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King Kong (1933)
70 years later and still one of the best ever!
I don't know what the hell that last reviewer was talking about. KING KONG creator Merian C. Cooper even stated that his movie was going to be nothing more than an adventure / surrealistic fantasy movie. Politics? Give me a break! Those who criticize this movie (and there have been many lately, mostly due to the fact that Peter Jackson is going to remake it, and some are only now discovering the original), have absolutely no idea of the who's, how's and why's of the original. Try reading the book THE MAKING OF KING KONG to get a better idea or just finding info on the Net. There's plenty out there.
In terms of story and special effects, KING KONG is still a timeless classic. No creature before or since (even CGI renditions) can match Kong's personality that Willis O'Brien put into him. And KING KONG is an important movie. The world of special effects films (including many today that spoiled fanboys seem to love while at the same time putting down this movie) would NOT be the same had this been never made. Kudos to Merian C. Cooper, Willis O'Brien and many, many others for their contribution to the world of cinema.
A true classic!
IKIRU is a masterpiece. I couldn't disagree more with the last reviewer who thought this was overrated!
For me it truly deservers to mentioned among the greatest features. Takashi Shimura, playing the dying bureaucrat, Watanabe gives one of the finest performances ever. In this feature, he looked so weak and fragile. But in SEVEN SAMURAI (as the head samurai Kamebi), he is strong and able. Some might think it was two different actors!
The man is dying of cancer for goodness sake. Not everyone handles the situation the same. Watanabe is just another soul trying to cope with the despair, and for me this was powerful stuff. (I should give kudos to Kurosawa. The man was able to do more than just epic samurai movies).
Hollywood tearjerkers don't compare with IKIRU. And eventhough this is a 50 year-old black and white foreign movie with subtitles, it shouldn't be an excuse not to watch this. Expand your horizons. You may be pleasantly surprised.
OK feature, though not without it's problems.
First off, let me say that I'm not a die-hard LOTR person. I've never read Tolkein's books and basically thought that the first feature was at best OK. So this review will be from a movie fan's point of view rather than a hard-core Tolkein fan.
Frankly, I did find this to be a little more involving than `Fellowship'. It had some truly wonderful visuals, (it should win the Oscars for those) and though I'm not a fan of CGI, Gollum is one of the better digital creatures to come out of the movies.
Still, I did have some problems with the picture. First off, many have said that the characters are all well developed. Well, I didn't see it that way. For me, any character development really took a back seat to the special effects. Sometimes that's not a bad thing, if handled correctly. (Ray Harryhausen's movies are a good example of that). But when people start saying that these guys should be nominated for Academy Awards, oh come on now! Frankly, the most interesting character by far was Gollum and he was a digital creation!
Secondly, like the first feature, `Towers' has it's moments where it really drags, especially during the middle. Peter Jackson, I think, kept cutting in an out of the many different stories this movie had and as a result some of the focus was lost.
The final battle scene was spectacular, but then again, Jackson makes the cardinal sin of running it too long, and as result a lot of the intensity is gone. One of the professional reviewers said that not since Akira Kurosawa, have we seen any battle of this magnitude. Well, speaking for myself, this battle comes no where near Kurosawa's fighting scenes. Kurosawa's battle scenes were always wonderfully intense from beginning to end. (And he didn't need digital fighting characters).
If I were rating this movie film solely on its special effects, I'd give it 3 ½ stars. But when the whole movie is added in, I'd have to give it 2 ½ stars. Just like the first feature, `Towers' is an OK movie, but because of the character Gollum, I found it a little bit more entertaining.
Anyway that's my take on this film. It's funny how people view things differently. Many hard-core fans view these two Lord of the Rings features as the greatest all-time cinematic masterpieces in film history, (which is perfectly fine) while I myself only found them mildly entertaining.