Why is it such a crime to name it King Kong? I get that Kong: Skull Island sounds cooler, but why avoid the name? The closest they got in the film was saying “Kong is king.” Well, okay then.
What a fun movie, though. This was my kind of monster film. Kong: Skull Island follows people on an expedition to the mysterious Skull Island at the end of the Vietnam conflict (is it still conflict or war? that was never cleared up in middle school history class). At the start of the expedition, a big gorilla kills some of the people and things go south. For the rest of the film, the survivors fight monsters and learn about the gorilla.
That’s a pretty silly premise, and what I liked about the tone was that the film does not take itself so seriously. There were classic monster movie tropes as well as some subversions, but it didn’t try being thought-provoking or deep, because the original already did that. The characters that were completely straight were balanced with characters who were a bit goofy, like some of the soldiers and John C. Reilly. He especially was fun. His character has been stranded on the island for almost thirty years, so it makes sense that he is a crazy person.
None of the characters are deep. They are all pretty basic, but each had enough of a personality to stand out as different from the rest. This applies to minor characters, too. Sam Jackson is a war hero who really wishes the U.S. stayed to win Vietnam. John Goodman is a scientist out to prove he’s not crazy. Corey Hawkins is an eager young scientist. Brie Larson is a photographer with a curious mind. There’s a young soldier with a love for rock music, there’s one who has obviously been affected by the war, and one who has to put up with him, but in the end, the two are best buds. Tom Hiddleston is handsome – I mean, an expert tracker.
THE VISUALS! I just really love the look of the film. I’m into adventure stories in this time period because of the look of the vehicles, the weapons, and the clothes. I think it’s a good time period for an adventure film because of the aesthetic and the lack of technology. More importantly, the cinematography was fun on its own, and the color pallet was excellent (I hate that color pallet is such an issue, but it is with a lot of movies). The colors were bright when they needed to be, the grass was green and lush, the sun helped with visuals, and the color changed in different areas of the island.
Now let’s talk about something annoying. This film presented itself in a way that says “We don’t need any sequels or tie-ins, but if there was a Kong sequel, it would be just as fun,” kind of like John Wick. However, this film only exists to “establish” King Kong for when he crosses over with Godzilla and Mothra and whoever else. I like this film quite a bit, and I loved the flair and the style, and I’m not positive that those will continue in future installments, especially based on what I’ve seen from Godzilla.
Overall, I would say this movie is one to see in theaters, but based on how excited you are for it, let that influence when you see it. I went to a matinee, paid $4, and had a ball. If you’re super excited, go to an evening screening and pay the $12.50. Kong: Skull Island gets 7/10 from me. Even with the most ridiculous parts of it, I had an APE time (it’s like “great,” but I used “ape”).
I’m not quite sure what it says about Batman, but it seems telling that this film, a parody of Batman, was in fact the best movie with Batman in it since The Dark Knight. The movie mocks Batman and Warner Bros. at every turn. At the start of the movie, some rando is commenting on the Joker’s plans from previous movies and Killer Croc yells with glee, “I DID SOMETHING!” Oops, spoilers for Suicide Squad, I guess. The film comments on Batman going through “phases” by referencing the different movies, and I laughed out loud at the fact that for Batman and Robin, they show a screenshot of Bat-nipples, and for the ’66 TV show, they show Adam West Dancing. They even have some not-so-subtle, not-so-friendly jabs at DC and Marvel. Oh, and the soundtrack’s pretty cool, too.
Because of its tone, the film is able get Batman really right. He’s narcissistic, he refuses to let others in, and he’s afraid to commit. The film never says “Batman’s parents are dead,” but it shows that he wants to have a family but is afraid of it at the same time, which is why he prefers to work alone. The movie’s message is that teamwork is good, not being alone is good, and anyone can be family. Through the movie, you see Batman fight it by exploiting others and fighting any positive emotions he has towards others. The movie even comments on the fact that Batman really is not a good person. On top of that, this film looks at the relationship between Batman and Joker better than Dark Knight or Batman ’89.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. The comedy and the script are great. The message is good for everyone. Will Arnett is pretty great as a spoof Batman. All of the main voice cast does well, actually. The animation is CRAZY. It still blows me away that they can animate stop-motion toys. This one gets a solid 8/10 from me. Not every joke landed, the message was a bit on-the-nose, and Ralph Fiennes did not voice Lego Voldemort on top of Lego Alfred. Yes, Voldemort was in the Lego Batman movie.
We’ve all been there, lying in bed watching Netflix to avoid studying, counting the minimal points needed to not study “as hard,” and trying to figure out what your name is during the sleep deprived weeks. As a recent grad, who has been through her fair share of final gauntlets, I am here to offer some advice. Here are my top five tips for surviving the pandemic we call finals.
Comfort Food is SO Important
Get off your ass and go out to eat. Get away from the four white walls and the uncomfortable desk chair that you are sitting in. Take your nose out of your book, finger off the keyboard, grab your wallet and keys and head to the nearest, greasiest place you can find. Spend the extra buck and order the large fry because you need comfort food to fill the hole your professor made when they ripped out your soul last week. Forget the calories for the day and eat what you have earned. Save the regret for your New Year’s Resolution.
Take a Buzzfeed Quiz
Finding out what type of pizza you are is way more important than trying to understand an outrageous calc. 4 equation that you will probably never use again in your entire life. But knowing what pizza you are could benefit you next Friday night, am I right? So, stray away from blackboard, worksheets, and review guides for 20 minutes and take a quiz like: “F*ck, Marry, Kill: The “Harry Potter” edition.”
Take a load off. It will benefit you in the long run. Follow the link for a fun break: TAKE A QUIZ
Turn the volume up to an 11? More like turn the volume up to a 36 and just jam the F*ck out with your roomies. You need to let the stress roll right off your chest with some Blink 182, some throwback middle school rap, or some Florida George Line (if you’re into that country twang, like me). Take a drive or disrupt your neighbors. Music can help you momentarily forget your homework and impending exams. Drown out all the businesses of your life and finals. Music is therapeutic, especially screaming the lyrics in a small confided space like your car or dorm.
Actually Make Time to Study
I know. It’s like, “I actually have to study to pass?” YUP! Make time to study. Don’t just wait until the last minute and pull multiple all-nighters. Study one hour on and one hour off. In his article, “How to Study”, Professor Robert A. Hatch from the University of Florida explains, “One should study about 4-5 hours a day.” So don’t kill yourself and study for 12 hours straight. Make and plan and stick to it. Find a comfortable setting. Hydrate yourself. Grab your highlighters and hit the books.
Appreciate the Little Things
Take a moment and just think about all the good things in your life. Even though you may be drowning in notes and reviews there’s good to be found in this. Find happiness in the breaks you take from studying, even though they may be brief. The fact you have the opportunity to go to college. Find joy in the fact that you are one step closer to achieving your goal: graduating. You need that little glimmer of hope to make it through hell week. Being happy keeps you sane and that’s my professional advice.
Class of 2016
Larry Tech Talk Host