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James Palmer's Journal - Day

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

9:11AM - Holiday Drear and Hail to the Kong, Baby

Well, I survived the Christmas season once again, and with working Friday, Saturday and Monday and fielding calls of "Are you open today?" and "I didn't know ya'll were open today", it wasn't easy. At least I got a new Aeron chair out of the deal. I guess that's good. If I wasn't in a recession-proof industry, I'd think the new chair was a sign of the end-times and start looking for the president to bolt out the back door and run for his company Ford Taho with an armload of 100 dollar bills. Ah well.

Christmas wasn't a total wash. I scored some major swag. First of all, my sweetie got me an mp3 player. Now if I can just wait out the nine hours it takes to download something on dialup, it'll be worth it. I also got the original King Kong on DVD from the in-laws, and plan to make time tomorrow to watch some of the extra features. And Christmas afternoon we went to the movies and saw the Kong remake. I liked it, but it didn't blow me away the way I thought it would. It starts out slow, but picks up once they get to Skull Island, about an hour into the picture. I thought Jackson tried a little too hard to establish the time period, which was unneccesary. The film opens to a montage of intrinsically 30's scenes: bread lines, Vaudeville performers, G-men smashing stills and liquor bottles on the street, while a 30's-era song played in the background. I had some casting issues going into it too, but I thought it turned out well. I thought Adrian Brody was a bit too nerdy for the romantic lead, but in this version Peter Jackson made him a playwright, which made him believable. Jack Black's Denham is a sort of third-rate Orson Welles, an utter, yet likable, slimeball, if you can believe that. (There's even an interesting reference to the original Kong film, but it kind of throws you out of the story a little). And Naomi Watts was absolutely perfect as Ann Darrow. Perfect. And I'll challenge anyone who disagrees to a chainsaw duel atop Trump World Tower.

The ending was suitably, heart-wrenchingly sad. My wife got mad at me for not telling her the big ape dies at the end (she's a total science fiction and fantasy newbie, and would have none of it if it wasn't for yours truly). One of the great things about my sweetie is that she loves animals, so much so that this love extends to CGI and puppet lizards, baby dinosaurs, the occasional alien, and the aforementioned 25-foot silverback gorilla.

That's it for now. I'll be back soon with a review of the original Kong DVD.

Happy holidays, everyone.

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