This week’s League topic asked us to list our top ten movies. Coming up with a top 10 list of my favorite movies was just too daunting, so I figured I would have to break it down into a smaller segment. If you’ve ever spent more than two minutes on this site, you probably know about my affinity for King Kong, but my monkey love doesn’t end there! There is absolutely nothing better than Simian Cinema, so here are my top ten “Monkey Movies.”
10. Mighty Joe Young
Poor Joe Young. A recurring theme in most of my picks is that I always sympathize with the ape and end up rooting for him to stomp on some puny humans. in this movie, Joe gets treated so poorly in captivity, you just want him to run riot on his captors. This movie was remade with dazzling CGI not too long ago, but Charlize Theron’s version lost all the heart that was evident in the original.
9. Project X
Remember when Ferris Bueller was an Air Force pilot and was demoted for stealing a plane, and then had to train chimps to fly them instead? This movie actually holds up pretty well and if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye when old Bluebeard gets exposed to the radiation, there is something seriously wrong with you.
8. Every Which Way But Loose
There is NOTHING funnier than Dirty Harry with an orangutan–except for maybe Lancelot Link. This movie may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I grew up with it, and to this day can be found saying “Left turn, Clyde,” when dealing with annoying people.
7. Beneath the Planet of the Apes
I tried really hard to keep this list from being dominated by all of the Planet of the Apes movies, so I opted to have this one over Escape from the Planet of the Apes, but it was a toss-up. Beneath the Planet of the Apes earned its place on this list mainly because it gave us General Ursus and the Lawgiver statue. All the PotA movies have jaw-dropping endings, and this one is no exception–you don’t leave these movies feeling triumphant.
6. King Kong (1976)
A lot of people don’t care for this version of Kong, but if you can get by Lana Lang’s dreadful performance, it’s actually pretty watchable. This is one of the first “grown up” movies I ever saw as a kid and it left a pretty indelible mark in my memory banks. I enjoy watching it now and imagining Jeff Bridge’s Jack Prescott as “the Dude.”
5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (or as I like to call it, Project X: part 2)
I was seriously concerned when I heard they were going to reboot the beloved Planet of the Apes series after seeing the atrocity that Tim Burton unleashed, but Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a refreshing take on the Apes franchise–one of my favorite movies in recent memory. And I didn’t even mind James Franco that much.
4. King Kong (2005)
I honestly didn’t care for this movie the first time I watched it for the exact reason that a lot of other people liked it–those bugs. I could do without that scene in the canyon with the prehistoric bugs. Over time, I have grown to love this movie. Sure, it’s overly long and drawn out, but I’m old, so I don’t mind spending an entire evening with one movie. The effects are astounding, the action is intense, and the final death scene is almost as tragic as the original. Almost.
3. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
This is my second favorite PotA film after the original. Seeing the backstory, set in 1996, about how Caesar came to rule is chilling and fascinating. Sure the movie is anything but subtle with its racial overtones but I think films like this hold an important place in our society, as sort of mockumentaries of the time they were produced.
2. King Kong (1933)
It boggles the mind that this movie was made 80 years ago. The stop motion effects are spectacular and I can only imagine what it must have been like to see it on the big screen in 1933. There is more emotion packed into this gem than anything Hollywood has produced in decades.
1. Planet of the Apes
Love, love, love this movie — a true genre-defining classic. What can be said about this movie other than the fact that everybody should see it at least once. Even if you know the amazing twist at the end, there are plenty of reasons to watch those “damn, dirty apes!”
This is the latest post in response to the weekly blog challenge presented by the League of Extraordinary Bloggers.