Monday, December 12, 2016

King Kong And Christmas

Every family has holiday traditions and so does ours. The following entry, from 12-26-05, is about a Christmas tradition surrounding the birthday of my nephew, Seth.

I am terrible at remembering birthdays. I know those of my folks, my siblings, and several people who share my big day but that's it. There is one exception. I know the birthday of my nephew, Seth. The middle child of my brother, Scott, and his wife, Karen, Seth was introduced to the world on Christmas Eve, 1986. To make sure his birthday is not overlooked, Scott and Karen have always gone to lengths to make sure we celebrate it. When he was young, it was Chucky Cheese and a movie. Now that he is a high school senior, Chucky Cheese has fallen by the wayside but the trek to the theater has remained. It's always Seth's choice. With advice from slightly older cousin, Ben, Seth opted yesterday for the Hawleys to take in this year's holiday blockbuster, King Kong. I rarely go to the movies but I will attempt a short Ebert and Roper-like review for those of you deciding how to spend your time off and your entertainment dollar:

King Kong is a three hour extravaganza that seems like four. It could have been cut in half and no one would have been any wiser. The special effects are incredible at times- the final showdown on the Empire State Building took me to the brink of nausea. There are the required heroes and villains and those who can go either way. Naomi Watts is absolutely stunning in reprising the role Fay Ray made famous in the 1933 version. Kong is a misunderstood monster who directly or indirectly is responsible for the deaths of hundreds. Jack Black as the huckster Carl Denham closes the movie with the most predictable line in the history of cinema. I never fell asleep but the thought crossed my mind. Seth succinctly summed up King Kong as we exited the Des Peres Cinema with his own unique teenage wisdom: "Ben, you owe us seven dollars!"

I realize many of you will disagree with my assessment but critics aren't in the business to make friends! King Kong will make money and little kids will love it but to me, it typifies our society. Make it bigger, flashier, and more expensive. Make the chases longer and more outlandish. What would the story of the Savior's birth have been like had Hollywood written the script? We can rest assured it would have been more exciting than an obscure couple in a little-known village in an oppressed part of the world. It's not that the messiah was not anticipated-it's just that the scenario was misinterpreted. The movie trailers pique our interest for upcoming attractions. The scriptures also had trailers but they called them prophecies. Movie characters are larger-than-life. Jesus was life personified. You couldn't miss Kong- the theater shook when he was introduced. Most people could and did miss the appearing of the one who loved all the unattractive and not just one breathtaking blonde. In the end, Kong dies and his story dies with him. When he hits the pavement, his obituary is written. Jesus dies, too, but that's just Act One. There's a sequel, you know. They call it The Greatest Story Ever Told. It won't just hang around for two months before retiring to Blockbuster Video like King Kong. It has a playing date throughout eternity. Movies live and die on the basis of self-appointed media experts. Positive comments sway public opinion and perhaps turn an average effort into a money making phenomenon. Jesus had the greatest review of all-time, the alpha and omega of reviews. I humbly close this Christmas night with these words from Matthew 3:17, heard only by a crowd on the banks of the Jordan River roughly 2,000 years ago:
"And a voice from heaven said,
'This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.' " 

Applicable quote of the day:
"Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!"
Isaac Watts (from Hark, The Herald Angels Sing)

PS: I give this entry two thumbs up!

God bless and Merry Christmas,
Luke 18:1

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Jon said...


Devin Turner said...

I'm scared of big apes! just seeing the trailers of planet of the apes gave me nightmares!

Anonymous said...

Wishing you and yours much love, peace, and happiness!