Movie Review: KONG: SKULL ISLAND – mostly enjoyable franchise reboot, but lack of strong characters don’t do the fantastic visuals any favours

I don’t know exactly how old I was when I saw the original King Kong, but I couldn’t have been any older than five.  I recall with reasonable vividness sitting in front of our black and white TV in the Springburn neighbourhood of Glasgow, Scotland, absolutely enthralled by the sheer spectacle, the charm, of the 1933 production that heralded a new era of moviemaking.  There is likely nobody in the western world who doesn’t know King Kong – even if they have never seen the original, Kong exists among the pantheon of famous movie monsters, along with Godzilla, Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, Frankenstein, and Dracula, to name a few.  Kong has a place in our hearts because he reminds us as ourselves.  Possessed of a humanistic sense of justice and primal strength, Kong represents us – stripped of the daily bullshit and phoniness that we all succumb to, Kong is us laid bare, and mostly shat on by the kind of assholes we have to deal with now and then.  Too high and mighty an opinion for you?  Not a problem – Kong also works as a spectacle monster movie, even when the scripts are no good, the nature of the beast guarantees battles between colossal creatures to feed the eyes.

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Movie Review: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is a joyless drudge of a movie, for the cast, as well as the audience. If they don’t bother, you shouldn’t either.

tarzan

While I only ever read one of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan books, I did grow up watching the Johnny Weismuller movies when they would run on BBC2, and I watched quite a bit of the TV show that starred Ron Ely, back in the 70s, and I think I saw the Disney animated movie a few years back.  I even had an idea for a Tarzan screenplay at one point, that would play up a mythical take on the character, removing him somewhat from the action/adventure pulp origins of the character.  Fast forward a couple of decades later, and 2016 sees the release of The Legend Of Tarzan.  I’m curious as to why they bothered.

Continue reading “Movie Review: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is a joyless drudge of a movie, for the cast, as well as the audience. If they don’t bother, you shouldn’t either.”

Movie Review: THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Hateful 8Saw two movies in my birthday week – The Hateful Eight and The Revenant (review here). First up, on my actual birthday itself is The Hateful Eight, the new movie from Quentin Tarantino.

I’ve noticed over the last few years it’s become a trend to rip on Tarantino and his movies – I’m not exactly sure why, but I suspect it’s more contrarian than anything else. I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to dislike anything just because everyone else liked it, but whatever you gotta do to feel edgy, I suppose.

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