Kong – Still King

The tale of King Kong is not a new one to hit theaters.  There have been several movies about the beast and either about man intruding on his land or him wreaking havoc on man’s land.  There is even a movie about him vs Godzilla.  Either way Kong: Skull Island isn’t new.  Yet the idea of this mythical beast and what he and the story represent does not seem like it will be going out of style anytime soon.

This Kong movie takes place right on the heels of the Vietnam War. An exploration team and their army backup head to an uncharted island off the Pacific in order to survey the island.  Of course not everyone one on the mission is there for the same reasons. These other reasons are to look for monsters or the original habitants of this planet.  5 minutes on the island and a couple of seismic bombs later, the team meets Kong.  Kong kills most of the team, swatting their airplanes straight out the sky, stepping on them and he even eats one guy.  Kong did what Kong does in every movie and what is a natural instinct to both man and animal and that is defend himself and his home.

Throughout the rest of the movie we learn that there are people who are indigenous to the land, there is a survivor from WWII who crashed on the island, there are giant lizards who are the natural enemy of Kong and we see Samuel L. Jackson play a really good crazy. That is really the gist of the movie.

Is anyone really going to see Kong: Skull Island for a story?  The story doesn’t change, just refreshed for this generation.  Its about the battles and the action and Kong saving the girl.  This movie delivers on that end.  There is a lot of bang, lots of fire, explosions, gruesome deaths and a serious fight scene between a giant gorilla and lizard.  The visuals are very good and all the creatures, especially Kong, look very real.

Or you can be like me and see a story in this tale.  A story about how nothing can be bigger or better than man and how man does not respect nature.  A movie that makes you question at what point do you stop being a solider and be your own man.  After watching it tonight, I realized that this is not a movie for an animal sympathizer such as myself.  I am sure that no real animals were harmed in the making of this film (better not have been), and to my understanding there is no such island with giant gorillas, spiders, water buffalos, lizards or a lost civilization of people.  Nonetheless, I shed a tear for the massive creature named Kong and applauded when he killed the man trying to blow him up.

I suggest you see the movie and draw your own conclusions.  If you are like me and have seen your share of King Kong, you can probably wait till the DVD to see this one.

Kong: Shull Island is officially out in theaters 3/10/17 and stars John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly and Brie Larson.

Oscar Sunday and Regal Theaters

Sunday, February 26 2017 or also known as Oscar Sunday, wraps up the Regal Best Picture Film Festival.  The festival began February 17th and each day pass holders were able to gain access to select showtimes in the festival schedule.  The festival played four different movies a day – one at  1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm- rotating between the 9 nominations.  The pass (an actual pass) was only $35 and came with a special offer for a $5 medium popcorn and soft drink combo (one per transaction with your Regal Crown Club card).  Pretty good deal, right?  It was and it was worth every penny.

Having already seen Arrival and Hidden Figures, I used my pass to see Moonlight, La La Land, Lion, and Hell or High Water.  I used Redbox to see Manchester By the Sea and Hacksaw Ridge.  Due to some of my scheduling conflicts I was unfortunately unable to see Fences.

If it wasn’t for Regal I probably would have never seen at least 4 of the nominations and actually I had never even heard of Lion before the festival began.

I enjoyed all the movies and recommend all the movies to see (not just because they were nominated).

Lion – I cried the entire movie.  It is based on the true story an man who had been lost for 25 years.  The first half of the movie takes place in India and is all in subtitles.  At age 5, Saroo gets separated from his brother and wakes up on a train taking him miles from his home.  Stranded where no one speaks his lauanage and no one to help him, Saroo spent years living on the street until sent to a facility equlivent to a orphanage.  While there he was adopted by a white Australian family and was raised in Australia.  It wasn’t until his late 20’s that Saroo started looking for his home.  The search took him years and consumed him but eventually he made it back to his birth home where his mother had waited in hopes of his return.  Truly a beautiful story.

Moonlight – I cried in a couple of parts throughout this movie.  The movie, based off a play, is broken into three parts and each part is based on a distinct character.  In part 1 we meet Little, part 2 Black and part 3 Chiron.  Little, Black and Chiron are all the same person and each part represents a significant chapter in Chiron’s life while growing up a gay black male in Liberty City, Miami.  The movie is deep and groundbreaking and beautiful and saturated in so much truth.

Hacksaw Ridge – Another movie based on a true story.  The movie retells the heroic story of Desmond Doss who saved 75 men during WWII on Hacksaw Ridge.  Desmond joined the war as a conscientious objector and became a field medic.  Though he was met with a lot of disdain, he never waived in his beliefs and managed to not only keep himself alive but the lives of others (both American and Japanese) while never picking up a gun.  I doubt the actual War was anything like movie but it did the job.  Worth a watch check the movie out its at Redbox.

La La Land –  Usually I don’t like musicals but the music in this movie is amazing.  I could’ve done without the signing by Emma Stone but the music and most of the scenes are just beautiful.  The movie takes place in Hollywood and is about making it in Hollywood.  I wasn’t too hooked on the story but Ryan Gosling kept me watching and the movie is beautiful to watch and listen to.  The movie is still in theaters so check it out.

Arrival – I really enjoyed this movie. Numerous spacecraft’s land throughout the world.  The United States enlist a renowned linguist (played by Amy Adams) to help decipher, understand and eventually communicate with the beings.  In doing this, she begins having dreams and memories of experiences that she has yet to experience.  The movie is very good and I really love a movie that makes you think and pay attention.  If you haven’t seen it yet, Arrival is at Redbox.

Hell or High Water – I actually fell asleep through part of this movie.  It is one of the movies that had it not been for the festival I would not have seen the movie.  Two brothers living in a very rural part of Texas go on a bank robbing spree in order to raise enough money to buy back their mothers property from the bank.  Essentially they get away with it.

Hidden Figures – see my post on the movie Hidden Figures…Giving overdo credit to women I’m ashamed to have never learned of.  Still in theaters!

Manchester By the Sea – I purposely didn’t see this movie in theaters when it was released because it just looked liked a tear jerker.  I was right, it is.  I mean the movie surrounds death and tragedy but it is also about family, forgiveness and starting over.  It is a nice movie and I find the New England accents quite entertaining. Check it out on Redbox.

Fences – I’m going to have to wait until it is on Redbox to give the movie the respect it deserves.

Well those are the 9 nominations for Best Picture 2017 and the Oscar goes to… MOONLIGHT! After watching 8/9 movies I was leaning toward Moonlight and I’m glad it got the recognition it deserves even if they first gave the award to La La Land by mistake.

The Regal Best Picture Film Festival is something I recommend all to do next year and especially if all the nominations are as good as this year.

My pass from the festivalimg_0224-edited