Friday, October 29, 2010

The Craft

“Oh shit, it’s the Bitches of Eastwick”

            A few weeks ago my brother was watching The Mentalist and my friend who was with me at this time said “oh she’s from The Craft” when she saw Robin Tunney on the screen. When I worked in an electronics/entertainment store I used to see this DVD all the time. It wasn’t until last week that I found this on DVD for a reasonable price, bought it, and watched it. I gotta say it’s a bad ‘90s teen movie but it is so much fun to watch.
            Robin Tunney plays Sarah Bailey the new girl at school. She goes to a Catholic high school. One day in French class she starts telekinetically twirling a pencil into the desk. A girl sitting by her notices Sarah doing this. Sitting alone at lunch, the cute football player Chris comes over and talks to Sarah. He notices the notorious weird girls looking over at Sara and tells her they are witches.
            The girl sitting next to Sarah in French class was Bonnie who along with her two other friends Rochelle and Nancy are witches. They talk to Sarah asking her to be the fourth member of their group. After school they take Sarah to an occult shop to five finger discount things. The shop owner notices that Sarah is not like the other girls; she tells Sarah that she is a natural witch. Once they come out of the store Sarah is being harassed by a homeless man. Each girl wills something to happen to the man to go away. The next thing they know the man is run over by a car.     
            The four girls run away to the woods. They all say they were thinking the same thing about the man getting hit by a car to leave them alone. They realize they all have some kind of connection and evoke the spirit of Manon, which was Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochell’s goal. Sarah leaves the girls and goes to hang out with Chris. She doesn’t want to have sex with him and leaves but the next day Chris has spread a rumor that he and Sarah had sex and that she was the worst he ever had. Bonnie, Rochelle and Nancy bring Sarah along on a trip where they call on the four corners of power and cast some spells. Each girl has some trouble in their lives: Nancy lives her drunken mom and awful stepfather, Rochelle is being racially attacked by a snobby girl who she’s on the swim team with, and Bonnie has horrible scars from a burn. Sarah casts a spell that Chris will fall in love with her, Bonnie asks for beauty inside and out, Rochelle asks for revenge against the mean girl, and Nancy asks for all the powers of Manon.
            Over the next few days they see their spells are working: Chris never leaves Sarah alone he always wants to be with her and is nice to her; Bonnie’s scars go away; the mean girl bothering Rochelle starts losing all her hair after one swim practice; Nancy causes her stepfather to die of a heart attack and she and her mother comes into money from his life insurance which allows them to move out of their trailer.
            Nancy goes back to the occult shop and picks up a book about conjuring the spirits. They go to the beach where they call on the spirits and lightening comes down upon them. Sarah, Bonnie, and Rochelle wake up to see Nancy walking on water which means her powers have increased.
            Everyone’s powers are starting to backlash: Chris comes to Sarah’s window at 3in the morning asking her to go out with him and he tries to rape her but she gets away. Bonnie is becoming more and more conceited, and Rochelle fells sorry for what she did to the girl who was mean to her. Nancy messes with Chris transfiguring herself into Sarah and starts to make out with him. Sarah gets to the party to stop Nancy from messing with Chris but in a rage causes Chris to fall out a window and die.
            Sarah tries to stop Nancy through a binding spell but that doesn’t work. Nancy, Rochelle, and Bonnie turn on Sarah and invade her dreams causing her to see snakes coming through drains and doors and other small nasty creatures crawling all over her. They even make Sarah believe that she has cut her wrists. She goes to her room believing that she is dying. Nancy tells Rochelle and Bonnie to go kill Sarah or she’ll slit their throats. Sarah has just enough strength to invoke the spirit of Manon and is able to heal her wrists. She casts spells on Bonnie and Rochelle so they can see the negative effects of their spells that would come back on them threefold. Bonnie’s face is all scared and Rochelle’s hair is falling out. Both are so afraid they leave the house leaving Sarah and Nancy to battle it out.
            Sarah wins in the end and creates a binding spell that will finally stop Nancy from doing any harm. Sometime in the future, Bonnie and Rochelle come to Sarah’s house to see if she has powers. She has no interest in being friends with two of the girls who tried to killer and they walk away saying that she probably doesn’t have her powers anymore. Sarah proves them wrong by causing lightening to strike a branch and nearly fall on top of the girls.
            The movie ends with the audience seeing that Nancy has gone nuts and she’s screaming that she has powers. A nurse comes in with a sedative and Nancy just stares into space.
            I enjoyed this movie it was a good laugh I like seeing a good witch/magic movie now and again. I cracked up seeing Robin Tunney in this movie, her wig was so bad that was the first thing I noticed when she first came on screen. She had just made Empire Records not that long before this so she didn’t really have hair and a wig was needed. My friend and I watched this together and she mentioned that the actress who plays Nancy was in The Water Boy as Adam Sandler’s girlfriend so when she came on screen all I could think of was “I like Vicki Vallencourt and I saw her boobies and I liked them too” haha. I loved seeing Breckin Meyer in the movie; he adds that extra bit of funny he’s always good to see.

            I have to give a big thank you to Becky for mentioning this movie. The Craft is one of those movies that I will watch when I need a laugh.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Most Dangerous Game (1933)

"Those lights don't seem to be in just the right place. They're both a bit out of position according to this."

The Most Dangerous Game made in 1933 is a Pre-Code Hollywood film. This was a time when after the invention of sound directors and writers and actors did not follow the codes that had been made for films nor were they really enforced.  

            Joel McCrea plays Bob, a big game hunter. He is on a boat with other men to a small island to do some hunting. The captain notices that the light buoys leading safely into the channel are slightly off course. The captain and some of the crew have been jittery about going to the island and now they see the light buoys are off course they’re more nervous to move ahead. Their nervousness about the island comes not long after their talk, the ship hits rocks and the ship goes down. Bob is the only survivor, he swims safely to shore.

Bob wakes up on the beach to the sound of screams and roars in the distance. He gets up to look around the island to find help. Bob finds an old fort with lights on. He walks up to the door, knocks, and the door opens with no one standing in front of it. He calls for anyone, he hears the door closed and a very tall man stands behind him. The man does not answer Bob when he tells him that his ship sank and needs a place to stay. The master of the house, a man named Zaroff comes down. Zaroff tells Bob that ships go down off the shores all the time there are currently four other people staying in the house from another wreck.

            Bob is taken up to his room where he changes into some old hunting clothes of Zaroff’s. He goes downstairs to sit for coffee with Zaroff along with two of the three other guests Eve Trowbridge and her brother Martin. Zaroff reveals to Bob that he also likes to hunt big game and that he has been doing so since he was young. After he was attacked by a buffalo leaving a scar on his forehead he became bored with hunting until he discovered “the most dangerous game” on his island. Zaroff won’t reveal what the game is. Martin said he had asked Zaroff and he would not say nor would Zaroff take him down to his trophy room.
            As Zaroff plays the piano, Eve takes Bob over to the window to take to him. She tells him that Zaroff had taken the two sailors to his trophy room and the next day they were gone, they have been gone for three days now. She has Bob look out the window, there are dogs guarding the house, there is no escape.
            Their host sends them off to bed but asks Martin to stay with to have a look at his trophy room. That night Martin vanishes. Eve is worried for her brother; she and Bob go looking for him. The pair go into Zaroff’s trophy. By the light of a candle they see a human head mounted on the wall: “the most dangerous game” is man. Zaroff and his men come back from their hunt carrying a body under a sheet. Bob and Eve come out of hiding from behind a fireplace to find that the body underneath the sheet is Martin. Zaroff has Bob bound and held against the wall and Eve has been taken away. Zaroff expected Bob to understand as a fellow hunter.
Bob calls him a madman which upsets Zaroff. He has Bob be his prey. Eve has come outside and she refuses to be left alone with Zaroff, she would rather risk her life in the jungle than to stay with him alone. He promises the pair that if they survive to sunrise they are free to leave the island but if Bob is killed than he gets to have Eve as a prize.
            Bob and Eve run into the jungle. They stop at a large fallen tree where Bob makes a trap to kill Zaroff that when tripped the tree will fall. As Zaroff and his men come near Eve and Bob run to a nearby cave to hide. Zaroff sees the wire and shoots it with his bow and arrow and the tree falls. He knows the pair is hiding in the cave so he shoots an arrow to try to get them. It misses but Eve makes a noise. He tells Bob if he wants to be hunted like a leopard then he will be.
They run out of the cave anywhere so as not to be the anywhere near where the madman is chasing them. Eve is running ahead and she jumps over a small ravine. Bob gets the idea to try to make another trap, he makes a trap where Zaroff will think it’s ground but when he steps on it he will fall. This gives Bob and Eve some time to run farther away from Zaroff, his men, and his dogs. Zaroff of course sees right through this and jumps over the gap.
            The chase is now happening in a marsh where it is hard to move. Eve and Bob keep a good distance ahead Zaroff which gives Bob enough time to make a spike and leave it in the ground for one of the men to fall on. Zaroff’s right hand man Ivan is the unfortunate one to fall on the spike.
Bob and Eve come to an end near a waterfall. They hide behind some rocks before Zaroff catches up. When Zaroff does come, Bob comes out from behind the rocks and dogs attack him. He’s able to push one over the edge into the waterfall but another one comes and attacks him. He’s unable to get the dog off when Zaroff shoots at him and both man and dog fall over the cliff.
            Zaroff takes Eve back to his home as his prize. As he plays the piano Bob walks in the door. He tells Zaroff that he didn’t shoot him he shot the dog he only went over the edge too to make it look like he was shot. Zaroff tells Bob and Eve that they can leave but what he said was not true he will not let the pair go because he is upset he did not hunt them and kill them. Bob and Zaroff get into a huge fight knocking things over including Zaroff’s bow and arrow he used to hunt down Bob. Zaroff shoots the arrows at Bob but misses. Bob grabs an arrow and when Zaroff comes near he stabs the madman in the back.
            Bob grabs Eve and they run down to a room where a motorboat is waiting. They get in the boat and drive away. Eve looks back to see Zaroff in his last few moments aiming his an arrow with them with his bow but dying from his injury he drops the bow and arrow and falls to the ground where some of his dog are waiting.
            This film is part of the Pre-Code era of Hollywood. If you know what to look for you can definitely tell it is a Pre-Code film: many Pre-Code films were no more than an hour long, this film was 63 minutes; Fay Wray’s clothing was manly ripped for much of the movie when she and Joel McCrea were running through the jungle; Zaroff murdered people for sport. With the length it made the story get right to the point there was no dragged out dialogue or dragged out scenes. If this film was any longer it would have gotten boring just seeing Eve and Bob running away from Zaroff through the jungle, the movie was tense and fast paced.
            This movie seemed like a try out for King Kong the following year: Ernest B. Schoedsack was one of the directors as well as a producer along with Merrian C. Cooper, the screenplay was written by the same people, and Max Steiner created the score. Fay Wray a year later would basically play almost the same kind of damsel in distress in King Kong being carried through the jungle and her clothes getting ripped. Robert Armstrong, who plays Martin in the movie, would go on to also star in King Kong as Carl Denham.
             I really enjoyed this movie. The story was good and the length was perfect for my attention span at the time I watched it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


“You forced me to give you my word. I never have been and I never will be bound by anything I don't do of my own free will.”

Laura starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews embodies all the characteristics of a Noir film.  The film was one of the first four films to be discussed as a “film noir” in 1946. There is murder with sexual motivations, a beautiful femme fatale, dark lighting, and wonderful different camera angles.
            The film starts off in a Noir way; the first voice we hear is that of the character Waldo Lydecker. We don’t see him we hear him while the camera pans to a clock. Lydecker says:
“I shall never forget the weekend Laura died. A silver sun burned through the sky like a huge magnifying glass. It was the hottest Sunday in my recollection. I felt as if I were the only human being left in New York. For with Laura's horrible death, I was alone. I, Waldo Lydecker... was the only one who really knew her... and I had just begun to write Laura's story when another of those detectives came to see me.  I had him wait. I could watch him through the half-open door. I noted that his attention was fixed upon my clock. There was only one other in existence and that was in Laura's apartment, in the very room where she was murdered.”
This is the beginning of some fantastic foreshadowing. In the next scene Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) asks Lydecker about a column he had wrote:
                “Two years ago, in your October column you started out to write a book review
            but at the bottom of the column, you switched over to the Harrington murder case. You                said Harrington was rubbed out with a shotgun loaded with buckshot the way Laura Hunt       was murdered night before last.”
As the scene progresses Lydecker gives some more of himself away. He says that a shotgun was a more interesting murder of a man than by the sash the man was really killed with and that murder was his favorite crime.
        Lydecker’s narrative and point of view is the first of the film. We see he was in love with the murdered woman Laura Hunt. He cannot stand to hear Mark call Laura a dame and more than anything or anyone he cannot stand Laura’s fiancé Shelby Carpenter. Lydecker sees Shelby as a male damsel in distress.
            As the film progresses Mark begins to fall in love with Laura. Her portrait haunts her as well as the stories he is told by the suspects of how kind and beautiful she was. He wanders around in her apartment one rainy night. Lydecker has just left. The detective does not know what to do with himself. He begins to look around then pours himself a drink and sits on a chair. He falls asleep, we hear the door open. Laura Hunt who everyone believes to be dead is standing above Mark.
            No one can believe Laura is alive they are all in shock. But there are two twists and one of the twists is the murderer. Everyone around Laura believes she i murdered the dead girl who is found out to be a model Diane Redfern. She and Laura had gotten into a an argument and Laura being a nice persona and feeling bad loan the model her apartment for the weekend. But Mark knows she could not be she is too smart to tell him about where she has been that he could easily check on. Mark knows who the real murderer is and why. When he leaves Laura’s life becomes at risk.
            What a fantastic film it is beautiful in every way from the way it was filmed, to the lighting, and the casting. The story is just great; you really believe that everyone Laura was close to could have “killed” her and that she could have had a hand in the murder as well. What I really like about Laura is the multiple character point of view. Lydecker is the only one who gets the voice over but we can clearly see from which character’s point of view we are watching.
            As I mentioned there is much foreshadowing. In many scenes in Laura’s apartment the characters stand in front of the clock. When Mark and Laura walk into the kitchen together the camera lingers a little longer on the clock. With Lydecker there is so much foreshadowing that he is the murderer it is nuts when you go back and watch the film.  
            My favorite scene in the movie is when Mark takes Laura in for questioning. The cinematography is gorgeous. The whole scene was just beautifully filmed and acted by Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. This is the scene where Mark in a way professes his love for Laura when he asks her if she loves Shelby. He knows from looking into her that she is a good person and that she’s too smart to kill anyone. Gene Tierney looked so pretty in this scene. From this comes my favorite movie stills.
            The other scene that was done so perfectly was the scene where Laura comes back. The music had stopped when Mark got a drink and sat in the chair. The silence in this moment just adds so much. You can feel the shock, the surprise, and the tension between Mark and Laura.
            Now I have to gush over Gene Tierney in this film. She was so beautiful. I love all her clothing especially in the white dress at the party at Anne’s house, the outfit she wore when she came back, and the dress she had on when Mark interrogated Laura. She did a fabulous job acting, it wasn’t dramatic and over the top. When Lydecker blows her off in the scene where they meet for the first time, her facial expressions were so genuine; she looked like she was really hurt and offended. In no way was she dramatic when Lydecker had the gun to her in the end again her face was genuine, she looked really scared for her life. Gene Tierney was so believable as Laura Hunt, as a young, career driven girl living the dream in New York City. This was one of the many times she would work with both Vincent Price and Dana Andrews. With Vincent Price she made two other movies- Leave Her To Heaven and Dragonwyck, with Dana Andrews- Tobacco Road, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Whirlpool. The only issue I have with the character of Laura would be her choice in men: Lydecker was an older man who finally got his eye candy and when she had other lovers he got really jealous. Shelby was truly a damsel in distress but charming. Mark seemed to be the only real man of the whole film.
            The first time I saw this I think I cracked up laughing with Judith Anderson as Anne Treadwell. The only other time I have ever seen her in a movie was Hitchcock’s Rebecca where she played Mrs. Danvers. She played Mrs. Danvers to such perfection it’s truly hard to see her in any other roll.
            As you can see Laura is a very typical Noir. There is a murder mystery, quick actions with the camera, a hardened cop, a jealous lover, and a beautiful woman. But here’s a question: can Laura herself be considered a femme fatale? I recently read the book Laura by Vera Caspary which the movie is based on. In the end there is some information about the film and the question was raised if Laura Hunt could be considered a femme fatale. That’s interesting to think about. The author of this section of the books said that Diane Redfern is the femme fatale; she was the one causing trouble for everyone.
             The book and the film run along the same lines but with great differences. Mark smokes a pipe instead of playing with his little pocket baseball game to keep him calm. Lydecker is a fat old man. Laura had hit Diane Redfern with a tray and felt so sorry about the whole thing she let Diane stay in her apartment while she was away. Anne’s name in Susan and she was an opera singer. Many of the lines in the book were brought to the film such has Lydecker’s opening monologue. One of the great differences in the book to film is the murder weapon; the book has the weapon a gun in Lydecker’s cane. The film kept the different character points of view which is important to the story. I must say the film is so much better than the book. The film takes the book and makes sense its chaos. It makes the characters a lot better and likeable.
            There is a reason why Laura is considered the quintessential Film Noir. It has all the qualities of one. It exposes the sinister side of love and jealousy. Like Citizen Kane and Casablanca before, Laura set the bar for all Noir films to come.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Life as We Know It

“They love Sophie more than anything in the entire world, and out of everyone, Messer, they picked us.”

I know, I know this is a chick flick and chick flicks usually suck. Life as We Know It was not bad. It was a different kind of chick flick story and one where they really don’t get together nicely until the end and even then Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel’s characters are still working things out.
            Katherine Heigl plays Holly Berenson who is a serious no nonsense type of girl who runs her own deli. Josh Duhamel plays Eric Messer who basically sleeps with any girl and works for the NBA as a camera operator. Both have their best friends who are married to each other in common, her friend is Alison and his friend is Peter. At the beginning of the movie we see Holly getting ready for a date and she waits since he is late. The date she is waiting for is Messer who eventually shows up looking like a mess. They walk out and Holly sees he has a motorcycle which will not fly since she is in a dress. She insists they take her smart car and poor Messer can barely fit in it (Josh Duhamel is over 6 feet tall). The date doesn’t even happen. Messer has the balls to make a booty call on the phone in front of Holly.
            They cannot get away from each other since they’re best friends are married to each other. Holly and Messer fight whenever they see each other. Both of them have a deep love for Alison and Peter’s baby Sophie.
            Holly sees a guy in her shop who comes in all the time and always asks for the same kind of sandwich. The guy’s name is same, they talk, make eyes at each other, he drops his card in a bowl and he leaves. That night Holly is calling every Sam that dropped their card in the bowl. She finally gets to the right Sam but he doesn’t pick up so she leaves a message. In the middle of leaving a message a call comes through and it’s obvious it’s not good.
            Next scene is Holly at the police station after she gets the news that Alison and Peter have died in a car accident. Messer shows up and Holly tells them the bad news. Both of them go to Peter and Alison’s house for the night and to wait for the lawyer in the morning.
            The lawyer comes and tells Messer and Holly that Peter and Alison have left Sophie to them to raise and the house to them as well. It’s a big decision for both of them since they don’t get along very well and neither one of them knows the first thing about raising kids.
            So long story short….. Messer and Holly raise Sophie together and eventually start getting along… the end. 
            I was waiting for Holly and Messer to sleep together which they totally did and then ate some pot brownies and watched the Wiggles.
            The movie could have been over a lot sooner than it did. It was too much seeing how each of the characters had different lives and the difficulties of raising a kid they weren’t ready for. In one part they both tried to change the baby’s diaper and poop was all over the place… really? My 17 year old brother knows how to change a diaper and not get everything all over the place.
            The neighbors were annoying and unrealistic to me. The one female neighbor was out of control annoying.
            I’m waiting for both Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel to be in movies that are not chick flicks and are well written. This wasn’t bad but it could have been better in so many areas. Both actors are so good. Katherine Heigl won a damn Emmy for her dramatic work on Grey’s Anatomy we know she’s good at drama and yet she keeps doing these kind of comedy/dramas that are not the greatest. Alright she was fabulous in Knocked Up but that was a few years ago now. She’s not doing Grey’s Anatomy she has the time to do movies that aren’t rushed and have some value to them. Josh Duhamel always seems to play the dude who sleeps with everyone or the hot guy who knows it. I loved and adored him on Las Vegas, I wish he could play someone like Danny McCoy again (and maybe have Molly Sims join him?). I know the guy can act there’s some to him that needs to get out. We all know he’s a hot guy but for once I would like to see him to a movie where he’s not a womanizer and knows he’s good looking. Josh Duhamel is going to start getting stereotyped and I would hate to see that happen to him he has a lot of potential.
            I liked Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl together. They seemed to fit just right together… maybe it’s because they keep playing the same characters they play over again. I wouldn’t mind seeing them in another movie together some time. 
            So basically it was a good movie but not the greatest. You can tell it was the same ole same ole by my short description. There were so many things that work. To me it was a different kind of chick flick it wasn’t all just romance and that will- they – won’t- they. I was actually surprised by the ending I though Messer and Holly would have been married and it would have been a few years down the road and they had their own kid but it was a year later on Sophie’s 2nd birthday.
            See it if you want in theaters. I’d wait to catch it on Netflix.

Monday, October 11, 2010

King Kong 1933

"Throw your arms across your eyes and scream, Ann. Scream for your life!"
 "It's money and adventure and fame. It's the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage that starts at six o'clock tomorrow morning."

The original King Kong movie: to anyone who has ever seen this movie it’s hysterical. I laughed so hard the first time I watched it. In this century we are so used to CGI and computer animation that we tend to take for granted how special affects got started. The acting is so silly it is almost painful. The script/dialogue is not too bad, I have seen movies where the acting is fine but the script is terrible.
            I recently watched the 1933 version of King Kong and looked at it differently from a historic point of view. Yes, not all of you may do this with classic movies if you watch them but try it sometime especially with this movie and it may not seem so bad.
            What truly makes this movie so classic is the music written and composed by Max Steiner. This is where dramatic film music started. The score expresses the feelings of the characters and the mood of film so well.
 There are three musical the themes heard throughout the film: Kong’s theme, Ann’s theme, and an Adventure theme.
The very first notes we hear in the main title are the three notes of Kong’s theme. We also hear the notes again before we even see Kong when the natives have Ann tied up ready to sacrifice to her to him. We know something is coming; the anticipation is building as we wait to get our first glimpse of this massive ape. Throughout the movie when Kong has Ann both his theme and her theme can be heard going back and forth as each shot changes between the characters.
Ann’s theme is interesting, the beginning of the theme the first three notes heard is the Kong notes and then it goes into something different.  Ann’s theme is very prominent in the scene where she is being taken up the stairs of the altar to be sacrificed to Kong. As she ascends the music in her theme ascends. As Kong is coming and the natives get excited her theme plays back and forth with the theme of the natives: when the camera pans on her it’s her theme and when the camera pans on the natives it is their theme.
 The Adventure Theme first comes in after the crew is sent away by the natives when they arrive on the island. For this scene, the theme is played by a French horn. After Ann is taken by Kong the crew walks through the jungle, the Adventure theme is used as a march.
Besides the themes of Ann, Kong, and the crew the music in the movie Steiner created was genius:
For the first twenty minutes of the movie after the main title there is no music. There are plenty of cuts and fade outs where Steiner could have added music but he didn’t, he most likely figured there is so much music to come when the action arrives that he did not add anything before the island. The first time we hear music after the main title is when the ship first comes upon Skull Island. The music opens up the shot, it makes the island and the shot feel expansive. Drums from the natives playing music can be heard can be heard as the ship moves near the island, this is called source music and Steiner took this source music and fit his score around the source music.
When the crew arrives on the island and are noticed by the natives their music stops. This stopping of the music draws our attention to the scene and the situation before us. It creates a nervous tension we can see the crew is nervous to be on the island and nervous because they do not know what the natives are capable of. The music of the natives movies faster and gets more exciting as the Medicine Man gets more excited.
The music in the scene where Ann is kidnapped by the natives is structured: it starts off nice and calm then when she gets taken there is a spike in the music and then it ends like it began. It fits right with the storyline of the scene.

There is no music when there is screaming and fighting. Both actions are dramatic enough that no music is needed.
The music really kicks up when the crew get closer to Kong’s lair and to Ann. As the men cross the water, Steiner took all the themes and created what is called a dissonance making the sound of the notes all mashed together to create tension. There is up music and down music throughout the scene.
One of the most important aspects of the music in this movie is what is called “Mickey Mousing.” Mickey mousing is when the music is used as sound effects. When the Medicine Man walks over to the crew the music mimics his actions.  The Adventure theme is played along to the walking movement of the crew. After the crew wound the dinosaur, Steiner used the tympanum (a type of drum that when can create different ranges with a peddle) as the sound of the animals tail moving up and down.
As I said at the beginning the acting is silly. A lot of the acting techniques were brought over from the silent era like when Jack kisses Ann on the boat, he walks away and she puts her hand on her mouth. Fay Wray (Ann) had some very over dramatic facial expressions and actions going on throughout the whole film just like in silent films. The character Carl Denham has got to be one of the most annoying movie characters ever, his voice and his fast talking got on my nerves the first few minutes of the film.
One of my favorite aspects in old films is how sexist they are. Even before Ann gets on the ship Jack is complaining how he doesn’t think women should be on a ship because according to him they bring too much trouble…. If that isn’t some big foreshadowing I don’t know what is. The whole time she’s on the ship up to the point before she gets kidnapped where they fall in love Jack does nothing but complain (As my film teacher said people fall in love pretty quickly in movies). Old movies were basically written by men with a few exceptions so of course they always put women “in their places”. But hey it’s not her fault if you really look at it: Denham took advantage of Ann needing money and HE INSISTED that there be a woman in his film.
There are quite a few things that got into the film that were quite risqué for the time: Kong pulling off Ann’s clothing and her thighs being seen and Fay Wray obviously not wearing a bra at one point on the boat. These were later added as a “Thou Shall Not” in the Hayes Code… Gotta love pre code Hollywood.
The end of the movie where Kong is brought to New York has some of my favorite music in it. It is typical 1930s fanfare music. The whole ending is just exciting. Seeing Kong in another “jungle” of steel and concrete is exciting and thrilling. The two pilots who get the close ups are the writers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack.
If you have seen King Kong before and laughed like an idiot watch it again with all seriousness. You will see this movie is very important to film history. The score was the beginning of the scores we hear in movies today. It was the beginning of the progress of special effects. So many things are so important about this movie.
So watch King Kong with new eyes and ears…. And also have a good laugh along the way