Saga Of The Apes

 
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(Updated: December 19, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

I've watched ~20 fanedits without leaving any reviews, but this edit has motivated me to finally say something. I loved it that much. I probably never would have watched the apes movies again. I liked the first one fine and watch a few minutes of it when I channel surf and come across it. But I'll probably never be in the mood to actually pop in the dvds and watch them all again. This edit though - I will watch it again.

There were a few things that bugged me. The end of part 1 and beginning of part 2 used some repeat footage. The scenes belonged in both places, but when watching the two parts back to back, it was a bit confusing. Also, though the split screen generally worked great, there were a few spots that it didn't. Generally, it worked well when scenes from different movies were shown on the different screens. It didn't work well a few times when you just used the split screen to show a single movie and just turn it into slo mo. But, the pros far outweigh the cons in this edit, my notes here are just nitpicks.

Enjoyment: 10
Original: 8 (Planet of the Apes), 4-6 for the other three movies.
Combining, trimming, and playing the events out side by side was an extremely creative way to provide a new viewing experience, one that for me is remarkably improved over the original sequels.

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Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
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(Updated: May 20, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Bionic Bob has taken the two best sequels, which had great ideas executed poorly, and has made them a meaningful expansion of the original.


For this review, I'm going to break down each Volume SEPARATELY , since they're essentially separate films.
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VOL. 1 is framed around Escape from the Planet of the Apes, the best sequel. So it's no wonder it's the better Volume. The greatest strength of Escape was ironically also its greatest weakness, in that it was an ironic reversal of the first film narratively...
which is great... if you've seen the first film. A sequel must stand on its own weight, and the fact you can't watch it without the original as context means the ironic reversal would fly over a viewer's head. By basically taking Escape and cutting it together with the original film, you can now compare and contrast the two narratives as they play out together! You can see the similarities! Now you don't miss that ironic reversal. The only major problem with it is fixed, elevating it from an average film to a great one.
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VOL. 2 is framed around Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Essentially it is a suspense thriller, because we know what the lead characters are doing will cause the future destruction of the second film... but they don't know that...
which is great... if you've seen the second film. But if you haven't then the suspense would completely fly over your head, and you'd have no reason to be worried! So he simply cross-cuts between the second film and this one. It heightens the suspense! We see the future they're trying to prevent! We're afraid when we see them causing it!


The Planet of the Apes saga was always one I enjoyed the idea of, but it was always too poor in execution to enjoy. Having each Volume cut together two movies also gives him the ability to cut out the worst parts of both AND STILL have a feature length runtime. So you ADD missing exposition and LOSE bad scenes.
I now like to think this forms a nice little trilogy (Planet of the Apes, Saga of the Apes: Vol. 1, Saga of the Apes: Vol. 2)
Which serves as a companion to the prequel trilogy (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes).

Bravo, Bionic Bob.
~Silver Screen Samurai~
(PS some have said you need to see the original versions to understand this... not really, you only need to have seen the first one)

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
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Overall rating 
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

An GREAT fanedit with a very strong concept very well executed.
The first volume is simply amazing because movies 1 and 3 are echoing each other the best, IMO;
but volume 2 have very strong moments too and makes the overall saga complete.
I did not have any trouble following the different stories and my jaw dropped quite often during some very smart transitions.
When I'm talking about music I often says: "can you imagine if the Rolling Stones never wrote Satisfaction, or if Deep Purple never wrote Smoke on the Water?
Those songs would still be there somewhere, floating in the air for someone to catch them." Well, this fanedit is a bit the same: it had to be done.
I'm glad BionicBob was able to make it the way he did.
To me volume 1 is a perfect fanedit and the whole project including both volumes is something you NEED to see if you're a fan of those movies.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

It's no secret that I do enjoy a BionicBob edit. I love the enthusiasm he puts into the projects - heck, you can even sense the enthusiasm and fun within the edits themselves and I've yet to be disappointed with anything he's released. Therefore, when he announced he was working on a two part edit on the Planet of The Apes movies, I was very eager to see what he'd pull out the bag this time for what was surely his most ambitious edit to date.

Now, I was fortunate enough to be granted a viewing of the workprint for Volume 1 which encompasses the original Planet of The Apes with the third film in the series, Escape From the Planet of The Apes, and as soon as I saw the "multi-screen" format (ala The Boston Strangler) being utilised I knew that this was going to have to be a very skillfully crafted piece of work, if the edit was to be successful. After all, having seen a few multi-screen movies over the years, it's quite easy to fall into the trap of trying to bombard the audience with too much information - Mike Figgis' ambitious, intriguing but flawed Timecode is one such example. For a faneditor therefore, the balance between too much and just enough is perhaps even more difficult to execute.

Volume 1, as stated previously, certainly lends itself to this style of storytelling more than the subsequent coming together of Beneath and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. What's quickly apparent is how well Planet and Escape compliment each other. Hence, Bob's nicely judged uses of the multi-screen format works like a dream and I'm not joking when I say if you didn't know any better, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is the way the films have always been presented. The extra polishing and tweaks here and there in the finished version as opposed to the workprint, push the quality that little bit further too, particularly in the excellent way the films end - perfect really. The use of quotes from the movies to split various sections works better than I initially thought they would. I was fearful that they would interrupt the flow of the edit, but in practice this is not the case at all; if anything it makes the story more thought provoking, especially as the quotes are so well chosen by Bob, who obviously knows the Apes saga inside out.

As for Volume 2? Well, I have to give huge kudos to Bob here, as Beneath and Conquest are nowhere near as natural a fit as the films used in volume 1, yet by the end of the edit he has completely drawn me into the two stories having a successfully linking narrative running through them. Whether this is in part due to the fact that I am very familiar with the films anyway, I'm not sure, but whilst the challenges such an edit as this must have presented would have been daunting to any faneditor, I can wholeheartedly say that in this case they were met head on and conquered in a way which I thought if not impossible, then certainly improbable. By the time the two films come to an awe inspiring climax worthy of Volume 1, I just turned to my girlfriend and said "amazing".

Technically, this is all but perfect both visually and sonically. Very occasionally the audio levels would fluctuate a little, but we really are talking "splitting hairs" kind of stuff here. Only on the DVD menu did I notice the sound being way too loud in the levels department. Talking of the DVD, there's a an interesting "About the edit" section and a few deleted scenes which are more than worth watching.

It's the editing which is what really makes Saga of The Apes so impressive though. I see a lot of fanedits, and enjoy the majority which I see. However, there are very few occasions which really make me stand back in awe and literally leave me speechless as to the achievement I've just witnessed. Well, BionicBob you're now on that very small list. A joy to watch for any Apes fan, this is quite seriously a big contender for fanedit of 2012, and if it isn't on the shortlist I will dress up as a gorilla and come looking for the people within the Academy who decided not to vote for it ;) A tremendous fanediting achievement.

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Overall rating 
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
9.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Pure and simple, if this edit doesn't become at least a strong contender for the next FEOTY contest, I'll eat my Sideshow Dr. Zaius 12 inch figure. It's just that amazing.

Volume 1 is about perfection. Apes I and III complement each other so much that it's almost too easy to mix them. Volume 2 was trickier, Apes II and IV being so different to each other, but the results are impressive. Bob found a lot of parallels between them. A scene from Beneath about leaving things just the way they are is combined with the apes revolt starting in Conquest. Taylor and Brent fight in the dungeon, while we see apes riots in 1991. Brent and Caesar are tortured simultaneously. Brilliant. And the multiple screen style fits these movies like a glove. They could have played in theaters like this back in the 70s, as did films like The Boston Strangler and Wicked, Wicked.

Video and audio quality is very good. If anything, the interlacing is apparent in some of the reduced screens (never when the shots fill the whole screen, though), and in a couple of moments the added music eats up the dialog a bit. Very minor things, though. The two deleted scenes provided were fun to watch, but Bob did the right thing not including them.

Thanks, Bob, for yet another wonderful edit, your best so far. Two paws way up!

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