Okay… I guess many think “oh my God not another King Kong movie! Its been done to death”. There is some truth to this and I also thought this when I first heard about it but… It’s awesome. What changed my mind was the cast that includes Tom Hiddleston (the Night Manager), John Goodman (Argo, Trumbo and many others) Brie Larson (Room), Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane) and John C. Reilly (The Lobster). Then a review from Eli Glasner who described it as a B-movie on steroids and others who called it Apocalypse Now meets Kong. I was sold and when I went I was not disappointed. Glasner was absolutely right and as soon as you suspend disbelief and get into the fun you will enjoy this movie. Hiddleston is great in the lead role and everyone in the cast is clearly having a great time. The special effects are also excellent. Set in the early 1970’s the story is about an expedition of scientists with an army escort heading off to a mysterious island in the remote Pacific. Once they arrive it is not long before they encounter Kong and not only Kong but a whole island of monsters from which they must escape. Brie Larson is a great Fay Wray, John C. Reilly adds comic relief as a World War II US pilot who crash landed on the island and has been there for more than 30 years. All in total fun and adventure. Enjoy.
Paterson was a popular film at TIFF last year and one I couldn’t fit into my schedule which I now regret. I just saw it at a local review cinema and totally loved it. The cast consists of some not very well known character actors who turn in an ensemble performance that is captivating. Adam Driver plays a bus driver named Paterson in the small New Jersey town of Paterson. Yes, he has the same name as the town he was born in and has lived in all his life. The film follows a week in Paterson’s life, each day much the same as the next and giving us a glimpse into the day to day lives of our hero and his community. The unique aspect of our bus driver is his love of poetry and he himself is a poet, writing his poetry in a small secret notebook during his free time. As far as I could tell, Paterson kept his poetry to himself and shared only snippets to his wife. His wife urges him to make a copy of his work and he promises to do so but in the end never gets around to it.
The film’s charm lies in the dialogue and the quirky characters including Paterson’s flakey artistic wife, the bartender at his local pub and its customers, the conversations of the bus riders, and Marvin the English Bulldog Paterson takes for a walk each evening. The climax of the film, if one can have a climax in a film with no real plot, comes when Paterson’s secret notebook is destroyed and all his poetry is lost. He is clearly devastated but the emotion is hidden. He clearly wrote the poetry for himself and meant it only to record his personal view of life and the world. At the end of the film he has an unexpected encounter with a visitor to the town that reopens the door to his poetry and redeems his loss. A simple but moving end to a simple but remarkable look at an ordinary life. For an entertaining evening and a relaxing hopeful look at life, I can’t recommend this film more. Enjoy!