Tuesday, 24 August 2010

King Kong (2005)

I haven't really seen Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005), nor have I really had to. I'll tell you why...

I hate Peter Jackson. Well, that's not exactly right. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy on his own if you were to sit down and have a pint with him, but I cannot stand his films. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is nine-some hours of my life that have been lost and that I would give practically anything to get back. The first film I saw because that is simply what one did. I resolved thereafter not to see the next installments, but my roommates happened to be watching The Two Towers when I was trying to avoid studying. I'm sure they did not appreciate my peals of laughter as Gollum was talking to himself. Sorry guys. The final film was a power play between myself and a then-girlfriend who resolved that she was going to make me watch it after I expressed my contempt for the first two.

Never having read Tolkien, I found the films practically incomprehensible. I understood that they were nine hours of walking to a volcano to drop a ring into it, but all points inbetween were not connected by a plot as such. They were a series of cinematically realised vignettes from the books that I'm sure made sense to people who had read the books, but which made for a very poor example of a coherent movie.

This was compounded by Jackson's amteurish direction, which made those scenes on the screen unwatchable. One could easily make a drinking game out of his affectations, and the list of them became my oft-repeated reason for not seeing King Kong. "I don't need to see it," I would tell any friend who asked, "since I know exactly what's going to happen: there will be a big, sweeping pan-shot over New York until it zooms in on Kong perched dramatically on the Empire State Building. Then there will be this really choppy, quick-cut fight scene between him and the planes where you can't really tell what's going on until suddenly *boom* Kong gets hit and falls off the building... in slow motion... to Enya."

I was steady in my resolve this time, but I did happen to be on a date at a lounge where they were playing Jackson's version on their bigscreen TV. Being male, I couldn't help but keep the bright, flashing things in the corner of my eye, and right in the middle of the conversation I burst out laughing when what flashed across the screen was exactly what I predicted. The only thing I'm not sure about is the Enya ballad, since the volume was off. I'm sure the music was terribly melancholy, whatever it was.

That is why I have not seen Jackson's King Kong, haven't had to, and why I never wish to.


CousinOrville said...

Ok, I absolutely love your site, but seriously -- what kind of point are you trying to make by pointing out that you predicted a fairly predictable scene of a re-make?

I bet you were pretty proud when you figured out how Titanic was going to end too, eh? :)

Not saying Jackson's King Kong is any kind of masterpiece, but I'm sure there are far more interesting arguments to make about the film.

Cory Gross said...

I suppose I could have commented on the utter lack of necessity of this remake, like remaking Citizen Kane or Gone with the Wind...

My critique of its predictability was not over the content of the ending but the juvenile trademark style it was delivered in, in the larger context of thinking that Peter Jackson is a terrible director and not being able to figure out why anybody likes his movies. Why did I feel the need to say it? I dunno', maybe for whatever the drive was that led Kevin Smith to include a criticism of Lord of the Rings not only in his stage shows but also in Clerks 2.

Rich said...

Saying anything bad about Lord of the Rings is like saying bad things about the Matrix. It takes guts to say, especially in certain crowds ;-)

And I applaud you for having guts.

I don't consider Peter Jackson a bad storyteller or director, although I grant you I am nowhere near as impressed as many seen to be.

For me, I thought the acting was substandard in Kink Kong, although I do suppose that's a part of directing, no?

I will give him credit tho: setting the story in the Depression era was a much more interesting choice than modern day.

My biggest beef with the movie though was the dinosaurs. I mean, c'mon! At least make an effort to credibility! And it's not like huge flightless raptors aren't well-known to science.

Anonymous said...

I saw King Kong in the theater with my wife, we were both less than impressed. What didn't help was that the theater lost power, then the projector broke down! It was like an act of God or something, this greater force saying "No, you don't need to see this film." All in all it was 4+ hours of my life that I won't be getting back.

Honor Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Honor Hunter said...

While I agreed and give you points for your comments on Tokyo DisneySEA, Cory...

I think have to take most of them away for the comment about not liking Peter Jackson or the Lord of the Rings. Really? Wow.

Tsk, tsk.

Deduct two demerit points and hold out your wrist for the ruler.

dholloway720 said...

I think the 3D computer rendering of Depression era New York was nice, but Holy Cow, how many 'Staring in awe scenes' can you have? Seriously, all I can remember is long shots of Jack Black's bugged eyes staring...staring!