King Kong (1976)

Kong Kind of

I was stunned by this film. Not in a good way. The story is completely different than the original. Apparently, the hunt for Skull Island is the search for oil. For those of you that don’t already know, the 1976 version was not only a remake, it was an update. As the original took place in the 30’s, so this one took place in the 70’s. Enter the oil crisis. Apparently, Skull Island was found due to some satellite imagery. The characters are roughly similar, but almost completely different. Different aspects were assigned to different roles. It kind of worked, but it was somewhat disappointing.

The role of Ann had been removed in favor of one called “Dwan.” Though, this character was the most like her counter parts in the other films (struggling actress). Apparently, in this film she was the sole survivor of another ship because she refused to watch deep throat. Anyhow, this role is played by a Jessica Lange in her prime. No complaints on my ends, as she was the hottest of the three actresses. Unfortunately, her dialog was terrible, and had the stench of the 70’s dripping all over.

Kong was an enormous disappointment. I cannot even describe it accurately in words. Apparently, a 25 ft ape was replaced by a 50 ft man in an ape suit. The blue screen work was just shameful, and the puppetry was abysmal. It was by far the least convincing Kong. Unfortunately, this film had the whole love triangle theme like the new one, meaning this probably spawned the idea. Actually, pretty much all the additions to the original film that I did not like were in this film. What a shame.

Skull Island was more like a vacation resort. The natives were relatively benign (though they stole Lange just like in the others). Also, the most shameful aspect was the lack of Dinosaurs. Seriously, that is what MADE skull island. Granted there is a pathetic battle with a big snake, but that was just sour grapes. Over all the island was more like Canada than a tropical jungle.

Essentially, what this film works out to be (other than horrid), is a complete opposite of the new film. Essentially the main things I hated about the new film were pacing, and the fact that people’s actions and events made absolutely no sense. Whereas, in this film the only things I liked (other than a hot Jessica Lange), was that the events pretty much made sense, and people’s actions almost always made sense.

All things considered, the updated rankings (-5 to 5) break down as follows:

1933: 3
1976: -2
2005: 0

King Kong (1933)

Sheer Kong

I recently finished viewing the original (1933) version of King Kong. Unfortunately, I could not find an original black and white version, so I had to watch the colorized one. Anyhow, all I can say is that this movie is awesome.

Considering that this movie is 72 years old, it still holds up pretty well. The only thing that you really don’t get is the method acting present today. A lot of the dialog feels like something you might see in theater, which was kind of lame.

Perhaps the best thing about this movie is the accurate portraying of the female lead. I have become sick to deal of the whole female empowerment bullshit that I have been forced to endure during my lifetime. I don’t care about the whole feminist movement and all the crap that went along with it. But, let me tell you this, it is not compromising your integrity to accurately portray women. Not all women are heroines. Deal with it.

The effects aren’t too shabby either. One of my biggest problems with the new version, is that some of the green screen shots are just awful. It is pretty lame, when the CGI looks more realistic than the dork actor swinging across the screen. Granted, Kong is just a claymation, they did a pretty decent job considering the time period. I have seen other films with a similar effects style, such as Sinbad and Clash of the Titans, and I would have to say King Kong ranks at the top.

The story was more a treat than in the new version as well. Peter Jackson decided to focus a lot on developing characters that are no interesting. He also added in this freaking lame love triangle between the writer, the chick, and the Kong. It seriously makes not sense and is utterly unbelievable. The whole romance between the two humans is recent of Star Wars episode II, it just looked nicer. Anyhow, this post is supposed to be about the 1933 version. 😛

Again, the story, in the 1933 version that story was decently fast paced. No human dialog was made without purpose to advance the course of events. Also, they skipped completely over a lot of events that happened in the new version that made no sense. Particularly the whole canyon scene.

Basically those are just my quick thoughts on the subject. But, if I had to give a score on the scale of -5 to 5 (yes, this is how I score things, deal with it), I would do the following:

King Kong (2005): 0 [since this is the first film I saw it is the baseline score]
King Kong (1933): 3

Now, I have to suck it up and watch the 1976 version, where I get to see Kong…as a man in an ape suit. Why I ask you…WHY!?

Transformers and Kung Fu Hustle

yep

It seems as those slow updaters are starting to update their sites again, so that means I need to extract another update from my digits.

Everything has been status quo around here. I did not go hunting last weekend because the weather was so awful. The whole reason that I stopped deer hunting (despite other good reasons) is that the weather is so horrid that time of the year. So, I found myself morally opposed to hunting turkeys in the snow. Weather is supposed to be much better this weekend, so I will be going then.

Transformers

Do to a lack of interesting things going on at night, I finally cracked open my Season 2 Part 2 DVD set of Transformers. Mind you, this is the Generation 1 series. I am not interested in this new Pokemon Transformers crap. Anyhow, I don’t actually have the first part of Season 2, since it is never available in stores. I will probably order it, and both parts of season 3 when DDD’s has their annual sale.

The second season was really the peak of the show for me, when I was a kid. Luckily, it was also the longest season weighing it at a total of 49 episodes. The entire series weighed in at a hefty 98 episodes.

There are about a million different characters that appear throughout the run of the show. Critics of the series call it shameless marketing of more potential toy lines. I always thought it was neat. Really, the show was pretty cheesy when it had the regular characters doing mundane activities. The true gold was when they were introducing the back stories to new characters. I think that, that is probably what hooked me on the show in the first place.

I know that Transformers deserves a complete post, but I have another topic to address in this post, and I am feeling lazy.

Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Vanberge

So, I saw the movie Kung Fu Hustle this evening. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It has been receiving pretty good reviews, which is not always a good thing. At first I was a bit disappointed because it was sub-titled, and I am not a huge fan of that. Furthermore, the opening sequence was a bit violent, and I was expecting a comedy so that was a bit disturbing. However, it was not bad, I was just not expecting it.

The whole thing was done as a parody of those unrealistic martial arts imports such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. All of the mentioned films I do not enjoy. Granted I have not watched the last one, I did watch Hero and hated it. So, I am pretty confident I would not enjoy the later. The reason that I do not enjoy these films is the horribly unrealistic martial arts that are portrayed as serious. It is intellectually offensive to me. Ironically, this is what I liked about Hustle.

In Kung Fu Hustle, you see way over the top martial arts action that is not taken seriously. Ironically, I think a lot of it looked infinitely more realistic than the aforementioned films. There were no fake looking string flying and what not. Trajectories actually looked correct. There was also some rather nice CG work that I was not expecting. The shots were also nice considering the genre. All things considered, I thought it was a strong film, and I recommend you check it out while it is in theaters.

Anyhow, that is enough ranting for now. I suppose I better give into the pressure and post this beast.

Keyring Digital Camera

Well, I got my Philips Wearable Camera today. It is a pretty neat little invention. The picture quality totally sucks, but the only reason I got it was to take quick snap shots of things throughout the day for the express purpose of either putting them here in the blog, or just capturing the moment when it would otherwise be lost (making better chances for capturing a WPE moment).

The image on the right is a demo shot from the camera that I took moments ago, just to make sure that it works, and what not. It looks like the reviews I read have been pretty much straight with you. The picture quality indoors kind of sucks, simply because there is not enough light. This one was taken of my monitor again against the wall to get the contrast of light. It looks like the image on the monitor came through pretty decently, but everything is just so so. Also, I should point out that this image has been reduced in size. The default image size is 640×480, whereas I reduced this one to 300×225, since that is pretty much as large as I ever make images in this log.

On a side note, my development in my side project was progressing at an insane rate, meaning that I finished all four hours of work in just under two. If you finished four billable hours worth of work in two hours, that is still billable as four right? Anyhow, this gave me time to play around with a couple of ideas that I had been toying with but not a chance to attempt.

RSS apparently is not as easy as I originally thought to implement. I spent about fifteen minutes whipping up a PHP script that would Parse Phil’s weblog (since I do not like his music). Well, it all looks right to me, I’m not exactly sure what the problem is, but it will not pass verification. It is the weirdest thing. At the moment, the only thing that I can think of is that it is coming in as text/html, when it should be coming in as rss/xml. I don’t know, I may play with it some more tomorrow. If you want to check it out here is a demo of my alpha version up: Phil RSS Demo.

That’s all for now, well except for, at this very moment, VANLANDW.NO-IP.COM is DOWN!