Maddenation

King Kong

Mom and I just returned from seeing King Kong. It was great. I’ve never seen such a collection of super special effects! True, parts of it stretched my ability to suspend disbelief, but I found it exciting nonetheless. I highly recommend it. It is probably a little too intense for kids, though, so use discretion.

DadReviews01/14/06 2 comments

Comments

Patrick • 01/16/06 10:51 AM:

I haven’t yet seen King Kong, but this begs the question: how much can special effects account for in our enjoyment of movies? And what does the underlying story account for? On the one hand, as Dad sometimes says, you can reduce stories to a few basic types. After that, it’s all decoration. On the other hand, that decoration often goes into making characters seem more real or like us, making situations seem truly dangerous or sad or otherwise heart-wrenching, or making the emotion of the people in the story our emotion, too. I think of when Star Wars came out. It was hailed as the greatest display of special effects ever. And that translated into making it the best-selling movie ever, too. I loved Star Wars. It was formative for me. But when I watch it now, it is not as great. For one thing, I’ve grown up, have had many other experiences, have read a lot of literature (and Star Wars is notably slack on its literary merit). On the other, special effects have taken off to such a degree that the Star Wars explosions look at least dated if not childish.

When you watch an 80s movie, you recognize it by the clothing styles, the soundtrack music (lots of synthesizers; were orchestras and conductors on strike during the whole decade?), and the general cheesiness of it all. I wonder if we will look back on this decade or so as the era of over-the-top special effects. I bet we will, though things might go more over-the-top, too.

I’m still going to see King Kong, and with a predisposition to like it.

David • 01/29/06 10:47 PM:

Now that’s entertainment!! I saw the movie last night and was utterly amazed. Exceptionally well-done, magnificent special effects, compelling story (mostly), and, yikes, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts)! I pretty much agree (exactly) with Roger Ebert’s Review. The movie is what big time Hollywood entertainment should be.

“King Kong is a magnificent entertainment. It is like the flowering of all the possibilities in the original classic film. Computers are used not merely to create special effects, but also to create style and beauty, to find a look for the film that fits its story. And the characters are not cardboard heroes or villains seen in stark outline, but quirky individuals with personalities.”

The King Kong website has some interesting parts you might want to explore.

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