Thursday, December 15, 2005

Fornication Under Consent of The Kong.

King Kong (2005)
2005, USA
Peter Jackson

I apologize in advance for the brevity of this review. It’s just that King Kong is so goddamned long, I fear the Big Crunch is now upon us, entropy has begun, and we don’t have much time. Plus, every idiot fanboy on the net has already written a term paper’s worth of hyperbole and adverb-heavy praise for Peter Jackson’s remake of the great Merian Cooper/Ernest Shoedsack classic, so I’m just going to cut to the chase and get this done in point form so all you geeks can go back to masturbating over the Superman teaser.

Insert gay-themed Smallville joke here.

- The C.G.I is great, among the best I’ve seen. However, as is the case with most computer effects, there’s always one or two shots that blow the illusion and ruin the enjoyment of the rest of the sequence, like that part in Lesbian Bukkake when that girl accidentally takes a dump while squirting on Ashley Blue.

- Skull Island is very cool. Also, dinosaurs co-exit with people there, thus definitively proving the existence of god. A giant monkey god.

- Instead of fighting a tyrannosaur, King Kong fights three tyrannosauri. Ergo, this movie is three times better than the original.

- The long lost spider sequence from the original film has been replaced with a cut scene from the Centipedes video game. This does not appear to have been a good idea.

- While some things have been changed in the remake, thankfully the conflict of civilization versus nature has been maintained, as has the racism inherent in that equation. Monkeys are dark, savage, and from Africa. Therefore, they love white women.

- The biggest change is that the attraction Kong feels to Ann Darrow is reciprocated. This makes for a much more emotionally involving film, and a much creepier subtext. Isn't that how Catherine the Great died?

- In the course of their romance, the enormous monkey and the petite blonde go ice-skating in Central Park. I am not kidding. Then, they have a long engagement while Kong saves up to buy a ring, and live in a loft in Manhattan’s Greenwich village while Darrow takes acting classes and auditions for plays, but eventually they break-up when Kong starts up an affair with Faith Evans.

- Everyone in this movie still has a last name that starts with ‘D’. This is still annoying, but nowhere near as annoying as the constant ‘in-jokes’ referencing the original film. It’s like someone continually tapping you on the shoulder during ­X-Men and pointing out all the characters from the comics that have cameos.

- ‘Peter Jackson: Fantasy Filmmaker’ has a much better ring to it than ‘Peter Jackson: 1980s Duran Duran Music Video Director’. Please stop using cheap strobe effects to amplify the action scenes and plot beats.

- Kong gets into a fight with a street tram. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be funny, but it is.

- The last third of the film takes place in New York, and while this is incredibly important thematically, as it reverse the concept of civilization penetrating nature set up in the first part of the film, it still feels superfluous and unnecessary structurally. This is faithful to the original, though it shouldn’t be.

- Instead of being an adventurer, Jack Driscoll is a playwright, which is much more gay, but effectively emasculates him further in the face of Kong’s ranging bestial virility. He also looks like a Jewish toothpick. Thank you, Adrian Brody.

There. It’s done. Go back to your gushing. Just make sure you go to the bathroom first.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wish that Peter Jackson would learn to cut down his films a bit more. This film did not need to be three hours long, Jackson just seemed to empassioned witht he project to realize it.

7:50 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Yeah, that's the downside of having complete creative control. You just don't know when and what to cut, because you love it all. However, unlike the Lord of the Rings films, I will say that I never got too terribly bored with this film, though one of my researuch team took several catnaps.

8:56 a.m.  
Anonymous Rin said...

I haven't seen this, but you point out 'cheap strobe effects' and this is something that really angered me in Lord of the Rings. The lighting. Some scenes were so false and bright, particularly the outdoor ones, that it just never felt right or real. I kept actually imagining the sets as I was watching, which only the very very worst of films have ever made me do. That's just one of the million things wrong with LotR, anyway.

9:18 a.m.  
Blogger JodyTresidder said...

"The Lion, The Witch"...fine, brilliant review. "King Kong"...brilliant, fine capsule, loved your writing, as ever...b-b-but..."Capote"???
You're going to review it AFTER the awards, is that it? I know you hate biopics, very wise, but I've tried to be patient and I keep reading - and enjoying -your reviews of works I'm not even vaguely interested in just in case you tack "Capote" on at the end...but nothing yet. Is there a reason?

9:52 a.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

So Jackson combined King Kong and Serendipity?

Odd, but I'll still see it.
It's got a GIGANTIC GORILLA in it for crying out !! How can I NOT see it?
I see anything with The Rock in it for the same reason by the way.

10:16 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Rin - I was so annoyed by LOTR, that I couldn't even begin to enjoy it, and I'm not even sure why. I think it's mainly to do with the fact that I (used to) respect film as an art form and not as pure spectacle, which is all that LOTR is.

Jody - thanks for your patience. The reason is quite simple, which is that the film hasn't opened in my city yet. Well, that's not true, it opened today, but I'm probably not going to be able to see until tomorrow or Sunday. I promise you, the review will be up the moment I get 45 minutes to spare after seeing it.

Jerk - This is perhaps not the right place to admit that you watch movies with The Rock in them.

10:56 a.m.  
Blogger gretchkal said...

this movie looks .. uh. .. lo .. wa .. what was i saying? i was distracted by the posts about the rock.

2:18 p.m.  
Blogger Fatman said...

Ash- That's brevity? Anyway I saw this because my housemate loves monster films and as far as a sort-of love story between a 25-foot ape and a chick with Stockholm syndrome goes it was fairly entertaining. The CGI was great for about 85% of the time but some scenes (notably the stampede scene with the Brontosauri? What's the plural for: "sodding big dinosaurs"?) did dampen the enjoyment somewhat. There also is no real point to this film. A bunch of guys kidnap a large creature, forget to pump it full of chloroform and it goes batshit crazy and breaks things. Ooooooh. About the only message I got from King Kong was: Jack Black will one day destroy New York City.

11:12 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

What is wrong with you people? The Rock is a professional wrestler! You know, wrestling? It's like Saturday morning cartoons for homosexuals and rednecks.

Fatman. Yeah. It was supposed to be brief and punchy, but as I am so self involved, I am unable to edit myself. And the point of the film is that black men like white women.

9:43 a.m.  
Blogger Valet Attendant said...

I've never been so bored in my life. For every ounce of fat that Peter Jackson lost, a little story telling ability went with it. The only other time I have been so bored is during Scorsese's directors cut of New York, New York. The hour in the middle where, King Kong fights dinosaurs, people fight dinosaurs, people fight arachnids, king kong fights people, bored the living piss out of me, and the plot just died in it's tracks for a third of the film.

I checked my watch nine times, enough said.

10:08 a.m.  
Blogger gretchkal said...

i never said i thought the rock was a great actor or anything. he's just fun to look at. :)

12:03 p.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

I was just calling him a huge gorilla.

12:58 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

That doesn't make it OK.

2:19 p.m.  
Blogger Valet Attendant said...

Is it just me or did Kong look like a pissed off Serena Williams after losing a match at the French Open?

12:57 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Of course not. He looked like Venus.

12:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a question. Your blog sucks.

And Black guys don't like white chicks, they like white chicks who pay for everything.

Grow up!

10:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Dee said...

And your question would be what, Anonymous?

10:43 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Ah, don't mind him. He's just trying to encourage me to write more, in his sad, deluded way. I'm assuming this is the same "Anonymous" who keeps emailing me blank messages with "Rahowa!" in the subject line.

12:07 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer the question gypsy!

10:51 a.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I enjoyed the movie. The strobe effects irritated the piss out of me, too, especially the over-dramatic revelation of the island's name on the ship.

The first third of the movie could have definitely been shorter, particularly the voyage to the island.

The one special effect that took me out of the movie was the native pole vaulting over rocks to get onto the ship. It looked like that terrible effect from Spider-Man when Peter Parker is leaping from rooftops after discovering his powers.

Another problem I found with the film was that the Chrysler building scene was kind of dull. The whole movie builds up to this climax, and then its kind of limp and unexciting.

3:27 p.m.  
Blogger barbedwire said...

Not that it's of the slightest interest to anyone who hasn't been living in a cave for the last 6 months, but I finally got to see this flick. Along with a bunch of pre-teens who ad-libbed, Vincent Price-like, throughout the movie to hilarious effect. (I gave them your email address at intermission and told them to ask for 'Sly', Ash. I hope that's ok.)

Anyway, in spite of the occasional sags and shortcomings already discussed above, I found the movie, for the most part, genuinely exhilarating. Which is surprising, because I hate animal movies and blondes. And I particularly hate the awful 70s version - for reasons that I'm (unusually) loathe to discuss.

Although I couldn't quite shake the feeling Jack Black was a heartbeat away from dropping head to chest and unleashing an air-guitar solo, and in spite of some guilty squirms on behalf of my marauding colonial ancestors, I had a pretty good time, actually.

10:07 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why would I want to wait 3 hours to see what I already know? He falls off the Empire state building? your kiddingg...right? Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen rule, this is worthless junk...

9:58 p.m.  
Blogger Thomas Allen said...

i'm sitting here in agony hoping that this behomoth will end soon. it's horrible. too much action. the cgi is horrible. most noted, the piss poor syncing of the rocks with naomi watts hands as she juggles. cut the action and you get a mini-series. sad. very sad.

11:57 p.m.  
Anonymous the nauseatingly repetetive little fart said...

i want to bugger naomi watts, (not as she is now, but rather as she was when she was 18, at the peak of her physical attractiveness and desirability).

8:05 a.m.  

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