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Kola
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Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 01:37 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'King Kong' Bombing Big Time at Box Office

Kong

What's happened? Peter Jackson's "King Kong" a three-hour, $300 million extravaganza that wowed advance screening audiences is a catastrophe in the making.

On Thursday, Kong's take was a measly $6,295,755 off $3.5M from Wednesday's weak $9,755,745 opening day. Kong ranks now as the 21st best Wednesday opening ever a dubious distinction.

Something is certainly wrong. It could be the movie's daunting length, or even a slow middle section that would have benefited from cutting. The leads are all solid actors Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black but none of them is a star attraction. That might be the trouble, but I doubt it.

In fact, Kong seems like a no-brainer. Great special effects, and a main character the ape that is more three-dimensional than a lot of humans in movies this winter.

But there's some kind of snafu, and if Universal doesn't figure it out shortly, "King Kong" could turn into a king-sized headache.

One stumbling block to a bigger take may be that you simply cannot take young children to see this movie. It is way too intense. So my advice: get a sitter. Jackson's movie is a smart three-hour video game/fun house/theme park.

Kong2

That's all folks.



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Roxie
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Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 06:32 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My big interest is.....

....how they portrayed the Natives of Kong Island in the film, cause you know how Hollywood is. ;)
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Roxie
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Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 06:33 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Funny pics! :D
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Cynnique
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Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 01:41 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm sure the community of Hollywood big-wigs is snickering, secretly glad that the ambitious Australian director Peter Jackson has been cut down to size after taking the industry by storm with his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the last installment of which ended up winning 11 Oscars! But, that's show biz or should I say that's Monkey biz. biz.
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Vaineglory
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Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 02:31 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The portrayal of the natives was really interesting. They chose people of all racial backgrounds, African, Asian, Caucasian, just everything, and basically "spray painted" them this purplish black color.

In EW magazine, Jackson said that he wanted them to be represented by all different people, so they would be different from any real race.
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Africanqueen
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Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 05:16 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Speaking of movies, what's the best in theaters right now besides Kong?
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Monique A
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Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:29 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Syriana" is a very good movie.
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Roxie
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Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 05:58 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Rent" is a wonderful film. If you seen the play you won't be dissapointed.
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 01:02 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm glad--the racial/sexual subtexts are just oozing out of this movie--it was from another time and I think it ought to stay there
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Roxie
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Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 05:31 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In this version..... is the white woman still equal in value to 6 native women? ^^'
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Vaineglory
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Posted on Saturday, December 24, 2005 - 10:58 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The natives aren't really a big focuse, they're onscreen for about fifteen minutes total. More of the focus is on the monsters on the island.

Really, everyone should go see it just for the hotness that is Adrien Brody. :-)
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Yvettep
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Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 05:26 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Possibly of interest:

Hollywood blockbuster apes African stories of old

Gorilla-related abduction stories in Central Africa date back 150 years or more.

By Lori Janies

December 22, 2005

Pop quiz: What story recounts the tale of a giant gorilla that becomes enamored with a beautiful young woman, abducts her and drags her off to become his mate?

If you answered, "King Kong," you're wrong. Well, okay, not so much "wrong" as "only partially right."

While King Kong is certainly the most famous damsel-abducting great ape around-- and recently brought to life for a new generation in Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 Hollywood classic, King Kong--a University of Minnesota associate professor has uncovered a whole band of gorilla-related abduction stories in Central Africa, some dating back 150 years or more.

"With all the hoopla around the film, I think it's important to remember that Hollywood is not the source of all stories," says Tamara Giles-Vernick, an associate professor in the University of Minnesota's history department. "King Kong is an African story."

Giles-Vernick is currently exploring the tradition and meaning of African gorilla stories in an essay called Visions of Apes, Reflections on Change: Telling Tales of Great Apes in Equatorial Africa, which she is co-writing with Stephanie Rupp, an anthropologist at the National University of Singapore, for the journal African Studies Review.

In the essay, the authors cite a report written by late 19th -century explorer Paul du Chaillu in which he mentions "curious stories" that Africans told of gorilla abductions, including one in which an "immense gorilla" carried off an African woman and "forced her to submit to his desires."

The healer told Giles-Vernick the flower was ngwago, used to protect women from gorillas that would carry them off into the forest...

Giles-Vernick says she never set out to study gorilla stories, but the stories seemed to track her inexorably through the dense African jungle as she went about other business. She came face-to-face with her first gorilla story accidentally in the Central African Republic while doing field research for her 2002 book, Cutting the Vines of the Past. The book examines how a group of migrant Africans understood the changes that had occurred in the forest following contact with missionaries, loggers, conservationists, and other outsiders.

"I was following this middle-aged woman named Antoinette into the forest because she was going to gather some fruits and leaves," Giles-Vernick says. "As she entered the forest she reached down to the ground and plucked up this little white flower and tossed it into her basket. I asked her, 'What's that?' but she wouldn't tell me what it was. So, I picked up one of the flowers and brought it back and showed it to an elderly man who was a very important healer in the village."

The healer told Giles-Vernick the flower was ngwago, used to protect women from gorillas that would carry them off into the forest and rape them.

Soon after, Giles-Vernick was struck by how many gorilla stories she encountered on a regular basis. Even the language of the area carries an echo of the theme, she says. The root language of the region is called Wag and derivatives of that word form the word for chimpanzee, wago, as well as the word wagi, which means "to bother or menace."

She encountered so many references and stories that she finally began an official academic review of the written and oral histories of these stories.

So, are the abduction stories real?

"It's a difficult thing to say," Giles-Vernick says. "People believe it and it's certainly a possibility, but it's very difficult to distinguish between what people believe to be real and what actually is real. And as an ethnographic historian, I don't make those distinctions. What I would rather do is ask questions about why it is that people would believe this."

The "why" in this case, she says, may be that the stories provide the storytellers with a "flexible framework" to explore issues such as "conflicts over forest resources and wealth, racial and ethnic relations, what it means to be a human being, and what it means to die."

As to the latest cinematic retelling of the King Kong story, Giles-Vernick says the filmmakers betrayed the legacy of those first tellers of gorilla tales by portraying the natives of Kong's fictional island home in gross racial stereotypes. The film's natives are "hideous, bloodthirsty people who had bones in their faces and who sacrificed blond women to King Kong," she says.

Despite the emphatic "thumbs-down" to the new film, Giles-Vernick predicts gorilla stories will continue to intrigue people from all over the world for many years to come.

"People find gorillas fascinating and compelling because they are animals but they are not animals," she says. "People find the behaviors that gorillas display reminiscent of human beings and simultaneously different."

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Cynnique
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Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 12:54 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Interesting article, Yvette, and I would venture to guess that Edgar Rice Burroughs may have been influenced by these reports when he wrote his Tarzan books. In fact, in these books, Tarzan was referred to as the "ape man". Propriety may have prevented Burroughs from having Jane couple with an ape, so Burroughs did the next best thing; he had Jane rescued and romanced by a "naked" ape - which is how man is sometimes referred to by anthropologists. And, as they say, the rest is history. The Tarzan movies wherein the title character is the human version of a chest-beating, vine-swinging simian who communicates with other jungle animals, have enjoyed immense popularity down through the years. But not without controversy. When these movies first appeared during the late 1920s, the religious community had a problem with Tarzan and Jane co-habitating without the benefit of marriage, especially after their son "Boy" was born. tsk-tsk.
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Kola
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Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 02:11 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette, thank you for this. I'm going to use this folklore about apes raping women in my new novel, which is set in Africa.



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Yvettep
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Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 10:58 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique-you've tied together some strings about Tarzan in a wonderful way. I never thought about T and Jane "living together"--What a hoot! As a child I remember being similarly confused about Popeye, Olive Oil, and the sudden appearance of Sweet Pea LOL!

I'm glad you will use this folklore, Kola. We desperately need to take back our own stories! I do not know the prof interviewed in the story personally, but she can be reached through our U of Minnesota web site.
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 12:17 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynnique and Yvettep:

It must be noted that most Cinematic Tarzans differed from the Tarzan created by Edgar Rice Burroughs--that Tarzan was an English Lord, spoke French, was found and taken to civilization and drove cars and lived in England--every now and then he popped back to Africa for an adventure--he and Jane were married in the books, too.
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 12:20 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynnnique:

Also Edgar Rice Burroughs had never even been out of the country when he wrote those Tarzan books, much less to Africa. He was totally ignorant of everything over there--so its unlikely that he ever heard of a gorilla abduction of a woman--

It is more likely that he stole his story from Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli story--there the baby is raised by wolves.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 12:44 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We don't know whether Edgar Rice Burroughs ever heard of the stories of gorilla abductions or not, do we? Or even that he was totally ignorant of everything over there in Africa. I know that in the books, Tarzan was Lord Greystoke whose plane crashed in the jungle leaving him alone to fend for himself as a fey young Englishman. But he did turn into a naked ape in his quest for survival.
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 02:56 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynnique:

You don't--but then there is so MUCH you don't know. If this had been an election bet you'd have been pushing a peanut up the Dan Ryan with your nose

Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois (although he later lived for many years in the neighboring suburb of Oak Park), the son of a businessman. He was educated at a number of local schools, and during the Chicago influenza epidemic in 1891 spent a half year on his brothers' ranch on the Raft River in Idaho. He then attended the Phillips Academy in Andover and then the Michigan Military Academy. Graduating in 1895, and failing the entrance exam for West Point, he ended up as an enlisted soldier with the Seventh Cavalry in Arizona. After being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus found ineligible for promotion to officer class, he was discharged in 1897.

What followed was a string of seemingly unrelated and short stint jobs. Following a period of drifting and ranch work in Idaho, Burroughs found work at his father's firm in 1899. He married Emma Centennia Hulbert in 1900. In 1904 he left his job and found less regular work, initially in Idaho but soon back in Chicago.

By 1911, after seven years of low wages, he was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler and began to write fiction. By this time Burroughs and Emma had two children, Joan and Hulbert. During this period, he had copious spare time and he began reading many pulp fiction magazines and claimed:

"...if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines."
Aiming his work at the 'pulp' magazines then in circulation, his first story "Under the Moons of Mars" was serialized in All-Story magazine in 1912 and earned Burroughs US$400.

Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Mars had finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes which was published from October 1912 and went on to become his most successful brand. In 1913, Burroughs and Emma had their third and last child, John Coleman.

You also screwed up the plot of the Tarzan books. Since you will only accept it from me if I quote somebody WHITE here it is:

Tarzan, a character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1914 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-three sequels. He is the son of a British Lord and Lady, marooned on the coast of Africa by mutineers. His parents died when he was an infant, and he was raised by Great Apes of a species unknown to science. Kala is his ape mother. Tarzan (White-skin) is his ape name; his English name is John Clayton, Lord Greystoke. As a young adult, he meets Jane, and when she returns to America he leaves the jungle in search of his true love. Tarzan and Jane marry, and he lives with her for a time in England. They have one son, Jack, who takes the ape name Korak. Tarzan is contemptuous of the hypocracy of civilization, and he and Jane return to Africa where, both being immortal, they still live.

So this is Chris eleventy zillion
Cynique 0

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Cynnique
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Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 04:22 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh shut up, chrishayden. You're such an asshole. I am quite familiar with Edgar Rice Burroughs. Oak Park is also the home of Ernest Hemingway and the show place for many of Frank Lloyd Wrights' edifices and is right next the suburb where I live. My family was, in fact, in possession of an early edition of the book "Tarzan of the Apes" as well as one of his lesser-known works entitled "The Moon Maiden", books which somehow got lost over the years. You think you are such an expert on Chicago. Nobody goes up the Dan Ryan expressway. And BTW, you also got the Disciples street gang mixed up with the Black Stone Rangers when we were discussing Maywood resident and Black Panther member Fred Hampton a while back, but I let you slide. So take the scorekeeping which you feel such a need for and stick it up your fat ass. You remain a loser in my book.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 04:29 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And just to let you know how little I value your insipid input, I still love the idea of the gorilla legends and will not discount that, although they may not have inspired Edgar Rice Burroughs, they may yet have inspired the screen writers and directors who translated his works to the screen.

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