Reviews Published

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The King of Kongs

Everybody is talking about the King Kong movie lately... well, they are if you happen to be in New Zealand, at any rate. Normally, I don't like crowded topics, but I couldn't resist this one. After all, I know people who know people who helped make the model of the boat! (We found his name in the credits list, well done, Josh!)

Having cried for days after the 70s version of King Kong, I went into the Peter Jackson movie vowing not to get emotionally involved. It may have been that resolve, or it may have been the Gold Class cinema with fully reclining seats, foot rests and meal service, but once the action moved from the plot to the special effects, I became increasingly more distracted by my seat's complex console.

Don't get me wrong: King Kong is a great movie. Probably the best of 2005 (if you discount the art films). But when we got to the dinosaur scene, I couldn't help wondering whether there was a special deal on Jurassic Park's discarded footage thrown in with the original King Kong tapes.

Or perhaps bits of the movie were meant as a spoof. The battles with the dinosaurs were oddly reminiscent of the 70s Japanese Godzilla movies, we certainly got the reference to the sunset scene in the Titanic, and one scenery shot looked a bit like the opening of Indochine... but I'm probably just being difficult.

My heart leapt with pride, however, when I saw the inside of Auckland's Civic Theatre used as the theatre in which King Kong was displayed. And incidentally, his body language in that single scene of submission - that one snippet alone - should win Andy an Oscar.

I wonder what Jackson is planning to do from here. My secret hope is: the Discworld series. If anybody can pull it off, it's got to be him.

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