Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Supersize Me

I finally saw King Kong last night. The bad thing about me is that when something’s been hyped up to the heavens and is praised by pundits, my knee-jerk reaction is to go the other way. So when I entered the movie house, I had this “Ok Peter, impress me” attitude.

The movie is the cinematic equivalent of a supersized Big Mac meal using quarter pounder patties. It’s great but too much can make you sick. Sure, “Kong” is a non-stop fun romp that masks its three-plus hours fairly well. Yes, it works both as just a straight-forward action-adventure-inter-species-love-story and as a witty (if a bit obscure for the regular viewer) allegory for the movie business. And yes, Peter Jackson is now the new Steven Spielberg since the latter has irrevocably grown up and seems incapable of charmingly innocent escapist movies anymore.

But did he really need all those hours to tell the tale? It took him an hour before showing even a glimpse of Kong. The island adventure was a blast with its non-stop escalation of action, suspense and jaw-dropping effects. He even topped Spielberg in terms of dinosaurs and insects—three t-rexes instead of just two (versus “Jurassic Park 2”), and bigger, nastier insects (versus the Indiana Jones movies). After watching the island sequences you’re left out of breath. Then there’s still the concrete jungle, New York.

The reason why I didn’t mind sitting through about four hours each (!) of Peter Jackson’s extended versions of “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” on DVD is because Jackson needed the time to fully flesh out and make real for us the world of Middle Earth. I didn’t mind the length because I was so lost in the story and the world of Frodo and company.

For me the problem with “Kong” is that despite the fact that I believed in the big ape (congrats to Andy Serkis and the CGI team behind Kong), there were still moments in the film that made me go, “Hmmm.” Naomi Watts, unlucky in love? Hmmm. Three t-rexes in the same area, when they’re highly territorial creatures? Hmmm. Jaime Bell killing off the insects swarming all over Adrien Brody with a machine gun, when he’s never held a gun before? Hmmm. Kong ice skating with Naomi in a frozen pond? Sweet, but still hmmm. Maybe I am being unfair to Jackson and company; that’s what happens when I’m turned off by the movie’s mega-hype. In contrast I had an easier time suspending my disbelief while watching “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” a movie that had only a poster to promote it.

Sorry Mr. Jackson, I should give your very looong movie another chance. It will be nice to see two of my favorite actors again, Jamie Bell and Kyle Chandler. I fell in love with Bell in “Billy Elliot” (yes I know he was so young then, but he’s grown up now) while I always watched “The Early Edition” just to see Chandler’s droopy yet dreamy eyes.

* * * * *

Gosh, The McVie Show is slowly morphing into a review corner. Argh. I’m not sure why this is so. It’s not that I don’t have a life. Maybe I just think it’s boring or ordinary. I still have a lot of sex, but I’ve decided not to talk about it too much here unless it’s really something new or out of the ordinary or really hilarious.

Perhaps it is time to change seasons. Hmmm.


Blogger sky said...


naomi watts can pass for a whiplash dancer during the tower scenes.

and what happened to adrien brody? is it the oscar curse at work again? think cuba gooding.

saw it at the bus i was riding the other day.

8:53 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

SKY: You watched "King Kong" on a bus? I hope you were going to your province, because that movie is 3-plus hours long. (And I'm sure pirated yung kopya!)

3:49 PM  
Blogger sky said...

fortunately the trip was just under two hours, so i was saved from nausea.

of course it was pirated.

2:20 AM  
Blogger fried-neurons said...

Hey... off-topic, but anyway...

Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Maligo ka sa bagong taon. ;)

6:49 AM  

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