Take Five

By George Rose

October 30, 2009

Mayhap we as consumers have become too attached to our cell phones.

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King Kong (2005)

Okay, this one's for the guys. It's got some romance too, but I'm not sure bestiality is enough to deem this one a romantic comedy. I'm sure I don't need to go into extreme detail about King Kong's plot, since it's a remake of a classic that's been remade many times. A group of explorers and film makers sail to an uncharted island, where a giant gorilla and his merry band of dinosaurs and mega-insects are guarded by an ancient civilization. Once the gorilla, or King Kong as we know him, is captured and brought back to New York, he escapes and goes on a rampage to find the actress he befriended back on the island. This inevitably leads to his... well... I won't ruin it for the few who don't know the story.

The remake is amazing. It's everything you could want from a big screen spectacle and is everything the original classic could have been if CGI and Peter Jackson existed in 1933. While the first one should be and is appreciated for its less extravagant approach, this version of Kong should be treasured for being what so many tentpole pictures aim to be and fail. The special effects alone are above and beyond so many of the movies that have since been released, and still it managed to tell a compelling story while also hitting every heart string: love, laughter, terror, suspense and so on. I can't believe how much was accomplished on its budget, since the recent G.I. Joe cost almost as much and accomplished a fraction of the experience. King Kong will keep you on the edge of your seat with eyes wide open, emoting and engaged for every bit of its three hour runtime. Had it not been up against the family-oriented Chronicles of Narnia, it may have been the biggest hit of the 2005 Winter holiday season.

Saw (2004)

That's right, I'm recommending Saw. When it came out, I considered it to be one of the best, most creative horror movies in a long time. Now that I have seen three of its sequels and heard reviews of the other two, the first Saw should win an Academy Award. Seriously, nothing puts a film's value into perspective quite like watching half a dozen clones. You just can't clone the same product so many times without seeing some of the shine come off, and Saw has never looked so bright as it did when Saw VI ruined its good name. While I have nothing but love and admiration for Saw, this is all I have left to say about Saw VI: HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ok, I'm done. No, wait a second, I feel more coming on... HAHAHAHAHA. Ah, that felt good. It's nice to see a bad product do poorly.


I'd like to say you probably know what Saw is about but, given how far off course the series has gotten, I'm sure you think it's about some sort of virus spreading. At least that's what the latest trailers barely hint at. Saw is about a man known as Jigsaw who, after learning he has incurable cancer, decides to use the rest of his life teaching lessons to those who have failed to be decent people. At first it's simple, with Jigsaw capturing sinners and making them do things like cut out their own eye or murder another person in order to survive. After establishing himself and his serial tendencies he begins creating scenarios involving more than one victim, which makes it all the more complicated to figure out who, if anyone, will make it out alive. It also makes it pretty darn tricky to guess who the killer is, in the first movie anyway. The shocking twist of a finale in the first film is the best of the bunch, because it's the least expected and most original of the six in the series.

I hate busting Saw VI's chops because the series really did become a Halloween staple for me and many others, but Lionsgate should understand why; I'm only so mad because I once loved the series so much. It's like a bad relationship that just won't end! Let it go and remember it for all the good times, because the more bad times you create trying to make it work will only make the breakup more disastrous and you'll eventually forget (or stop caring) why it worked to begin with. Plus, there are always other franchises and people to waste money and time on. And if you aren't sold on any of the movies out there, well, there's always the World Series.

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