Tuesday, December 20, 2005


King Kong

Okay, so I saw King Kong on Sunday...the remake obviously. I saw the original many years ago. The remake made me want to go back and see the original again. On the whole I liked the remake quite a bit, but I did feel a little bit angry about some of the themes and messages that I don't remember feeling with the original (perhaps because I was too young to recognize it).

King Kong is as always the sympathetic character, not a mere monster to be feared or exploited as is done by all the world in the fictional universe with the exception of our leading lady. This portrayal is incomplete though. King Kong is an animal. He acts without regard for the consequences of his actions. He is big and brutish and ill tempered. He constantly feels the need to thump his chest and get into fights rather than just getting away from the fight which it seems he could easily do against many of the creatures and people in the movie. He is in most senses just the thug you run into at the bar on a Friday night who has to prove his worth by picking fights to impress the girls. And that bring me to the point of resentment. Every girl who claims that those thugs in the bars don't appeal to them gets all misty eyed when Kong is attacked by the military. The only problem is, Kong destroyed the city looking for a girl. He is too violent to not be dealt with. And this is why I feel a personal sense of anger, not toward the movie which I think accurately portrays how women respond to men (it isn't until she has exhausted her chances with Kong that the sensitive writer becomes a viable option), but rather towards the reality that it portrays.

Despite their statements that women don't like the thugish bad boy brawlers, their actions invariably speak to the contrary. When a guy gets kicked out of a bar for starting a fight, a beautiful woman is invariably grabbing his coat and following him out. That is the story of King Kong. It's about the guy who is a jerk and "nice" guys instinctively recognize that we aren't "supposed" to behave that way, but he gets the women anyway. Kong also has some insight into why those human thugs do so well with women. Women like to think that they see something deeper and special about them that noone else does. Women like to think they have some special insight. The problem is that they really don't. Often the man is just a possessive animal like Kong and needs to be put down just like Kong.

I found myself toward the end of the movie rooting for Kong's demise and I wondered why I felt any sympathy for him at all. He was from the land that time forgot and thrust into a modern world in the same way that those brutish men we run into daily seem to be anachronistic, born a couple centuries too late. This is not sufficient reason to give them a pass and it isn't sufficient reason to give Kong a pass either.

Still, I like the movie which was a suprise to me. I didn't like any of the Lord of the Rings movies which Jackson did. I was always a fan of his earlier work...think Heavenly Creatures or Meet the Feebles. On that note I would like to encourage the rental of those two movies by providing some quotes

From Heavenly Creatures

All the best people have bad chests and bone diseases. It's all frightfully romantic.

She is most unreasonable. Why could not mother die? Dozens of people are dying all the time, thousands, so why not mother? And father too.

We have decided how sad it is for others that they cannot appreciate our genius.

Pauline Parker: Oh, I wish James Mason would do a religious picture! He'd be perfect as Jesus! Juliet Hulme: Daddy says the Bible's a load of bunkum!
Pauline Parker: But we're all going to heaven?
Juliet Hulme: I'M not! I'M going to The Fourth World... it's sort of like heaven. Only better, because there aren't any Christians!

From IMDB here is a brief synopsis: Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship.

As for Meet the Feebles...as the coverbox says, it's the muppets on crack.

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