Disc One of this 35th Anniversary two-disc set includes audio commentary by composer Jerry Goldsmith; an additional commentary by actors Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter, and makeup artist John Chambers; as well as a text track by Eric Greene, author of "Planet Of The Apes As American Myth." Disc Two starts with an Exploring The Apes menu, that offers an extensive 127-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, a nine-minute makeup test that starts out with artist renditions of the story of Planet Of The Apes, 20 minutes of home video footage by Roddy McDowall on the set; and 20 minute of dailies and outtakes (without audio); a 10-minute 1967 NATO presentation; a vintage featurette (five minutes); a 14-minute "Look Behind The Planet Of The Apes"; and on-set footage of "Escape From The Planet Of The Apes" and "Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes." In the Publicity menu, you will find original trailers, 1968 film review articles, and theatrical posters. There are also original sketches by costume designer Morton Haack and stills in the Galleries, classic merchandise and collections in Ape Phenomenon, and DVD-ROM content for PCs.
Based on the novel by Pierre Boulle, "Planet Of The Apes" is the classic cautionary tale on the destructive nature of man and where it could lead. A group of astronauts crash on an unknown planet where apes rule the land and the mute, uncivilized humans are treated like animals.
When compared to the non-anamorphic DVD (reviewed in Issue 31), this new anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD special edition exhibits a picture that is very similar in color balance, but offers finer details and better definition. The picture can still look a bit dated, with brownish fleshtones and sets, but color fidelity is well balanced in the earlier scenes after the space craft first crashes on the planet, and the desert locations look very organic. It seems that this DVD is sourced from the same element as the previous DVD, exhibiting the same minor anomalies (like the image fluctuation and flickering noticed in the beginning of Chapter 12). Some edge enhancement and pixelization can be noticed. (Suzanne Hodges)
The remastered Dolby
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