Monday, December 19, 2005

Review of King Kong

King Kong: C

Spoilers ahead....

My expectations for this movie were low... and they were barely met. What I was hoping to get from this film was lighthearted entertainment and maybe a couple of cool action sequences. What I got was three hours of gratuitous scenes that should have ended before they started. The first third of the film, and consequently the first hour, was all build up. This is what I think Peter Jackson does best because of his early career in horror flicks. He knows how to build up tension and he does this expertly. This was in fact my favorite part of the film. He concretely and beautifully build the world of the Depression and gives it the feel of an old 1940's film. Then there is a boat ride, which last quadruple the amount of time it should and finally in an unimpressive storm they are washed ashore Skull Island. My second favorite part of the film follows as the crew stumbles on tribesmen who are both creepy and perfectly costumed. It is after this first hour that we finally meet Kong, and the movie begins to go downhill. From here on out it is one over the top, unnecessary scene after another. First there is a fifteen minute Brontosaurus chase which is completely unbelievable. They have a herd of Brotosaurus being chased by tiny raptors who are not satisfied by catching just one, aparently want the whole herd and the humans to eat. Then there's a colossal T-rex vs Kong fight which is about twenty minutes and ridiculous. At one point there is a Tyranasaurus stuck in a slew of vines, unable to move his upper body, but still pushing off a wall in order to try to eat Naomi Watts. I think Peter Jackson gives these dinosaurs too much credit or else just really wanted to use a shit ton of CGI. And then there is the Kong/Naomi Watts love story. Peter Jackson has a knack for making cheesy scene to milk emotion and I feel like he throws then in to piss me off. No one in their right mind would buy into this crap I thought to myself in the theater, but as I was leaving, low and behold a woman in the back of the theater is sobbing her eyes out for poor Naomi who lost her Kong. So what did I get out of this film? I learned that people are stupid and gullible and will buy into any crap and that dinosaurs love to eat white people so much that they will do anything to get them, even if it means they have to die. If you are going to make me sit throught three hours of a film, make sure its all necessary and interesting.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Review of Chronicles of Narnia

Chronicles of Narnia: C+

It is rare nowadays that when I dislike a big Hollywood Blockbuster, that it had nothing to do with the crappy CGI. Interestingly enough, the Digital animation is one of the only redeeming qualities of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Therefore, let me begin this review by praising Disney for once again doing an excellent and believable job of blending live action and CGI, (save for a few cheesy green screen shots). So with no further ado, the criticism. I understand that the storyline was written for children and this is the main drawing audience for the film, but come on. I think that we should give more credit to children and write screenplays that are more engaging and have more complicated dialogue that is not so explanitory and doesn't rely on modern one liners for entertainment. The result of these oversights was a very boring film that built up to the battle with slow and deliberate pacing. So naturally I was waiting eagerly for some showstopping action that would knock my pants off and blow me out of my seat. That did not happen. It was almost the opposite, in fact, as there were moments where I felt my eyelids droop and my conscience flutter to more interesting things than the movie I was watching. I am sick and tired of large scale battles in movies where the viewer can not even tell what is going on and thus is forced to create the battle in his own mind. If I wanted to do that I would just read a book. This is essentially just another epic akin to Lord of the Rings with more of the same corny music, fluff for a plot, and bad kid acting. Of course I am an overcritical person and my experience was slightly jaded by the fat couple sitting next to me who, despite all my shushing, continued to comment on the movie with such gems as "Azland... I bet that's the Lion. You, know like in the title." Many of you will go and see this movie and be mezmerized as my roomy James, who I can't fault for being able to let his guard down, but as I see it this is just another piece of generic crap with some beautifully executed CGI.