Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Long Kong (Beware Spoilers!)
Last night I went to an advance screening of King Kong. Being a huge fan of the original, I was extremely hesitant with my expectations of the new film (especially hearing of its 3+ hour runtime). And after the (excruciating) first hour had come and gone (which definitely could've been boiled down to about 20 minutes), and they still hadn't reached Skull Island, I almost began to panic. But at about the hour-and-20-minute mark, the film kicked in. And never stopped. One jaw-dropping action sequence after another, including a Brontosaurus stampede, Kong taking on 3 T-Rexes, and a nice destruction of 1933 NYC. Plus the relationship between beauty and the beast is surprisingly heartfelt. More than one person left the theater misty-eyed.
The film does have its flaws: Jack Black is terribly miscast, it's definitely too long, a lot of special effects (especially when dealing with water) look fake, there's an annoying subplot with Jamie Bell as a stowaway who compares this trip to "Heart of Darkness," and a terrible inside joke about how Fay Wray isn't available for the movie-within-the-movie because she's filming a picture for RKO. But for at least 100 minutes, I was captivated.

I was not, however, captivated by Spamalot, which I saw on Sunday. Having waited for Hank Azaria to return to the cast, I'd heard nothing but raves about the show. And I love Monty Python & the Holy Grail. But half of the play is cut straight from the film (and the cast is not nearly as funny as the Pythons), and the new stuff is mostly filler and recycled jokes from other Python bits (such as the Lumberjack song and the fish-slapping sketch). With a few exceptions, the songs are instantly forgettable. The cast tries hard and mostly do well, especially David Hyde Pierce and Sara Ramirez. But it certainly doesn't live up to the hype.
Oh, and one more thing… to raise money for Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS, Spamalot is holding a silent auction. High bidder gets Hank Azaria to record an outgoing voicemail message in the voice of any of his Simpsons characters. Minimum bid is $500. Anyone want to get me that as a gift?

1 comment:

Tommy Himself said...

I want to get you that as a gift! I probably won't, but I want to.