Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen...I give you...KONG!

Up and out of bed early today. I had to get out to Yasugi by 11, and I couldn't keep her waiting.

Not her. She wasn't even in town. More on that later.


Kasumi is one of the coolest students I ever had. Loves movies, loves English, plans on going to study at a university in the U.S. after she graduates from high school. Apparently some of the reason for that is thanks to me. I'm just glad her family didn't put a contract out on me for encouraging her when she wasn't getting any support from her school. (Another reason that she's cool: She went down to Kagoshima Prefecture to take a test that would qualify her for the exchange program she wants to go on. I jokingly asked her to pick me up a bottle of good Kagoshima shochu. When I picked her up, she handed me a bag that had...a bottle of good Kagoshima shochu in it. Kasumi rocks.)

We e-mail back and forth quite a bit, and when I told her I was coming back, she said, "let's go watch a movie!" I thought that was a fantastic idea, so I had her check up on what was playing out at MOVIX, the excellent movie theater out in Hiezu that provided me with five years of movie-going entertainment.

Great place. They even had a member's card that you could get. If you had one, you got 10 points for every movie you paid for. Every 60 points, you got a free movie. Not a bad deal, considering the sheer amount of movies I watched. The late show was always the cheapest, and when I lived in Hakuta, I was only 20 minutes away, so I usually watched the late show. The thing that made me mad as hell was that two months before I moved to Izumo, which was now an hour (at least) from the theater, they started a Men's Day.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, let me explain. MOVIX always had a Women's Day. On Women's Day (every Wednesday), if you were a woman, you could watch any movie at any time for 1000 yen (about $10). This is incredibly cheap, by Japanese movie-going standards, as the usual cost is around 1800 yen. Even the late show is still 1300 yen. So there was always this Women's Day there, and I thought it sure would be nice if there was a Men's Day.

Two months (TWO FREAKIN' MONTHS) before I leave Hakuta, they start one.
I was not pleased. But I made use of it, all the same. And after a while, the pain subsided. Heh.

Anyway, Kasumi and I talked about what we should go see.
"Harry Potter?" "Seen it."
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith?" "Could be fun."
"Some Korean movie?" "Umm, no."
"King Kong?" "King Kong."

Luckily, I'd done a little preparation for just this scenario and watched the original a couple of weeks earlier. But this really did not prepare me for what I was about to see on the screen.

Now, mi compadre, my friend, my brother...Czar, I'm going to have to take offense with the "definitely a crappy movie" comment you posted on your blog.

King Kong kicked my simian ass.

Cheesy dialogue? Seen the original? They pulled most of the cheesy stuff straight out of it. I thought it was a nice tip of the hat, myself.

The scene where Kong is on display recreated the original island scene beautifully. I was grinning my dopey grin the whole time.

It wasn't all great. It was, as a lot of people say, a tad long. I didn't notice it that much, but I can agree with the criticism.

Some of the effects looked a little fake, like the actors were superimposed on the action. A tad annoying, but the action was so intense that it didn't bother me that much.

Andy Serkis having to die twice sucked, I thought. Hey, either you get it or you don't.

But the good far outweighed anything I could complain about.

The action was incredible (once it got started).
Kong was beautifully designed.
The bugs (shudder). The bugs.
Kong vs. the dinosaurs. HO. LY. SHEEEEEEEE. IT.
Central Park.
The Empire State Building.

I'm such a softy. I was crying at the end. Sad, sad movie. Especially since you can see the end coming.

Now, I'm not going to call it the best movie of the year or anything like that. But I will say this. Kong was a damn fine movie, well worth the three hours and thousand yen I spent (Men's Day!).


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