Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Kingship of Kong

Note: This is really the Tuesday post, just delayed.
I ended up seeing King Kong today, at last, to see what all the hub-bub is about. I went into it extremely skeptical, and came out of it very surprised. The movie really is all the positive things those reviewers say about it. At its best, it's an extremely heartfelt romance story, but at its worst it's a B horror movie. Allow me to elaborate on this a bit. I loved the movie, except for the fact that it was unnecessarily three hours long. I think Peter Jackson is overrated because he shows that he's still an amateurish director by not cutting the fluff. For example, a lot of people thought that Jack Black was miscast as Carl Denham, but I think these people have just seen too many of his comedies. He did fantastic in the role given to him, but some scenes that shouldn't have been in there confused his character and his motives, in my opinion. Jackson made up for this by packing in the emotion quite tastefully, albeit stretched at a couple of parts. The role of Anne Darrow couldn't have been portrayed by anyone by Naomi Watts because not only is she naturally gorgeous (without having to be flashy at all), but she captured the essence of this lost, but far from helpless, actress. Adrien Brody did rather well himself, though a little too black and white sometimes, and had good on-screen chemistry. Though Colin Hanks had a forgettable role, he couldn't have done a better job of fitting into it. I've seen him do well with the crummiest of characters.

Gotta love the eyes

Let me stretch this a little bit more to a new paragraph for a more complete view here. The movie is split up almost evenly into three acts. The first act is the character set-up before getting to Skull Island to make the movie, and though this was a bit slow it made you want the rest of the movie more and he had a lot of dialogue here. The ship also had a lot of important interactions. However, some of the things on the island were just too much. The native people you see in the commercials have too much screen time, and this island has too many bloody creatures! The scene between Kong and the dinosaurs were great, but some of the other encounters were way too stretched out. Let me take this opportunity to note that the CG was absolutely stunning. I wasn't disappointed by any of it, though I'm sure some purists will nit pick. Even rendering old New York was extremely well thought out. This is a movie that never skimps on details, especially when it comes to Kong himself. The third act, which I don't want to reveal too much of though I'm sure you can figure it out, is quite pivotal and I thought he did the best job with it. It tugs at the heart strings and really seals some key themes. Though there were definitely a couple of scenes that could've been trimmed down, you start to realize how much of a connection you've developed with some of these characters and certain attitudes towards others. Overall, I think this movie deserves an A-. As you can tell, being too long really hurt it, but it has so many other things to love that it won't be a forgettable experience. I think that it's a step-up from Lord of the Rings.

I'm loving my iPod Shuffle more and more, and it's a much better jogging pal than my cassette player Walkman. Having it is making me more inclined to listen to podcasts, and Wired has a brief article hitting some of the high ones including one of my favorites: Rocketboom. Trust me, they're worth your while if you catch yourself turning on your television too much. Well, there have been many more groundbreaking gadgets in the past 50 years than the iPod and PCWorld has aimed to hit the fifty best doing a great job at it. If you've been around technology for a while then it's a must-read. One gadget coming in our future is Blu-ray players, but they're apparently being held back by DRM complications because the companies behind the AACS, which is an encryption scheme to protect the discs from copyright infringement, aren't doing enough compromising. While the consumer may not be in a hurry to get BD-ROMs, it's going to be cheaper for us the longer that they're available before getting wildly popular (ala DVD-ROMs and players). Lastly, Computerworld is pointing out that some IT companies have been becoming less fun nowadays and it deeply affects job turnover rates. There's a reason why so few people who go to companies like Google and Apple leave quickly.

Over the entire holiday weekend, King Kong reigned supreme with $33.3 million, but The Chronicles of Narnia was close behind at $31.7 million and is doing impressively well for its third weekend as opposed to Kong's second weekend. Memoirs of a Geisha did pretty well itself among these giants garnering $10.2 million in its first wide release weekend, though it still has a ways to go to cover its $85 million budget. I'm also impressed that Harry Potter is still on the top 10 after five weeks. The only other thing to talk about today is the first video journal entry for 300, which is based on a graphic novel from Frank Miller and looks quite intriguing.

I'm going to go with the Ten on Tuesday this week:

10 New Year's Resolutions
10. Actually learn new classical guitar songs.
9. Get closer to my current friends.
8. Get better at driving in Austin.
7. Work towards more muscle and definition.
6. Finally get a digital camera and share the world as I see it.
5. Try out Python.
4. Meet new people.
3. Stop cluttering.
2. Grow some balls.
1. Get an internship.

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