Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday, Ann Darrow

My favorite actress in the whole world.

"Sept 28, 2008 ... Today is Naomi Watts' birthday! Naomi Ellen Watts (born September 28, 1968) is a British actress known for her roles in Mulholland Drive,

News for Sep. 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Naomi Watts!

- Xoanon

Today is Naomi Watts' birthday! Naomi Ellen Watts (born September 28, 1968) is a British actress known for her roles in Mulholland Drive, the film remakes of The Ring and King Kong, as well as her Academy Award-nominated role in the film 21 Grams. Happy Birthday Naomi!



And it just so happens that this week is
Lord of the Rings week!

It's J.R.R. Tolkien Week! In conjunction, check out our largest Tolkien community, dedicated to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. You can discuss everything from the LOTR books and films to the many other Tolkien stories. Welcome to Middle Earth."

Some of you may wonder why I have no LOTR films listed as my favorites; I'll offer a brief explanation. The fact is, I wasn't much of an LOTR fan. I read the books as a kid, and I (heretic that I am) wasn't that impressed. There were a couple other series I liked better; however, I did see the LOTR films and was impressed with the adaptation and special effects, but not enough of an impact was made for me to list them as all-time favorites.

So along comes the remake of King Kong. The truth is that my expectations were low. I had just come off the summer of Return of the Sith, and felt no movie could match the pinnacle of the Star Wars series (especially Lucas' contemporary analogies contained within). Furthermore, word leaked that director Peter Jackson was taking the remake back to the 1930s. I was going to see the film; however, my expectations were low. I was even going to wait until after Christams to see it, but ducked into a theater on a Saturday afternoon when I was there.

That is what made the film so special. I was completely unprepared for the absolute love and dedication that Jackson absorbed himself with in making the picture. I am familiar with the length issue that turned so many off; however, the three-hour run time is perfect, set in three one-hour sets each. The three hours passed quickly once the lights went down, as Jackson always kept the story flowing at the right pace.

The first hour, often criticized, was vital to developing the characters. Without that, the audience does not care what happens to them on Skull Island. I will not get into all the nuances that Jackson added or adapted upon; however, the contraption that sacrifices the women to Kong was the first instance of awe I can remember feeling.

The second hour is spent on Skull Island as we are introduced to Kong's world, and Kong is introduced to Ann. The computer-generated effects are so brilliant that as an audience member you TRULY BELIEVE that KONG is REAL!!! The large screen was an obvious advantage in this regard, with the big galoot on screen reflecting in-your-face realism. Perhaps the dinosaur fight was a bit over-the-top; however, it was FANTASTIC!! By the time Kong is captured for his trip the New York City, the bonding between he and Ann is complete.

The third hour is the climax of the film, and Jackson doesn't disappoint! Having Ann find Kong (as opposed to the other way around) and temper his outburst after he escapes the theater was a master stroke; and yet, Jackson tops it with the ice pond scene in Central Park that completely breaks the audience down -- just before Kong begins his climb to the top of the Empire State Building.

The final fifteen minutes of the film were spectacular as much for the cinematography and special effects as for the emotion of the two protagonists of the film. The fight scenes with the airplanes atop the Empire State building -- with the backdrop of the city so far below -- was as exhilarating as it was horrifying. And as much as the audience believes in Kong, they can just as strongly believe in ANN'S LOVE for Kong. When he falls of of that building, so do you. The greatest testament to that was the stone-cold silence leaving the theater -- and the old man blowing his nose, a memory I will never forget.

So there it is, readers. My explanation why King Kong sits atop the list of my all-time favorite films -- just as he sat atop the Empire State building after scaling it with Ann Darrow. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Naomi Watts, and THANK YOU for such an OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE!!! Bravo!