I just watched Golden Voyage and couldn't help but notice a few things - not sure if anyone ever pointed this out before or not, though I know I'm not the first to notice. 

I wonder if Ray created Koura deliberately to be a sort of alter-ego of himself, or maybe a little ways into the script he realized the similarities and then decided to run with them. Either way, it's clear Koura's particular powers are those of an animator - pretty much all he did was to bring inanimate statues and synthetic beings to life, and each time he did it aged him further (the wear and tear each of his films put on him made manifest?)

After bringing each one to life he then 'inhabited' it - seeing through it's eyes or at least being able to command it. The cost each time was apparently several more years' worth of his vitality.

Interesting it's a villain who seems to represent the animator or Ray himself - but then it makes sense that a sorcerer would be the villain. And villains are also a lot more fun than heroes most of the time. 

Then I started thinking about the prizes at stake - what was it that so strongly motivated this dark doppleganger? Not riches - but youth, invisibility, and a crown. I doubt he actually intended anything by this, but they do seem to fit in certain ways - what stopmotion animator wouldn't wish to get back the youth and vigor that's been hammered out of him by his latest production - all those endless hours closeted away in dark rooms as their hair turns grey (or evaporates a bit more). Invisibility - I think it goes without saying most of us like being invisible - we prefer working behind the scenes to being in the spotlight, though some of us doubtless are frustrated actors or wannabe stars. And the crown - well of course Ray is the king of stopmotion animators, though that crown was handed to him by O'Brien. 

I'm of course not saying that Ray secreted hidden meanings in this film, I think he was mostly just having fun with it, but it is interesting to think about. 

To go way out on a (doubtless flimsy) limb with it - how about Sinbad, and Koura as two part of a single psyche? Koura the Shadow, magician using his powers while Sinbad and his men attempt to destroy everything he brings to life. Or better yet (more fun and even more unlikely!) throw in the Grand Vizier as a third component. 

Symbolically, there's the sundered halves of the amulet, the Vizier being in possession of one and Sinbad/Koura fighting for the other. It's only when the two halves are brought together they become whole and reveal their meaning. And they all vie for the crown - Koura wants it for himself, Sinbad takes it from him and gives it to it's rightful owner, setting everything aright and in the process vanquishing the shadow-self. 

Lol ok, I know - Ray definitely didn't intend anything so literal, but it is fun to play around with these ideas. 

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Gotta go with the original Kong, myself too, Strider! Or maybe Mighty Joe... Hmmmn... Tough call there, ya know? Wasn't Joe by Merrill C. Cooper AND John Ford? Really, really dug Joe, ya know?

I've considered Jackson's Kong my second favorite Kong movie, above the Jeff Bridges man-in-a-monkey-suit 1970's Kong, but Jackson's turkey had 50, FIFTY that is, scenes, when I don't think a movie should have more than 30. Paper Moon had only 7 or 8, if I remember correctly.

Jackson's back story on Ann Darrow was kinda effective, though, I thought. It did kinda make the relationship between Kong and Ann a little more believable than the original even, if I may be so bold. But 3 T rexes, swing in vines, the hokum was horrible.

And that's the prob with modern movies in my view. Jumping the shark just ain't enough anymore. Gotta jump at least 10, all on fire with dynamite in their jaws while riding Harleys underwater, which is in outer space, over the asylum for lost sparrows on cocaine and smack, with Kevin Costner playing the part of Steven Segal while..........

Seriously?

Strider - yes you could.

Oldschooler - Jumping 10 sharks etc- YES!   Now that's something I have thought, but never managed to say nearly as well.

 

It's not only the special effects that went totally overboard in Jackson's Kong, the script was every bit as guilty. It's literally as if Jackson said "Why just have the ship go through the fog until they can see the island and anchor there for the night, I want to see the ship spinning like a cork in a hurricane, with gigantic screaming stone ape heads surrounding it, and danger everywhere!" A scene that should have taken a few minutes takes 15 or 20 and drags out the action incessantly without advancing the story in the slightest. Moviestuff put it perfectly when he said what Jackson needs the most is a good editor who will tell him when he needs to rein things in. 

Oldschooler said:

But 3 T rexes, swing in vines, the hokum was horrible.

And that's the prob with modern movies in my view. Jumping the shark just ain't enough anymore. Gotta jump at least 10, all on fire with dynamite in their jaws while riding Harleys underwater, which is in outer space, over the asylum for lost sparrows on cocaine and smack, with Kevin Costner playing the part of Steven Segal while..........

I heartily agree! Everything has to be taken to the Nth degree nowadays, to the point where action scenes are so dense that you can't tell what's going on half the time. I've heard that Bruce Lee used to have to slow down his fight scenes so that the audience could follow the action. That's definitely something that's not kept in mind with modern film making.

Action scenes are also overblown to the point that they are ludicrously unbelievable/unrealistic. I'm talking about things like fist fights taking place on the exterior of a speeding aircraft where the combatants would have trouble enough just keeping their footing let alone beating the crap out of each other. Also things like characters falling from an outrageous height and just happening to survive though a series of lucky coincidences that would have no chance whatsoever of really slowing them down enough for them to survive. Things like this used to happen in movies from time to time to add some whiz bang wow factor but now it's overdone to the point of being ridiculous.

^ I've said this before, but here it is again. I've come to realize a lot of this over-the-top action and especially the use of complex environments with multiple levels is designed to enhance the video game that will inevitably be released, and that was definitely at least as important to Jackson as the movie was. THAT'S mainly why he wanted 3 T-Rexes swinging in vines - it'll make for a great level in the game! 

Also, to touch on what you just said Roger, those fight scenes on top of planes or trains worked a lot better in the 60s and 70's Bond films for instance, which weren't hyper-realistic like today's CG-fests always are. As has already been said a few times on this thread, let the audience use their imaginations a bit! There's no need to render every skin pore on a creature, and have every muscle fiber twitching all the time!! 

Not sure If I already said this in here, but on another message board recently somebody mentioned something called the Jaws Effect. Apparently Spielberg originally wanted a lot more shots of the shark, but perhaps fortunately the mechanical shark just didn't look realistic enough to pull it off, so reluctantly he fell back on the old tricks of not showing the monster in every scene, but suggesting it's presence with music and atmosphere and by building up tension rather than just having a flying camera follow the shark everywhere as it does impossible flips and jumps through flaming hoops (like giant mutant sharks would later do in CG spinoffs). And because he wasn't able to do all the crazy "Never Before Seen!" stuff he wanted to, he ended up making a decent movie - one of his best as far as I'm concerned. 

So I guess his insistence on developing CGI for Jurassic Park was a continuation of this, or rather an overcompensation for it. He knew if he could bring CGI to a usable level he would never again have to use devices like good writing, good plotting, suspense, etc - all that old-fashioned stuff that he desperately wanted to break away from. 

My drawing/printmaking teacher, who is still a very good friend of mine to this day, and to whom I owe all of the credit for teaching me and his other students the VOCABULARY of drawing, liked to pontificate in class about the importance of avoiding " intensity for intensity's sake".

Our first drawing assignment, our first still life drawing in class, that is, was to draw white bottles on white paper. He painted various bottles solid white, set them up in a still life in front of a white background, and told us to draw them. He didn't tell us HOW he wanted us to draw them. He wanted us to discover for ourselves through making mistakes. Sure enough, everyone drew outlines, or fences as he liked to call them, around the entire shape. After we all did this he demonstrated what he was after:

Draw a shadow on one side of the bottle, and draw a shadow in the background on the other side of it. A dark side and a light side of the bottle. Ahhh, but the real trick was what NOT to draw. The part of the bottle or background that was ' let go', not drawn AT ALL. The part that was suggested. Let the viewer see, imagine, what is there when it is not there at all. Nothing could be drawn there that could possibly be better than what the viewer can imagine. Don't insult the viewer, let them participate. That is sophisticated drawing. And the importance of contrast, strong contrast comes forward, lack of contrast goes back in space...all the other things we learned from him, because his teachers were good, his teacher's teachers were good, and on and on back to who knows where the original concepts came from. Sure, I had natural ability that you can't buy in any store, but without my mentor Fred, it was just all cloudy, hit or miss intuition.

So my point is, well, all of these modern movies are intensity for intensity's sake. Let's draw those fences, build them from concrete, steel, and semiconductors. Make them impenetrable, trap the viewer in an inescapable prison of hoopla. More, more-MORE!!!!

Don't let them think for themselves. Show them how unimportant their little pitiful lives are, how small they are compared to the computer demigods. Teach them futility, crush their spirits.

EVERYONE should know that they are inferior if they are not digitized and digested, and will be crushed under the wheels of progress...

Until people themselves are rendered obsolete by digital abominations, because humans are so 20th century.

"I'm going into a theme song here!"

Man, I wish there was a LIKE button for individual posts - I'd LIKE this one a hundred times!!! 

You can thank my master, Fred, for that!

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