King Kong

I just got back, and I was thinking all through the middle ‘Whoa. I hope parents aren’t bringing their young (sub-10 or so) kids to see this’. Some scenes are just brutal- not in the gore sense (they nearly always cut away from that- very little of it is shown). More in the sense that Jackson attaches you to the characters, and then has rather brutal things happen to them- the acting is pretty great all around, and it’s very well paced and the music is spot-on. Dear god was I freaking out about the ravine scene!

Anyway, I thought it was great until they got back to NY- then it was just waiting for it to end- not bad mind you, just not as great as the earlier stuff. I suspect that I feel this way because at that point, the real ‘remake’ took over- the first 85% of the movie was pure fun (yeah lots of ‘meta’ stuff going on with the filmmaker/audience/actress, the kid reading ‘Heart of Darkness’ and so on), but it was a great adventure movie. You knew the story, but not how it would play out. After the return from the island, you pretty much know exactly what’s going down on a minute-to-minute basis. Such is the danger of remakes, I guess.

All in all, very worth watching, and especially, seeing in the theater, not waiting to come out on video.

And I loved the little "Dead Alive’ reference when they got on the ship. :)

Rob do you have kids? Rarely do I get to sit through a movie in one sitting. I just look at it as old fashioned serials.

I haven’t seen this yet, but can’t wait for Jackson’s next movie. He and his partner optioned ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold, which I really loved.

If you doubt he has the chops for this title take a look at his sublime ‘Heavenly Creatures’.

I have a Son and plus my wife and I run a daycare out of our home. So you to 8 kids are running around at a time. I don’t watch anything when they are up.

I think some of you somehow think I’m arguing against 3 hour movies. I’m not. I’m just explaining why I don’t watch them any more.

Any ways, Its not that I don’t remember what happen. I do remember but the state of mind is gone. The emotion is gone. The whole point of watching any movie in the first place, to be transported from this reality into another one, is gone once interrupted and it can only be re-entered by going back to the beginning.[/quote]

I guess that is fine for you but it seems that you are going to be seeing less and less movies. As we get older the ability to sit for long periods diminishes (as you note by saying you saw certain movies like Godfather 2 when you were younger but couldn’t sit through it now) so you are going be seeing less and less movies.

Heck before long you will be thinking 90 minutes is too long and only watching sit-coms because half and hour is all the longer your bladder can wait.

Jehovah? Jor-el? Is that you?

Kong and “black hypersexuality”…no, really. I guess you might want to leave the kids at home.

I have a Daughter. :P

Thats the dumbest shit I have read all day. I guess Jackson should have made Kong white or something because we all know how many white apes there are running around…

Thats the dumbest shit I have read all day. I guess Jackson should have made Kong white or something because we all know how many white apes there are running around…[/quote]
While there is a ton of bullshit in that article, “wide eyed, homicidal, half dressed, blacker than black natives of Skull Island started cavorting one hour in” sounds racially insensitive to me.

That said, this from another article,

[King Kong and The Hobbit] are ultimately meditations on the West and Western uniqueness. Which is to say, what’s the role for white Europe - and for its ethnic offshoot, North America - in a world that is mostly non-white?

is complete bullshit, especially for Kong. Saying King Kong is a “meditation” on anything is like saying Armageddon is a policy paper on space flight.

Come on. In Gladiator, when they showed the barbaric Germanic tribes decapitate the messenger and throw his head back at the legions, the shit covered hordes of Germania didn’t offend me at all. One of them looked just like my uncle.

So what?

I was terribly offended by the shit-covered Germanic tribes, curled up sobbing in a corner for two days, and will file a lawsuit against that racist asshole Ridley Scott for causing me permanent emotional damage.

To prevent such atrocities, I demand that all characters in all movies, TV shows, and video games should be represented by green-skinned androids of no perceptible race, sex, dialect, religious creed, or other offensively distinguishing feature.

Actually, I can see how the original film could be viewed as racist, or at least as representing racial fears of the wildness of the Congo or something. It could easily be a statement that black people are coming for our white women.

I haven’t seen the new film, but isn’t Kong a sympathetic character? That would seem to make it much less racist. Perhaps the source material is. In fact, the LOTR source material does talk about dark-skinned peoples from the south and east, and they are easily corrupted, greedy and wild. They are less civilized. This always bothered me a bit, even when I was reading it in highschool, because it portrayed whole groups of people as being a certain way.

So I actually see his point, though I think he takes it too far.

Loved it. Though I did find the Skull Island stuff way too long. Jackson’s great, but he’s got a bit of Lucas in him in that he just can’t stop with the CGI. So you don’t just get escaping from a giant ape, you get escaping from a giant ape being attacked by giant vampire bats while zipping down a vine dangling from a sheer cliff before you grab one of the bats and fly away. You don’t just get hordes of giant insects, you get carnivorous worms with big teeth who swallow people whole.

And Kong taking on the T-Rexes was so crazy that it was just goofy by the end. It started awesome, then got really goofy with all the snapping suspended dinos stuff, then got awesome again when Kong snapped the final T-Rex’s jaws. Jackson always seems to rescue these over-the-top scenes, but he’s coming closer and closer to Lucas-like “Throw fifty dewbacks in front of the landspeeded, dammit!” nonsense in every film.

Anyhow, I’m a sucker for pathos, so I loved the movie. The sense of danger was incredible on Skull Island, and I found myself actually swivelling in my seat to avoid the rocks when the ship first made its way through the fog. And the ice-skating scene was just heartbreaking, seeing as you know what’s coming next. Yes, I’m a little girl. I wouldn’t take kids to it, btw. I’m regretting taking my wife to it, as she was just devastated by the way Jackson killed Kong in the end. Jackson really manipulates you well, lulling you to sleep with scenes like all the principals surviving the dino stampede…before flat-out slaughtering everyone with giant insects, etc.

Oh, and I didn’t like Jack Black, either. Or maybe I just didn’t like his one-note portrayal of Denham, because I couldn’t understand how he got off the island without one of his film crew or the ship captain shooting him in the head.

I’m also not surprised that people are screaming about racism now. Not over Kong, as that’s just so fucking insane that it doesn’t deserve any comment, but over the islanders. I don’t think anyone’s shown a tribe of savages like that in a movie for decades. I’m just waiting for the goofball boycott or the statement of outrage from Jesse Jackson.

The Skull Islanders aren’t really black if you put enough prosthetics on their faces. I think this is how Jackson avoids getting too racialist. Just make them orcs/zombies! I think I even spotted a couple of uruk-hai in there.


Good point. Lots of mud and interesting piercings. I also wonder if maybe this was part of the reason for the rainstorm when they abducted Fay, er, Nicole, er, Naomi. It certainly obscured lots of shots. Made everything look creepier but also hid facial features.

Rob, how do you read books?

I thought it was rather clever that it was very tough to pin down what kind of racial characteristics the Skull islanders were supposed to have. They were a mix of just about every tribal and islander culture you can think of, and the actors playing them ranged from white people in heavy makeup to those of clearly African lineage. Plus they weren’t really a human shade of black. They looked more like some kind of unnatural soot color most of the time. The only racial overtones to them that I saw were the fairly obvious efforts on the part of Jackson to avoid evoking any racial overtones. Which maybe makes it racist in a technical sense.

I dunno, they were an angry survivalist pre-industrial people who worshipped a giant gorilla family. Why’s it gotta be a white and black thing?

Guys, they were frickin’ orcs!

Although, come to think of it, weren’t there some earnest Salon or whatnot articles decrying Jackson’s orcs in LOTR as racist?

Also, I just saw Jim Preston’s post and I have to say: “It wasn’t beauty killed the beast…it was Jim Preston’s overbearing analysis!” Personally, I’m just happy to know this is one of those rare threads where I won’t be able to lay claim to the title of Most Pretentious Post. :)