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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2005), PG-13 [PG-13*] (2hr 59min)
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Big Primate Pictures, Universal Pictures, WingNut Films
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Peter Jackson
Producer(s): Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Story: Merian C. Cooper, Edgar Wallace
Cinematography/Camera: Andrew Lesnie
Music: James Newton Howard, Mel Wesson
Film Editing: Jamie Selkirk
Casting: Victoria Burrows, Daniel Hubbard, John Hubbard, Liz Mullane
Production Design: Grant Major
Art Direction: Simon Bright, Dan Hennah
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
I am so sorry it has taken so long to get the report to you. I was able to screen it late-night December 13, the night before opening day. But since then one of our foster daughters, whom we still plan to adopt, has been in the hospital twice with what is called RSV (bronchiolitits which is life-threatening for a baby with asthma). The first time to the emergency department after an X-ray, the attending physician agreed to let her go back home with me rather than admit her since we could do all the hospital was going to do (observation, administration of oxygen, monitoring oxygen saturation, giving breathing treatments, etc.). But her illness got worse and we took her back to the hospital for admission. As of today, Sunday, December 18, she is beginning to improve and may come back home tomorrow. The "setback" is my wife is staying with her until our daughter is discharged. So I am again "Mr. Mom." With six kids. All out of school for the Christmas holiday. Needless to say, that takes almost every minute I have.
This Kong is nothing like the 1933 original with its 18-inch stop-motion miniaturization or the 1976 version with Kong rubbing the blouse off Jessica Lange's chest.
Both this 2005 version and the 1933 version are "beauty and the beast" romance stories with beauty killing the beast. Both involve the dreaded triangle. But this "retell" is almost like a new story. In the 1933 version, Faye Ray always keeps a shield between her and Kong, but in this 2005 version all stops are pulled and an almost believable warm and life-risking relationship ensues. Now that is a feat of notability in fusion of live action with CGI.
In many films of old, one could easily see that attacking beasts were fake, that the action was first filmed without the attacking beast then the beast attacking superimposed over the live action. Such is not the case in the masterful fusion of live action with intricately detailed and even beautiful CGI animation. Few if any would be able to tell the New York sunrise with Kong and Watts atop the Empire State Building in the foreground is CGI. The previously easily discernible and tell-tale hints and signals of fantasy filming are gone. And since it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality, therein is the danger of generating nightmares.
The film opens with an Al Jolson hit pointed at the star of the film which mimics well the mechanics of public speaking, specifically, connecting the end with the beginning using familiar devices. Hint: "Sittin' on Top of the World."
After panning the poverty depressed Manhattan of the 30s, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) performs a vaudeville routine until the theater closes down. Ann is now desperate and reluctantly checks out the suggestion of a high-wattage producer who tells her "Use what you've got." Ann goes to the suggested burlesque joint but stops ... and walks away.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black) is running from his financiers and the law. He was rejected for his new film but before the financiers could tell him "No" Carl ran off, thus giving him a chance to make his new film.
Carl was on the lookout for a size four actress to replace the one he had lost. Ann Darrow was the perfect candidate. An attractive actress. Size four. And hungry. Over a plate, Carl convinced Ann to take a chance at a starring role in his picture on a promise.
The new film involved a trip to Singapore by boat. At least that is what Carl told the captain of the S. S. Venture, Captain Englehorn (Thomas Kretschmann) who agreed to transport Carl on a promise of payment. In spite of the questionable integrity of Denham, Englehorn agreed to transport Denham. Englehorn may be compared to the cavalry in this version.
All of Carl's dealings were on promises of payment, never in cash. Even the script writer, Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) wrote only 15 pages of the story since Carl had not yet paid him even for that. So Carl "arranges" for the transport ship to leave port before Jack could get off. As it turns out, Jack becomes thankful he was shanghaied. Jack becomes competition for Kong (Andy Serkis) regarding the affections of Ann. And there lies the triangle. Jack loves Ann. Ann loves Kong and Jack. Kong loves Ann.
Carl and company set out for Singapore ... by way of Skull Island. Denham had found a one of a kind map that promised of ... something ... on Skull Island. Something kept within the inner territory of Skull Island. Something that needed a 100-foot wall to confine it. Something that seemed hungry for human sacrifices.
A couple stand-out moments in the film include Ann Darrow, during her captivity by Kong, doing a routine from her vaudeville act for Kong. And he likes it. If you have ever wondered how a great ape would chuckle, you'll wonder no more if you watch King King (2005).
If you ever wondered what a giant ape looks like when it throws a tantrum, you'll see when the exasperation of a "lover's quarrel" rears itself between Kong and Darrow. Not only is director Jackson genius at building a close relationship between Kong and Darrow, he is very successful at keeping the relationship between Kong and Darrow on the level of affection, natural between individual identities, more than owner-pet but never sexual.
When Kong snatches Darrow yet again in New York, their "budding romance" leads them to partake in a frivolous romp on the frozen lagoon in Central Park.
If you have ever stood on the edge a cliff or other very tall point with a thousand feet of air between you and the ground, you'll feel that perspective again in a most effective panorama of New York from atop the Empire State Building. You'll be clutching for something solid.
Arriving at Skull Island, midpoint in this nine-reel, two-hour and fifty-nine minute film.......
I am not going to spend any more resources on the plot and story. I am not a qualified movie critic anyway. I have no filmmaking experience. But I will spend resources on telling you that for which you are likely visiting this page.
Subjectively speaking, King Kong (2005) is a work of genius and artistry on so many levels, but 13 is not one of them. It is not a kid's show. By the realism of modern CGI animation, the influence of violence in this film is long and intense. The violence content of the second half of this film is easily equivalent to the violence content of many R-rated films. Creature threats, attacks and consumption of humans are likely to be too much as are the scenes of huge insects and spiders trying to consume humans and slugs doing so. Kong throwing men against stone walls and women in New York might have indelible impact. [Prov. 13:2]
The film is relatively tame in terms of Hollywood's apparent fascination with dropping all honor of sexual purity in what the MPAA declares as adolescent-level films. [Eph. 4:19, Ps. 12:8, Jude 1:4] Naomi Watts spends a lot of time in the second half of the show showing us her legs and other anatomy. Remember, this is Watts in New Zealand not Darrow on Skull Island. Innuendo are infrequent but present. [Col 3:5, Gal. 5:19]
While there is a lot of smoking in this film, there is only one noted instance of booze and without drinking it. [1 Cor. 6:19] There are, however, four uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 13 without it. [Deut. 5:11]
All "murders" by beasts and natives were incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.
Please consider strongly the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before deciding whether this intense amplification of the 1933 film is fit for your family.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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