We’ve been looking for a way to talk about King Kong again for a while now. It’s unlikely you’ll remember, but Torontoist’s first Film Friday column was actually published in the week Peter Jackson’s remake hit cinema screens, yet that’s not (specifically) the reason we’ve been in the mood to mention it again.
It just happens to be that a few weeks ago, with an evening to kill, we picked up Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (snappy title, Ubisoft!) and played it through, finding it a truly interesting title (no screen clutter, dynamic difficulty settings, interesting juxtaposition between first-person moments as Jack, cinematic third-person moments as Kong, ludicrous alternative ending, etc.) that made us think we were far fonder of Peter Jackson’s take on King Kong than we were previously. But then! It was on the Movie Network that very night, and we realised that we actually weren’t—we were just fond of Adrien Brody’s character, as we’d spent so long “being” him.
Where is this nonsense going? Well, we were just surprised to see that in some grand moment of subconscious synchronicity, the month that we’d randomly decide to play King Kong, the game would also have all of the King Kong films playing on the Movie Network, and then would this very week feature a screening of all of the King Kong films played at the same time.
King Kong Addition will be playing at the Cinecycle (at 129 Spadina) at 8 p.m., and it’s all three King Kong flicks layered on one screen and edited to fit each other as well as possible. Sounds good, no?
Well, it could be rubbish, but we’re, for some reason, fascinated by this giant monkey feller as a cinematic symbol, so sign us up! But lets say, for argument’s sake, that you aren’t, or that you want to watch just the one film at a time (pfft, Philistine). What could you check out?
Well, if eagles vs. sharks are more your thing than apes vs. dinosaurs, then prepare to be disappointed with Eagle Vs. Shark, which doesn’t really feature a battle royal between the aforementioned animals, but is instead a quirky romance story that intentionally (or not) can’t escape Napoleon Dynamite comparisons. It does star one of the Conchords (Jemaine Clement) as “Jarrod” which is a plus; however The Star’s Peter Howell doesn’t buy the love story: “Jarrod’s treatment of Lily makes him far worse than a nerd; he’s downright misogynistic and quite likely dangerous.”
There’s all manner of animals in Evan Almighty, though! But it looks like the worst thing ever, so skip it. We’re sick of seeing adverts for it, so sick we could become (wait for it) a Killer of Sheep. Which is the title of Charles Burnett’s acclaimed film, opening at Cinematheque Ontario this week. Eye’s Jason Anderson calls it “as a thoughtfully rendered portrait of American urban existence, Killer of Sheep is pretty much unparalleled for its time and rarely emulated since.”
We’ve run out of films that have anything to do with animals now. Well, if we’re desperate to stretch it out, we could say that girl’s soccer flick Gracie looks like an utter dog, but then we don’t have a decent joke for 1408, the latest Stephen King short to become a feature film.
A Mighty Heart, the docudrama about the search for journalist Daniel Pearl is also released this week, surprisingly directed by the anarchic Michael Winterbottom. Probably not as good as Tristram Shandy, but more noble. The Sun’s Bruce Kirkland does note some of Winterbottom’s trademark difficulty: “Winterbottom…refuses to give the viewer ‘the big picture.’ We are left to decide what it means for ourselves.”
And if that heart doesn’t suit you, don’t forget that the Reelheart International Film Festival closes this weekend.