Animal Planet

Animal Planet

We’re watching Planet of the Apes.

No, not the Charlton Heston onethis one.

Only it’s supposed to be this one, from last year.

So we’re on the middle one, the “first remake” (excluding the 17 sequels to the Charlton Heston one) and it’s by Tim Burton, with all that that entails, from Helena Bonham Carter to claustrophobic sets — and I mean claustrophobic in a good way.

We’re watching for a church discussion group so it’s going to be interesting, and a little confusing perhaps, to have two and maybe all of these in mind when we talk. The Sunday School involves worldviews, using the Brian Godawa book as a rough foundation and asking questions about God, man, sin and salvation.

Who is God?
What is Man?
What’s wrong?
What’s the answer?

I’m enjoying it more than I expected to, but I like Mark Walhberg more and more all the time anyway. In this case, though, the movie is for me pretty compelling. The set does look like an over-decorated zoo exhibit — the stone looks fake — but this may be on purpose. Burton’s sets are purposeful in all ways, I suspect.

And the story, largely the same as the original, tweaks its tweaks in slight and helpful ways, as they should. The backstory of the chimp being sent into space, for instance, the revelation by the dying father telling us what we already know about what Wahlberg may “discover” at the end. But we already know it because we’ve seen Charlton Heston shrieking on the beach. Even the dialogue references — swapped from human to ape — aren’t annoying. I should add we’ve only see half of the movie so far …

And of course it’s not even the right one for the discussion, so we’ll probably see the 2011 version — a prequel to 2001? — this weekend, before church.

The class is really good, and it’s for junior high and high school kids. It runs these movies through the four questions, and honestly deals with what is good, bad, and ugly about them. A companion class for adults takes these questions to a broader level, to include all of culture.

It’s a pretty good church that can do this.

 

[The follow-up post to this one is here.]

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