Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Friday, 5 November 2010
In a Depression-era New York, homeless Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), sails with a ships's crew and film crew to the supposedly lost Skull Island, to star in Carl Denham's (Robert Armstrong) latest film. When they land on the Island Ann is sacrificed by the natives to Kong, an ape of at least 40 feet in height, and the Island's King, who falls in love with Ann; while First Mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot), who has kindled a romance with Ann leads the crew on an a deadly, all-out rescue mission to get her back.
The King of Monster Films, this 1933 original (unlike its 2005 remake) couldn't rely on CGI in order to create Kong and the dinosaurs effectively, instead relying on models, animatronics and tricky camera angles. Although one can easily tell that Kong is fake, that by no means stops him from being a terrifying monster. He is fierce, blood-thirsty, homicidal and destructive, going on killing sprees in both Skull Island and New York (the latter during the film's climax). However, deep down he surely has a softer side as, after all, he falls in love with Ann. And after his brutal killing of a hungry T-Rex in order to save her life, one can look upon him as an antihero. One could even feel sorry for him, as he can't help his nature (you need to be tough to survive in a jungle full of hungry dinosaurs), and he clearly has a lack of brains - heck, he took Ann to the top of the Empire State Building, which leads to what many think of as his tragic fate.
As for the rest of the film's monsters, the film features four prominent dinosaurs - a Stegosaurus that the crew machine gun as it rampages towards them; a Brontosaurus who nearly drowns the crew and kills at least one of them; the T-Rex that Kong brutally kills; and a Pterodactyl that Jack and Ann use to escape from Kong. Naturally, they will never be as memorable as the titular Kong, but they do make large, dominating monsters that will terrify younger viewers. Skull Island's jungles are dense and wild, providing the perfect location for such creatures to roam wild, and makes the rescue mission even tougher for the crew that have to fight their way through.
As for the Island's natives (who are black, which many believe was with racist intentions) are wild and savage spear-carriers, living in huts - a typical jungle tribe - and, combined with the above-mentioned components, create the perfect wilderness location for such a fantastic, beautifully created and memorable monster film, and such superb premise for the adventure as well, meaning it is a huge surprise that the film won no awards.
Stars: Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemento, James Flavin, Victor Wong.