Kong: Skull Island

I did my laundry, and then I took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre to catch the early showing of “Kong: Skull Island.”  There were perhaps fifteen other people in the theatre at eleven o’clock in the morning to watch this movie.  Most of it takes place in 1973, which I guess is a good thing, because these days with incredible technology it seems that there are no mysteries about the surface of the Earth.  Brie Larson more or less has the role of Fay Wray or Jessica Lange as the one human being Kong may come to like.  At one late moment, she falls into the water, which looked like it was going to be fatal, considering how many people died when they jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.  I thought she hit the water flat on her back, too.  John Goodman is the character who sets the story in motion.  I was waiting for him to get back to the days of “The Big Lebowski.”  John C. Reilly is a key character.  I guess they had to make sure the cast was diverse, so the cast is rounded out with actors I don’t know, but they have the right skin color.  The movie blends the Vietnam War movie atmosphere of “Apocalypse Now” and “Platoon” with a bit of old-time monster movie situations, and some bits of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  Samuel L. Jackson becomes bloodthirsty in his pursuit of Kong.  There is a trace of Moby Dick here.  We see the people who are native to the island, giving the place more of that Apocalypse Now feeling.  Some of the violence and death comes in the form of disturbing imagery.  I don’t know how young kids can handle watching movies like these.  This one is rated PG-13, although I think some scenes are rough for the little ones.  The story is loud and noisy, and Samuel L. Jackson’s actions don’t make sense.  This is all what you would call escapism, though.  One lesson from the movie is about self-sacrifice.  Don’t be so noble, because movie creatures these days don’t fall for those ages-old tricks.  They act like they’ve seen a lot of movies.  I would rate this one as decent entertainment.  At least the creatures look better than they did in the 1970s.  For this screening, one person sitting behind me applauded at the end.  The presentation was in 70mm.  I wouldn’t say that it added anything to a picture like this.  Some people may want to stay through the end credits.  There is a set-up for a sequel.  If you read through the end credits carefully, though, it spoils the teaser.  Anyhow, the little bit did not make me eager for more monsters.  One funny thing about the beginning of this movie was that it starts with a black screen, which reminded me of The LEGO Batman Movie, which had Batman telling us that “All important movies start with a black screen.”  I hurried out of the theatre and caught the 12 bus back home.  Some of the people who died on March 12 include Charlie Parker (1955), John Cazale (1978), Maurice Evans (1989), and Yehudi Menuhin (1999).  Today is a birthday for Aaron Eckhart (49), Marlon Jackson (60), James Taylor (69), Liza Minnelli (71), and Barbara Feldon (84).

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