WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE!-A REVISIT

In our continuing look back at our twenty-five years of existence, we dipped deep into our archives to find an opening article we published around this time of year back in 2005. (Vol. 10-No. 8). It spoke about how wet the winter of 2004-05 was in the southern California area. There was a lot of flooding going on then in an area that tends to be dry for a majority of the year. This winter season has some share of rainfall, but not as much as it did some sixteen years before.

Here was our take on the weather report….

Southern California, especially Los Angeles, has been hit with massive rains over the last few days and nights! We are sure that you the readers have been reading the stories off the AP wire (as well as other news services) about the mud slides, flooding, and even some freakish accidents that have occurred, such as the incident of a 16 year old girl in Orange County who was killed when a bolder rolling from a hillside crashed into the side of her home and in to her bedroom!

This is the kind of tales one would see in some B-movie. Sadly, it was all true!
California experiences its wet season roughly between December and March Beyond that time period, there is very little rain, if any at all! Usually, there is a drought period in the summertime. Of course, nobody can predict the weather. However, as things stand, it’s wet–very wet indeed!

According to the statistics, this winter season (2004-05) marks the fourth wettest year (July 1st-June 30th) in Los Angeles since record keeping began sometime in the 1870’s. However, since the rains are not over yet, that record is getting closer to become broken, if not tied! Time will tell when things begin to change for the better–or worse!

What can one do about this rain? Well for starters, keep dry as best as one can! If one experiences some weather related damage to one’s home or property, this would be an ideal time to check one’s insurance policy. Of course, policies vary in shape, size, and form. If one received damage because of rain–that is, water falling from the sky, it’s considered in insurance speak, “Acts Of God”. Most policies cover damage due to such acts. Flooding–that is, water coming from a ground source, is a different matter.

Flooding is considered a different element and may not be covered, unless one has separate flood insurance. Again, check the policy carefully, and call the insurance carrier or agent to obtain the details. For the record, such weather damage would be classified as a catastrophe claim, or “cat” claim. This is a type of claim that would not go against one’s insurance record since insurance carries are receiving dozens of claims due to the same source. Again, contact your insurance carrier for complete details!

Albert Hammond once sang, “Seems It Never Rains In Southern California”, adding “When It Pours, Man It Pours!”. Maybe so. However, Albert never lived in southern California. In fact, he was born in London, and raised in the British territory of Gibraltar. Yes, they do have their share of rain in London and Gibraltar, but the song would not become such a hit if he sang about rain in London, since London receives more rain than southern California! But what does one expect on receiving a weather report from a jukebox?

So as you bail your basement, crawl space, or anyplace that water can collect, (and shouldn’t be there in the first place), just keep your umbrella up! The best news to report is the fact that this rain will end–some day! Now, don”t you feel better already?
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And speaking of events from 2005, we through we’d bring back a movie review that first appeared in Vol. 10-No. 50 for a feature released later that same year…

KING KONG (Universal) stars Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow, a vaudeville player living in the heart of Manhattan during the great depression of 1933. When the theater she’s playing in closes, she is not just out of the show, she is out of work! Hungry and desperate, along with hundreds of people living in “Hooverville” shanty towns and living off soup kitchens, she encounters small time movie mogul and filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black). He’s in the middle of producing a travelogue/action film to be shot in some exotic island somewhere within the Atlantic ocean. He takes a liking to Ann, and since his female lead has left the production (as well as wearing a size 4 just like Ann, since all of the costumes are of that size), he hires her as a replacement. But Ann doesn’t care much for the role, until she learns that Jack Driscoll (Adrian Brody) an up-and-coming playwright she personally admires, has been hired by Carl to write the screenplay. Completing the cast for this picture is leading man Bruce Baxter (Kyle Chandler), star of a number of “B” action pictures and western features. So Carl, Bruce, Ann, and the rest of the film crew board on the boat Venture to head off to a mysterious island that would be the ideal setting for Carl’s film. That is, until all finally get to the place only known as Skull Island, where legions state that a wall built by a long forgotten civilization surrounds the entire location, as well as ruins of a lost city. Not only there are such ruins, but there are dinosaurs, giant incects, restless natives, and an ape–a very large and mean ape!

The 1933 RKO release of King Kong (where this film is based upon) is one of a handful of movies ever made where nearly everyone who watches and enjoys older movies know what the plot is all about, so this review won’t give you the reader every play-by-play. However, this same reviewer will state that this version plays like a 1930’s era pulp fiction comic book/adventure/movie matinee serial! It’s got edge-of-your-seat action, characters that either thin, cartoonish, or just strong enough for a film of this genre, and a romance that is between beauty and beast!

The special effects are mindboggling, from the dinos on screen to the recreation of Manhattan c.1933! Director Peter Jackson, who recently put the Lord Of The Rings series back on the movie map, is on helm to direct this film that has just about a bit of everything that will please a movie going audiences! Jackson even brings many of the people that worked on the Rings series, including director of photography Andrew Lesnie, production designer Grant Major, film editor Joe Letteri, and the computer generated imagery (CGI) special effects by the staff at Weta Workshop, Ltd, under the direction of Richard Taylor. Oh, yes…and to play the real star of this film is Andy Serkis as “Kong”.

Make no mistake! The original 1933 King Kong is a masterpiece for its era. This new (and third) remake of KING KONG is just as entertaining and appealing, as well as a very long movie, clocking in close to three hours in length! But one will get their money’s worth in experiencing this “eight wonder of the world”! PS..this film makes the 1976 Paramount release even worse! Trust this writer on that fact! Really!

KING KONG is rated “PG-13” for some CGI violence and mild 1930’s era cussing.

Note: This title is available for viewing through Netflix, and available on physical DVD for rental or purchase.

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