Transcript of 70mm’s King Kong (1933) Episode.
SLIM Heeeyy, it’s your old pal Slim. And this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I’m joined by famous artists Danny Haas.
DANNY [Danny wheeze/laughs for 6 seconds]
SLIM And spiritual advisor Protolexus.
PROTO I was sitting — Jenna was in the room with me and she was just on her iPad. But I, I said “Jenna, put the iPad down and look at this man’s body.”
SLIM And together as friends forever, we discuss recently watched movies. We’re closing out Shame Month this episode with the OG 1933 King Kong. Is this a historic technical achievement in film or problematic slop? Let’s find out… now.
[theme music ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM Two weeks in a row, I’m starting off with an announcement.
SLIM Never been done. But we’ve long been asked when are we going to have international shipping for prints on our webstore VHSvillage.com. A lot of people want to buy Danny’s beautiful prints, frame them up and they’re international and up until now, Danny said it’s not in the cards beb. [Danny chuckles] But now it is. It’s official. International shipping on prints. Danny, how do you feel? It’s finally coming to fruition after all this time?
DANNY It feels good. It’s hard shipping overseas.
SLIM Tell me about it.
DANNY Expensive. Fees and customs and taxes and I don’t — I don’t like it very much. [Slim chuckles]
PROTO I couldn’t believe that you, of all people, were able to get 20 Postmaster General’s from around the world on a Zoom together.
PROTO To get this figured out.
DANNY We did.
PROTO The dedication.
DANNY And we got it done.
SLIM It’s like Charlie from It’s Always Sunny when he’s in front of the board and he’s got his hands up, the strings with the pins, that’s Danny figuring out international shipping for prints.
DANNY Mmm. I did it.
PROTO His eyes are bloodshot right now. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM And just a reminder, if you’re a patron you get 20% off of prints. Actually not just prints, everything. So if you’ve been sitting waiting to join our Patreon, 4 bucks a month, discount on merch. Join our fabulous Discord. Which had some amazing discussions this week about King Kong or feature prezzo. Let’s see, I forgot to update my list of new friends but I believe this the official list: Logan, Omar, Marcus, Eric, Jeff, and Devin joined this week.
DANNY My goodness.
SLIM Welcome aboard.
DANNY They’re here.
SLIM There’s been, there’s been some buzz on Twitter about a certain movie that was disparaged last week. I wanted to get into a real briefly.
DANNY Oh, okay.
DANNY People still talk about that movie?
SLIM People still talking about Shrek.
DANNY Oh, interesting. [Slim laughs]
SLIM There’s a picture of Shrek that Gabb just posted it’s not moving for me so it just looks very sad. A lot of love for Shrek back in the day. But come to find out that Danny has given Shrek a half star on Letterboxd.com.
DANNY You know, and that was like that was day one starring. Like, so, that’d be a BLB rating and I’m never changing it.
SLIM Never going back.
DANNY [chuckles] I’m never going back.
SLIM Proto, what are your thoughts on Shrek? The trilogy? And the first one.
DANNY There’s three?!
SLIM Oh yeah. At least three.
PROTO At least. Then there was the cat with the boots spin off. [Slim laughs]
SLIM There’s four, Marcie said.
DANNY Cat in boots. There’s four?!
PROTO I remember not really caring for Shrek when it came out. The jokes were a little…not, not my style. Okay?
DANNY Mmm. Thank you.
PROTO And then just of any animated movie, it just looks awful now. The animation. It has aged very poorly.
SLIM [Slim in Shrek voice] Donkey!
DANNY Matt, please.
PROTO I don’t see any reason to return.
SLIM But is there a 4K release of Shrek planned? Maybe we go back. Maybe there’s like a special edish where DreamWorks heads back in the studio, cleans it up a bit. And we go back.
DANNY It won’t happen, Matt. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Alright, I put it in the ol’ college try. [Danny chuckles] for Shrek. There’s one thing I will say about Shrek. Last time we went to Disney, a couple years ago, we went to Universal. We usually try to have like a day or two in Universal as well. And I think it was just because it was 120 real feel we went into the Shrek ride to not die in the sun. That is the worst.
DANNY You would rather have died in the sun?
SLIM I would have rather had heatstroke [Danny laughs] then sit in the queue line for the Shrek ride. Listen, it’s just like some guy telling bad jokes for 40 minutes before even getting the ride. I don’t remember what the ride was. I wanted to die.
DANNY Do you know what that replaced, Matt? Hitchcock.
SLIM I couldn’t believe it when I saw that on the random YouTube channel.
DANNY [exhales] I’m heated now.
SLIM Proto, have you ever been to Universal Studios?
PROTO No. Never been to Universal. Never been to Disney World. Land. Any of those.
DANNY Have you been to Florida?
PROTO I’ve been to, yeah, I’ve been to Florida.
SLIM Have you left the Tri-state area?
DANNY Let him speak. [Slim laughs]
PROTO I think I was in the northern part of Florida. I don’t understand the geography of Florida at all. I know there’s, you know, a few big cities. I don’t know locations.
SLIM Is there — what is in your mouth right now?
PROTO Nothin’. [Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY Oh lord have mercy…
SLIM Let’s just put pause on the chocolate happening right now and in your mouth. But what if — the first ever VHS Village meetup — [Danny laughs]
DANNY Oh no.
SLIM At the VHS Vista, we go to Disney. Spend some time at Universal Studios and we just have the time of our lives. You know?
SLIM Jenna would be fine with that, right? Your first Disney experience being at the —
SLIM With 90% total strangers. [Danny laughs] Never met in real life.
PROTO Oh yeah, sure. You know, my kids are you know, under 10. Love Disney. I doubt they have any interest in going. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Sorry guys, gotta go to the meetup. Have fun at home. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Daddy’s working.
SLIM Mamma mia. Danny, did you watch any movies this week, before we get into our feature prezzo King Kong in just a bit?
DANNY I didn’t, so let’s move on to Proto. Long week.
SLIM Reaal tough.
PROTO It’s alright.
DANNY I was getting international shipping done.
DANNY You can only make so many people happy at once.
SLIM Remnant suggests that you were just still recovering from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which is possible.
DANNY Should have watched that a third time.
SLIM Proto, what about you? Did you watch anything this week?
PROTO I did. I do have to start with last week, though. I forgot to mention that I began the Lean journey, last week.
SLIM Oh yeah.
PROTO As a reminder, we are doing another journey, we did the Alien journey which was over the course of six months. So we’re doing a David Lean, where we’re watching one of his movies for the next five months. And the month, the month of March the movie was Hobson’s Choice. His movie from 1954. So I watched that, I gave it three stars. It’s about a guy named Henry Hobson, who owns, he’s a shoemaker. He has three daughters who work for him. They’re, they’re grown of…wedding age…kind of thing. [Danny & Slim laugh] And they are desperate to get married and out of under their father’s thumb. Because he is a — to put it lightly — a monster. Pretty much. It’s a funny movie. I mean, it’s actually a really cute movie. There’s a lot of humor to it, but the dude is just, he’s pretty rough to his kids. But yeah, I had a great time. I know, Slim, you watched it too. What did you think?
SLIM I did. Just want to point out that Mikey said “I stepped away, is Proto summarizing Shrek right now?” [Danny chuckles]
SLIM I enjoyed it. The restoration on HBO Max is really gorgeous. It was pristine. And I don’t think it’s been released on 4K. Or maybe not even Blu-ray but there’s a Criterion version that looks pretty nice. I think. I liked it, it was fun. The one thing that I called out was the main lead female, the wedded age character who was like 30 — she said she was 30 — and Brenda De Banzie, the actress, she was nearing 50 at the time of filming this movie.
PROTO I believe it.
SLIM And I said in my review, get it girl because I was complaining about this very thing in Mank, that movie that’s been nominated for about 20 Oscars. I was just kind of annoyed that Gary Oldman is like 70 and he’s playing a 30 year old in that movie and he gets away with it while they have to have all these young gals. So I enjoyed that aspect of it. I thought it was pretty fun.
PROTO How about the shot of him walking back from the bar where he’s drunk and the moon reflecting in those puddles?
PROTO Man, it was like really gorgeous. I’m, this is kind of cool because you know, I haven’t seen Lean’s other movies, but I know, you know, what he’s kind of known for. And I feel that you kind of get a taste for that with this, with just some of the shots that he had. So, if anything, it just made me excited for the movies that we’re going to watch coming up.
SLIM What’s April’s movie coming up? If you want to join our Discord and watch along with us?
PROTO I think it’s Bridge on the River Kwai?
DANNY Oh my!
SLIM Excuse me.
DANNY I’ve heard that name.
PROTO Mhmm. It’s gonna be big.
SLIM Did you watch anything else?
PROTO I did. So we watched — we covered Metropolis. So I went back to Fritz Lang! And I watched his movie from 1931, came out four years after Metropolis, M.
SLIM Was this 4:3? Again?
PROTO Another 4:3. That’s four 4:3’s for me in the month of March.
SLIM Unheard of.
PROTO I don’t think it’s ever been done in the month of March. M is about a serial killer who preys on young girls. And well, that’s what it kind of revolves around. But what’s cool about it is it doesn’t actually focus so much on the killings, or the serial killer. It’s more about law enforcement. And actually, the crime syndicates trying to catch this guy. And the different, just techniques and tools they use to make it possible during this time frame, which I found incredibly fascinating. Just using like what tech you would have at the time in terms of like phones and timers and watches and maps, to try to have a manhunt where you could catch a killer without really having any details other than the victims. And again, this movie felt way ahead of its time. In some ways, it felt like a modern movie. I didn’t feel like I was watching something, you know, from the 1930s. So and this is, it’s not silent.
PROTO It is in German, but it’s not silent.
SLIM Oh. [Danny & Proto chuckle]
PROTO But it’s, so you know, it’ll be different than Metropolis. And it’s actually, it must just be on that cusp. Because there’s moments where it’s like dead silent, there’s obviously no audio to back it up. And then it cuts to dialogue. But yeah, I gave it four stars. So.
SLIM Shooo. Wow.
PROTO It was a good watch.
SLIM When you mentioned serial killer, you reminded me of that famous quote from the movie Replicant with Jean-Claude Van Damme, where he’s like, [Slim in what is supposed to be a JCVD voice] Think twice before you clone a killerrr.
DANNY [Danny laughs] Stupid.
PROTO [Proto laughs] Where did that come from?
DANNY God, you just wanted to do a voice. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Listen, I was hard into JCVD for a long time, his movies.
DANNY My god!
SLIM I mean, he has an amazing physique. Obviously, he’s an amazing dancer. There’s some scandalous videos of him dancing with women on YouTube that I’m not sure I recommend you finding out. But! I just wanted to weasel that in there. Anything else you want to talk about?
PROTO The other one I mentioned is our friends over at the Cinenauts are covering Enter the Dragon this week.
DANNY Big one!
PROTO The Bruce Lee movie. I had never seen it.
PROTO So I saw that it was on Netflix. So I popped that bad boy on.
DANNY Big one.
PROTO Yeah, that’s a big one. What a ton of fun Enter the Dragon is. I had a great time. And this is my first Bruce Lee movie. Let me tell you something.
DANNY Tell me.
SLIM Tell us.
PROTO I was sitting — Jenna was in the room with me.
DANNY Oh no.
PROTO And she was just on her iPad. But I, I said “Jenna, put the iPad down and look at this man’s body.” [Slim & Danny laugh] I could, I could not get over what I was seeing in motion. [Danny can’t stop laughing] Truly, this is the first time where I was just speechless. Like my jaw dropped at the sight of another man. And I felt something that I’d never felt before.
DANNY An awakening.
SLIM He’s got like 0% body fat. It’s unreal. It doesn’t look human. But I also was drawn to his body while viewing, it was insane. What do you think about the groin shots?
PROTO I love a good — if you’re fighting for your life, everything’s on the table. That’s what I say. When this man’s dead, he’s not going to need his groin anymore.
DANNY Right. Kick it.
PROTO So you can take it out. [Slim laughs]
SLIM I was thinking the same thing. I rewatched it too, this Cinenauts episode, Enter the Dragon, our dear friend of the show from BAT & SPIDER, Chuck Forsman, is guesting on this episode so when this is out, that episode will be out. So I fired it up too. And you know what, if you are in Mortal Kombat, I’d be going from ball shots constantly probably. That’d be my number one move, do or die time. [Danny laughs] You know? Wear a cup! None of these people can fashion a cup on that island out of anything?
PROTO Eyes on the ball shot.
SLIM We have to keep this train moving. We’re gonna be talking about King Kong 1933. And I referenced Proto’s Letterboxd.com review, it’s our favorite social media site, hands down. Spent a lot of time on that website looking at my friends’ movie reviews, the ratings. We had a lively discussion in Discord today, pitting everyone’s one star v five star reviews. Someone in our Discord, I’m not gonna name names, was talking about how Avatar’s like a one star movie? Jim Cameron’s Avatar?
DANNY It’s a shocker.
SLIM I felt like, like I needed to start gagging when I saw that in our Discord today.
DANNY We were hovering over the Delete Discord button.
SLIM We had Discord reps on the phone.
DANNY To remove it all.
SLIM Asking them how to shut it all down. But we pressed on. And every week we give away a free year of Letterboxd Pro. So if you are a hardcore movie fan, movie loverrrr, you can pay a few bucks become a Letterboxd Pro member, get rid of ads and a host of other sweet features like finding where your movies are streaming. So this week’s winner of a year of Letterboxd Pro… kevo4ever on IG.
DANNY Congrats Kev.
SLIM Just want to read some of his message. New listener with the Justice League episode.
DANNY Oh wow.
SLIM So thank God we did that episode, obviously, amazing movie. “Jumped on with this episode. Not only are you guys great, but you made me a fan with The Trial of Tim Heidecker reference. Looking forward to digging into your back catalogue.” [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM The system works…is all I want to say.
SLIM And if you want to support Letterboxd, just in general, and you want to upgrade to Letterboxd Pro or Patron status, get nice banner image behind your account, get that badge next to your name. You can do so with 20% off on 70mmpod.com. Before we get into King Kong, let’s see what I watched this week, that I want to touch on. Watched a lot. Oh maybe I’ll talk about Denzel movie that I watched. Saw some buzz on Letterboxd from a few people that I follow on a movie from 2010. Denzel and Chris Pine. Called Unstoppable. You heard about this?
DANNY Excuse me? You mean to tell me that Denzel was in a movie called Unstoppable?
SLIM He — not only is he unstoppable, as an actor, as a force on screen, but the movie is called Unstoppable. Tony Scott directed this, you might know, rest in peace Tony Scott. Top Gun, True Romance, Man on Fire, Enemy of the State, Crimson Tide, Beverly Hills Cop II, Days of Thunder. Spy Game. Anywho.
DANNY Crimson Tide was my first rated R movie I saw. [Slim laughs]
SLIM How did it go?
DANNY I don’t know. [Slim & Proto laugh]
SLIM That’s the only piece of information you retained. [Danny laughs] So Unstoppable, Denzel and Chris Pine are automotive employees. You know, they’re just working the trains.
DANNY I’m tracking with that. Keep going.
SLIM And they’re at odds a little bit, to start the movie. You know, this young buck, Chris Pine, the son of a union boss, taking his job. [Slim in South Park impression] They took our jobs! And they find out that a train is on the loose. And it’s full of like toxic waste, essentially.
DANNY Of course.
SLIM And it’s going, about to derail in a town. And someone’s got to stop this train. I thought it was amazing! Four stars. [Danny laughs] Loved it.
PROTO Oh my God.
SLIM I was shocked. Tony Scott, I’m a big Tony Scott fan. I love Man on Fire. It’s one of my fav movies. And if you don’t love Man on Fire, you need to check yoself.
DANNY Uh huh. Sure.
SLIM Rosario Dawson is in Unstoppable. She was amazing. Becs says “Slim. What?” [Danny laughs] Eric, “Oh F, I’ve actually seen this movie.” I know. I’m blowing minds right now.
PROTO Maybe I’ll have to give it a chance.
SLIM I’m trying to dig into my watchlist. Make moves. Make some headway, and that’s what I’m saying right now. Check this movie out. If you want a good time. I think it might be time for King Kong 1933. Shane Month finale. I put a poll to the IG.
DANNY Let’s hear it.
SLIM Have you seen King Kong 1933? 54% have not seen it.
SLIM So similar to Metropolis where the majority have not seen the movie, we’re digging in, change your minds. Streaming on HBO Max. Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack.
DANNY Excuse me?
SLIM 1933. Proto, can you guide us down the Empire State Building to discuss King Kong? [Danny & Proto laugh]
PROTO Schoedsack, huh? [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM [Slim in what is supposed to be a JCVD voice] Think twice before you clone a killerrr.
DANNY [Danny laughs] Stupid. Ohhh God.
[King Kong main theme song by Max Steiner fades in]
PROTO Carl Denham, picture maker and a risk taker extraordinare is out to make the most fabulous motion picture yet. Having found evidence of a mysterious island inhabited by a tribe and a beast of a measurable size. Denham sets out with a crew to make his motion picture on the island. But little do they know what awaits. Kong, King Of The Apes, The Eighth Wonder of the World. Fay Wray, would be heroine of the film, is kidnapped by the people of the island and offered as a sacrifice to Kong. In an attempt to get everyone killed, Denham and the crew race after Kong and nearly get everyone killed. Thanks to smoke bomb technology, [Danny laughs] the crew decides to capture Kong and bring him back to New York City where he can be put on display and generate some serious revenue for old Denham. But will Kong be okay with that? Or will he prove that love is stronger than steel? King Kong.
[King Kong main theme song by Max Steiner plays alone, ramps down]
SLIM An all-timer. Proto, you stepped up your game somehow for these intros the last few weeks.
PROTO Oh, thank you. I felt like I was mailing this one in.
SLIM No. [Slim laughs]
PROTO I appreciate that.
DANNY No way.
SLIM Holy moly. Mikey P says “redo your Rogue One intro” I’m not sure if that’s gonna happen. There’s actually a t-shirt with that one on it.
DANNY That one went on a t-shirt, Mikey, we can’t.
PROTO Maybe just for you, I’ll DM you Mikey.
DANNY It’s in print.
SLIM King Kong, 1933, 4:3, black and white. I’d never seen this movie. I’m part of the 54%. Danny were you part of that as well?
DANNY I am. I even clicked that I didn’t on the on the poll. So that’s me. 54%.
SLIM Now Proto, I guess the answer is obvious that you have not seen this, right? Since I think — was this your pick or was this Danny’s pick?
DANNY It is my pick, yeah.
SLIM You have or have not?
PROTO I had not.
SLIM Ohhhh, wow. Holy moly.
PROTO Had you? [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM No, we had not.
PROTO Okay, so we’re all on the same page!
SLIM We’re all in the same boat. And this is a fitting movie for us to dig into before Godzilla vs King Kong drops. I think next week by the time this comes out.
SLIM I was pretty excited. I was like, man, you know what? I don’t hear a lot of people talk about this movie. Never seen it. Time to dig in. First note that I have this viewing, didn’t take a lot of notes. They spend six weeks on this boat, this film crew, to go to Skull Island six weeks on a boat. 1933. I would want to drown myself on this boat.
DANNY No way.
SLIM I mean the crew of this boat. The people on this crew. Denham. I would not want to be six weeks near any of these people, you would?
DANNY I mean I would definitely spend six weeks on a boat going somewhere, beb.
SLIM Oh my God.
PROTO I don’t know about this boat. This is like a cargo carrier. This looked like hell.
SLIM It’s like cartons of fish under the bottom of boat or something.
DANNY I need you guys to get adventurous, okay? [Slim laughs]
SLIM Not only that, but six weeks back, they kidnapped Kong. Where’s he going on that boat?! You know?
DANNY Movie magic.
SLIM Are they gassing him every day?! [Danny laughs]
DANNY That’s why he didn’t want to throw the extra one! Send a text.
PROTO Gosh, how ‘bout our girl Ann?! [Proto in Ann voice] Can I can I come out from inside the boat? Like this poor girl. She what? She’s inside the boat for six weeks?! Is that what we’re led to believe?!
PROTO Jack, please. I mean, I know it’s you want to play hard to get with the girl that you love. But he put it on a little strong, wouldn’t you say? Old Jack.
DANNY The first mate?
SLIM There’s a line later in the movie that I specifically wrote down. I think where he like says ‘I love you’ to her later in the movie for the first time and she’s like [Slim in Ann voice] Oh but Jack, you hate women! You love me? [Danny laughs] I was like, oh my God! 1930 what’s happening right now?
DANNY Ohhh gosh.
SLIM What’s on your list after I trashed the boat in particular, Danny?
DANNY The, well, I couldn’t get — there’s so much dialogue in this movie that is absolutely poorly written. And it’s so much at the beginning of this movie that it was soo hard to follow. And it’s not only poorly written, it’s really poorly performed, especially by Denham.
DANNY Like he’s such a terrible actor. Like I hope this was his first and last film. [Slim laughs] For cinema’s sake. I mean, he’s dead now. So this is not gonna get back to him.
SLIM Rest in peace.
DANNY But holy cow, he was horrific.
SLIM He sounded like he was talking like he had a Tommy gun in his back pocket.
SLIM He sounded like a gangster in all of his lines. He was awful.
DANNY And everything he did was like, “Come on, guys. We’re gonna go this way.” And he’d like do the long like arm swing — it was just, oh baby. It was tough to get into a place of enjoying this film.
PROTO It was so bad at the start that I thought that maybe there was some kind of meta thing going on where it’s about this guy who’s making a movie and they’re making fun of making movies. [Danny laughs] Like very, you know, very quickly, you realize no, this is just really bad. How about the scene where he goes to find Ann? And he just grabs her and says — what’s he say? Something like, oh, there’s a taxi and just —
SLIM Kidnaps her.
PROTO Yeah, basically kidnaps her.
[clip of King Kong plays]
CARL DENHAM What’s your name?
ANN DARROW Ann Darrow.
CARL DENHAM Fine. I’ve got a job for you. Costumes on the ship won’t fit you. Broadway shops are still open. I can get some clothes for you there. Come on.
ANN DARROW What is it?
CARL DENHAM It’s money and adventure and fame! It’s the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage that starts at six o’clock tomorrow morning.
[clip of King Kong ends]
SLIM This takes place, now everyone I guess is jobless. They have no food. They’re in line to get bread. And she’s stealing what like an apple or an orange or something from a newsstand?
DANNY It’s black and white so you can’t tell.
SLIM Some kind of circular object. And he is without a lead for his movie. So he just hits the streets. [Slim in 1930s actor voice] I’m going to find someone, see! We’re gonna make this picture. And he finds this girl who is like starving to death and takes her into a taxicab and whisks her way onto a boat. You are a scumbag. This guy, Denham. I wanted to punch him in the face the entire movie, watching this thing.
SLIM The whole thing about her, this is taking place during the Great Depression, obviously. And just taking her — I mean, was she homeless to me? She didn’t have a care in the world about leaving for six weeks. She didn’t really even tell anybody.
DANNY I don’t know.
SLIM I was just so taken aback by that plot. And I know it’s 100 years old, takes place in a certain period of time, but like, man, like what is going on? So bizarre, right?
DANNY I felt like I kept telling myself this movie just had it’s like 88th birthday. Like, if I was seeing this in the 30s, in the cinema, would it be that weird or that bad? So I don’t know. It was, in 2021 it’s a hard watch.
PROTO Well, I think it’s comparable to, yeah, just bad acted action movies. You know, this day, like look at any Michael Bay movie. [Danny laughs] Look at the Transformers, right? Like they look good. You’re excited to see Transformers on the screen. But the acting and the writing is terrible.
DANNY We’re gonna get some letters about that. [Slim laughs]
SLIM I mean, I I sat through all those Transformers movies. James is on a kick. So I had to get them all. The Last Knight. Anthony Hopkins one? It’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. [Danny & Slim laugh] Geez Louise! Knights of the Round Table robots that have just been on earthed until like the seventh Transformers movie?
PROTO Let’s get into it. [Slim laughs]
DANNY The way they destroy Chicago is pretty good, though.
SLIM I can’t! I couldn’t. Let’s — maybe before we get too overtly negative, I mean, a lot of negativity for me to get to about this movie, but, the stop motion. King Kong himself. I adored the stop motion in this movie.
SLIM I loved seeing Kong. I loved his face.
DANNY Goofy ass face.
SLIM It was like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer face mannerisms, you know?
DANNY It was! Yeah!
SLIM What did you think Danny?
DANNY I loved it. And what was impressive was, I think the every time they did it, where were they would pass through — I mean, I meant to bring this up with you as well — but when they would pass through either Ann or another human and it would go from film to stop motion in his hand or in his mouth, that was impressive. Like it was obvious what it was but it felt like seamless how they did it. And even like the scale of things, where she’s on the log, and T-Rex and Kong are fighting behind her, that fight was awesome. Like I couldn’t get over how cool it was. So there is so many rad scenes. So many — it was like smart choices too, like when they kill the Stegosaurus. And they’re walking by its giant body like —
SLIM That was smart. Yeah that was cool.
DANNY That was rad how they would, they would pan the camera with them and then the background was — like it looked like they were walking past it.
SLIM When they shot that Stegosaurus like nine times and then 10 more times in the face. [Danny laughs]
DANNY And then point blank in the head! And then the tail! Oh man. So goofy.
PROTO Yeah, I love the idea that, here you’re on this island, you see a dinosaur [Danny laughs] that you wouldn’t have thought existed. It looks at you. “Oh! Give it to him boys!” [Slim & Danny laugh] And they just try to kill it. And then it’s laying there — I couldn’t get over the line. Denham goes “Give him another one.” [Danny & Proto laugh] And shoots him in the face! Like what are they doing?
SLIM That was an R rated moment in this movie. Like if I had children watching this, I probably would have fast forwarded through that shot. Oh them just annihilating its face.
DANNY My gosh. The blood pouring out of T-Rex’s mouth? The black blood. Oh man.
SLIM Oh my! Yeah, it looked like jelly falling out of that.
DANNY So gross.
SLIM What do you think of the stop motion, Proto?
PROTO I loved it as well. And I know they still do stop motion now.
PROTO But I wish they would, I wish they would do it in this style. Or almost have like a throwback movie in a similar way that — they make video games now that are 8-bit, 16-bit, that just mimic you know, an older style. And the thing is like watching this. Yeah, it’s old and there’s ways to make it look better with modern tech. But it still looks great. And it’s fun to watch. Oh yeah. Sean in chat is saying the ragdoll bodies. Oh my gosh, amazing.
DANNY That’s what I was gonna bring up.
PROTO When they’re in the water. And the whatever that thing is, Loch Ness is grabbing them and tossing them I was dying. [Slim laughs]
SLIM The dummy budget in this movie was through the roof. They’re just fallen down from the logs also. [Proto laughs]
SLIM Like they didn’t care, like this is what’s happening in the scene. It’s obviously dummies. But maybe that blew minds in 1930. What’s the stop motion company that still produces now? What was the one like Orbo that came out?
DANNY Yeah, Laika I think is what you’re talking about. But Kubo is a phenomenal film. Like we should definitely do that at some point. Because it is gorgeous. And the stop-motion feels seamless. Like it’s just, It’s ridiculous. The behind the scenes making of that film is is mind blowing.
SLIM Proto, what else is on your list for Kong?
PROTO I liked — well, so the first 45 minutes of this is just pretty awful, and boring and not interesting. But once it hits, once you get 45 minutes in and they get to the island, it really picks up and that’s where the stop motion stuff happens. And it’s a ton of fun. What you were saying about the dinosaurs, I remember from the 2005 Peter Jackson King Kong there’s a there’s a T-Rex fight and that and it actually has the same thing where he actually kills the T-Rex in the same manner with like, pulling back his jaw. And then with King Kong just like closing it to make sure like he’s dead. And that was kind of cool to see this one this time and be like, oh, that was a complete just take from from the original. And even just how cool it was to see how Kong would fight where there’s almost a point in every fight that he’s in where you think he’s gonna lose. But then he figures out what he needs to do to win and then he just like destroys whoever he’s fighting. And I haven’t seen an original, the original Godzilla vs King Kong. So I am like so excited just to see Kong fight Godzilla and like whatever style he’s gonna use for that fight. Also, the other thing that’s interesting about this, I read a little bit about it, how King Kong has his scale changes throughout the movie. And apparently that’s like a normal thing in the Kong movies, because they say even, yeah, it’s something like he’s, I think there’s periods where he’s like 30 meters tall and then he jumps to 60 and then when he’s in New York City he’s like 80 and then they say like in the newest Skull Island movie, he was a certain height but now he’s in the Godzilla vs Kong he’s going to be much bigger to match Godzilla’s size.
SLIM Yeah, I was actually gonna ask that because I didn’t get the trailer like I didn’t understand how Kong was all of a sudden bigger, as as big as Godzilla, so you know maybe there was a line in the sky on that I just missed like “Oh, he could adjust his mass!”
PROTO I think they don’t even, they just don’t even care. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Don’t say reference, don’t they referenced that he’s young because of his dead family? Like those monsters that killed his family whatever was on the island before.
SLIM Oh, like he was like essentially like a child maybe?
DANNY Yeah, yeah, yeah.
SLIM The start the movie there’s an overture with music playing and then the credits actually were gorgeous I thought.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
SLIM The text, the font mark type, sizing. Whatever you want to call it. The color mark. Colorway. But I was kind of like begging for a restoration. You know, it still looks old. Like we watched Hobson’s Choice and that is pristine and glistening. So I was like, oh man, I wish they had kind of like a restoration for this edition of the movie. Looked grainy, you know, it looked old. Which you know, it is.
DANNY I wonder how hard it is, though. Because there’s, there’s moments in this where you see like, what looks like the film is like rippling, you guys noticed that? Like it got wavy at some points? And then like you could see — I just wonder how hard it would be to actually I don’t know, make a 4K Dolby of this.
SLIM Wasn’t me that said it for those playing along in the drinking game. I don’t know if that counts.
DANNY I just can’t imagine because it looks like whatever they have right now on HBO is pretty bad to work off of.
SLIM Yeah, I would imagine to the all of the stop-motion stuff, I wonder if that would just still look the same. They probably film that a little bit differently. And remember, when we’re talking RoboCop 2.
DANNY Oh yeah. [Danny chuckles]
SLIM The stop-motion stuff in, you know, what was essentially I guess, like, you know, 480p or something. So whatever version you’re watching, it’s gonna not look as good as the other scenes. The parts where they bring him back to the city, I was just kind of confounded by the size of him, how they even get into that theater. He was so huge, but if he has can change his mass, I guess the answers that. The one scene I was chuckling at was when Jack rescues her and comes back — this is kind of like the trope from back then. He’s instantly handed a bottle of like liquor. [Danny laughs] He’s like near death. But this is the medicine he needs.
DANNY Here, drink this. [Danny laughs]
SLIM “Here you go Jack, take this!” Just thought that was funny.
DANNY A lot of the stuff that I loved in this film the most was really a lot of the scenes where there were fog. And I know that might sound a little weird, but the shots in the jungle and the shots of the boat coming through the fog and initially your taking off were absolutely gorgeous. Like I couldn’t get over the layers of shots in that jungle. You had like the you know, like the foreground, the background, but there was still like, for a movie in the 30s with stop-motion and live action. It’s all spliced in between. There were so much care in the whole surroundings of the scenes, which I couldn’t get over. When Kong takes Ann to his like lair in the mountain. There was like this shot where Jack is kind of coming up as well. And there’s like, there’s like a waterfall and — I just, it was gorgeous. Like I was super impressed with some of the shots. And I think my favorite shot of the film is actually, my favorite sequence, is I think it’s either right after he kills T-Rex. But when he goes back and grabs that log with all the guys on it. I was incredibly impressed on how they did that. With him, the stop-motion ape grabbing the log with all 15 guys on it and they weren’t stop, they were the live actors. Like I couldn’t get over. I was like trying to visually see how they did that. And it was so impressive. That scene just it just shook me. I just couldn’t get over it.
PROTO Yeah, that was so good. Because I didn’t even, I didn’t even really think of that. It was so well put together. It didn’t even hit me that this was stop-motion and those are real guys on this log.
SLIM There was a there was a smart scene where she’s tied up and he’s like approaching the stand where she’s offered as a sacrifice and he stopped motion in the foreground or background and she’s closer and she like falls forward off screen and then he like appears holding the doll of her.
SLIM Like I like that stuff.
DANNY Just really clever, yeah, yeah, some really clever stuff.
SLIM Some of the villagers have reviews for this. movie. Let me see I just want to read a few of the VGER cuts. PopFenton says “I’d watched a supercut of all the stop motion all day.” Where’s John’s? I just saw it and made me chuckle. “Every human in this film sucks shit.” [Danny & Proto laugh] “Weirdest episode of Seinfeld ever” Mike says. I’ll read one more. Let’s see, Neil, “90% of this dialogue in this movie is Fay Wray screaming”
DANNY Holy cow.
SLIM “Kong roaring or sailor shouting some variations on ‘come on fellas’” The Fay screaming. I mean, Fay, come on. Can we cut the screaming back by maybe 80% of this movie, right?
[clip of King Kong plays]
FAY [screaming bloody murder]
KING KONG [making Kong noises]
[clip of King Kong ends]
DANNY There’s even a scene for her to practice screaming! [Danny laughs] It was amazing. So much screaming.
SLIM It was too much.
PROTO Love a good scream. [Slim laughs]
DANNY I mean, it was a good scream. But holy cow.
SLIM I mean, yeah, I would scream but as an audience member, let’s cut it back a bit. You know, I’m going deaf. What else is on your list, Proto?
PROTO We mentioned it earlier. But when Kong first appears, and they do that close up of his face, and it’s clearly a different puppet. Oh boy, I was getting Harry and the Hendersons vibes. [Danny laughs]
DANNY I knew it!
PROTO And I was not prepared to see that. [Danny keeps laughing] And I was, I was taken aback. But I was also laughing hysterically just at the sight of him because he looked — I mean, it looks super goofy now, but not in a bad way.
PROTO It’s just like a lot of fun. But yeah, that face. This is definitely going on my subhuman list.
DANNY He also has that smile. Like he had a smile at one point where he’s looking at Fay and it’s zoomed in on his face. Holy cow. Matt, you brought up the Kong ride Universal, and I have early like childhood memories of riding that ride and thinking anytime I was going to go to New York, it could happen. Kong could attack. [Slim laughs] And in this film, so in the in the ride, on Kongfrontation, you ride in like, it’s like a subway car, but it’s suspended. And when he in the New York scene right before this, when he attacks that, that like over the train car. I was like getting like nervous. I was like, oh god, this is exactly what I thought would happen!
SLIM Now, was the universal ride, I guess technically, based on the 70s movie, or did it not relate to the 70s movie at all?
DANNY It was its own kind of story.
DANNY Yeah, it wasn’t really based on anything, just kind of Kong attacking New York.
SLIM So as the reviews were coming in from the Discord, there was a lot of — like, I hadn’t watched it by that point yet. But everyone was kind of calling out the problematic nature of this movie. And I had no clue what anyone was talking about. I didn’t even remember anything about this movie, except for maybe like an Oscar award show supercut of like, Kong’s arm going into the room. [Danny & Proto laugh] That was all I knew about this movie. But there is, you know, the metaphors for race in this movie. It’s 1933, Black men around this time are King Kong from a white lens. You know, they’re, they thought that Black men were obsessed with stealing our white women. You know, even the locals on the island, were kind of problematic in and of itself, but they steal her for Kong. They offer what like five?
DANNY Six, yeah.
SLIM Six women in place of one white woman, like they try to make a trade. So then we capture Kong from his natural habitat, and put them in chains. And we put him on display like in literal chains, and show how like, we’re better than Kong. So I was pretty much out of the loop on all of this. Safe space. And as soon as the reviews came in, I was like, oh, yeah, you’re right. So I can see, so I actually was thinking of my dad, when I was watching this movie. I was like, I wonder — my dad’s a movie buff — and I was like, I wonder if my dad caught any of this. Seeing this movie. I meant to call them today to find out but, to be honest, it was like lost on me until someone pointed it out. And now when you think about it, and you’re like oh yeah dumb dumb. It’s pretty obvious. But you know, Proto, did you have any vibes when you’re watching it or seeing any of the reviews came in because I think you posted a few articles in Discord about it?
PROTO Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I kind of had a similar, I think experience as you is where, you know, people are saying there’s things problematic with this. And I’ll be honest, like, I didn’t really, like catch that at first as I was watching it, but then as I thought about it and read about it was like, okay, this makes sense. But I think it I, I get, like, I had some thoughts about that. So like, with King Kong, my first experience was the Peter Jackson movie in 2005. And then it was Skull Island last year. So through both of those, I was ignorant of the race, the racial history, and like the context of King Kong. And even as I was watching this one, it was easy for me to ignore the racial stereotypes or the personifications that take place. And I think that’s because the film itself, it, it’s not, it’s, I think it’s implicit, rather than being explicit about these things. At least, that’s how it feels to me, but I think it feels that way, because, like, as a white guy, I can be like, tone deaf, to this kind of stuff. Like when I see it, I’m just thinking, like, this is a movie about a giant gorilla. But also, I think that’s because that’s the advantage that, like white people have, when they watch like movies like this. I can be tone deaf as I watch King Kong, because I’m a majority, like, I don’t have to, like, I never see myself in movies. Because, like, I don’t have to, like white characters aren’t me, they are just characters. So as a white person, I have the privilege of being tone deaf, while I’m watching King Kong. Whereas, you know, a minority or someone who has been disenfranchised in some way, when they, when they see representation in a movie, they are seeing themselves, you know, in some way, so that is them, and when a filmmaker is making a statement about them, is making a statement about them, whether they like it or not. And I think that can be like the, like a severe disconnect for white people and why I could like watch something like this and be like, you know, like, what’s the issue? Because I’m like, like, as a person who has had so much representation, it’s not even an issue or like something I even think about or that’s on my radar. So I was kind of, I think, like, that’s like my takeaway watching this, is like how easy it is, for me in my position to just like, it not even matter.
DANNY Thank you Proto.
SLIM I think you’re 100% right. It’s easier for us, you know, the big quote “us” to just kind of just watch it and not see it. So when Boom, co-host of the Cinenauts podcast, I just wanted to call out her review, because I thought it was pretty good. And there was a great discussion in Discord as well. Just in general about the movie and some helpful links. So again, by all means, join the Discord. Boom, didn’t even rate it. I’ll read from her review, “I won’t read this because it’s ideologies are trash, and contributed to putting into motion some horrific, degrading tropes in cinema that have yet to be fully shaken to this day. People always talk about the effects for this film, their groundbreaking and pretty awesome, I won’t deny that. I really enjoy the adventure element of the story and the idea of it being the early days of filmmaking and having this ambitious director pushing boundaries and discovering new ways to elevate the moviemaking experience. It’s also kind of ironic because that’s what the film was in real life. It’s a clever story, too bad it’s dripping in colonialism.” So this is just one of those cases where it’s just very helpful to seek other perspectives, you know, like if we didn’t have the Discord, I would probably just watch this movie like this suck. [Slim laughs] Spoilers to my review, my rating. And I probably wouldn’t even think anything of it unless I saw a review from someone I knew I knew that called this out. So I don’t know if you had any thoughts on that Danny or I think you probably, you said you agreed with Proto.
DANNY Well I definitely agree with Proto, I mean Proto said exactly how I feel just he said it better than I could. So thank you for that Proto.I agree with you Matt because I didn’t get to watch Kong until today and so I had all week of seeing the Villagers reviews come in and I’m grateful for that because I watched it from a lens — it’s funny because I watched it waiting for, to see the racist tones in this. And it’s not there, it wasn’t there for me. Like I messaged the two of you right when I was done. I’m like, because of how much racism was talked about in reviews and I get finished and I’m like, ohhh crap, I didn’t see anything. Like, this is my white privilege. I know that. And I didn’t see what anyone was talking about. And that’s why I DMd you guys. And I said, what are you going to talk about, like talking about the racist tones in this because I don’t, I don’t have any notes on it. So I was worried. And so I had to do a lot more googling and to read about it. And so I am grateful to be able to have these voices in our Discord and Village and with you guys and to see things that I wouldn’t necessarily have seen through, you know, my white male gaze.
SLIM Even the most helpful thing to do is to just consider other perspectives. So again, super grateful for the other perspectives on Kong and obviously read up and see you know, how it impacts other people that don’t look like you. And Carl Denham is still dirt ball and I wanted to punch him in the face the whole movie.
DANNY A question came through in the Discord when we were talking was Peter Jackson’s version less — I got to scroll up — was less problematic?
SLIM I don’t remember.
DANNY And I had read that he changed, the only thing that I read was he changed the location of where Kong was, he wasn’t in Africa. It was like in the South Seas or something. Then I read a commentary that said, if he changed the location, then obviously there was a problem with where it was originally or something like that, but I don’t know if he caught as much heat. Like, I don’t know. I actually had never seen it.
SLIM [Slim in what is supposed to be a Jack Black voice] ’Twas beauty that killed the beast. That’s the only thing I remember of that movie.
DANNY Right, right.
SLIM Jack Black’s delivery of that line.
DANNY Mmm. I have two more things. One, I outside of everything we just talked about. I loved Kong in New York. Those shots were super rad. I love seeing like the wide shots of him climbing the Empire State Building. I laughed so hard when Jack was like, “I know what we should do guys! Send up planes!” [Danny laughs] It was so funny!
SLIM Oh my God, like none of those idiots thought of using aeroplanes in that moment, Jack has to come in and save the day.
DANNY Oh my gosh. Absolutely incredible.
DANNY It was laughable but man, the shots of Kong on top of Empire, swatting out the planes, taking the bullets and then leading into his death like, you can’t tell me Kong falling off the Empire State Building and hitting the concrete below. And his body still lay there in one piece.
SLIM No. [Slim laughs]
DANNY It would be a pancake mess of blood down there.
SLIM You were right too about the scenes of the Empire State — oh my God famous — Sean, it’s funny you posted The Simpsons meme, but I said to Amanda before I fired it up, I was like now I’ll finally be able to see the OG version of all the Simpsons homages for that episode. [Danny laughs] Where Burns finds King Homer. The shot of the Empire State Building in New York City to start that entire thing.
SLIM That was gorgeous.
DANNY Yeah, super rad.
SLIM Holy moly.
DANNY I really loved it.
SLIM Alright, so you got your final thoughts in. My final rating for King Kong, 1933, OG. I’m two stars.
DANNY Oh my! Holy cow!
SLIM Did not enjoy it. I found the characters insufferable. Just about every character I found just, just get away from me. I don’t want to hear from you anymore. Technical aspects aside, you know, that are actually included in that two star review. Stop-motion is amazing. The camera trickery, a lot of fun. But I was just bored, doesn’t hold up for me at all.
DANNY Hmmm. Wow, wow, wow.
SLIM I mean, even the obvious racial overtones included that as well. So Proto, what about you?
PROTO I thought the first 45 minutes of this was a one star movie. But I really had a fun time in the last hour. Some of my other thoughts. I know Danny, we’re talking about just the the New York City stuff. Probably my favorite shot is when he’s up on the top of the Empire State Building. I always thought that was kind of like a silly thing when I’ve heard of it, you know, King Kong on top of the Empire State Building, but I thought that shot looked amazing. I actually felt almost like queasy to my stomach, just imagining being that high on a building. Just that then landscape shot. Also, I had this thought, what about a King Kong movie, where he takes over New York and he’s been living there for 10 years and he’s just like, decimated the city. Can we get that made?
SLIM The new Skull Island. Manhattan.
DANNY Just resting on some skyscrapers. Ooff.
SLIM King of New York. Oh my God, that would be amazing.
DANNY Holy crap, are we producing this?
PROTO If someone hasn’t seen this before, I recommend the Prot-cut, which is you can start at the beginning and then just watch as much until you can’t stand it anymore and then just skip to the 45 minute mark. [Danny & Slim laugh] And just watch it from there. So overall, I gave it three stars like I did enjoy it, yeah it’s problematic, the beginning’s terrible but I just I love that stop-motion. The beasts fighting. I loved it.
SLIM Danny, take us home.
DANNY I’m actually really glad we watched this. We have Kong vs Godzilla coming up this week. So I’m glad we checked this off. The stuff I loved kind of out shined the stuff that I hated. I was with Proto, the first 45 minutes is insufferable. It’s horrific acting. The dialogue is terrible. But once you get to the island, you get the stop-motion, you get the dinosaurs and Kong in the jungle and then you get back to New York it’s pretty incredible work. I mean they did some great things. So I’m right there with Prodo. This is three stars for me, it’s good, nothing to write home about and yeah. I liked it. I enjoyed it.
SLIM Wow. Wow. When was the last time I was the lowest rated one?
DANNY Every other episode.
SLIM Can we get Gabb to confirm? [Danny chuckles]
DANNY Crunch the numbers.
SLIM Crunch the numbers. Ian, former producer of the show, now disgraced. Said “Proto just described Planet of the Apes.” When you described Kong taking over New York City. I guess that’s a spoiler for the future movies.
DANNY Anyway. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Anyway, sorry, I thought Proto maybe had thoughts, but I guess not.
PROTO Oh, I don’t see how that’s, I mean, they both have, they’re about an ape I guess but this one’s much bigger. I’m not really sure what Ian’s getting at, but.
SLIM Remnant says I was the lowest for Mr. Nobody. So it is fairly recent, where it has happened. Alright, so we have to get to some voicemails before we announce next week. And next month, officially.
SLIM It’s big.
DANNY Big, big, big.
SLIM It is…a biiig. You can leave us a voicemail or letter using the links on 70mmpod.com. So by all means, check it out. Let’s see, we got a letter coming in hot from Anthony. “Let me start this email off by saying I personally enjoyed the Man of Steel, enjoyed Batman v Superman, actually own copies of both of them. Even though I can’t remember much about the theatrical version of Justice League. I don’t remember hating it. I think I saw it more as a missed opportunity. With that said, here are my thoughts on the Snyder Cut of Justice League. Great movie, too long, should have been shorter. First two hours need to be tightened. Combine those two hours into one. Trim up the last two hours. Get this movie down to about three hours, maybe 2 hours 45 minutes. And to me that would make this movie epic. I gave it four stars, watched it over a couple days. The first two hours were slog to get through but the last two hours were amazing. Glad you guys picked it and talked about it. It made me take the time to check it out. Looking forward to King Kong, great movie created many special effects that are still being used to this day. Thanks again for running a great podcast. Thanks again for giving me a year of Letterboxd Pro. You guys have gotten me back in watching movies and I can’t say thanks enough for that. You also need to dive into Chinatown sometime, should be a part of the month.”
DANNY Here we go. Here we go. You know it’s coming.
SLIM [Slim in unknown voice] It’s Chinatoowwn. [Danny laughs] “When I was writing screenplays it was the one I studied often and if Slim hasn’t seen Slaxx with two x’s on Shudder, he should. Before I go, Apocalypse Now, one of my favorite Vietnam movies glad you guys enjoyed it and reviewed it. Cheers. Anthony. AWR72 on Letterboxd.”
DANNY Can I say one thing about the DC movie Justice League Snyder Cut? If you’re coming into it and you’re thinking man, four hours this is long, because I still disagree with the people complaining about it being long. It’s broken up into six chapters. Take your time!
SLIM Get ‘em.
DANNY Watch a chapter at a time. You don’t have to rush this thing! You don’t have to watch it in four hours in one sitting. Okay?
SLIM Get ‘em.
DANNY That’s all I have to say.
SLIM Chris from indogyrs, I’m not sure if he’s here tonight, he sent — he’s like if I may send my review for Kong. So I have it here. This indogyrs from the Discord. “In this movie King Kong is shown to be about 50 feet tall. But 8x the size of an average gorilla. I found that a fully grown silverback gorilla can benchpress around a staggering 4000 pounds, though I’m not sure how they this, unless they somehow managed to get a gorilla to put up a few reps.” [Danny laughs] “I’ll have to remember to YouTube this later. So anyway, let’s assume that Kong can bench around the ballpark of say 32,000 pounds. These morons hooked him down with three chains.” [Danny laughs] “Called it a day and packed the house full of spectators. Not even a single stupid, big game Van Pelt from Jumanji looking hunter with a tranquilizer gun on the ready.” [Danny keeps laughing] “On top of that, he was hopped up on some 1930 sedative, which if we’re being honest, with some mixture of morphine, alcohol and cocaine and shook in a hostile environment, tell me how they would have handled King Kong taking a shit” [Proto laughs] “Let alone breaking out of his three goddamn chains.”
DANNY They were chrome steel.
SLIM Dummies, the whole lot of them.
PROTO Yeah. And then, and then you drag in in front of him. Just to get —
DANNY The love of his life.
SLIM [Slim in 1930s actor voice] Hey, Jack, put your arm around her, see! Let’s get a nice photo right in front of the monster, eh?!
DANNY This is how he talks, eh?
PROTO Denham needs to wake up. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Alright, we got two voicemails tonight. Before we get to our big announcement.
VOICEMAIL What’s up 70mm? It’s Mike, wanted to call in about the prequel to the Nintendo Donkey Kong series. [Danny laughs] King Kong 1933, really excited to see what the discussion is going to be about, especially about how this movie ties into the video game series. So look forward to hearing your discussion about that. But I wanted to talk about the movie, I want to talk mostly about how like the first half hour of this movie was probably the most interesting, engaging part of the entire film that really sucked me in and kept me watching. [Danny laughs] Only because the dialogue was snappy. Just the straightforwardness of everything and every character was great, you know, until we get to the island and meet the ship’s captain, you know, with all of the very extremely racist 1930s era caricatures of people. This movie was was pretty solid besides that. I will say, you know, the claymation was great. All of the action sequences, you know, were fantastic with the claymation. And I think what really sold this movie was how well the actors delivered seeing these monsters that were clearly not there. I think that was fantastic. Like the Stegosaurus scene where it gets killed and they walk by and are talking about it. That was great. You know, but otherwise, otherwise, you know, this, this movie was three and a half star movie. And you know, I’m glad that someone picked it because otherwise I would have never watched this. The end of the movie was very long and very loud. And overall, this is probably the loudest movie I’ve ever seen in my life. [Danny & Proto laugh] So thanks for, thanks for picking this watching experience. catch you guys later.
SLIM Ahh, thank you Mike.
DANNY It was a loud movie.
SLIM Unbelievable. Three and a half stars for Mike!
PROTO Surprised that by that, honestly.
SLIM Jake in chat says “I must have watched the wrong movie.” [Danny & Proto laugh] If you’re looking for a comics podcast in your life, by all means, don’t forget to check out Mike’s podcast, the I Read Comic Books podcast. Last voicemail of the night. Let’s get to it right…meow.
VOICEMAIL What’s up 70mm? It’s Wes. My voice is much better this week. Thanks for asking. Not sure what was going on last week week. Anyway, just thought I’d drop a quick VM, at least by my standards, to say thanks for picking this movie. There’s plenty of uncomfortable truths about King Kong. They need to be addressed more widely and you’ve created the space to do that. So thanks again. When I first watched this back in January, I think it was the racist tropes depicted made for really uncomfortable viewing at times. Yeah, I couldn’t fully articulate my thoughts on it. But the Villagers discussions in the Discord this week have been truly, truly enlightening. So props to you all for building such an open minded, supportive community of smart, articulate and thoroughly decent people. For what it’s worth, I find it impossible to land on a complete rating for less film. On the one hand, it’s a total five banger in terms of story, adventure and suspense. And of course, there is incredible technical elements, but on the other, it’s steeped in race and a symbolism that only becomes more important when you place it in the context of the history at the time. And the latter should never be raised when talking about the former. Especially when those two things are so intrinsically linked. I’ve seen a lot of people dump want this film for it’s acting. However, to that I’ll just say, it’s 1933 guys, can we just adjust those expectations? Fay Wray is OG scream queen. [Danny laughs] Show some respect please. Anyway, cheers again, guys. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
SLIM Who knows if she even was able to scream again for the rest of her life after this movie?
DANNY I actually did mind Fay, I thought she was good. When she wasn’t screaming.
SLIM Thanks for the VM, Wes.
PROTO It’s hard to adjust my expectations when I’ve been watching Fritz Lang, who was making movies at the same time. [Slim laughs]
DANNY It’s true. Very true.
SLIM I forgot to say, first of all, thanks, Wes for the VM. Very nice. I agreed — I didn’t mention it — but I did enjoy the story itself. You know, it’s a genius story idea overall. Alright. I think that is it for this week. Now, this is the end of the month. So Shame Month is officially over. We marinated on some things. I got a DM from a Villager who has been quiet so far tonight, I think. Forrest, with a suggestion on the next month. And that would be a month, you know, he just shot out a name for it. Blockbusted Month or you could call it Box Office Bombs. Movies that underperformed compared to their expectations. So Proto has exhaustively prepared a list of movies that fit under this bill. It’s like 100 and something movies he put together. So just to rattle off some examples of what we’re talking about. Tenet. Heaven’s Gate. One of the biggest bombs in history. If you grew up watching movies, you know about that movie. Battlefield Earth.
SLIM Sahara, Matthew McConaughey.
SLIM Titan A.E. Remember that movie? Wrinkle in Time. So those are just some of the movies. Proto, did any of those jump out at you? You don’t have to reveal a pic for the future. It’s my pick. I was just curious.
PROTO Ah, well, I remember talking about Heaven’s Gate last year…
DANNY Yeah, we talked about that right?
PROTO And I was like, oh, this is interesting. And apparently there was, that like, changed Hollywood in some way. So I was interested in that. I mean, The Postman, Kevin Costner. Come on.
DANNY Oh my gosh!
SLIM Can you imagine returning to Costner?
DANNY Oh, baby.
SLIM For The Postman.
PROTO There’s also that Keanu Reeves movie 47 Ronin that came out the other year. I don’t know anything about it, but, Keanu.
SLIM This is the reason why I brought up Final Fantasy the Spirits Within too, I remember that coming out and the CGI at the time being mind blowing. But that was like the end of Sony’s experimentation with CGI movies right after that. [Slim laughs] Jupiter Ascending. Treasure Planet. Windtalkers. So these are just a few potential options. So I have my pic already for next week.
DANNY Me too!
SLIM You do?!
DANNY Not for next week. But I have my movie picked.
SLIM Okay. So next week. I felt like this — I saw a movie that jumped out at me on this list. Box Office Bombs. Blockbusted. It’s time to right a wrong.
DANNY Ohh. If you say Shrek, I swear to God.
SLIM In the history of this show. [Slim laughs] Is Shrek on here?!
DANNY I don’t know! It’s a bomb in my heart.
SLIM It’s time to right a wrong. I have chosen a movie by the name of Speed Racer.
DANNY Ohhhh my God.
SLIM From the Wachowskis.
PROTO There it is.
DANNY You did it.
SLIM This has been oft looked over in our voting.
SLIM It has ever gotten the vote.
SLIM To win its place as a feature prezzo on this show. But it’s time.
DANNY Have you seen it?
SLIM I’ve never seen it. [Danny gasps] Never seen it.
PROTO Is there a 4K of this?
DANNY There has to be.
SLIM [hyperventilating] Oh my — oh my God.
DANNY I saw this IMAX 3d. And I was a changed man. I’m ready.
PROTO This movie in 4k would be redic.
SLIM Is this available — Letterboxd isn’t even loading now, we just crashed the servers.
DANNY We broke Letterboxd.
SLIM I can’t even see, I’m getting the error pages now. So I hope that’s available in 4K. I don’t know if it is, but I know it’s not streaming. So this is going to have to be a rental.
DANNY You don’t own this already people?
SLIM If you don’t own this, myself included, wake up.
DANNY It’s at Goodwill. Go to your local Goodwill.
SLIM I’ll hit up the Goodwill for a VHS if I have to. So this is a big month. We’re going to be choosing our movies from this list that Proto has meticulously pored over. He was looking up websites. He’s like making notes, he’s writing down in his notepad, looking up, looking down, looking up, looking down. So I’m excited.
DANNY When are you guys watching Kong vs Godzilla?
SLIM When does that, when does that come out? Next Friday? Or earlier in the week?
PROTO It’s the 31st.
SLIM Friday the 31st. Let’s see that’s probably going to be a midday, mid-afternoon watch for me.
DANNY I mean, I’m just saying because I’m seeing it in a private screening in a theater this week. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Ohhh my gosh.
DANNY Just saying. You know?
SLIM Famous artists Danny Haas invited to in-theater screenings of Godzilla vs Kong.
DANNY I do what I can.
SLIM I’m gonna be sitting on my lazy boy.
SLIM With my feet up. Maybe eating some carrots and hummus.
DANNY With the wife and child, hopefully.
SLIM With my family and two dogs. Proto, what about you? How are you gonna watch a movie?
PROTO I’ll probably be watching it on my phone before I pass out after putting my kids to bed. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Just be careful it doesn’t drop on your face.
PROTO Thank you.
SLIM Do you have any thoughts to close this out this week?
PROTO Any thoughts? You know, King Kong, he’s big. [Danny laughs] He’s a big deal. I’m glad that we take on things that are small. [70mm theme song fades in] Take on things that are big. And that we do it…together. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM We’ll see everybody next week for Speed Raceu —
PROTO [Proto in unknown voice] Speed Racceeur!
SLIM We’ll see everybody next week Speed Racer. Love you. Goodbye.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM 70mm is a VHS Village production, featuring original artwork provided Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies, provided by Protolexus. Producer emeritus, dale_a. Prints and other merch are available on 70mmpod.com. This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. And you can support our Patreon for access to our Discord to talk movies with other Villagers, get early access to episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. If you would like to support our friends at Letterboxd and upgrade to Pro or Patron status, you can do so with a 20% off discount using the links on 70mmpod.com. Goodbye!