Thursday, December 15, 2005

KING KONG




I just saw the movie this morning....


...Understand, the 1933 King Kong is one of my absolute favorite films EVER, and the 1972 movie is one of my absolute LEAST favorite films. We don't discuss "The Mighty Kong," either. So, I was a little bit apprehensive going into this movie.

I was blown away. I left the theater speechless. The movie was.... wow. Just wow. Now, for some specifics.

"They used CGI! CGI is soulless!"

Not true. It's not the medium, but HOW you use it. I've seen some pretty soulless animatronics, stop-motion, and men in suits before. While I agree that the original King Kong was fantastic, stop-motion would NOT have worked in this new movie. CGI has now reached the point where it can be seamless - the graphics for Kong were so good that I honestly couldn't tell that it was CGI most of the time. The few times that I did, it didn't detract from the experience - after all, you can REALLY tell that the 1933 Kong was a stop-motion model. CGI was used in such a way in this movie that I could feel the same heartfelt breath of life that was in the original movie.

"But they're differing too much form the original movie! Why is it inaccurate?"

If you really think that a remake should be frame by frame, look at the 1998 remake of Psycho. See how bad it was? Okay. This movie is different form the original. what this movie is NOT is the preachy, dated, tereotypical, stupid 1972 movie. This film captures the SPIRIT of the original - captures the adventure movie, the commentary on society, the tragedy, the ape-meets-girl love story, the depth of the characters... it was really fantastic. Peter Jackson has come a long way since The Frighteners.

"But Jack Black's not a serious actor! He's a comedian!"

Right. Tom Hanks is a comedian, why are they casting him in serious roles? And what's with putting Robin Williams in serious movies? Come ON!
*ahem*
Actually, Jack Black impresed me beyond all measure. He turned Carl Denham into a three-dimensional character hwo you cared about - he wasn't a pale stareotype or a caricature, he was a flawed human being who went through some genuine character development by the end of the film.

"There's too much action. The old movie had a T-Rex fight, so peter Jackson made THREE?!?! Come on, that's silly!"

It was also a very good, riveting scene that wasn't unbelievable or "in your face EXTREEEEEEME." Remember the Cave Troll in LOTR? Similarly, Peter Jackson made this an excellent scene.

"Why didn't they follow the same monsters as the original? Why make up things like that stampede or the bugs?"

Well, do you really want to see a carnivorous brontosaurus and stegosaurus? I thought not. The roaches, leeches, etc. were in a way in the original print (as spiders, lizards, and ants), but that footage was cut. I'm surprised not everyone here has heard of it.

"What the heck did they do to the natives?"

They were realistic, that's what. Not every primitive society is a noble Savage utoipia of love, peace, and happiness. The nativdes on Skull island live in an environment of death and blood. Likewise, their religion seems to be about as vicious as the Aztec religions. All they know is killing, so it's no surprise that they act the way they do.

"But you can't recreate the original!"

Exactly. That is why this is not a frame-by-frame remake of the original.



Sure, there were a few tiny flaws, but there was nothing that I had to apologize for. It's simply amazing. Amazing.

And that's my two cents.
Comments:
I saw an interview on TV and your feelings about the original Kong so mirror those of Peter Jackson it is amazing. He says he knew that he had to make the movie himself some day. You should check that out somewhere. It is quite a story.
 
Well I've finally seen the movie and I loved it. Thanks for your post, it definately made me want to see it. I've not seen the original or first remake, but I sympathize with your comments on complaints about comparisons.
 
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Fibonacci, Kate and I went on Tuesday. I was also thrilled with it. It was exactly as it should be. The effects were awesome.

I have heard it said that the first part of the movie (before Kong enters the picture)is boring. I completely disagree. It was the character development there that made the events that affected specific characters matter later. I loved the cage that Driscoll set up shop in.

The menacing rocks which foreshadowed the beast were excellent.

The stampede was breathtaking.

The fall through the vines was delightful.

I found the natives to be way scary, but reasonably so. (Anyone who does not know God is in a scary situation, these were just more obvious than some.)

I was soooo creeped out by the bugs, but that scene was amazing. I thought those were leeches too, but according to the web site they are Carnictus, vile meat-weasels. They were most hideous. (I covered my eyes through that bit.)

I laughed at the variety of perils that the characters got into. It was great how they just kept coming.

I loved when Kong played with T-Rex's mouth, and the scene on the ice was delightful (in a different way than the fall through the vines.) Great comic relief.

Like you, I was astounded at the quality of this movie. I am sure that delightful is not the only adjective that could be drawn from more than once in describing my response.

We haven't seen the original in years. I did see some nice similarities to the original plot, if my memory serves me correctly, and I want to see if it does.

My complaint against the movie would be the use of Jesus' name as a swear word, which was sprinkled throughout the movie. The uproar would be loud and long if they used the names of Budha or Ala in that way. But I know that it is not reasonable to expect pagans to respect their Creator, when they refuse to acknowledge that He exists.
 
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