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Friday - July 27, 2001
- Planet of the Apes Opens in 3,493 Theaters
- Tron 2 Script in Third Draft
- Link of the Day Correction
- News Link of the Day - Animated Characters Come to Dinner

Planet of the Apes Opens in 3,493 Theaters
(by Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes opened domestically today in 3,493 theaters. It is the third largest opening in theaters behind Mission Impossible 2 and Shrek. Many analysts are predicting that Planet of the Apes will have one of the largest openings ever. This is despite largely negative reviews from critics who point out that Planet of the Apes fails on many levels like most of this summer's movies. Here are select quotes from major critics:

Paul Clinton of CNN - "The film's star, Mark Wahlberg, was reportedly so excited about the prospect of working with director Tim Burton that he signed on before there was a finished script. Note to Wahlberg: always wait for the script before signing on the dotted line...If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage, and a bad script equals a bad movie. And this is one really bad script..."

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times - "Planet of the Apes is the least surprising movie of the summer. It's not only that after the original 1968 film, four sequels plus two television series, everyone who cares knows the underlying material; it's also that the sensibility of its director is equally well-known and twice as predictable... The sad truth about Planet of the Apes is that, disappointingly, it's just not very much fun to watch."

Desson Howe of the Washington Post - "the longer I take to review this movie, the more the absurdities loom. So let me finish before I think about the story's stupidly plotted structure or recall how tiring it was to watch apes perpetually pushing humans to the ground or sending them pirouetting into the air... It doesn't take a brain, or even opposable thumbs, to make a summer movie. Just a budget."

Even though saying he "expected more," Roger Ebert is one of the few mainstream critics to praise Planet of the Apes. He "loved" the ending that most say is weak, unrealistic, and doesn't fit the story being told in Tim Burton's version. He says the movie is "great looking" where others say the sets seem poorly conceived and most the movie is done at night so that viewers aren't given a clear look at the sets. While most critics have seen the summer of 2001 as one of the worst in recent history, Ebert's reviews paint a different picture. Ebert has given thumbs up and high praise to Jurassic Park 3, A.I., Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Tomb Raider, which was one of the most panned movies of the summer.

One thing most of the critics appear to agree on is the great makeup for the Apes by award-winning makeup artist Rick Baker.

Planet of the Apes is rated PG-13 for action violence. It is the only major movie opening this weekend.

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Tron 2 Script in Third Draft
(by Disney, the leading "Sequel Studio," is set to begin production soon on Tron 2 once the script, currently in its third draft, is complete. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Steven Lisberger, the director and co-writer of the 1982 film, said he is working on a third draft of the sequel's script, after Richard Jeffries wrote a draft. As in the original film, Lisberger will blend live-action with CGI in the sequel."

Disney is trying to revive interest in Tron by releasing a high-profile Tron DVD next year along with a Tron video game that will likely ship in 2003.

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Link of the Day Correction
(by An insightful reader of Digital Media FX, named Joel, has taken the time to write in response to yesterday's link of the day titled "Disney's Stable of Heroes Grows." The link led to an article by the Los Angeles Daily News (republished by SMH through the Daily News wire service) that said, in part, "Mickey Mouse's family grew yesterday to include Spiderman, Digimon, Inspector Gadget and the Power Rangers..."

Joel writes, "While it is correct that Saban produced Spiderman Unlimited, and continues to produce Digimon: Digital Monsters and the Power Rangers series, Saban has never been connected with the Inspector Gadget line. The Inspector Gadget series' and characters were the brain-child of Andy Heyward, president of DiC Enterprises, and have always been affiliated with the Dic company.

In fact, Disney USED to own the Gadget rights when it owned Dic Entertainment, which it did between July 31, 1995 (Disney's acquisition of ABC) and November 17, 2000 (until Dic bought themselves out from Disney and was able to keep the rights to everything they had going in, as well as what they produced while they were 'married'.)"

Even though the article was written by the LA Daily News (and not Digital Media FX) and was linked to so that readers went to an outside Website to read the article, dFX still strives to make sure that any inaccuracies are immediately pointed out to readers as quality and accurate representations are top goals of Digital Media FX.

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News Link of the Day - Animated Characters Come to Dinner

According to Gorskys.Comedy:

"Computer generated characters are getting so realistic these days, we accidentally invited some over for dinner (click below to see the dinner picture - thanks to Samus for pointing it out)..."

Click here for the full story.

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These news articles and all content are ©copyright 2001 by Joe Tracy and may not be reused for any purpose without expressed written consent of the author and Digital Media FX. All rights reserved.

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