolp, Trundy's Lisa now married to McDowall's Caesar, John Huston doing a cameo as The Law Giver, Rosenman again doing the music, Paul Williams playing Virgil (bet they saved money on his make-up), and a young John Landis as Jake's (Caesar's son) friend. To top off this boxed set, they've included a 6th disc, Behind The Planet Of The Apes (1998 - 120 minutes), that gives you a wonderful behind the scenes look at the series and is hosted by the man himself, Roddy McDowall. So, if this set is so wonderful, why did I only give it 4 stars? Because if this was really the ultimate boxed set, they would have included the double disc set of Behind The Planet Of The Apes which includes 199 more minutes. I found out about this deluxe version while I was scribbling notes for this review. Now I'll have to go purchase that to have the definitive collection of Ape DVDs. Don't let that stop you from buying this set though as I don't think the individual DVDs are available for purchase (POTA and the deluxe Behind The POTA being the exceptions). All in all, a thought provoking blast from the past. Pass the popcorn please.
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on March 9, 2003
First something positive. I am a huge Rod Serling fan, and even if I do dislike Charlton Heston as a human being, I love Planet of the Apes. That is to say that I love the original one. It was very well written with Serling and blacklisted screenwriter Micheal Wilson on the bill. The messages and ideas swirl through out questioning the existence of God, playing up the conflict of science vs. religion, looking at the treatment of animals, examining control and censorship and in the end leaving us with a very memorable message about mankind. The acting is great, and it is quite simply a very solid well done film. There should have never been another. Hollywood execs like sticking with a sure thing, so if a movie does good, the answer is to make a sequel. If the sequel does good, then make another. Anyway they should have stopped with the original. The second one was alright. The message about the human race destroying the planet was good even if it was a little heavy handed. There's just no reason for it to have been made. Everything they did in that movie could have been done and has been done better else where(Dr. Strangelove off the top of my head). That would be the last nice thing I could say about the series. The third one ranks up there with one of the worst movies I have ever seen. They took Rod Serling's original concept and butchered it to no end with a need for a clever twist that stopped being clever after the first one. The monkeys come back to(gasp!)modern times, and they are treated like animals. This would have made a bad made for TV movie. Along side of some terrible acting and trite dialogue they give one of the worst explainations possible for how the monkeys evolved. This aggrivated me about as much as George Lucas scientifically explaining the force in Episode I. It made a great story and a great allegory in the first one. There is no need to analyze how the monkeys got that way. For one they try and do this with a logical argument when no logical argument could support it. For two they precede in giving the most ridiculous explaination I could conceive of. How does that explain how the humans devolved? I am certainly not a realist, and am in fact a hug fan of absurdism. The first one wasn't realistic and it still is a great film. My problem was with inserting an explaination at all and then upon doing it treating a horribly written one as if it was intellectual discourse. Anyway I really wanted to rant about that, because it really bugged me. I came here to see that everyone treated all five films as if they were cinematic gold. I wanted to write a review for anyone out there who has intelligence and is wondering weather or not to buy this set. Perhaps you liked the first one and you assume by all the good reviews the others must be as good. The second one is adequate, the third is horrible and the last two are not even worth the time to pick them apart. The writing and acting take a sudden noise dive into Ed Wood territory. And I don't mean funny Ed Wood like Plan 9, more like Glen or Glenda, terrible and boring. This set gets two stars because the first one is an amazing film which I would recommend to anyone. Rent the second one to see if you like it before buying it, and don't waste any amount of money on the rest. I am certain TNT will replay those movies at some point. But I am afraid that there will be no way to get those six hours of your life back.
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on December 13, 2002
This is a review which attempts to compare the original movies to the latest one and to the TV series.
Compared to the latest and "tragic" attempt at rehashing an old classic, "The Evolution" series of DVDs is a collector's masterpiece.
While one may praise make-up artists' efforts in the latest installment of "Planet of the Apes", which is logically far superior than the "appliances" they had to work with, back in the sixties and the seventies, one may not find Pierre Boulle's original novel anywhere.
I rate it at four stars, just because one can feel that the producers, not the cast and not even the crews, played the economic card. This is especially evident, starting with "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" and on to "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" which closely resembles a TV movie.
Pity, because the entire franchise would have been worth a much bigger effort. Even though I may understand, for various strategical reasons, the choice of having "The Planet of the Apes" as a post nuclear holocaust backward society, in the the original 1968 movie, I still am wondering why the same choice was made by Tim Burton in his remake.
Pierre Boulle's (the author) Apes' Planet, was far more advanced than human society on the Earth, the astronauts had left behind. This was meant to show that, no matter what man could destroy, other, probably more developed and advanced species (not necessarily Apes, but I guess this was a more poignant metaphor), could rebuild and by far, better than humans ever could.
This is why, although in the 1968 version, as I already mentioned before, I could still conceive the post-nuclear theme, which was far more in the minds of people involved in the Cold War, than just a more generalized critique against human kind, in the new version I simply cannot accept it.
Lack of imagination? Probably.
Lack of means? Not at all.
As the Star Wars franchise has shown, Cities and environments can be recreated through CG technology at much lower costs than ever before.
So why then not opt for the Pierre Boulle's original novel?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, the classic "Planet of the Apes" is far better and original in contents and storyline and has the advantage of an excellent cast, one could only dream for nowadays.
Even the music, of all five movies, reflected a much higher level at inventiveness and freshness.
These restored versions, bring back the original flair they possessed when they appeared in movie theaters everywhere.
Images are sharp and clear, colors are vivid.
The sound is another matter. While every effort was made to restore "Planet of the Apes" in its most minute detail, including its sound, with an excellent Digital Dolby 5.1 remix, not so happened with the other four movies.
Again, "Escape from the Planet of the Apes", is the most dubious example, being the only one that doesn't even sport a Dolby Surround Mono mix, but just a polished Mono one.
I can only assume that the only original copy remaining is available like that. In which case, I think it was wise not to digitally attempt at "fussing" with the sound, as it was the case with other movies and in which it totally failed.
But, should a "stereo" copy emerge, I would suggest to use that one to re-release this movie.
And yet, I suspect that this particular movie was plagued by the same financial restrictions of the others, probably more and might therefore have had a "mono" treatment.
The other ones, like "Beneath the Planet of the Apes", "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" and "Battle..." could have deserved the attention that their forerunner had.
All in all, the five movies are more entertaining and well-made than the latest concoction by Tim Burton.
If you truly want to be astonished and thrilled by a science fiction movie series, than I would suggest to stick to the originals.
They had creativity, imagination, solid stories and excellent acting, all combined into a firework of surprises beyond which today's "remakes" pale miserably away.
A note about the complete "Planet of the Apes" TV series. If you are really enjoying retro-spectacles, especially '70s style, then you may be well served.
But, be warned, the series, having suffered the same financial restrictions as their movie counterparts, lack luster and are even dull in comparison. There is no more development of the characters (besides, the original ones, have long disappeared and been replaced by others) and the plots, except for two episodes out of fourteen, are always the same. The main conducting theme is "Escaping the the Planet of the Apes" and while it may be fun to watch for a couple of episodes, it starts to become weary and tiresome at the third one.
The transfer was made, by just transferring the filmed material to DVD. No sound remix, no video cleansing. Evident scratches may be noticed almost in every episode. The sound is pure monaural seventies' TV style. No luster here.
If you are a true "Planet of the Apes" fan, stick to "Planet of the Apes - The Evolution" DVD collection. It's the only valid choice and the only one worth the money.
Included in the Evolution collection, is also the 2-hour
documentary "Behind the Planet of the Apes" hosted by Roddy McDowall (who played the chimps Cornelius and Caesar in the movies and Galen in the TV series), which I truly recommend for its deep insight in the work behind such an immense effort and for its social studies' aspect, reflecting the mind-frame of society in those years.
This collection is the only true gift one can make to a die-hard fan of "Planet of the Apes". All the rest would be wasted money and time.
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on March 2, 2002
What we have here is without a doubt a mixed bag. Sure the original Planet of the Apes is a sci-fi classic for the ages, with its brilliant acting, directing, social commentary, and the greatest movie ending ever. Then on came the sequels, all four of them, each one cheesier and goofier than the one before it. This of course was thanks to smaller and smaller budgets (the quality of the movies would have been far increased if a little more money was spent), and the increasingly sloppy directing. (Schaffner why did you have to direct ONE film?) Plus the plots of the next four films contradict the plot of the first one more and more with each movie. While the sequels were good at times (sometimes great) they were never consistently good.
But thats not the reason this box is a 3 star affair. This gets that rating for its lack of any interesting extras. All we have is some cheesy trailers, and an interesting documentary, but one that is now available on a separate DVD.
So if you want a piece of the Planet of the Apes legacy I would buy the original movie on its own and the documentary and save yourself some money. Or, if you really want to buy the whole series, buy the set on VHS, and save about 30$. But,otherwise, be a smart shopper and leave this set alone.
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on February 11, 2002
If I were reviewing the first Planet of the Apes by itself, I would give it a very strong 5 stars. Despite Heston's rather comic overacting, the first movie, scripted by Rod Serling and based upon a novel, is actually a very serious and well-done social satire, which is especially effective if you do not know how it ends (although these days most people who haven't even seen it do know how it ends).
Unfortunately, the power of the original movie is ruined by the increasingly silly sequels. No longer (spoiler warning: skip to next paragraph), thanks to the sequels, did humanity destroy itself through war and get replaced by evolved apes. Instead, acccording to the sequels, a couple of the apes from the first movie travel back in time (the end of Beneath...) and have a child who becomes leader of the apes (movie #3). Humans start (quite illogically) breeding apes for intelligence despite their fears of being replaced and killed by intelligent apes as predicted by the time travellers (movie #4), and then this new breed of intelligent apes winds up going to war with the humans (movies #4 and up). This ruins the whole message in the first movie about the self-destructiveness of man. Thus watching the sequels is analogous to watching all the characters who triumphantly survived the end of Aliens just arbitrarily be killed off in Alien 3: it feels like you have been cheated. Rewatching the first movie, I do my best to shut out memories of what happens in the sequels.
Even with the message of the first movie destroyed by the sequels, the subsequent films are kind of fun to watch for their schlock value with their increasingly poor production values and dumb scripts. Despite this, even as a fan of bad films, I find the sequels a bit boring (the later the film the worse it gets). It is best to just buy and watch the first brilliant movie and forget that the rest were ever made.
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