Escape From The Planet Of The Apes

Featured In Issue 138, January/February 2009

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Five-Disc Set: BD-50
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Don Taylor
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Dolby Digital 1.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Since Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (the second episode) ended with the destruction of the Earth of the future, the lone survivors were forced to travel to Earth's past...the '70s. Cornelius (McDowall) and Zira (Hunter), now ape and wife, discover the spaceship that brought humans to their time period, so they Escape From The Planet Of The Apes. Their splashdown is just off the coast of Los Angeles, where they are celebrated guests. But when the world is told of the future destruction of humans and the uprising of apes, Cornelius and Zira are targeted for murder. (Gary Reber)

Special features include two featurettes: The Secret Behind Escape (HD 16 minutes) and Don Taylor Directs Escape From The Planet Of The Apes; the original theatrical trailer; an advertising gallery; a behind-the-scenes gallery; and an isolated DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel music score.

The 2.39:1 AVC-encoded picture quality is an improvement over the first two films in the series, though subtle, but unobjectionable, noise is noticeable. Contrasts are much more dynamic, with deep blacks and good shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent, and textures and fabrics are clearly discernable. Colors are better saturated and always naturally rendered. The set designs and lighting effects exhibit a modern realism. Overall, this is a superb-looking presentation that substantially betters all previous releases. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack has been repurposed from the original monaural soundtrack. As such, it adds an enhanced dimension to experiencing this film, as does the D-BOX® Motion Code™ mastering. The repurposing effort here is better implemented, with mono sound elements applied in the stereo channels and the surrounds, though dialogue scenes often collapse to forward-sounding mono. Dialogue sounds stringent, which is objectionable. The Jerry Goldsmith symphonic orchestral score is limited, but nicely recorded, with its mono elements subtly spread to the stereo and surround channels. Overall, the sound is distorted but still a substantial improvement over the original monaural version. (Gary Reber)