Battle For The Planet Of The Apes

Featured In Issue 138, January/February 2009

WSR Score3.5
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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J. Lee Thompson
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Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 1.0, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Battle For The Planet Of The Apes is the last episode of the series and brings the saga full circle. Mankind has been decimated by nuclear war, yet there are some mutant humans who remain. They work with Caesar (McDowall), the self-appointed ape leader, on the education of other apes in writing and speech. But then militant gorilla Aldo (Akins) threatens the idyllic world by pitting the primates against each other. (Gary Reber)

Special features include both extended and theatrical versions of the film; the End Of An Epic: The Final Battle featurette (HD 17 minutes); the original theatrical trailer; a San Simion Sentinel Gallery; an interactive pressbook; an advertising gallery; a behind-the-scenes gallery; and an isolated DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel music score (extended version only).

The 2.38:1 AVC-encoded picture is variable in visual quality, with saturated blacks and poor shadow delineation in some scenes, while other scenes, particularly sunlit outdoors, appear more natural. Some scenes exhibit better shadow delineation and blacks than others but are still poor overall. Interior scenes appear dark and plugged up. Contrast is mediocre, wanting in visual information in the darkest scenes. Subtle noise is noticeable throughout but is not objectionable. Colors are generally acceptable but resolution is soft. Details in textures and fabrics are not clearly discernable. Overall, this is a poorly produced visual presentation, though it still betters all previous releases.(Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack has been repurposed from the original monaural soundtrack. Occasionally, the spatial aspects are enhanced with the repurposing, but overall the sound remains mono prominent. The D-BOX® Motion Code™ mastering is limited as well. The original monaural music is spread to the stereo channels, with subtle envelopment in the surrounds. However, sound quality is wanting, with poor fidelity overall and background hiss. Dialogue is very forward-sounding, with poor spatial integration. Dialogue sounds stringent, which is objectionable. Overall, the sound is loud, harsh, and distorted but still an improvement over the original monaural version. (Gary Reber)