Burton Refuses To Explain Apes Ending

Norm

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Want to know what the deal was with the ending of Planet of the Apes? Don't ask Tim Burton.
When we met with the director at London’s Dorchester hotel, one of the first things we asked for was an explanation of the film’s ending. Unfortunately, Burton wasn’t in the mood to help; ‘No I’m not going to,’ he told us. ‘Because, one of the things I liked about this material is that its what I call ‘f*** you’ material. I don’t mean that negatively but…[here he went on to ponder Darwinism, fairy tales and folk legends] Basically, I’m not giving you an answer.’
Pretty please? ‘ No. I’ve always resented the literalisation of society, the conformity. You very early on realise that it’s all a load of crap, I mean, what’s conformity, what’s normalcy? It just diminishes people and puts them in categories and I hate that. So… yeah, I like to f*** with people’s heads.
http://www.movieheadlines.net/articl...&mode=&order=0
Tim, Could it be that the ending doesn't make any sense! They are going to really have a hard time writing a sequel for this movie. But hey, if they can get away with bringing Ripley back, then they can get away with anything today, and the people buy it, so I guess a logicial story really doesn't matter anymore!!! Sad days these are!
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Tino

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Gee, I dunno. The ending made perfect sense to me. Is there some kind of confusion in regard to the ending?

BTW, I love Tim Burton's response. It was so.....Tim Burtonish.

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Jason Seaver

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Does anyone really think Burton (or anyone) actually has an explanation to give? From what I gather, the ending was deliberately nonsensical.
Grrrr... Time to go knock a half-star off POTA '01 in the "2001 Film List" thread.
 

Mark Kalzer

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I hear there were in fact five different endings filmed with the purpose of keeping people from spoiling it. To be honest, I think they cut in the wrong ending.
 

Nick Sievers

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I'm sure they have got an explanation for the ending. They couldnt possibly have no idea on where to go next with it.
I really liked that ending, but I think Tim Burton is getting more pretentious by the day.
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Trace Downing

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Burton's response just tells me that he doesn't know what the hell is going on with that ending either.

I’ve always resented the literalisation of society, the conformity.
Yeah, right...canned response.

[Edited last by Trace Downing on August 13, 2001 at 06:43 PM]
 

Mike St.Louis

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I liked the ending. It made me think for a few days. Kind of like a Twilight Zone episode.
I read one explanation in which the slave trader ape (Limbo)took from the pod technology which allowed Thade to repair the other pod and use it to go to Earth. Plue there may have been other technology on the Oberon to use. Remember the apes had enhanced intelligence.
POTA was the only movie I had seen this summer and frankly it was the only movie I even wanted to see. I enjoyed it immensely and will definitely be picking up the DVD.
People are so polarized on this movie. It seems people either love it or hate it. To me it is was a good science-fiction epic. I hope there will be more. Burton rarely disappoints me.
BTW, Danny Elfman did a hell of a job on the score too. Great work all around.
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Brian_J

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Yada yada yada, defend the ending all you want with multiple contortions people but it was a complete non sequitor. You really could have attached it to any sci fi film with a slight modification and poof, surprise ending!
Jurassic Park I- Sam Neill returns to his home opens the door and is eaten by a T-rex! Hey, the T-Rex could have had enhanced intelligence. It could have hitched a ride with another ship coming back to the US...No wait! his family is T-rex's!
Brian

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Scott Weinberg

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Open-ended and vague movie endings are all fine and good.
But the arrogant pretense of Burton to espouse such notions as "normalcy" and "conformity" is staggering. An honest reponse would have been "Hey, draw your own conclusions. The ending of the film is obviously ambiguous, so just go with what you like."
But instead he puts on these airs like HE really knows what the ending is all about, and the fact that he has to answer for it is evidence of "society's conformity"... and I find that pretty insulting.
Mr. Burton, if you're going to tack on a blatantly meaningless ending to your already questionable flick, you better be ready to answer that one same question over and over and over...without getting snippy.
I'm no Burton-basher. Aside from POTA and Mars Attacks!, I pretty much love all his films. But the comments here just steamed my clams.
And I like my clams...unsteamed.

Rant mode disengaged
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Jason Seaver

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Nick_S,
POTA was the only movie I had seen this summer and frankly it was the only movie I even wanted to see.
Do yourself a favor and see A.I. It's every bit as amazing to look at as POTA, but also has amazing performances and characters, an interesting story that explores actual intriguing ideas, and a mind-bogglingly incredible ending that will certainly "make you think for a few days", and not just in terms of how sloppy the writing is. It's a legitimate science fiction epic that will make you ashamed of applying the term to POTA.
 

AdrianJ

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But the arrogant pretense of Burton to espouse such notions as "normalcy" and "conformity" is staggering. An honest reponse would have been "Hey, draw your own conclusions. The ending of the film is obviously ambiguous, so just go with what you like."
This is probably what he said the first 10,000,000 times that someone ask him to explain the ending. Now, he's trying to tell you why he won't tell you the ending. And he's absolutely right. Most people don't want to think for themselves, so they need someone else to tell them what things mean.
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Adrian Jones
 

Rachael B

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POSSIBLE SPOILER!!
DON"T LOOK!!
I'M WARNING YOU!!
THERE'S STILLE TIME TO TURN BACK!!
THIS IS PLANET OF THE SPOILERS!!
VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK!!
I'M NOT KIDDING!!!!!!
It's not hard to see where they'll go with the mandatory, because they have a sh*tload of ape costumes, sequel to this one. Something along these lines:
When the space station had problems and crashed, just before this occured, one or more of the enhanced apes took off in pods and returned to earth. So whilst, the original film was occuring (remember unexplained time warps cannot be questioned), the escaped smart apes have returned to earth and breed with other apes and when their strength was sufficent, they organized a Simian revolt agaist the cruel Human masters of Earth. By the way they won too.
OK, all this explains the ending. The new masters of the planet have remodeled the Lincoln Memorial and a whole lot more I bet! I can't wait to see Mt. Rushmore with all new faces!
Mark W. is now in custody or slavery. Of course, he will lead a counter revolution, he'll escape and fall-in with other humans on the lam. In my circle of friends he'd be a dull misfit, but in this movie he'll be a dynamic leader and rally mankind! He'll gather forces. I would suppose the forces could include any or all of the following:
The Bad News Bears, the Mighty Ducks Hockey Club, Pee Wee Herman, Zena the Warrior Princess, Wesley Snipes, 40 or so 275 lb. very determined K-Mart Shoppers, Haley Joel Osment, Chuck D, RUN DMC (quote: you're blind and if you can't see, A damn big monkey's got control of me, play it Run, yea, I'm a real super-bad MC but the King Kong Reggae's got a hold of me)the U.S. National Women's Soccer Team (full-size foosball outside the 50 states & Territories), Mister 'T' (quote: no ape is gonna make a monkey of me, stay in school, I luv's monkey brains, let me at'em), some hookers from Hollywood Blvd., The Vienna Boys Choir, and of course Charlton Heston will have another cameo.
Mr. Heston's Human part will consist of the following lines:
G. Damn dirty apes, you've finally done it! I came back to this...? I used to be prez of the NRA, give me a gun, I know how to use it...Nova, oh Nova, where are you? I've never kissed an ape and I never will, is Rose Cash in this scene?
I miss her the most!
So, the film will have a very simple-stupid revenge against the apes
plot. It will be shallow and boorish, with plenty of violence. Thus, it will fit all of Hollywood's basic requirements for a good film. Me thinks that a sequel ain't nary a bit hard to imagine....
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Rachael, the big disc cat! "...Mandrake, have you ever seen a commie drink water..."
AFI Film Challenge, hey I've only got 2 to go!
[Edited last by Rachael B on August 14, 2001 at 12:10 AM]
 

TonyD

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pretty good explanation rachel b, but what about the name of THADE on the plaque behinfd the lincoln statue? huh? huh?

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Rachael B

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Oh yea, he'll play two parts and have a very silly walk too! Best wishes!
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Rachael, the big disc cat! "...Mandrake, have you ever seen a commie drink water..."
AFI Film Challenge, hey I've only got 2 to go!
 

Mike St.Louis

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quote: I was tempted to respond along the lines of "then you wouldn't know a good sf epic if it bit you in the...", but I'd actually like to know where this perspective comes from. The science is laughable even as a "Star Trek Voyager" plot device. The acting ranges from non-existent (Wahlberg) to over-the-top (Roth) with no happy medium. The plot is haphazardly strung together, what memorable dialogue there is is recycled from another movie, and for the ending to make sense requires the audience to basically extrapolate another whole movie in their heads.
So, aside from the visuals, what exactly is there to recommend this movie as a "good science-fiction epic"? It's not a good movie, it's not good science-fiction, and it doesn't have the grandeur or emotional underpinnings to be an epic. I mean, has it come to the point where a sci-fi movie can be given "epic" standing just for looking pretty?
[/quote]
Jason.
When I try and remember GOOD science fiction movies, I can't think of very many. "2001: A Space Odyssey" to me is the very best. "The Arrival" also comes to mind. I hesitate to add any movie that is mostly an action film with some science undertones (e.g. Terminator, 5th Element, etc).
I considered seeing "A.I." but I am not much of a Steven Spielberg fan. Of course I am a big Kubrick fan.
Like I said, people are very polarized to POTA. Let me rephrase what I said. Maybe POTA does not qualify as a good "science fiction" movie. But I can't deny that I thought it was a good, enjoyable movie. It made me think. It had great visuals and I really enjoyed the musical score. That is what I go movies for.
Please don't think I like most of the Hollywood dreck that passes for films these days. I would atribute my liking of POTA to the mood I was in when I saw it. Plus I do like Burton's visual style.
P.S. As for Burton's refusal to explain the ending. I don't think he understands it any more than we do.
It's like trying to explain what the glow is from the briefcase in "Pulp Fiction".
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Alas.
How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise Johnny?
- Louis Cyphre
[Edited last by Mike St.Louis on August 14, 2001 at 01:00 AM]
 

Dan Huey

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Give me a break. I've followed all of these arguements since the movie came out, and when will some of you face the facts that everyone has there own opinion, even if it doesn't agree with yours?
I happen to LOVE the new Apes movie, and I think it is more entertaining then the 1968 version. By making that statement, does it mean I don't know what a good science fiction movie is? No. Does it mean I have no respect for the original? No. Does it mean that I have bad taste in movies? Absolutely not. You can respond back with two pages explaining why you think it's a bad movie, but don't expect me to graciously accept it and say "Oh, you let me see the light!" because it's not going to happen.
Sorry for ranting, but people DO have different views. That's what I love about discussing films. But when people come in and try to tell you that YOUR wrong for liking a movie, and flat out disrespect your opinion, that's when it gets out of hand, IMO.
[Edited last by Dan Huey on August 14, 2001 at 04:32 PM]
 

Jason Seaver

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You can respond back with two pages explaining why you think it's a bad movie, but don't expect me to graciously accept it and say "Oh, you let me see the light!" because it's not going to happen.
As nice as it would be to see that someone agrees with me upon further reflection, I don't really expect that. What I would like to see, however, is two pages of counter-argument as to why POTA was a good movie, what its strengths were, and how the ending made some kind of sense.
Which, by the way, I have yet to see. Instead, you're choosing to argue another point (which could be expressed as "Seaver's an arrogant bastard who can't handle opposing viewpoints") which is not only irrelevent, but untrue. It's a variation on how a person saying "The Mummy Returns is a poor excuse for an adventure movie" is portrayed as saying "The Mummy Returns is worthless because it's not an award-targeted drama".
And that's what I'm sick of. Yes, I've got an opinion. Yes, I think it's worth something, and worth more than the contrary option. I don't think someone is stupid for holding a contrary opinion, but I would like to know why he or she holds it, because I generally can't see how it would be reached from the evidence in my hands.
 

Ken Chan

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As nice as it would be to see that someone agrees with me upon further reflection, I don't really expect that.
I've been reading (and occasionally participating in) online "debates" for at least a decade now, and I think that's happened maybe twice.
Aside from the obvious reasons someone would not want to admit they were both obstinate and wrong in public, it sure takes all the fun out of it when you're right

Unfortunately, this situation won't improve until we elevate the level of debate in general.
//Ken
 

GaryEA

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I liked the movie. I liked the ending. I like movies with a sarcastic sense of irony.
I also like the fact that Burton will not explain the ending of the film. Why should he? It did seem like he was coming off as pretentious, but do I know what's going on inside his head? No. Maybe he was cranky. Maybe he is pretentious. Maybe he's both. I don't know. Personally, I don't think it matters. To me, he didn't "refuse" to explain it - he told you to make of it what you will.
I think you'll either have to wait for the DVD commentary for some form of explanation or comb the articles to see if he'll give some insight that will satisfy. Either way, the fact that people are debating over it proves that the ending served its purpose to be provacative and to get people to think.
-g
 

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