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ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES

The PLANET OF THE APES franchise showed no signs of running out of steam with the arrival of ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES. Despite the fact that the writers and producers of BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES had written themselves into a corner with that film's apocalyptic ending- the required inventiveness to get around that obstacle produced another solid sequel.

Doing a complete reversal on the first two films, chimpanzee scientists Zira (Kim Hunter) and Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) salvage the spaceship that brought astronauts to their world and use it to travel back in time to present day Earth. At first, Zira and Cornelius are scientific curiosities. However, when it is learned that they are sentient and able to talk, they are instantaneously transformed into media celebrities and are given royal treatment by the US government. However, Dr. Otto Hasslein (Eric Braeden), the Whitehouse Scientific Advisor suspects that Zira and Cornelius are hiding something about their origins and when Zira announces that she is pregnant, Hasslein becomes convinced that their child could begin the downfall of mankind. The cast of ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES also features Bradford Dillman, Natalie Trundy, William Windom, Albert Salmi, M. Emmet Walsh and Ricardo Montalban.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that has NOT been enhanced for 16:9 playback. Other than the lack of the anamorphic enhancement, the only other problem with ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES is brief instability in the image, which would be the result of print damage causing a few hiccups as the film was being transferred. Still, the transfer is crisp and offers a good level of detail. Color saturation is pretty good, with most hues appearing relatively natural, as do the flesh tones. Blacks are solid and shadow detail is just fine for a thirty-year-old production. Film grain is minor, as are noticeable blemishes. Digital compression artifacts are not a problem.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack sounds pretty good, but the lack of directionality almost detracts for the experience. There is no distortion at modest listening levels. The dialogue is always intelligible, although some voices sound a bit strident at times. A French language track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles. Animation and sound enhance the interactive menus, which provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as theatrical trailers for all the PLANET OF THE APES movies.

ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES is another worthy sequel in the series. My biggest problem with this DVD is the fact that presentation lacks the 16:9 enhancement. Hopefully, Fox will re-issue ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES at some point in the future with the anamorphic enhancement.

Presently, ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES is only available on DVD as part of The Evolution Box Set, which includes all five APES films for $89.98.

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ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES 


Planet of the Apes - The Evolution...

  


DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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