Masculinity in Jackson’s Kong

My post examining racism in the 1933 King Kong gave me a new appreciation for Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake, and the changes he made to remove or at least minimize the unconscious prejudice of the movie. So much so that I decided to pop in the Blu-ray and give it another watch. While I’m a fan of Jackson’s version, I won’t deny the film definitely has bloat. It’s a massive movie, clocking in at over three hours if you watch the extended edition (yes, there is an extended edition).

That said, I always find that there’s a lot more that I like in the film than dislike and, even after numerous viewings, I’m still catching new things. This time – well I picked up on a greater thread that I hadn’t noticed before. Oh sure, I’m seen pieces, but I never realized just how much was there. Way too much to be coincidence, that’s for sure.

Now – I still don’t know what everything means or even how much I think it works. But that’s the benefit of having a blog. I can write out my thoughts and see if they make sense. And who knows, maybe someone will tell me this was all obvious and I was very late to the party. Let’s look at masculinity in Peter Jackson’s King Kong.

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Is King Kong Racist?

Whenever people ask me to name my top ten films, I can’t do it. How do you narrow down hundreds of exceptional motion pictures to a measly top ten? I’m sure if I thought long and hard enough about it, I could make it work – but I just don’t have that kind of time.

I am, however, always able to answer the question: “What’s you favorite movie?”

King Kong – the original 1933 stop-motion special effects film starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot; directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. I don’t know  how young I was when I first saw it but I have watched it countless times since. It, more than any film, impacted my sense of creativity and my desire to tell stories.

Continue reading Is King Kong Racist?

Character Analysis: Why Did Luke Skywalker Fall?

Recently I was watching this video from Overly Sarcastic Productions:

In general, I love this video channel. It’s a great tool for writers and storytellers who would to dive a little deeper into elements of storytelling and literary analysis – all in the guise of pop culture commentary. They’re great and I recommend checking them out.

That said, there was one thing I took umbrage with during the above video, namely this line: “And Luke actually has it worse! Apparently Mr. Paragon hero savior of the whole dang galaxy, noted for his tendency to never give up on family members even if they’re super evil, made a cursory attempt to revive the Jedi Order and then when his nephew turned evil and killed everybody, he [Luke] gave up forever and went off to a distant planet to sulk for the rest of his life.”

Okay, there’s a lot to unpack there. But my first takeaway was the simple: “That’s not what happened. Because it’s not. It’s so fundamentally not and it’s a lazy error, like the author of the video read the cliff-notes of The Last Jedi instead of watching the actual movie. So, let’s do some character analysis and answer the question: Why did Luke Skywalker fall?

Continue reading Character Analysis: Why Did Luke Skywalker Fall?