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*** Official KING KONG Review Thread


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#1 of 43 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted December 14 2005 - 02:09 AM

Three hour midnight movies always kill me. But lately, they have been worth the misery, and for that I am extremely grateful.

KONG is a bit of a tough review (aren't they all), especially after one midnight showing and not much sleep. I might as well start with the nits, and I have a few. The films uses a huge chunk of time from the excellent opening credits to the thrilling arrival at Skull Island. Some of it is critical, much of it is interesting, but not all of it is necessary. I'm sure they could have found 10 minutes to squeeze out (and save for the EE, which WILL come, Universal bean counters be damned). In another scalpel move, I would have noticeably shortened the Brontosaurus sequence on the Island. It had the weakest effects and some of the most implausible, lucky events for the characters (physically). And there is plenty of action to come. One more minor concern when I speak of PJ.

And I'm done with nits. The film is a little too *full*. The good news is at the halfway point, all of the excess have been shown...no more bloat. A film can get away with some excess, but not near the finale. As a note, I would not cut one minute of Naomi Watts from the film.

Speaking of Naomi Watts, she's as luminous an actress as I've ever seen. I was in love with her from her first appearance, and I stayed that way through the credits. In between long periods of running and screaming, there is a brilliant performance there...almost all with her eyes. No other actors are nearly her equal, but each shine here or there. Jack Black was top notch, as I expected. Colin Hanks and Jamie Bell were also much better than their limited screen time would lead you to expect. They exude likeability. A shame Jamie disappears after Skull Island. Adrien is a fine actor without a lot to do, but he makes the most of his screen time. It's a tough position to be in, playing second male lead to KONG but he does it.

Technically, the film is a marvel to behold. It is as big screen as big screen gets. This is the first theatrical MUST SEE since Titanic in 1997. And I am aware that the LOTR trilogy, the SW PT, the Matrix Trilogy, the superhero renaissance, and Pixar have all displayed brilliant reasons to hit the big screen. Those films are enhanced by the big screen. KONG is a step beyond that. If you love films (and you do, you are at the HTF), see this on the big screen. You may not like it (more on that later), but you won't regret it.

I usually do director last, but I'll do PJ next to last. I loved PJ's direction of the LOTR trilogy (and Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners). I knew he was skilled, and LOTR showed him to be uniquely talented. But that was Tolkien. He had A+ material to work with, and one of the best casts ever assembled. But KK is a work of such extraordinary heart that PJ instantly joins the small fraternity of directors who have become legends. My last nit: PJ sometimes needs a little more restraint in the scenes he loves (not the dramatic ones, his eye there is flawless - but the action scenes). Once or twice, he upped the ante a bit TOO MUCH. As strongbad said (paraphrased):
Not wanting to be an ACTOR in the biplane...that's emotional investment.

That is based on my recollection this morning. This review grew far too long, but was a bit cathartic. I may seem foolish for such an attachment...so be it. I know some will identify with my feelings. I could care less about the Visual Effects Oscar. Kong himself should receive a special achievement award, for all of the artists involved, for Andy, for PJ, even for Naomi. Even over PJ getting a BD nom. The effects were merely the window to the character. A means, not an end.

9.5/10

What an end it was,
Chuck
Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?

#2 of 43 OFFLINE   Kami

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Posted December 14 2005 - 02:21 AM

I'll keep this short, I'm not a good writer. King Kong was a wild ride. This is how "popcorn" movies should be. The film is packed with pure entertainment...it's busting at the seams with it. The beginning is a hair too long, but it wasn't excrutiating or anything. There was useful character development there, except Hayes and Jimmy...I just didn't buy their relationship. I think it should have been left on the cutting room floor. The Skull Island stuff had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Storytelling told with great action is the best way to sum it up. The T-rex sequence and the bronto stampede were easily worth the price of admission on their own The final act is equally impressive although very emotional. I don't think the length of the film is the problem, it's how exhausting it is emotionally. I didn't check my watch once, for what its worth. Kong himself is a landmark in visual effects, even moreso than Gollum. I believed in him from the first frame until the last. Andy Serkis and the animators responsible should all get an award. The rest of the effects are all first-rate, nothing was very dodgy save the bronto's...but even though they were the weakest, they were still above the level of most other films. Every cent of the $200m budget is on screen. I skipped a lot including how wonderful and beautiful Naomi was, but I said it was going to be short. Best movie I've seen this year. 10/10

#3 of 43 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted December 14 2005 - 02:28 AM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "King Kong". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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#4 of 43 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 14 2005 - 07:04 AM

So, like, what would happen if King Kong and a
Tyrannosaurus fought. Who would win? Huh? Huh?



King Kong is the pinnacle of what can be
done with good storytelling, the most elaborate
effects ever put on screen, and of course, the
passions of a director who finally got to make a
film that was his life-long dream.

King Kong cost a whopping 207 million dollars
to make. Fortunately, every pennies worth of that
budget is shown on-screen. To date, I have never
seen a film with such awe-inspiring effect work that
ranges from a beautifully digitized 1930s New York
to a dinosaur showdown that makes Jurassic Park look
like...well...a walk in the park.

The film's only flaw is that it runs much too long,
with way too much time spent on Skull Island, though
I am not sure how much further editing could have
been done without ruining some of the most beautiful
effects work ever brought to the screen.

I have so much admiration for Peter Jackson. He is
the most gifted director in Hollywood today and I
truly thank him for proving once again that Kong
is still King.

 

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#5 of 43 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted December 14 2005 - 07:46 AM

Great review, Chuck. My initial 'review' was kept short due to being prior to the release, but I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say. Even the faults. Let's beging our campaign for Watts Oscar nom now! I laughed, I cheered, I cried. It can be said of Kong without a hint of cliche.

#6 of 43 OFFLINE   MikeRS

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Posted December 14 2005 - 07:54 AM

You wouldn't know how great this flick get's if you only watched the first hour. The thing is you can say the same thing about the first act of the original (of course it takes up only a third of the time Posted Image )

As much as I admire Ang Lee's Hulk, it's Jackson that completely evokes the primal masculine force. I think men (and women!) are gonna love that -- mostly because deep down, we all know we're really that primate beast inside.

#7 of 43 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted December 14 2005 - 08:10 AM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image out of Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image (although at this point i would rather give it Posted Image Posted Image 1/2 out of Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image )


the second remake of the classic and frankly the one i've enjoyed , in toto, the least.
i felt the film was compromised by some really poor creative choices (and i fully lay the blame at Pete's feet). and while i do have to give him credit for shepherding such a gargantuan production and putting the production values fully up on the screen, there were just a few too many things that either rubbed me the wrong way, or just left me coldly admiring the amazing technical achievment and yet at the same time indifferent to the characters and events.
yes, Kong is fully realized and an amazing achievment in cgi (and kudos and bravos to Serkis who i am now convinced is a damn fine actor in general...easily at the level of anyone else in the cast here) it is almost impossible to not look at Kong here and see a real silver back gorilla...
and doggone it, but that was the problem for me.
while he does bellow and beat his chest and do dino mayhem...ultimately he plays more like Mighty Joe Young than Kong.
several times i felt like i had entered a worm hole and was watching some hallucinatory Dian Fossey special.
on the one hand, i understand the impulse to 'go more naturalistic' but on the other, i thought that direction killed a lot of the pulp magic of the original.
on the other hand, the recreation of 30's New York City is a wonder to behold, and there are definitely a good dozen or so (maybe two dozen) shots in the last third of the film that are breath-taking, and yeah i did tear up at the murder of the beast, but in a way, i felt shamed into it. i felt it was more of a sentimental reflex than an honest outpouring of emotion for me.
in contrast, i watched Titanic recently for only the second time and felt more honestly moved.
its hard to really express what i mean because obviously, Jackson did something right because you do feel Kong is getting a bum deal- however in the third act you also see how poorly the three main characters (and all the supporting ones for that matter) have been given a resolution in the film.


and yes, the film was much, much flabbier than it needed to be, and the excesses (mostly on Skull Island and i would definitely agree with Chuck on his criticisms re the Bronto chase, ) were a definte case of more equaling less.

and fwiw, i hated the Jamie Bell character and his mentor (who for some reason can extempraneously quote passages of Conrad). once again, i understand the rationale for trying to give the future dino-bait some character and personality, but the execution is horrible.

in fact, once the crew set foot on Skull Island the film started to lose me, and only got me back in fits and starts. in comparision to the two previous versions, this ones imagining of the Island and its human inhabitants is (again) naturalistic, but dreary, dismal, ugly and... utimately incomplete.

i first saw King Kong when i was 7 years old. it captured my imagination like nothing else and for the next 3 years (which amounted to a third of my lifetime at that point) i was obsessed with the film (the '33 original). it was the film that inspired me to ask my parents for a tape recorder for my birthday so that the next time it aired i would be able to make a tape recording of it and be able to 'own' some part of the magic of that film. once i did record it, i listened to it over and over and the soundtrack is fully etched into my brain. long after i lose my faculites i will still be unspooling the dialouge ("is this the moving picture ship? "the Venture? why yeah... say you're not going on that crazy voyage are ya?").

not a bad film, and it does skirt greatness a few times (though far fewer than i had thought from reading all the gushing reviews and mostly just in its technical accomplishments sadly) but ultimately for me,it was just a big....meh.
i was convinced in the weeks and months leading up to this, that the wait for it to come to dvd was going to be unbearable. i no longer feel that way. at this point now, i have very little desire to see this again anytime soon.
but tonight i will be watching the original.

looking forwards to discussing this in the other thread though

#8 of 43 OFFLINE   todd stone

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Posted December 14 2005 - 09:18 AM

While I enjoyed the film, others have said it best... It is much too long.

Peter Jackson has an issue where he tends to sit on a certain scene for MUCH too long where it gets to the point of, 'ENOUGH AREADY!

The biggest gripe I have however is the dinosaurs. This has been beaten to death already with Jurassic Park etc.. and I had that 'we have been down this road already' thought in my head during all of those sequences, so I was bored.

Naomi Watts is beautiful and I don't think any other actress could have filled her shoes for this role.

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
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#9 of 43 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted December 14 2005 - 10:01 AM

Wow! I just couldn't disagree more, except that like you I also saw a real gorilla, but a gorilla who could never exist, but I believed in him. I really connected with Kong a real, living being. If he has any resemblance to Mighty Joe Young, its that he seems less inclined to kill for no reason. This Kong is far more nuanced as a character than the original or MJY, and I love both those films. I do agree that the two "Conrad" characters could have been skipped, they don't add much to the film. The dino stampede was a bit long, but other than these two items, I don't know of anyting else I'd want to drop. This film works on a technical and emotional level. From the moment we first see Kong, my sense of dread, knowing the inevitable end, started. The finale packs a powerful punch. I must admit that Denam's closing line, somehow, it didn't seem it was done right. This is a Kong for the ages.
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#10 of 43 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted December 14 2005 - 10:26 AM

Peter Jackson's KING KONG is a very strange, dark and melancholy movie, moreso than I thought it would be. Yes, it's a slam bang adventure, but it also reveals the ideas that Peter Jackson has been musing since he first saw, and fell in love with, the 1933 KING KONG when he was nine years old. The things that we've all thought, I bet. How would Kong handle more than one T-Rex in a fight? What was really in that dreadful pit that the sailors fell into? And what would happen if Ann Darrow would recognize in Kong the protector of her that he was?

All of this has been realized, and brilliantly, in a film that never betrays the original, is true to its roots, thoroughly modern it in its special effects, but very old fashioned at heart. This new KONG is a bookend to the original, not an usurper, and will take its place next to the Willis O'Brien classic for years to come. Truly a great film, and the best dang monster movie I've seen in years.

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#11 of 43 OFFLINE   Mike.P

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Posted December 14 2005 - 11:10 AM

Ok, finally made it home for the holidays, and managed to get in the midnight showing of Kong last night.

To start, its best to set the mood of the crowd. The theater was half full, but it was a very good crowd. Knew when to be quiet, didn't make stupid comments, overall, I was pleased. Best of all was the heckler/moron in front of me who got embarassed out of the theater as the guy sitting a few seats next to us kept telling him he was an idiot - really made me happy seeing as how much I hate going to the movies for this very reason.

On to Kong, though, and I feel it's best to break this down into Pro's and Con's...

Pro: Kong himself - Wow, just wow. As someone who hates CG characters, it takes alot to make me give credit where credit may be due, but the effects people over at WETA really pulled off something special with Kong. You really do care about him by the end of the film, and in particular, the
scene which takes place on the ice in New York
was one of my favorite scenes in movie history. As much as I'm gushing about him, that doesn't mean its all positive, but I'll get on to that later...

Naomi Watts: Wow, I loved her. Talk about someone who absolutely wins you over in her role, and you can even see why Kong himself falls in love with her. A+ performence from her.

The rest of the cast: Outstanding performences all around. None really stick out the next day as being bad, or even average. Everything meshed together really well.

Homages to the original: These are just great, and I won't touch on any specific ones, but there are a number of them (I remember 4 or 5 off the top of my head), and each one of them brought a smile to my face. One sad thing was the amount of people in the theater or clearly didn't get them - it really was a shame how many people either haven't seen the original or simply couldn't make the connection.

Now, on to the Cons:

Length: As much as I love a good 3 hour epic, certain parts are just not only unnecessary, but in my opinion even suck you out of the film. The sorest spot to me was the Dino chase like others have mentioned. Parts of it look passable, but other parts look downright atrocious, as in they either weren't finished or just didn't know how to make it look right. Also, Jackson did way too many broad landscape sweeps ala Lord of the Rings, but they just didn't work nearly as well. I'd say edit a good half hour to 45 minutes off the film, but no more - and only cut 3 minutes or so at 15 different parts, or a minute here, 5 there - there's no one scene that needs to be removed (except the dino chase, imo).

Slight dumbing down of the story: Ok, there is one scene in particular that just came off as terribly cheesey to me, and I'll put it in Spoiler text as to not ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but
The part of Ann touching her chest to say Beautiful, and Kong responding at the end of the film by doing the same
was 100% unnecessary.
You already know that Kong can tell what is beautiful, but this just screamed lame to me that they would have him do something like that.


My last major Con would be my immense disappointment in the score. It was entirely forgettable in my opinion, and thats really a shame. It's not bad, it's just not something that adds anything particular to the film.

After all of this, it probably sounds like the negatives outweigh the positives, but that simply isn't the case. It's like trying to nitpick the looks of a model, I can find plenty wrong with it but there is so much thats good that I didn't even touch on that are brilliant. Easily my favorite blockbuster of the year, and perhaps after repeat viewings, an all time favorite.

4.5/5
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#12 of 43 OFFLINE   dailW

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Posted December 14 2005 - 03:45 PM

great film.i keep reading the best popcorn movie since titanic but KONG is better in many ways.the acting is better in this one.the look and story telling all top notch. didn't understand the dinosaur chase with the crew , but classic fight between KONG and the 3 t-rex. all in all great flick ****

#13 of 43 OFFLINE   BarryS

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Posted December 14 2005 - 04:20 PM

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted ImagePosted Image out of five.

Another stunning epic spectacle from Peter Jackson. Much will be said about this movie so I'll keep my comments brief. I think King Kong is one of the best movies of the year. Not just as a thrill-ride featuring some of the most amazing action sequences in film history, but as a complete movie. Sure the scope is huge and the effects are mind-blowing, but as was the case with Lord of the Rings, Jackson doesn't forsake the drama. Really the movie is about the chemistry between Kong and Ann Darrow, making it a love story of sorts. It pays homage to the 1933 original while (dare I say) improving on it with characters and drama that are much more fleshed out. I don't think it's a perfect movie, no. I had a few minor quibbles with it, but overall I have not had a more fulfilling moviegoing experience this year than with King Kong. Peter Jackson is a true artist and by far the best big-budget director working today, with possible exception of Steven Spielberg.

#14 of 43 OFFLINE   Jeff Meyers

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Posted December 14 2005 - 07:51 PM

I eagerly anticipated the opening of Peter Jackson’s King Kong and caught an evening showing tonight. As is somewhat common for me with movies, having high expectations going in generally leads to a letdown (of varying degrees). Such was the case with KK. So many adjectives have been proclaimed about KK: epic, masterpiece, spectacular, magnificent, etc, etc, etc - that I was bound to have a letdown. Although, KK was not a huge letdown – it just could have been better. Many have already commented so I’ll limit my comments to my perceived Misses and Hits – in that order because I believe that the Hits definitely outweigh the Misses on KK.

WARNING: MANY SPOILERS BELOW

Misses

The movie felt too long – in parts. The opening / set-up could have easily been trimmed and the on-board ship sequences could have been shortened as well. I checked my watch a couple of times during these sequences wondering when they were going to get to Skull Island. As an aside, these sequences would be a good time to get in that last restroom break or get the popcorn tub refilled.

The Brontosaurus stampede was the biggest Miss for me – too over the top and the CGI left something to be desired. It was so over the top that I was waiting for Mufasa to join the fray and rescue some of the party before being stampeded himself.

The side-story relationship between Hayes (Evan Parke) and his Padawan Jimmy (Jamie Bell) didn’t do anything for the story and could have been left out.

Hits

The CGI work – 1933 New York City, Skull Island, the Empire State Building, and King Kong – was simply phenomenal.

The entire fight sequence between King Kong and the 3 T-Rexes was truly spectacular. I was especially pleased that not too much of it had been given away in the trailers that I had seen.

The ending sequence on the Empire State Building with the bi-planes was probably the biggest highlight for me. Someone else previously mentioned that this sequence gave them a feeling of vertigo – and I’m right there with him. In addition, I really enjoyed the shots from the bi-planes’ point-of-view.

Excellent casting and performances by Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis (in both roles), and the beautiful Naomi Watts.

Conclusion

All in all an excellent production – it just didn’t live up to the epic masterpiece that I was expecting or hoping for. I doubt that I’ll catch it a second time theatrically – but a definite must buy when released on DVD. Overall, I’d give it an 8 / 10.

#15 of 43 OFFLINE   Vickie_M

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Posted December 14 2005 - 10:07 PM

I wrote this for elsewhere, but thought I'd post it here too. This is not a review, I don't do reviews. It's just some general thoughts. SPOILERS, though who doesn't know the gist of the story? I loved this movie! I expected action, adventure, chills and thrills, and got all that, but what I didn't expect was that it was a chick flick at heart, and oh boy does it have a big heart. A big, beautiful, Kong-sized heart. It makes sense, since two of the three writers were women, but I still didn't expect for my husband and I to be in such tears at the end. There are 3 parts to the movie, and three love stories here. Part 1 is getting to know Ann Darrow and her hardscrabble life, and how she ends up desperate enough to take on the role in the movie Carl Denham is supposedly making. It's also about getting to know how Carl Denham gets into the fix he's in, to where he has to practically kidnap the writer and lie to nearly everyone around him, in order to get his picture finished. How they all end up on a ship at sea, headed to a spooky island, was fascinating to me. Lots of people don't like this opening setup, but I did. I liked knowing a little bit about these two people, and how their lives collided to set off a tragic chain of events. I also loved the New York circa 1933 sets, stylized but not sanitized. You're shown the tent cities and bread lines, people living in their cars and hungry people. The Depression is not glossed over. It's practically an extra character, because people did things during the Depression that they might not have otherwise. A not completely believable love story between Adrien Brody and Naomi Watts is the first love story, in the last half of part 1 of the movie. It was ok, not too terribly mushy, but not too terribly compelling either. For such beautiful people (and oh my oh my, are they gorgeous), they didn't have much chemistry. That's just about the only major nit I'd pick in the movie. I love Adrien Brody, so it hurts to say he might have been miscast. However, while their love story didn't work, his determination to go save Ann when time came worked. Part 2 brings us to Skull Island, a beautifully-realized jungle nightmare. After Ann is kidnapped by the natives as a sacrifice to Kong, the movie switches back and forth between Ann/Kong and Everyone looking for Ann/their nightmares. The second love story begins in this second part of the movie, and is the love (or at least caring) that forms between Ann Darrow and King Kong, which is completely believeable and so full of chemistry that it drips from the screen. There's none of that kinda creepy-oogy sexual tension either. This is like the love between a beloved pet and its owner, only take away the owner part and make the pet really really BIG. Kong isn't sentient, but he's capable of love the way a big neglected, abused dog is still capable of love somewhere in the back of his brain, and Kong falls hard for Ann. Kong isn't a good guy. He kills many with as much feeling as we'd squash cockroaches. To him people are little annoying bugs, nothing more, nothing less. He's not being deliberately evil when he kills, even when he kills in anger. Humans just don't mean anything to him. Ann comes to mean something to him. She's terrified of him at first, then she amuses him, then she looks to him to protect her, then she cares about him. It's probably been several decades since any living thing cared about him or showed him kindness. Kong is old. He's the last of his species, and his lair area is littered with the bones and skulls of long-dead relatives. Of course he's going to fall in love with her. Still, you always got the idea that Kong could have killed Ann at any second, just by accident, not on purpose. One flick of his finger could have sent her flying off a cliff. Their relationship was never mushy until the very end, and by then the mush pays off in genuine emotion. Part 3 of the movie takes place back in New York, and leads to the iconic climax. The love story between Ann and Kong continues and is near perfect, especially when the two spend some time in the calm before the awful storm on a frozen lake in Central Park. I was able to look past the fact that Ann was wearing a sleeveless silk dress in mid-winter and didn't even look cold, just because everything else worked so well. The third love story is seen in every shot and frame of the movie. That's Peter Jackson's life-long love for King Kong, and love of films and making films, and the love of all the cast, crew, production people, animators, everyone involved who shared Jackson's delight, if not in the original Kong, then in the sheer effort and fun of making movies. Special props to Andy Serkis and the people responsible for Kong himself. Two of these three love stories make this movie one of the year's best films. Is it flawless? Heck no, and you can bet people will be coming out of the woodwork dying to share how "disappointed" they were or picking nits to absolute death because they can't just sit back and enjoy the cinematic gift that's been given to them. No film is flawless and this one is no exception, but it has more heart and soul and love poured into it than just about any other blockbuster/epic film/monster movie ever made. I'm not saying it's the best, but it's very very VERY VERY good, and one OF the best. Go see it on the big screen, really, please. Theaters were MADE for movies like this. The heart will still be there on DVD, but it'll just look a lot smaller. Not to mention Naomi Watts's beautiful, expressive eyes.
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#16 of 43 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted December 15 2005 - 12:10 AM

The only problem I had with this film is my extreme fear of heights. It was so damn realistic I couldn't look at the images on the screen with Kong on the Empire State Building. I just kept saying "Get down off the damn building!" and definitely had major feelings of vertigo. Damn that was so realistic I couldn't watch. I haven't had that big of an impact on me since I was totally scared shitless after watching "The Excorist". Bravo Peter Jackson. Bravo.

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#17 of 43 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted December 15 2005 - 03:13 AM

Took in a late viewing last night. I just read Jeff Meyers review and thought most of his remarks were spot on.

I liked alot of it. Kong himself was incredible. The way he breathed and the expressions in his eyes were hypnotic.

I loved EVERY moment Kong was on screen. In fact, Kong was so good that the other moments just couldn't match them. Maybe that explains the film's uneven feel to it at times?

Like Jeff said, the CGI stuff on the stampede was not good. In fact, my buddy and I leaned over to each other at the same time and said, "the dinos looked better on Jurassic Park". It was too much at that moment too.

The T-Rex battle with Kong was stunning though. Almost felt like an Indiana Jones moment from Temple of Doom when the situation just kept getting worse and worse. The audience gasped and even laughed some...not because it was bad...they laughed a bit to get some kind of escape from that moment of hell for Kong and Naomi. True greatness and and will be a great dvd demo. Posted Image

The Empire State Building stuff was tragically beautiful. Those moments put Peter Jackson at his best. It's those moments that he lives for and he pulls that moment off in spades.

Other misses is the films length. Like many here have said, not sure where to cut...but it was too long. A tighter movie would have made Kong a great film instead of a very good one for me.

Anyone notice Howard Shore conducting the orchestra in the film? Cool.

This one is hard to score because the beauty of Kong himself nearly forgives all.

8/10

#18 of 43 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted December 15 2005 - 09:55 AM

I agree Tim. 8 sounds about right for this. Two elements were at constant loggerheads - restraint vs passion. Its obvious that PJ loves the Kong concept. His passion allowed him to create some incredible moments but it also seemed to overpower his restraint. Many sequences were amazing but went too long and had too many moments. Some of the shots were just too busy. Moments such as the sunsets and ice sliding were amazing. It showed Jackson's genius but to me this is a film where he he was too close to the material. New York looked amazing!
Me too Parker though I was able to keep watching! Walk in expecting a helluva good yarn and not the second coming and one should come away very elated.
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#19 of 43 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 15 2005 - 10:24 AM

My thoughts on PJ's King Kong: I think there's a pretty good 2 hour film within this overly long 187 minute valentine to PJ's cinematic youth. The running time is too long because what we get doesn't really build enough emotional ties to the characters, thus, they sort of just fill up screen time and undercut the momentum of the film. There are scenes on Skull Island that are excessive and don't really impact the overall story that much. The film is too indulgent in depicting the perilous arrival to Skull Island, while it might have been an interesting exercise to film, there's little dramatic payoff for such an extended scene. The special effects of King Kong were well executed (but in some scenes he still moves too fast, lacking inertial impact of the movements), sadly, I can't say the same about the dinosaurs (this mainly due to improper lighting of the dinos in fast-action sequences). I did not like Jack Black's performance in this film at all. It seemed like every close-up he had, he seemed so concerned about not blinking his eyes, which made it appear that he was trying to burn a hole in whomever he was speaking to or looking at. Naomi Watts turns in a good performance, but I still get tired of seeing her never closing her mouth fully in her close-up scenes (I am not sure she's capable of it for an extended amount of screentime). Adrien Brody has a throwaway part, with little background to get too invested in his survival on Skull Island. I thought most of the musical score while on Skull Island went overboard, being too bombastic in spots where it didn't need to be. I thought the ESB scene in the end went on and on and on and on. PJ was driven to show every single plane's fly-by over the course of that pivotal sequence. Whatever Ann Darrow was afraid of, she sure as hell wasn't afraid of heights. No siree, no acrophobia for Ann. I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
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#20 of 43 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted December 15 2005 - 01:08 PM

I'll keep my comments brief.

I thought Peter Jackson's King Kong was an amazing accomplishment. It is a visual and aural tour de force and one of the best films of the year. It is exciting, thrilling, terrifying, sad, funny and ultimately tragic. I was near tears at the end.

I had a few problems that I will discuss in the discussion thread, but they were relatively minor.

King Kong demands to be seen on the big screen. Don't wait for the DVD. See it now. It is truly in all senses of the word, Spectacular.

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