Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I finally managed to see King Kong this afternoon. I'll admit that the three-hour running time made me apprehensive, but I used that excuse not to see Mr Jackson's Lord of The Rings movies at the cinema, I'm ashamed to say, so I was determined to see this one on the big screen. I needn't have worried about it because those three hours zoomed by.
All I can remember about the original 1933 King Kong was Fay Wray screaming, screaming, screaming. Although Naomi Watts screamed a little bit in this one, mostly she was cool because she knew this gigantic ape wasn't interested in eating her, in fact time and again it protected her and saved her from being eaten by other monstrous creatures on the island. Yes, there are other oversized creatures on Skull Island, in fact this new version is like a cross between King Kong and Jurassic Park. Were there dinosaurs in the original? I don't remember that.
I was surprised by how many people were in the theatre for this session. Naively, I suppose, I expected it to be almost empty because it's already been playing for weeks now, but the theatre was almost full, and the weird part was, people kept coming in even thirty minutes into the movie. If I had my way, they would lock the doors once a movie starts, and only let people out who have to go to the toilet. If somebody with a ticket tries to come in late, the usher hits them with a cattle prod. But maybe I'm a Cinema Nazi. I sure feel like it sometimes. But something else I thought was strange, people kept going out and coming back in again, and that was within the first hour. Did they have to go to the toilet already? Did they forget the popcorn? It seemed like an amateur movie audience. It seemed like these people never went to the movies, because they kept getting up and going out and coming back, like they were in their own lounge room, going out to the kitchen for another snack, or going to the toilet, or going out to the backyard to tell the dog to stop barking at whatever. It was very strange, and I haven't seen that before.
But the movie was great, and I'll swear there was not a dry eye in the house by the end of it. Even some teenagers sitting near me, I noticed the guy closest to me sniffling and wiping his eyes.
There was some other noteworthy audience action: A guy behind me with a female companion. Early on in the movie he laughed a couple of times at scenes in the movie that I could find nothing funny about, whatsoever. But I liked that he laughed at these mysterious things. Maybe because I have done it myself at the movies - laugh when nobody else laughs - or maybe it was his very peculiar laugh, as though he had seen the movie a dozen times and it was a favourite part. Then at the end of the movie, as the credits began to roll, he started telling his female companion about the history of the King Kong movies. I was interested to hear him say that there have been four King Kong movies, and in one of them, Kong did not die but was returned and restored, very much alive, to Skull Island.