Saturday, December 24, 2005

King Kong

(Yarr! Spoilers ahead!)

I just saw this movie and wanted to post right away. Hmm, where to start? I LOVED IT. I was expecting it to be good, especially with all that hubbub about awards and snubbing and so on. But it. was. amazing. What did I like?
1. Naomi Watts was great. Beautiful (though I thought she looked almost exactly like Tea Leoni for most of the movie, and Nicole Kidman otherwise), fabulous actress, not at all annoying. She's the heart and soul of the movie and the parts that suffer most are without her. Of course (sigh) a great screamer.
2. And Adrien Brody. Ahem. I have always been a rather strongly pro-Adrien Brody kind of gal, and as my mom described it, "It's Adrien Brody being Indiana Jones for three hours." !!! For heaven's sakes people! You could have skipped all yer fancy-schmancy marketing, used those 9 little words and sold me into seeing it 10 times over.
3. Glorious, unbelievable, best-I've-ever-seen-including-Narnia-and-LOTR CGI. Except why can't anyone get a green screen right yet?
4. I am now a total Andy Serkis fangirl. He rules.
5. The opening credits. What? I liked the font and shadowing.
6. To quote my brother, "I'd pay any amount of money to see a dinosaur and a gorilla fight. That's just good watching."
7. Wrenches your heart.
8. Did I mention the dinosaurs?
9. It's got pretty funny moments too.
10. Why is it that I have to go see a movie about a giant monkey to see a romantic subplot done right?
11. Overall, a good supporting cast - the captain and Mr. Hayes were standouts. Plus, Jamie Bell and Colin Hanks (who seems to have taken some weird ageing pill)! But, unfortunately, this leads me to the biggest fault in the movie.

Jack Black. Why, why, why, why, why. Grossly, incredibly, unbelievably miscast. Don't get me wrong, the man's talented. But not in the way the part, or movie, requires. This was a mistake that sticks out like a sore thumb. The movie has a lot of close-ups, and he has the exact same look on his face every time. You don't know whether he's sinister or creative, whether you're supposed to laugh or be shocked by his comments. The mind says, 'Jack Black? hee hee hee hee hee...' but the gut says, 'wait a tick... this just isn't right.' He delivers the final line in the movie, and it just doesn't have the right emotional punch.

However, if you see the movie, this hardly matters. Because the rest is just that damn good. My mom and brother complained it was too long (3+ hours), but to me it just whizzed by. I have to admit, I was getting antsy and bored during the parts with the natives, but looking back I'd say that's the weakest part of the movie. Once you get to the dinosaurs, it's all money from there, baby. (But, excuse me? Those vines can hold a giant gorilla battling two T. Rexes but they snap if a starving actress falls on them from 3 feet? Puh-leaze.) But see, that's the best part about this movie. You can go giant gorilla, okay, dinosaurs alive in 1933, okay, woman-man-aforementioned gorilla love triangle, why not, it's a new millennium, but those vines were sooooo unrealistic. I would say this is easily one of, if not the, best adventure film I've ever seen. I say that because it did everything it was supposed to do, which was keep me on the edge of my seat and cry a little inside (fine, outside too) at the end.

So, why is this movie not doing gangbusters at the box office? Maybe people saw too much krep like The Island this year and just weren't into the whole pretty people and suspension of disbelief thing. Uh oh - that's pretty much what movies are. Maybe it's the price of tickets. Maybe it's the names - after all, Jack Black is basically the most bankable star in the flick (except for Peter Jackson. What, do people not even remember LotR?), and that's not saying much. So here's my mission. This is a blockbuster-style film that deserves to make as much as Titanic (blech) did. So go see it. It'll be worth your while. Or at least spread around some copies of that Men's Health magazine with Adrien Brody on the cover. Whooo boy.


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