Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Critical Mom and Planet of the Apes

So, Marky Mark crash lands back on earth . . . he thinks he's in front of the Lincoln Memorial, but it's a little dark at first and you can't see the secret.  Is it a bird?  A plane?  No!  It's Ape-ra-ham Lincoln.  It's a statue in the shape of Lincoln with an ape's head.  That's the end of this weird re-make of the 1968 Rod Serling Planet of the Apes, in which Charlton Heston finds himself unexpectedly facing the statue of liberty poking out of the sand, and realizes that he's home, only home isn't home anymore.  Liberty is sinking back into the sand, but in the Tim Burton version, the slaves have been freed by Ape-raham Lincoln?  So the humans are the bad guys again?  Is this Hegelian?  But Tim Burton first supplies Helena Bonham Carter with an ape costume rendering her a dead ringer for Michael Jackson.  Michael Jackson as a man who wanted to look like a woman?  A black person who wanted to look white?  Is that the kind of ape the movie wants to promote?  Dressed up as Roman soldiers, the apes batter, torture, and brand the humans, who can all speak, but who are tied up in chain gangs and sold on the open market.   In her Michael Jackson apesuit, Helena Bonham Carter plays a combination of Mother Theresa and Booker T. Washington, gibbering away about "separate but equal."  She falls in love with Marky Mark, who plays a U.S. air force pilot blown off course, who lands on the Planet of the Apes, which is actually, because of "let's do the time warp again," turns out to be our very own earth, only the apes who had taken over on his space ship have now evolved their own society, and become the masters, no longer the slaves of humans who send them off in rockets on missions deemed too dangerous for themselves.  Yes, it's all here--the sensitive, female, ape Michael Jackson; the harsh racism of the apes complaining about the way humans smell, and oh, yeah, the world trade center wreckage done up to look like a rocket.  If you're into Dystopia, it's all here.  But me, I'll watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers next time.

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