Tag Archives: movie reviews
King Kong (1933)
Mad Hot Ballroom
I didn’t want to like this movie. Fifteen minutes in and I had made up my mind that this was just Spellbound meets The School Around the Corner by way of Come Dancing and I was too old and too cynical to be taken in by such a cheap ploy.
But then, around the thirty minute mark, something remarkable happened. These kids stopped being precocious little brats and started becoming likeable creatures. Watching Cyrus’ reaction to the results of the initial competition sealed the deal for me. Believe me when I say that we need to watch this kid closely because he is wise beyond his 10 years and almost certainly an evil genius in the making (the director says that when she first met him and discussed her movie with him, he asked if she had secured a production deal yet).
Against my will, I had become emotionally invested in these kids. Their different personalities began to shine through and, by the time of the dancing final, I felt like I was joinging their teachers on the emotional rollercoaster they were riding. And the swell of pride I began to feel watching the kids put in some amazing performances was almost embarassing. It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.
Funny without lacking sincerity, sentimental without being po-faced. In spite of myself, I ended up liking this movie.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
My girlfriend tells me that the reason she rarely wants to go to the cinema any more is because she’s become disillusioned with movies. This comes from sitting through the near-endless amount of dirge on show this summer. And you don’t register a domain like “low brow culture dot com” without being a fan of dirge, so I’m almost certainly to blame.
Apart from being extremely entertaining, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang assures us that there are people working in Hollywood with a genuine love for what they do. Shane Black has done an incredible job of creating something that will appeal to everyone: guns and car chases for the people that like that kind of thing, genuinely sharp and witty dialogue and a complex plot for the people who like that kind of thing.
And lots of beautiful people for the people who don’t like either of those things (including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-her appearance by the girl every guy I know has a crush on, Shannyn Sossamon).
My vote for film of the year.
Shane Black is a terrific screenwriter. For examples of this, you should check out his screenplays for Lethal Weapon and Long Kiss Goodnight. But the piece of resistance is his screenplay for The Last Boy Scout, which contains the following:
INT. DINGY DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT Cory and Jimmy are engaged in very hot sex. This is not a love scene; this is a sex scene. Sigh. I'm not even going to attempt to write this quote-unquote "steamy" scene here, for several good reasons: A) The things that I find steamy are none of your damn business, Jack, in addition to which -- B) The two actors involved will no doubt have wonderful, highly athletic ideas which manage to elude most fat-assed writers anyhow, and finally -- C) My mother reads this shit. So there. (P.S.: I think we lost her back at the Jacuzzi blowjob scene.)