Monday, December 26, 2005

Movie Mon. - Kong is King

Only three films to discuss today, two of which were viewed on the big screen. We had planned on going to see The Producers last night, but mom wasn't feeling up to it. In order to pad things out a bit, also have my latest additions to my Netflix queue.

So, off we go

King Kong: What a great, great movie. The next time someone asks me "Why did they have to remake this again?" I think I shall respond "Because obviously Peter Jackson saw the piece of crap that was the 1976 version, and did not want that piece of trash to be what most people remembered." Instead, now people will remember this far superior film in its place, a film that has moments of drama, moments of comedy, moments of romance, moments of adventure, and, not surprisingly if you're familiar with Jackson's early work, moments of horror. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that the scene where they first meet the hostile Skull Island inhabitants was much more intense than I had anticipated, not to mention the off-the-scale creepiness of the pit of giant insects. Some nice homages to the original film, with the shout out to Fay Wray and Meria Cooper, the lifting of the "Women can't help being a bother' dialogue for the movie-within-the-movie, and the re-enactment of the cheesy tribal dance from the original as part of the big Kong presentation towards the end. Now, all three of us were agreed that it was a bit over-long, although we disagreed on exactly where it was overlong: mom thought the Kong-vs.-dinosaur parts could stand to be trimmed, while I was a bit more impatient with some of the drawn-out dramatic/romantic sequences. Even so, all three of us really enjoyed it. Big "hey, isn't that?" moment came when I realized that the thieving ship member with a rough childhood was played by none other than Jaime "Billy Elliot" Bell. Think Bell does a better American accent than most Brit actors. Which brings us to the next film on my list.

Weather Man: Went to see this at the $1.50 theater in Joplin on Friday with the Photographer and her family; think a big factor in it being chosen was that it was the only film that we could make it to after getting a late start on dinner. None of us really knew what to expect going in, but it definitely wasn't what we got. This movie goes on my list of "really strange films that I liked a lot but danged if I know who I can recommend them to." This was a darkly comic tale of a tv weatherman whose life has fallen apart around him, and who is trying to put it back together, but failing miserably. There were a few scenes that made me want to crawl under my seat as Nic Cage's character insisted on doing some incredibly stupid things a few times, but I enjoyed watching his character finally starting to snap out of his loser funk. I think my biggest complaint with the film was that at no point in time did I feel any sympathy for his ex-wife, nor any sympathy for his wanting to get back together with the shrill, over-reacting harridan. "Good riddance to bad rubbish" was my general reaction every time she was on screen. As for how the previous review could possibly lead into this one, well, let's just say that Michael Caine's American accent was incredibly distracting to me; I blame RebelMonkey, who once pointed out to me how similar (and forced) the faux American accents of most Brit actors are; having just noticed it in Ewan in The Island, I couldn't help noticing it in Caine here as well. And now that I've said that, I've cursed all of you blog monkeys as well! Muah-ha-ha-ha! On a side note, the movie made me really want to take up archery.

Once Upon a Mattress: Ugh, what a waste of time this one was. I've heard good things about the play that inspired this, but after watching this, I have no idea why. None of the songs caught my interest at all, musically speaking, and only one was even remotely compelling lyrically. The broad characters annoyed rather than amused, which was surprising, since I usually enjoy both Carol Burnett and Tracey Ullman. Somehow, their comedic gifts didn't translate to this production very well; personally, I blame the obvious and lackluster script. I have no idea if there's a big difference between the play and this version, but after seeing the film, I'm pretty glad I didn't shell out any money to see the university production a coule of years ago.


Winter Passing: An indie drama about a woman (Emily Deschanel) wanting to sell the love letters her famous father (Ed Harris) wrote to her mother. In addition to both of these talented actors, my interest was also piqued by the inclusion of Will Ferrel in a supporting role; how serious his characer is is unknown.

Hoodwinked! Animated film treating the Red Riding Hood story as a criminal case

Hostel: Horror film about some guys who stumble across a den of sadists; don't know if any trailer has ever creeped me out as much as this one has. I forsee lots of crining in sympathetic pain as I watch this one.

Duck Season (Temporada de patos): Mexican indie comedy about which I know next to nothing, other than that it was nominated for several awards.

Red Dwarf v.7 : Latest release of one of the best Sci-Fi comedies ever made for TV; I've heard that the quality of the series had declined by this season, but I'll reserve judgment until I've seen it myself.

Nowhere Man: The Complete Series:: A short-lived thriller series that I missed out on completely while it was on, but have heard good things about.

The Flash: The Complete Series: Honestly, there are only two things I want to see off of these discs: the Captain Cold episode, and the Trickster episodes, all of which I somehow managed to miss when it was on the air.

Our Very Own: Indie coming-of-age story about a group of teens trying to track down a movie star who's just returned to her home town. Stars Jason Ritter and Allison Janney, who was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her role.

The Big White: dark comedy about dead bodies and insurance fraud in Alaska. Has quite a cast for a film nobody's heard of: Robin Williams, Tim Blake Nelson, Holly Hunter, Giovanni Rabissi, and Woody Harrelson.

The Proposition: Australian Western starring Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, and Emily Watson.


CAP'N Disaster said...

Oh my gosh...King Kong was GREAT. I absolutely think that it by far exceeded the original all every remake. This was one intense movie, I actually jumped several times. I even did one of those cover the eyes and peer through the fingers moves. Oh major creep out on the insect pit scene...I don't do creepy crawlies and those were some big creepy icky creepy crawlies (shudder). And even knowing the ending, I still shed a tear or two at the end. I would hands down recommend this movie and will absolutely be buying it.