Monday, March 22, 2010

Entirety of the Planet of the Apes Press Release

The Entirety of the Planet of the Apes


Summary

On March 26, 2010, the television endurance/performance duo of “Special K” and “b1-66er” will begin a marathon viewing session of the complete contents of “The Ultimate Planet of the Apes” DVD boxset. The event begins at 18:00 Pacific Time and will end approximately 48 hours later after observing six feature length films, 13 cartoons, 14 TV episodes, and over 24 hours of DVD “extras.” In an idea borrowed directly from an Internet store (along with the aid of the brilliant Rich Handley timeline), the pieces will be watched in Earth Chronological Order, instead of the ordering of their original public release. The event will be 'blogged in roughly half hour intervals at 24HoursOfTV.com and can be tracked on Twitter following the hash tag #EPOTA.


Background

Darwin believed that isolation of creatures – either by landmass, or by behavior – could bring about mutation. This explains things such as the platypus, the giraffe and the French. In a similar vain, ideology left unchecked will become mutated.

Special K and b1-66er have, on two different occasions (February 2006 and March 2009), watched 24 hours of television straight, randomly changing channels every 15 minutes and 'blogging their results on 24HoursOfTV.com. Having been left to their own devices, the expected mutation has occurred and the next collective jaunt into endurance video viewing will not be random channel choices of TV stations, but rather a non-stop viewing of the entirety of the “Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection” (UPA) DVD box set.

Special K puts it like this, “The Sixer and I have been fans of the Ape movies for years, when the opportunity presented itself we decided to jump on the chance to view the whole thing.”

B1-66er takes a more pragmatic approach. “I got a great deal on the box set … and honestly, who the hell else is going to let me sit in his house, make fun of his family and watch this thing with me?”


A Problem of Timing

Aside from being a physical endurance test, a Planet of the Apes fest presents a deeper psychological problem. Special K explains it this way, “It's generally understood that the Ape movies decline in both quality and entertainment value as you move further down the franchise chain. So if the first 'Planet of the Apes' movie is the best, how can you justify the risk of couch sores for the remaining 46-and-half hours? I mean, are you really going to sit there and just watch quality decline over time? If nothing else, that seems like a really good way to put my TV at risk – I'm certain b1-66er isn't above throwing a brick through it.” He pauses, then adds, “And I've got a nice fricken TV.”

The solution to the quality quandary came by a pure stroke of luck. In a review of UPA on Amazon.com, a person known only as “V. R. Suarez” suggested the movies could be watched in Earth Chronological Order (ECO). In other words, watch the set in the order they would have happened in linear time on the planet, not the order in which they were released to the public at large. An interesting idea since a key aspect of the Apes movies, and they way they are inter-connected, involves time travel. By watching in ECO, the original Ape films would no longer be ordered 1 – 5, but instead get viewed 3, 4, 5; then 1 and 2.

B1-66er explains, “I don't want to give away plot lines to any of the movies for people who have not seen them, but this ordering makes sense and would be cool.”

Special K is more enthusiastic. “Are you kiddin' me? This is awesome. Because this way you don't have to watch the crappy movies last and you get to hear Paul Frees voice-over at the end of the destruction of the planet.” In a state of excitement he chuckles and adds, “Oh, and 'Rosebud' is the name of Charlie Kane's sled when he was a kid.”


What About Burton?

A clever comment on Amazon doesn't answer the larger problem, however, namely how do you fit the Saturday morning cartoons, the television series and the Tim Burton re-make into the timeline? Here the TV marathonists rely on the expert. Rich Handley developed “Timeline of the Planet of the Apes,” an absolutely definitive guide to how things progress in the world where all things are ape. In his book, Mr. Handley suggests that the cartoons and TV shows fall before the 1968 “Planet of the Apes” film. Tim Burton's 2001 version of “Planet of the Apes” occurs last, chronologically (well beyond the 50th century) and for this reason, the film will be viewed at the end of the sequence.

The Burton film will be followed by all commentaries and extras from the boxset.

Rough timings of the Entirety of the Apes are as follows (all timings are in the US Pacific Time Zone)

Friday, March 26, 2010
18:00 - 19:30 Escape from the Planet of the Apes
19:30 – 21:00 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
21:00 – 22:30 Battle for the Planet of the Apes
22:30 – 24:00 The start of Planet of the Apes television show and animated series

Saturday, March 27
00:00 – 15:30 The completion of Planet of the Apes television show and animated series
15:30 – 17:30 Planet of the Apes (1968)
17:30 – 19:00 Beneath the Planet of the Apes
19:00 – 21:00 Planet of the Apes (2001)
21:00 – 24:00 UPA extras

Sunday, March 28
00:00 – 18:00 UPA extras


Wanna Watch?

At its heart the Entirety of the Planet of the Apes is a "24 Hours of TV project," and as such there are many ways to participate:

  • You can follow the 24HoursofTV.com Website. It will be updated every 30 minutes (and will remain in place after the event).
  • You can search for the #EPOTA hash tag on Twitter. This is where exact scheduling and miscellaneous announcements will happen.

Additional participatory technologies are being investigated and may be developed in time for inclusion. As with everything else in life, watch the Website for additional announcements and information.


Wanna Join?

Anyone interested in participating in the Entirety of the Planet of the Apes as a writer/contributor is encouraged to call Lou Kije on 1-512-RUBY-RED for possible inclusion. Be warned, however, that B1-66er describes all 24 Hours of TV experiences in very much the same way Thomas Jefferson described travel, “it may make you wiser, but it won't make you any more happy.”

3 Comments:

Blogger rassmguy said...

This sounds like a lot of fun... or a lot of torture, depending on whether you're watching the films or the cartoons.

If I hadn't already completely drowned myself in Planet of the Apes these past two years while writing the two books, I'd try to watch the entire marathon with you... but I fear that I would pull the remaining hair from my head if I tried, and would need to be locked away somewhere in a cage.

Personally, I think all five of the classic films are great. Each has its flaws, including the stellar first one, and each has its brilliance, including the weak fifth one. Even my favorite, Escape, has plotholes galore, and even my least favorite, Battle, has some fantastic moments in it. I don't consider any of them to be bad movies. All are eminently watchable and re-watchable.

I'm in the minority regarding Tim Buron's film, in that I do find things to like about it--the makeup on the male apes (not the females, who stupidly look like Michael Jackson), the acting of most of the actors (especially Tim Roth, who's amazing as Thade... but not Estella Warren, who may be a goddess but is also a god-awful actress) and the music. Unfortunately, Mark Wahlberg's Sleep Method Acting, the idiotic ending and the Chuck Heston scene kill the film at times.

The live-action TV series is a mixed bag. The acting is excellent, and some of the plotlines are fun. There's a lot of great humor as well. The biggest drawback, of course, is the formulaic writing. Pretty much every episode of this series is the same, and it's basically The Fugitive, The Incredible Hulk, Starman or any of another dozen shows that follow the "strangers go to a new town, solve their problems and then run off before their pursuers catch them" motif. But it's a lot of fun, nonetheless. Make sure to watch the "aged Galen" scenes after you watch the 14 episodes. Frustratingly, they were not included on the DVDs, but you can find them here:
http://potatv.kassidyrae.com/galenslastappearance.html.

As for the animated series... well, all I can say is that if you've not watched it before, prepare to get really annoyed by the judicious re-use of footage, the BAD voice acting and the tortoise-like pacing. Return to the Planet of the Apes is best watched in conjunction with the imbibing of a Pepto Bismol smoothie.

Have fun, guys. I look forward to reading your blog posts about the event.

Sincerely,
Rich Handley
Timeline of the Planet of the Apes
http://www.hassleinbooks.com

5:43 AM  
Blogger Dayton said...

Best of luck from this unapologetic Apes fan.

Be sure to carb up and hydrate beforehand.

7:12 AM  
Blogger RadioactiveDave said...

I look forward to hearing how the Burton movie was placed last in the film timeline. I missed the first part of it when it was played on TV, so that is probably a factor.

6:56 PM  

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