December 21, 2005


I saw King Kong last night. Is it long? Yes, but not in a way that distracts from being awed by some of the set pieces. The brontosaurus stampede, Kong's fight with the T. Rexes, and the truly moving Empire State showdown are all brilliant, and honestly, there are no scenes that I felt should have been unequivocally cut, but there still is a feeling of gluttedness about the film—like a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, at the end you feel that it was just way too much, but you're not sure what you could have done without.

Joe complains that critics have talked about racial issues in the film. I agree with him that Kong as symbol of big scary black man is probably not one that will hit most viewers, even subliminally, but what about the other end of the cutest mismatch ever—would this film work with a brunette? Or a Latina? Or a black woman? Or an Asian?

In addition, Joe gets really worked up about the criticism that the racial characteristics of the tribesmen in the film are a little disconcerting. I'm not sure if he's actually seen the movie, but they really are. I'm not certain, but I would hazard a guess and say that the actors playing the tribesmen are actually the family members of that feral kid from Mad Max (that kid to the right, only larger), in blackface. I mean, Skull Island is supposed to be near Sumatra or something, and these people more closely resemble a Cecil B. DeMille version of Amos and Andy. That's a little crazy to me. But then again, I'm a bleeding-heart liberal and sensitive to the plight of feral kids in blackface.

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