Celebrating 50 years of ‘Apes’: Tim Burton’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ (2001) (Movie review)

This series celebrates 50 years of the “Planet of the Apes” film franchise. Here, we look back at director Tim Burton’s re-imagining of the material for his 2001 film.

Screenwriters William Broyles Jr., Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal shake out the puzzle pieces of the 1968 “Planet of the Apes” screenplay and Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel and reassemble them in a fresh fashion for uber-director Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes” (2001), which is loved by some and loathed by many, but certainly provides lots of things to talk about.

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Celebrating 50 years of ‘Apes’: ‘Planet of the Apes’ novel (1963) (Book review)

This series celebrates 50 years of the “Planet of the Apes” film franchise. For this post, though, I’m taking a step further back and looking at Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel.

Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel “Planet of the Apes” is one of the classic “books that are better than the movie,” but it still gets lost in the shadow of the 1968 film. In my estimation, the French novelist (1912-1994) delivers one of the elite science fiction novels of the 20th century, using a foreign planet to explore Earthly biology, human nature, the primate evolutionary tree, the intelligent brain, classism, politics and the arc of civilization.

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Celebrating 50 years of ‘Apes’: ‘Planet of the Apes’ (1968) (Movie review)

This series celebrates 50 years of the “Planet of the Apes” franchise. We naturally start with the original film, which hit theaters on April 3, 1968.

The original “Planet of the Apes” movie is groundbreaking and dated, flawed and fascinating. It still holds up today by every important measure, but – while the ape makeup effects, Jerry Goldsmith’s chillingly primitive score and the desert vistas and ape community sets are worthy talking points – it’s the narrative that makes the film timeless.

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ returns franchise to thoughtful sci-fi roots (TV review)

As a franchise, “Star Trek” has boldly gone many places, and not all of them have been good.

While the original series is legendary, and “Next Generation” improves on it, things started to fall apart with “Deep Space Nine,” which cribbed so much from “Babylon 5” that it felt like a cheat calling it Trek at all. “Voyager” upped the camp level and became the goofy uncle of the franchise. It was ridiculous, over the top, fun, but never very good. The less said about “Enterprise,” the better.

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‘Cloverfield Paradox’ pays lip service to science, turns into a familiar space thriller (Movie review)

“The Cloverfield Paradox” (which recently debuted on Netflix), the third installment of the loosely connected Cloververse saga, takes topical physics such as the recently discovered God Particle and the popular multiverse theory and smashes them into a movie that has little to do with science. Let’s just say it’s not going to pass muster with Neil deGrasse Tyson or Michio Kaku. But while the space station crew’s paranoia amid a series of disasters is familiar, there’s still fun to be had here if you’re in the mood (and if you already have Netflix, you saved money on a movie ticket this time around).

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‘Valerian’ flashback: ‘The Complete Collection, Volume 3’ (Comic book review)

Looking for a “Valerian” fix after last year’s movie, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” I’m delving into the comics that started it all, by Frenchmen Pierre Christin (writer) and Jean-Claude Mezieres (pencils and inks). “The Complete Collection, Volume 3” includes “Ambassador of the Shadows” (1975), “On the False Earths” (1977) and “Heroes of the Equinox” (1978).

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‘Valerian’ flashback: ‘The Complete Collection, Volume 2’ (Comic book review)

Looking for a “Valerian” fix after last year’s movie, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” I’m delving into the comics that started it all, by Frenchmen Pierre Christin (writer) and Jean-Claude Mezieres (pencils and inks). “The Complete Collection, Volume 2” includes “The Land Without Stars” (1972), “Welcome to Alflolol” (1972) and “Birds of the Master” (1973).

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‘Valerian’ flashback: ‘The Complete Collection, Volume 1’ (Comic book review)

Looking for a “Valerian” fix after last year’s movie, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” I’m delving into the comics that started it all, by Frenchmen Pierre Christin (writer) and Jean-Claude Mezieres (pencils and inks). “The Complete Collection, Volume 1” includes “Bad Dreams” (1967), “The City of Shifting Waters”/“Earth in Flames” (1970) and “The Empire of a Thousand Planets” (1971).

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Christie Golden’s ‘Valerian’ novelization delightfully digs into Valerian-Laureline relationship (Book review)

After seeing “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” my No. 1 movie of 2017, I wanted to spend more time in the world, and also try to figure out just what the heck was going on in a couple key sequences. The novelization (July 2017) by Christie Golden, who was becoming one of the top “Star Wars” Legends novelists before that line’s cancellation, mostly delivers the goods.

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