Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

'Twas Beauty Killed the Beast

Just saw King Kong. It was pretty astonishing.

The action sequences were phenomenal, of course. And surprisingly varied - the attack on Denham, Driscoll, et al., by a horde of giant insects was unlike any film sequence I've ever seen: slow, relentless, overwhelming. And yeah, creepy. Almost all action sequences have the same pacing: events may be punctuated by pauses for effect, but when danger comes it comes fast and hard like a punch. It was refreshing to see it done completely differently.

But, as you've doubtless read elsewhere, it's the relationship between Ann Darrow and Kong that makes the movie. It's completely believable, and more than that, it's beautiful. It's a real testament to Naomi Watts' and Andy Serkis' skills as actors, and Jackson's skill as a director, that Kong, a character who doesn't physically exist and has no lines, is one of the most complete and compelling characters in any movie this year. My favorite scene - and maybe my favorite scene from any movie this year - is the one of Ann and Kong in Central Park. It's completely unexpected, and terribly beautiful.

In box-office horse race news, my screening (8pm, in a theater showing Kong on three screens) was not only not full, it was almost empty. I'd guess maybe one-tenth of the seats were occupied (if that). I'm not sure this was a common experience (Sarah indicates that her screening was full) but if it is, it would be fascinating. I wonder if it's possible for a movie to be over-hyped, to the point where (as my companions and I almost did) people assume it's going to be a zoo and opt to stay home.

UPDATE: Perhaps my experience was not so unusual after all.