Random Nonsense

King Kong- A review
harkovast at 1:06PM, March 15, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
King Kong- A review.

I really liked The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
They weren’t perfect (especially the third one) and there were quite a few bits I would have done differently (like Legolas turning into a cartoon character once a movie) but over all they were a lot of fun.
With those films, Peter Jackson established himself as a directing heavy weight, with the power to go out and make pretty much any movie he wanted.
It turned out that what he wanted was to remake King Kong.
You might not realise it, but we’ve been here before.
This story rather nicely parallels the works of George Lucas.
A director makes an incredibly successful trilogy and is basically so iconic now that he has complete control to do whatever he wants.

The results, in both cases, were a big pile of stinking CGI shit!

King Kong actually starts out pretty good.
In 1933, an exhibition sets out to find a lost creepy island in order to film a new movie. On the way we meet a caste of quirky characters, including Jack Black and the guy who played Gollum in Lord of the Rings (ironically, the only area where the CGI has been toned down, as this time he is there in person!)

Now this seems a pretty interesting set up, good slow building of tension, hints of dangers to come.

But then we get to the Island.

At this point, the shit hits the fan.

Basically everything on this island wants to kill you.
I mean that literally.
There is not a single species of animal that they encounter on this island that does not have a damn good go at killing them (and most of them succeed in getting a few people!)

What follows is a list of some of the dangers that attack them-
King Kong himself (obviously)
Extra gigantic T-Rexs
Stampeding Brontosaurus’
Giant leaches
Insane Natives

Now I like action as much as the next red blooded male, but for this is just ridiculous.
When I describe those perils, they don’t attack the heroes over the course of the movie, they just attack them one after the other in a literally none stop onslaught of horrors!

“Oh no! A giant T Rex! Oh no! Two more of them! Oh phew we escaped…oh no giant leaches! Phew we got away from them….OH NO GIANT GORILLA!”
(It should say something about this film that these are not REGULAR T-Rexs, oh no, nothing so mundane. These are giant sized SUPER T-Rexs. Yes, in this movie, even a fucking T-Rex is not exciting enough for our ADD director.)

This is just carnage on top of carnage for no reason at all.
There is nothing at stake here, people are just getting crushed by random CGI horrors for the hell of it.
The characters were mostly only thinly sketched out during the earlier sections and it soon becomes clear that this was just the character development you give people in a shit horror film in a weak attempt to make the audience care when they die horribly.
And in this film, they die horribly in droves!

This island stops seeming dangerous and just starts to seem insane.
Every single animal here is psychotically insane and will fearlessly hurl itself into battle with anyone or anything. Even King Kong seems to be constantly fighting for his life! I know this is a fantastical island of amazing monsters and dinosaurs, but there is a line between fantasy and just silly and this movie leaps right over it.
Nothing could survive in a place this insane for more then about ten minutes! How have any of these species lasted this long if all they do is hurl themselves at each other in battles to the death?

The monsters aren’t even scarey.
CGI, no matter how good, still just looks like CGI.
It’s fake, it’s a cartoon.
Watching real people being attack by cartoon monsters is not scary.
It’s just stupid.
Now I could look past this and get into what was happening but the onslaught of CGI here is endless. The middle section of the movie is literally nothing other then masses of computerised bullshit violence.

After a while of this, I just became numb.
I was tired, I wanted them to stop just randomly fighting everything and actually move the story or the characters forward.
The point where I really realised I was not watching a cinematic master piece but was, in fact, watching complete bull shit was when the characters fell down a ravine and then giant insects started to advance on them.
I found myself thinking “Oh God, please don’t let this be another fight scene!”
Yes, I was literally praying in my head for the fighting to stop!
Jack Black throws a signal flare that scares the things away (causing me to think “Wow, thank goodness that didn’t lead to another pointless fight scene.”)
But then the flare goes out and the giant insects ATTACK!
Along with the giant leeches who also ATTACK!
And I just gave up hope.

The movie had done the impossible and made me not give a shit about fighting.

The level of self indulgence here is staggering! The only other movie that even comes close is the ass numbingly long fight Neo has with a million and seven Agent Smiths in Matrix Reloaded. But here there is NO break. Every pointless fight scene is followed IMMEDIATELY by another.

The insect scene also served to hammer home how pathetically fake the special effects look as one character has huge insects (each about a foot long) climbing all over him and Jack Black grabs a Tommy gun and proceeds to fire it wild around the guy, shooting off all the insects but not hitting the man they are attacking even once.
The movie might as well have stopped and helped up a card saying “The insects are not real, the gun is not firing bullets.” That is probably the only way I could have been pulled out of the movie more.
So I have people that I’ve realised are just cannon fodder, getting attacking by an endless stream of things that I can see are obviously not real because they look and act like bad guys in the computer game.
If you want a master class in how to make action boring and uninteresting, then study this film! It will teach you all you need to know!

The movie builds to the climax of King Kong getting chased around New York and then climbing the Empire state building, and by now we should all know how that story ends!
This scene did manage to make my vertigo kick in, but it once again it fails to make me care. Faceless bi-plane pilots attack a giant ape, who was a murderous killing machine but now I am supposed to accept as sympathetic?
Who am I supposed to cheer for? What out come am I supposed to be rooting for? Do I want the ape to continue causing monkey business for those New Yorkers? That seems to be what the movie is trying to elicit from me for some reason.
Peter Jackson seems to have developed a strange skill for making his audiences desperate for his movies to end, he did it with return of the king and King Kong gives that same sense of blessed relief when the whole annoying affair finally comes to a close.
No emotion for the characters, no thoughts on what happened, just relief that this shit has finally stopped.
I imagine Peter Jackson, given infinite money, would make his movies infinitely long and infinitely dull. It is only the fact that CGI is expensive that keeps this ass wipe under any kind of control!

I’ve deliberately less one aspect of the movie till last, and that is our old movie friend-

The natives in this film are deliberately made to look unlike any real world ethnic group, looking sort of like white but painted black (I don’t mean to look like black people, I mean literal jet black.) This does NOT make their portrayal in the movie okay. They are the savage, ignorant, filthy natives, straight out of 19th century imperialist propaganda.
They don’t behave like humans, they behave like zombies.
I mean that literally!
If you saw the remake version of Dawn of the Dead, you might remember the creepy zombie girl who stands vacantly then suddenly bites the guy trying to help her.
Guess what the little native girl in this one does when offered chocolate?
Then the natives rush out and immediately smash in the head of one of the expedition with a club.
Why do they do this?
Well, because they are ignorant blood thirsty savages of course!
Interestingly, these natives have never seen a white person before, and barely anyone has ever been to their island home. This makes it seem a little odd that these people have made plans to ambush the first group of white people they see and murder them.
Ah well, I guess that’s what primitive people do all the time. That is why its okay to shoot them and take their land away…oh wait, that’s FUCKING RACIST!
Native communities are not made up of demons, zombies and psychopaths, they are made up of people, just like every other community.
Does this movie stop for a second to consider the natives point of view? Do the natives even HAVE a point of view, beyond blood lust and murder? Of course not. But at least they weren’t CGI, which does put them one up over all the other stupid shit on that bastard island!

Kong Sized CGI Monkey Shit

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 11:47AM, June 4, 2010
posts: 3,634
joined: 4-9-2010
I liked it. The only scene I thought had really bad cgi was the stampede. that was poor.

The natives… I don't see them as racist in the slightest, it actually sounds more like you are deliberately looking for racism that isn't there. what they are is poorly developed.

I enjoyed it for what it was and I think it is clear more love went into the design and set up than what actually happened on the island, which is a shame as it could have been far more tense and exciting rather than a straight forward FX blockbuster with a great beginning and end.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 6:20PM, June 4, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Genejoke, the movie bored me to tears and left me feeling tired and drained.
Its big, its dumb and its pointless.
I didn't learn anything, I didn't feel anything (other then annoyed and vertigo) and it served no purpose.
The world is no richer for its existence.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 9:48AM, June 5, 2010
posts: 3,634
joined: 4-9-2010
so what did you expect from a movie about a giant gorilla?

Can any movie make the world richer for it's existance? and surely the sole purpose for any film is to entertain.

But as it left you bored, well I guess it failed to entertain you. Hey to each their own eh? next you'll be saying judge dredd isn't better than the LOTR films…
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 11:09AM, June 5, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
LOTR made the world better, by adding another good movie to it.
Movies make the world better by entertaining.
This movie was just mindless.
It had no point at all.
It was almost miraculous how little I cared about what was happening on screen.

Hahah, trying to get me to change my mind about my bad reviews is not going to be an easy task! But I admire your ambition for trying! Well done, sir!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 6:18AM, June 6, 2010
posts: 3,634
joined: 4-9-2010
A fair point, anything that gets you ranting is pretty much dead to you.

KK did have a point, it showed us that even big monkeys have feelings.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 11:07AM, June 6, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
It showed us that Jack Black should have been put in a monkey suit and caste as the Gorilla.
That would have been AWESOME!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 12:01PM, June 6, 2010
posts: 3,634
joined: 4-9-2010
certainly better than school of rock. Now that IS a terrible movie.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Plague Doctor at 9:00AM, July 28, 2010
posts: 186
joined: 6-29-2010
certainly better than school of rock. Now that IS a terrible movie.

Have you seen “Mamma mia”?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 5:41AM, July 31, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I tend to use these reviews to lay into movies that I had some kind of expectations for, that horribly let me down. These would include King Kong, Judge Dredd and others.
I also go after ones that really made me angry for some reason (due to offensive content or whatever else.) This category would include Last of the Mohecans or Eragorn.

I don't want to go ones that are just patently bad that I never had any interest in.
Mamma Mia looked like crap, but it was harmless crap that made it very clear from the outset what kind of crap you were getting.
So it escapes my rage…for now.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM

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