Saturday, August 6, 2011

July Movies

My movies for July were the original "King Kong" (that's right, baby!) and a Dick Van Dyke/Debbie Reynolds film called "Divorce, American Style".

King Kong was my black and white film, made in 1933 with two directors, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, although both were uncredited. Starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot, it is the original "beauty tames the beast". I have seen enough bits and pieces that I couldn't quite remember if I'd seen it or not, but after viewing it in its entirety I can safely say that I had not! I enjoyed it very much, although it helps if you maintain an attitude of "I'm watching a classic" because otherwise you'll get caught up in picking the film apart for the questionable acting and ancient animation. (I mean, it was made in 1933 for crying out loud!) I did get pretty tired of the screaming though. You'd think, even if this girl was actually in a gargantuan gorilla's hand, that she would eventually get tired of screaming. I mean, why keep screaming when you're clearly safe (albeit being carried around like a doll)? "Oh, no, I'm still in his hand! AH!" If anything, stop shrieking and yell for help, dingdong. That was really my only beef with this film, although there were some parts where you could clearly tell that falling "bodies" were dummies, but again, it was made in 1933. I would most definitely watch it again, I mean, it's a classic! You can't help but be sad when this poor gorilla meets his end, in the words of Carl Denham "It wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast."

My color film was called "Divorce, American Style" (1967, directed by Bud Yorkin). I recorded it because I love Debbie Reynolds, and Dick Van Dyke is usually pretty funny, although it wasn't quite what I was expecting. It had too many serious moments to be a straight-up comedy, and too many weird, quirky parts to be a drama. It definitely leaned more towards comedy, though, but the whole film didn't really know what it wanted to be. It was rather depressing, actually. There were some lighthearted moments of "that's totally what marriage is like!" that were amusing, but in the end they get back together because they're "soulmates" and yet the film ends with them starting up an argument again like it's a good thing. "oh, look, they're back to their old tricks, life is just like it used to be!" but if these people were a real-life couple they would have some serious issues that needed to be dealt with in counseling. There wasn't enough of a hopeful foundation laid in the interest of the marriage continuing for it to end on an argument, it needed to end on a hopeful note with their reconciliation. Or if they really wanted it to end on an argument, then give us more substance on the reasons for the marriage to continue other than "it's easier than divorce". It's too bad really, because I like both of the main actors, but I won't be watching this one again any time soon.

 And that, my friends, marks the 6th month mark of my New Year's Resolution! I will be targeting some specific films now, that are the reason I started this resolution in the first place. "You haven't seen Blanketty Blank??? Where have you been?" so be expecting some weird combinations in the next couple months!


  1. Just saw part of "Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom" while flipping through channels--talk about constant, mindless screaming! What movies have you watched so far and which ones still remain on your list?

  2. I've made a page with the films I've watched so far on it, it's here:
    I don't have an actual list of the ones I want to watch (the "you haven't seen that yet??" ones), but several off the top of my head are North by Northwest, Gladiator, Big Lebowski, Defiant Ones, Usual Suspects, Psycho, Jaws, Gone with the Wind, Rocky...okay, this is just depressing. How have I not seen any of these?