Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Went and saw Jurassic Kong King Kong last night. The Ape Wonder of the World (i can't believe they didn't use that, sheez). A rollicking good adventure all round.
Mans inhumanity against Ape, is not a new story and has been told around fires since apes were Proconsul and men were Australopithecus.
The natives were dead freaky, bone piercings, milky contacts, leering faces and black skin all looked very impressive and disturbing. (i even dreamed about them).
The sprawling, crumbling structures of a long dead society is always evocative and mysterious.
I love a good ruin.
The story is nothing complex and very effects driven, but WOW what awesome effects. Kong battling T-Rex, was a real giant Gorilla battling real fangy Dino, there was no doubt. Kong's face had more expression than most people, and better teeth.
The giant insects were very pleasant i thought, just the right amount of twitchy inspired disgust that i like with my giant face eating bugs. Though nothing less than we expect, gone are the days of wobbly headed Dr Who monsters and spaceships on string.
Teej Mahal has a very funny post about the movie. I too shed a few tears for the big fella.
So YAY Peter Jackson, hurry up and make something else uber cool. You are on a roll. If ya want a orcy/bugy/alieny extra, pick me, pick me, pick me...

Which brings me into a very nice segue about Gorillas (very deft i thought).
Kong looks like a Lowland Gorilla, there are two types Western Lowland Gorilla gorilla gorilla, and Eastern Lowland Gorilla gorilla graueri. There is also the Mountain Gorilla, Gorilla gorilla berengei.
Lowland gorilla's main difference physically (to me at least) is the swept back head ridge that give them a cone head appearance. Mountain gorillas have a more rounded shaped skull. I'm guessing it was a delibrate choice as it is quite a distinctive feature and makes him look different from other apes (apart from the 20 feet tall bit).

In which i yet again deftly segue into this:

Back in the mist of time or January 1997 as some may call it, i went on a 6 week camping safari through Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Saw and ate many beautiful and amazing beasties. Had my Evil Hippo panic attack, saw what Lions can do to a young Giraffe when they set their minds and teeth to it, didn't dance like a white girl at a disco in Nairobi (admired the locals instead) and visited the Mountain Gorillas in Parc National de Volcans, Rwanda.
We were orginally going into Zaire, but it was deemed too dangerous at the time, so we drove to the town of Ruhengeri, stayed two nights and got the hell out.
It was all very peaceful and friendly, though i tried not to ponder over the bullet looking holes in the buildings too much. All through East Africa, English and Swahilli is spoken. In Rwanda, its French and Swahilli. It was a bit surreal saying "Bonjour" in the middle of the jungle.
We hiked for several hours, 6 guards with machine guns, hand genrades and no photo policy, following the trail of the group as they stopped, ate, lolled about and moved on. We were told not to point or make too much eye contact and not to get close. The first one we saw walked across our path unconcerned. The head guard/guide made gorilla noises to let them know more whitey's were coming and to lock up the booze.

As i looked around the more and more large dark fuzzy shapes became apparent. They were all around us, feeding and hanging out. There was no threat or stress in the air at all. Watched as two babies wrestled each other through the grass, sooo damn cute what can i say. If they were stressed about us in any way they would have picked up and buggered off.
Sitting just a small distance away overseeing all was the silverback, or Big Daddy as he likes to be known. The first few i saw i thought were biggish, then i saw him. Talk about built like a brick outhouse with a head. He was huge. All condfident raw power. Just beautiful.

The teenagers (mucking around and posing) would occasionally beat their chests (they really do that) run at us, i was standing next to the guide, stop right in front, stare and wander off. Once one pushed the guide in a easy going manner and we both tumbled. Strong yes, threatening no.
Then i got to sit next to this female- as Amanda likes to say- the Most Bored Gorilla Ever. Jealously is a curse i say. She picked up my hand and brought it up to her face, so the guide slowly moved me away. I'm guessing she wasn't going to bite it off, i just sat there overawed.
Though i do always wonder for a vegetarian they do have bloody huge canines....hmmmm.
But if you once had to battle giant dinos, bugs and bats, i can see how they would come in handy.