King Kong, the $150 Million Dollar Monkey

King Kong, the $150 Million Dollar Monkey.

King Kong is definitely the King of the trinity of $120 million plus holiday movies of the year (HP, Narnina, KK), but that sure isn’t saying much. I am eternally grateful to Peter Jackson for LOR and he probably deserves a few billion to film whatever he wants as a mere token of the appreciation this species owes him for LOR . In fact, if it were up to me the Washington Monument (what has Washington done for us lately?) might as well be renamed the Peter Jackson Monument. Sauron really did have weapons of mass destruction and the war Peter Jackson created successfully concluded with eliminating the WMD and that’s more than can be said for certain other world leaders.

The CGI is amazing, yes, as with the other two members of the trinity, any budget over $100 mil and you get that very high quality eye candy effect, or in this case giant insects that made me squirm in my seat. The recreation of 1930s New York City was amazing, it was worth it to see this Technicolor version of the world my father grew up in. The creepy natives were hilariously politically incorrect. The movie does what it sets out to do flawlessly, and you shouldn’t take this review as a discouragement from seeing the film. I just wish PJ would film the Hobbit. I wasn’t that big a fan of the original King Kong. I am old enough to remember when the first remake came out in the Seventies. For some reason, I remember when they interviewed the flashy producer of the remake, film impresario Dino DeLaurentis who summarized the film as follows in his Italian accent: “Big monkey die. Everybody cry.” Only I didn’t cry, I yawned, the whole heavy-handed beauty and the beast theme didn’t work for me. In case you missed the archetype they actually gratuitously tell you at the end, “It wasn’t airplanes that killed him, it was beauty that killed the beast.” Get it? The big monkey is the beast and the young white starlet hottie is the beauty. Get it? Get it? OK, I got it in the first ten minutes of the first King Kong when I was eight years old. The big monkey die everybody cry hottie and the beast theme has been wearing thin on me ever since then. Whatever amount of tears I had in me for big monkeys getting shot off the Empire State Building was expended when I was eight years old. Let’s spend the next $150 million bucks on a fantasy that has never been filmed before, let’s give 1.5 billion to David Lynch to film the Dark Tower / Gun Slinger books and then do the rest of the Dune books. Let’s get PJ working on the Wheel of Time books while he is still young enough to pull it off. Enough with the big martyred monkeys and talking Christ-like lions. And if you are going to have a film about a Wizard let it be played by Ian McKellan, not a 14 year old middle schooler who can’t act playing an empty-headed nitwit like Harry Potter. That’s like half a billion worth spent on these three movies to create three totally empty fantasies. Why do we have to wait years before we get a fantasy film on the level of Blade Runner, Matrix I or LOR ?

C’mon people let’s get it together, if you’re not part of the great fantasy film solution, you’re part of the problem. I have no problem with spending $150 million on a fantasy film if it is worth seeing. If I had my way we would cancel the entire earth’s military budget and put all those trillions into fantasy films, but they have to be good fantasy films. Big monkey die, fantasy film lover cry.

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