Kong- Skull Island


This is a massive monster movie where the monsters are the stars. I have seen Kong before in various adaptations and it hasnt really worked since the 1930’s version. This most recent film is pretty spectacular in the monster sense. There are monsters everywhere and they come in all shapes and sizes.

The story explains how the island of Kong is discovered. It is like the Bermuda triangle where people suddenly go missing. It is a land sheltered by a storm which can suck you in when it feels like it. This happens to two unfortunate pilots who come from different sides of WW2. They continue to fight until a large shadow is cast over them.

The film whizzes off to 1973 where crazy scientists claim that they have found an undiscovered island home to many monsters. An expedition is agreed with the support of the army who have just retreated from the Vietnam War. We also have a photographer and a  tracker who will help on the journey.

They manage to fight there way through the storm, but soon wish they hadn’t as they have reached the scariest place on earth. To state that Kong isn’t happy about them being there would be an understatement. He soon gets his hands on those small helicopters leading to a spectacular and imaginitive fight. The survivors now have to find their way out of this nightmare.

As I mentioned from the top, the monsters are the stars. The fight scenes have been created brillianty. The monsters are pretty scary and some scenes are pretty brutal. The human cast struggle throughout and are a complete side show. Tom Hiddleston as the hero is truly  awful and wooden. This was really miscast and he struggles in this action film. The same can be said for Brie Larson as her character has no real depth. John Goodman is good as the crazy scientist, but again it is not a great part.The star of the film is Jonh C Riley who plays the pilot left on the island from 1944. He struggles having been isolated for all these years and comes across as a little crazy. He has the best background story and some great lines. Samuel Jackson struggles too, but he does have some strength to his character. The slow motion camera scenes are just pure cheese and feel cringeworthy.

Unfortunately the makers of this film spent more time on the monsters than the humans. This makes for great peaks during the Kong scenes, but huge troughs for the humans. The monster scenes are definitely worth a watch and make a poor film into  one worth a watch.


High Rise


The latest films have not been kind to us recently and that pattern continued with High Rise. High Rise was developed from the Novel by J G Ballard and is the story of a Doctor who moves into a high rise block in the 70’s. This block represents society and all that it is wrong with it. The poor live at the bottom and the rich at the top. There is an equal dislike for each other and a distinct feeling of inequality.

There is no real need to leave the high rise as everything is there. Many become isolated from the outside world as they shop, go to school, work, exercise all in one building. They party amongst their own class although these parties get out of hand. There is one man at the top who is the architect of the building and rules it. His idea however soon spirals out of control.

Things start to go wrong as the electric power cuts. This leads to panic as food is cleared off the shelves in the buildings supermarket. The people turn on each other and this leads to murder and rape. The building soon becomes a wreck and one man takes his own life. The people have become so wrapped up in their life inside the high rise that they forget about the outside world. Police and paramedics do not get a call as more and more people fall apart.

The Doctor is seen as the neutral one amongst the madness. He however gets lost in his own little world and accepts the behaviour of those around him. He is one of them despite only living their for 3 months.

This is an extremely strange film. I get what it is trying to do, but I felt it really didn’t work. The characters are so disgustingly horrible on every floor. Is this really representative of human society? The Doctor is devoid of any personality and the one man who questions high rise life is a complete brute and doesn’t have the vocabulary to challenge life there. He is completely without morality.

The performances are ok, but it is such a strange film that you wonder why such actors accepted the roles. The Abba soundtrack is interesting and tries to show the era in which this was set. The voice of Margaret Thatcher also tells you that you are living through the late 70’s. Was life this bad under her reign?

I was thoroughly disappointed in the film. I still want to read the book to discover the story behind the high rise.



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