134. Escape from the Planet of the Apes (B)
135. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (B+)
Escape from the Planet of the Apes
: This sequel goes through a lot of hoops just to exist (the whole world having been destroyed by a massive nuclear explosion in the last film), but once you get over that it's actually a pretty good little sequel. It's nice having Roddy McDowall back as Cornelius, and the rest of the cast does nicely. And the ending! How the Apes films managed to continue getting away with such downbeat endings (here, the two ape protagonists are murdered, although their child manages to get away) I'll never understand.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
: I used to rate the third Apes movie as the best sequel in the series -- but having seen this one again, in its director's cut form, I'm obliged to choose the fourth film instead. Brutal, dark, and wrapping up with an ending that more or less endorses violence as a means of social change this is nearly a great movie. Like all the ape sequels, it's just a little too cheap to be that, but it's still pretty good, and quite obvious why the producers of the latest Apes movie modeled their film after this one.
movies this year.