I went to see King Kong last weekend. As a technophile, I loved the CG. The big monkey looked amazing and the island was pretty cool. I liked the scenes in NYC where Kong is tossing cars around. 1930s NYC looked totally believable.
As a writer, I was quite disappointed. Lot's of lame, cliched dialog. I know, I know. It's a remake of a 1930s era film that established some of the cliches. It didn't work then as dialog and it doesn't work now. I'm sorry, Jack Black delivering the original corny end-line made it even more laughable than the classic version.
Beyond that, the story had so many holes and moments that took me out of the movie. Anytime I'm shaking my head and thinking about what's going on in that moment, I'm not suspending disbelief. It doesn't work as a story.
Naomi Watts is a fine actor and lovely to look at. But I could never buy into her feelings for the big monkey. The primary primate in this version was a brutal killing machine. This did not seem to bother Ann Darrow. Her adoring, sympathetic gazes at the oversized alpha-male were discomforting in the least. Especially after she watched him rip several of the ship's crew limb-from-limb during the escape.
If there was some character development here that gave us insight into why this otherwise normal woman would get so mushy over a primate with a pituitary problem, then we might be getting somewhere. But in a three-hour movie, there was somehow no time for real character development.
There were scenes that defied physics and the limits of human skeletal structural integrity. Kong wrapped Ann in his hand and jerked her around, smashing dinos on the head. Her neck would be broken.
Also, how could she stand on top of the Empire State Building in sub-zero weather in a satin evening dress and not get hypothermic? I wouldn't be thinking about this stuff if the story kept me engaged. It didn't work.
What was up with the relationship between the first mate and the cabin boy? There was no story element that grounded that relationship in the story except for exposition (which never works in film because film is a visual medium). So it just seemed bizarre that the first mate should care that much about this whiny little cabin boy.
Then there was the interminable (classic Peter Jackson ick-factor scene) battle with giant insects that inexplicably ended after Whiny Cabin Boy used a machine gun to shoot the bugs off of Jack Driscoll long after Driscoll should have been dead but was still standing upright.
As they like to say after spending $200,000,000 in Hollywood, "It's all on the screen, baby." It's just that most of it got there from a computer screen and none of it comes out of anyone's mouth.
Oh man it gets quiet around here this time of year. People take a lot of vacation to coincide with the holiday season in the States. I'm not planning to take any time off other than the company holidays. My family members all live here so I don't need to travel to get together with them.
I have a few holiday events planned with friends and family. A good friend will be in town from Japan and we'll spend quite a bit of time together while she's here, I'm sure. If you're celebrating a holiday, have a safe, warm, and happy one.