And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Our review of Peter Jackson’s fourth Tolkien-inspired movie, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and first part of a new trilogy, based on The Hobbit…a much, much, much shorter book.



Meet the Feebles (1989)
Hi. Pleased to meet you.

Hi. Pleased to meet you.

Not everyone has the balls to send their $250,000 alien invasion gross-out comedy to the Cannes Film Festival. Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste didn’t win any special jury prizes, but it did win the number one item on any filmmaker’s Wish List: international distribution. With that, Jackson secured himself and his friends (now collectively known as Wingnut Films) careers in show business…such as it was in the late-80s.

Not that you’d know it from Wignut Films output, which reverted back to short subjects in the wake of their first feature’s minor (but slowly growing, eventually cult-ish) success. The Japanese, for example, loved Bad Taste, and their country’s lack of public morality crusaders hypocritically draped in crosses and flags meant they got to see the whole damn film years before some of us. After some phone tag, Jackson and Co. secured funding for a short, satirical parody of Jim Henson’s Muppet Show from a Japanese TV network eager to sell something “from the director of Bad Taste.” This became the seed that sprouted Meet the Feebles. Continue reading



King Kong (2005)

"Humph...don't floss much, do ya?"I have issues with King Kong. A lot of issues.

Forget for a moment that the original Kong was a blatantly racist polemic masquerading as a pulp fantasy-adventure yarn. Forget that no one is willing to even countenance this contention, much less discuss it in a calm, rational manner (perhaps during a double feature: Kong and 1916’s Birth of a Nation). Forget that no one, anywhere, appears willing to question this movie’s informed superiority. Why criticize when you can parrot over seventy years of generalized praise? Hell, its a classic, right? Must be: it came out before 1970.

“The classic film will always be the classic film,” said director Peter Jackson in a recent magazine interview (citation lost thanks to sleep deprivation). He might’ve added, “After all, it’s a classic!” just to drive the stake right through the heart of his point. The slavish worship Kong inspires in its fans honestly sickens me sometimes. (I’m sure this is how Star Wars and Trek partisans feel about each other.) Because what is Kong, really? It’s story, constructed of reliable pulp staples, is hardly revolutionary. Hell, it’s the kind of tale chain smoking writers of the age turned out in their sleep…or their alcohol induced comas. The down-on-her-luck damsel gets a one-in-a-life-time chance to go to an uncharted island and become a monkey’s plaything…or a dinosaur’s bite-sized snack. The damsel, once distressed, needs the quick thinking of a square jawed man to save her bloomer-wearing ass. He does, the movie ends. {More}