December 17, 2005

Kong, the Conquerer

Caught an early showing of King Kong Friday night, and I went in with seriously low expectations. I am sick of Hollywood's insistence on remaking movies rather than showing a smidgen of creativity and perhaps giving us something original.

Peter Jackson has given us a most excellent film. This is the movie they will use as justification for all the crappy remakes, past and future. This movie will make other directors think they, too, have what it takes to furbish a classic.

Beautiful. Stimulating. Heartbreaking....Outstanding. And what an amazing job they did with Kong - I can't imagine there was anything else this year that will come close for the effects Oscar®. They really need to come up with an award for Andy Serkis whose work here as the giant ape, and as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, is integral to the success of our experience - and outside the scope of traditional Academy categories.

I have only a few small complaints:

  • Too long. I am not the first to say this, but I definitely agree. It didn't really need to be 3 hours long; a full hour is gone before we even get a hint of Kong, a lot of time is spent on developing characters we don't really need to know, and some of the loving homage to New York in the 30's, though impressive, is not needed (can't believe I am advocating taking that out).
  • Too scary for the little ones. There were several families in attendance with small children. People, this flick is rated PG-13 for a reason, in this case because of the violence and scary monsters. Think of the bits you know will be in the film, the giant ape, the dinosaurs, the screaming damsel - then realize they are being presented on the big screen with surround sound in a dark theater - NOT good for kidlings. Throw in the tribe of cannibals, the giant bugs.... You get the picture and should leave the little ones with a sitter. But, why should this movie be any different? To clarify, my complaint isn't with the level of scary in the film, but with the parents who insist on bringing their children.
  • Jack Black. This surprised me, because I am a Jack Black fan. He just didn't fit this part, and he was a bit distracting to me.
  • The effects. Most of the effects were so breathtaking you forget that what you are watching is computer generated. Because of the success of most of the CGI, when it stumbles even slightly (e.g. during the Brontosaurus chase), it becomes a glaring disappointment. Though far beyond what you've seen elsewhere, that sequence just seems sloppy here.
Small complaints, to be sure, and they don't diminish my Word of Mouth rating at all.

BTW: I didn't cry at the end, though I was fully expecting to - perhaps because of that expectation I was sufficiently braced for the trauma...

Posted by Vox at December 17, 2005 11:06 PM | TrackBack | movies

I think when I went to EE 1.4, it finally re-established the trackback capability. Thanks!

What'd you think of "King Kong on Ice?" Man, that WAS funny!

Posted by: Macker at December 18, 2005 12:44 AM

I actually had to grab the trackback URL and ping you manually, don't know if it was EE or MT that required that.

Kong on ice was very funny, and so sweet - loved when they covered him in snow and had him shake if off. Awesome.

Posted by: Vox at December 18, 2005 09:50 AM

BTW: There was a point in the film, but I don't remember at precisely what point, when the little girl one row back said, oh-so-sweetly, "it's very sad"

Posted by: Vox at December 20, 2005 12:09 AM