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Posted: 12/26/2005 1:16:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2005 7:48:59 AM EDT by SteyrAUG]
So far all the reviews have been rather unenlightening and range from "it sucked" to "good film."

Now I have been looking forward to this one for almost a year and the original 1933 version is one of my favorite films so I do have some bias. But not enough bias to realize the 1977 version sucked and it's only point of merit was Jessica Lange. I hated what they did to my movie in 1977 with all their eco-hippie bullshit themes.

And it started to look like the 2005 version "might" suck. Seeing the T-Rex fight on Leno and reports of Matrix style special effects gave me concern that they might fuck this one up too. And there certainly are points of contention in this movie. But overall, it was really good or as one obnoxious child proclaimed "This is the best movie I've ever seen."

The movie was rather faithful to the 1933 original and being set in the 1930s probably saved the movie from being just another Hollywood rehash of a true classic that came up short. This one was clearly made with Kong fans of the original film in mind.

Naomi Watts did a pretty decent job in the Fay Wray role (although I still find Fay more interesting) and fans will catch the nod to Fay Wray in the 2005 version. As the director was trying to find a Size 4 actress he inquired about Fay but was reminded she was already working on a film for RKO.

I had my doubts about Adrien Brody in the Bruce Cabot role but he somehow managed to pull it off ok enough. I really like Jack Black as an actor but I hated the way they made a asshole out of the Carl Denham character (originally portrayed by Robert Armstrong). This is because the Carl Denham character was loosely based upon the director of the original Merian C. Cooper who really was a swashbucking, no fear kind of guy who thought nothing of getting within 2 feet of big tigers in what was then Siam as he did in the movie "Chang" (1927). I thought the Jack Black portrayal was somewhat disrespectful in that light. Merian C. Cooper was also a WWI veteran, POW, escapee from a Russian POW camp among other things and had a cameo in the original film as the pilot of the plane that kills Kong, Ernest B. Schoedsack was his gunner.

As noted before the T-Rex fight was way over the top (again I prefer the 1933 original) and 3 T-Rex's would have had Kong for lunch. Too many cliff hangers and close calls for my liking, I prefer a bit more reality, even in my giant ape movies. Thankfully the reports of Matrix style special effects were not true. The cool thing is they included the spider pit sequence (a scene cut from the 1933 original along with many others when the Hayes Code was enforced in 1934 and is probably forever lost) and were faithful to the original 1933 RKO story boards.

A lot of people complained about the running time 187 min but I don't feel like it was wasted too much. I don't mind a long film so long as it is good and not redundant. Perhaps they could have shortened the T Rex scene, especially the dangling T-Rex's on the vines. It was a bit much.

For firearms there are some cool ones. The replaced the '03 Springfields of the original with Gewehr 98 Mausers (good choice) and added what the original desperately needed...Thompsons. Also a Navy Luger and a 1911 to be seen as well as the Vickers on the planes later. All good choices.

The only thing I really hated was the "A girl and her big playful monkey" theme which came right out of the 1977 original (was almost a remake of Might Joe Young) which may have plagued the overall genre in much the same way that the gay 1960s Batman series forever "homoized" the Batman genre.

The scenes of Ann Darrow playing with Kong and him sliding around on his ass in Central park were as pathetic as Jessica Lange saying "Don't put me down" and cursing her rescuers in the 77 version. The best part of the 1933 original is Kong never stopped scaring the shit out of Fay Wray and she needed to be rescued. The original Kong killed lots of people and the "poor harmless ape" shit didn't exist until the pussified 1977 version which was obviously written by PETA.

Other pussifications that hold over from the 1977 was the shooting in the air crap when dealing with the natives. I loved the depiction of the natives in the 2005 version, they are true savages and begin the decitations as soon as they are able. This is much more realistic than the "to be pittied and noble" natives of the 1977 version that Jeff Bridges so admired.

In this film they are the bone in the nose, smell like ass and extremely savage shitbags that one would likely encounter on such an island. They are actually kinda scary just like the real thing would be. The only thing I didn't like is the rescue party shooting in the air to scare them. None of this shit would have happened if they executed the entire village like I would have. The pole vaulting native was also a bit much and I think they should have stuck with the original kidnapping plan.

Now I much prefer the 2005 skull island. It was just bad ass. A very forboding place of hard rock and even the wall was much cooler. I always wondered why Kong never just climbed the original wall as he easily could have. The giant mosquitos were pretty funny but the huge crickets and shit were a perhaps a tad too much. Although the thompson as raid was fun.

The effects of Kong and various dinosaurs are of course CG, but they are good CG and not too overdone.

Overall, even with it's flaws and annoyances, I give it about a 8.

Realize it is still a Hollywood film and not a factual documentary like DOTD 2004 and most will enjoy it. If you are a fan of the original film you will probably love it. Just relax and enjoy the ride.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:16:59 PM EDT
I liked the 1977 version.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:21:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I liked the 1977 version.



That would take a ton of CGI to film the ending today...
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:33:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:36:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By squeezecockerp7m8:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I liked the 1977 version.



That would take a ton of CGI to film the ending today...



Yeah.

Further comment restrained due to CoC.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:38:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
I prefer a bit more reality, even in my giant ape movies





I just got a Donkey Kong flashback...man, I wish I had all those quarters today lol...
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:40:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Originally Posted By squeezecockerp7m8:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I liked the 1977 version.



That would take a ton of CGI to film the ending today...



Yeah.

Further comment restrained due to CoC.



I had never seen the 1977 version until after 9-11... Yamasaki's towers made Kong look like a Spider Monkey...
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:44:32 PM EDT
I took my son and a couple of his friends and everybody enjoyed it. 3 hours wasn't really to long IMO, they kept it entertaining. The only part that annoyed me was when the kid was shooting the giant bugs off of the Jack Driscoll character with the Thompson and bursts of 3 rounds then he throws the gun down in disgust.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 1:47:46 PM EDT
Very good review, Steyr.

I recently watched the original version (I have a video tape of it). It was really amazing what they did with the special effects of that day.

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:09:04 PM EDT
Steyr,

Not having seen the movie yet, I will try and shed some light re why Kong is depicted as a "big playful monkey": it is because in life, gorillas ARE big, peaceful, playful monkeys. h.gif Its only when greedy capitalist white males wielding death dispensing evil guns get involved do the normally benevolent creatures "go ape."

In fact, if only the explorers had a 1930s Koko, they probably could have had a dialogue with Kong using ASL, after which they would have been able to forge a deeper understanding between man and ape.

http://www.primatesworld.com/images/KokoPatersonSmoky_64.JPG

http://www.koko.org/friends/images/robin_koko_hug.jpg

http://www.1115.org/archives/koko_reading.jpg

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:09:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
I prefer a bit more reality, even in my giant ape movies





Did you like the 1933 version?
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:11:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LANCEMAN:
I took my son and a couple of his friends and everybody enjoyed it. 3 hours wasn't really to long IMO, they kept it entertaining. The only part that annoyed me was when the kid was shooting the giant bugs off of the Jack Driscoll character with the Thompson and bursts of 3 rounds then he throws the gun down in disgust.



I didn't see it that way at all.

He was hardly disgusted by guns, grabbed a Mauser and a Tommy without issue. I think he was freaked out by the attack.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:12:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Very good review, Steyr.

I recently watched the original version (I have a video tape of it). It was really amazing what they did with the special effects of that day.




Do yourself a favor and get a DVD copy of the original. It is the most complete version known to exist. The bonus disc is great and you will love the documentary on Cooper "I Am King Kong."
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:13:50 PM EDT
Fell asleep within the first 10 minutes....

Walked out within the first half hours....

......But ODing on NyQuil may have had something to do with that...
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:14:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RichardM308:
Steyr,

Not having seen the movie yet, I will try and shed some light re why Kong is depicted as a "big playful monkey": it is because in life, gorillas ARE big, peaceful, playful monkeys. Its only when greedy capitalist white males wielding death dispensing evil guns get involved do the normally benevolent creatures "go ape."

In fact, if only the explorers had a 1930s Koko, they probably could have had a dialogue with Kong using ASL, after which they would have been able to forge a deeper understanding between man and ape.

www.primatesworld.com/images/KokoPatersonSmoky_64.JPG

www.koko.org/friends/images/robin_koko_hug.jpg

www.1115.org/archives/koko_reading.jpg




I do understand that. And I know it was the movie King Kong that led many people to hunt gorillas on safari, and it was that movie which promoted a misrepresentation of them as a wild, dangerous beast.

But if you are gonna do a giant ape goes breserk movie, it's hard to buy it when he is sliding around on his ass in Central Park.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:19:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
So far all the reviews have been rather unenlightening and range from "it sucked" to "good film."

Now I have been looking forward to this one for almost a year and the original 1933 version is one of my favorite films so I do have some bias. But not enough bias to realize the 1977 version sucked and it's only point of merit was Jessica Lange. I hated what they did to my movie in 1977 with all their eco-hippie bullshit themes.

And it started to look like the 2005 version "might" suck. Seeing the T-Rex fight on Leno and reports of Matrix style special effects gave me concern that they might fuck this one up too. And there certainly are points of contention in this movie. But overall, it was really good or as one obnoxious child proclaimed "This is the best movie I've ever seen."

The movie was rather faithful to the 1933 original and being set in the 1930s probably saved the movie from being just another Hollywood rehash of a true classic that came up short. This one was clearly made with Kong fans of the original film in mind.

Naomi Watts did a pretty decent job in the Fay Wray role (although I still find Fay more interesting) and fans will catch the nod to Fay Wray in the 2005 version. As the director was trying to find a Size 4 actress he inquired about Fay but was reminded she was already working on a film for RKO.

I had my doubts about Adrien Brody in the Bruce Cabot role but he somehow managed to pull it off ok enough. I really like Jack Black as an actor but I hated the way they made a asshole out of the Carl Denham character (originally portrayed by Robert Armstrong). This is because the Carl Denham character was loosely based upon the director of the original Merian C. Cooper who really was a swashbucking, no fear kind of guy who thought nothing of getting within 2 feet of big tigers in what was then Siam as he did in the movie "Chang" (1927). I thought the Jack Black portrayal was somewhat disrespectful in that light. Merian C. Cooper was also a WWI veteran, POW, escapee from a Russian POW camp among other things and had a cameo in the original film as the pilot of the plane that kills Kong, Ernest B. Schoedsack was his gunner.

As noted before the T-Rex fight was way over the top (again I prefer the 1933 original) and 3 T-Rex's would have had Kong for lunch. Too many cliff hangers and close calls for my liking, I prefer a bit more reality, even in my giant ape movies. Thankfully the reports of Matrix style special effects were not true. The cool thing is they included the spider pit sequence (a scene cut from the 1933 original along with many others when the Hayes Code was enforced in 1934 and is probably forever lost) and were faithful to the original 1933 RKO story boards.

A lot of people complained about the running time 187 min but I don't feel like it was wasted too much. I don't mind a long film so long as it is good and not redundant. Perhaps they could have shortened the T Rex scene, especially the dangling T-Rex's on the vines. It was a bit much.

For firearms there are some cool ones. The replaced the '03 Springfields of the original with Gewehr 98 Mausers (good choice) and added what the original desperately needed...Thompsons. Also a Navy Luger and a 1911 to be seen as well as the Vickers on the planes later. All good choices.

The only thing I really hated was the "A girl and her big playful monkey" theme which came right out of the 1977 original (was almost a remake of Might Joe Young) which may have plagued the overall genre in much the same way that the gay 1960s Batman series forever "homoized" the Batman genre.

The scenes of Ann Darrow playing with Kong and him sliding around on his ass in Central park were as pathetic as Jessica Lange saying "Don't put me down" and cursing her rescuers in the 77 version. The best part of the 1933 original is Kong never stopped scaring the shit out of Fay Wray and she needed to be rescued. The original Kong killed lots of people and the "poor harmless ape" shit didn't exist until the pussified 1977 version which was obviously written by PETA.

Other pussifications that hold over from the 1977 was the shooting in the air crap when dealing with the natives. I loved the depiction of the natives in the 2005 version, they are true savages and begin the decitations as soon as they are able. This is much more realistic than the "to be pittied and noble" natives of the 1977 version that Jeff Bridges so admired.

In this film they are the bone in the nose, smell like ass and extremely savage shitbags that one would likely encounter on such an island. They are actually kinda scary just like the real thing would be. The only thing I didn't like is the rescue party shooting in the air to scare them. None of this shit would have happened if they executed the entire village like I would have. The pole vaulting native was also a bit much and I think they should have stuck with the original kidnapping plan.

Now I much prefer the 2005 skull island. It was just bad ass. A very forboding place of hard rock and even the wall was much cooler. I always wondered why Kong never just climbed the original wall as he easily could have. The giant mosquitos were pretty funny but the huge crickets and shit were a perhaps a tad too much. Although the thompson as raid was fun.

The effects of Kong and various dinosaurs are of course CG, but they are good CG and not too overdone.

Overall, even with it's flaws and annoyances, I give it about a 8.

Realize it is still a Hollywood film and not a factual documentary like DOTD 2004 and most will enjoy it. If you are a fan of the original film you will probably love it. Just relax and enjoy the ride.



For someone whos never seen that version before, what was so bad about it?

Thanks
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:20:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2005 4:25:25 PM EDT by nightstalker]
Jack Black's character was so changed in the movie that his words at the end rang hollow. "Twas beauty killed the beast" sounded corny at best and was way too sentimental for the jerky way he portrayed Denham.

The biggest improvement in this version was Kong but he almost went from big ape to superhero with some of his moves.

Some of the scenes like the one where Kong was sitting on the ledge looking into the sunset were nearly exactly the same as the original.

"Chrome steel" didn't sound convincingly strong in the original and still lacked something in the new version. You just knew Kong needed titanium...at the least.

What made the most sense in the new version was the portrayal of the natives as "zombies". It was very believable that they would be that way as their life consisted of making sure Kong was pacified. They lived in stark terror...all the time.....and the dinos and other creatures were all a threat. Not a bunny or chicken or pig in sight....no BBQ..no fun...
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:33:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
I prefer a bit more reality, even in my giant ape movies





+1.

I almost lost a mouthfull of Diet Coke on that one
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:34:59 PM EDT
Never underestimate an overly sexually frustrated ape who finds his soulmate, but with no practical means of propagating his lineage with such a soulmate.

I'd be plenty frustrated too, and, in a frothing hormonal rage, would fuck up any lizards daring to get in the way of me and my semi-simian girl whilst I was trying to find some practical means of consumating our relationship without injury to the object of my affections.

King Kong is a love story.

Poor Kong.


Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

As noted before the T-Rex fight was way over the top (again I prefer the 1933 original) and 3 T-Rex's would have had Kong for lunch.

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:36:23 PM EDT
Tag.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:38:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SevenMMmag:


For someone whos never seen that version before, what was so bad about it?

Thanks



Denham was replaced by a greedy oil company exec looking to rape the environment.

Kong was just a peaceful, benevolent creature which needed to be understood.

White males are expendable canon fodder.

Natives are people just like you an me who should be respected and evil white males destroyed their valuable culture.

Basically, so much hippie bullshit agenda crap you'd expect to find Jane Fonda as the main character.

I'm amazed they didn't kill King Kong with nuclear waste.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:41:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By nightstalker:
Jack Black's character was so changed in the movie that his words at the end rang hollow. "Twas beauty killed the beast" sounded corny at best and was way too sentimental for the jerky way he portrayed Denham.

The biggest improvement in this version was Kong but he almost went from big ape to superhero with some of his moves.

Some of the scenes like the one where Kong was sitting on the ledge looking into the sunset were nearly exactly the same as the original.

"Chrome steel" didn't sound convincingly strong in the original and still lacked something in the new version. You just knew Kong needed titanium...at the least.

What made the most sense in the new version was the portrayal of the natives as "zombies". It was very believable that they would be that way as their life consisted of making sure Kong was pacified. They lived in stark terror...all the time.....and the dinos and other creatures were all a threat. Not a bunny or chicken or pig in sight....no BBQ..no fun...



I should also mention that many, many parts of this film were so visually impressive it was breath taking.

At first I actually liked Black as Denham but then he got really dark. Regarding the final "twas beauty killed the beast" I'm just glad he said it to himself and it wasn't repeated by the locals as in the 33 version.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:44:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Never underestimate an overly sexually frustrated ape who finds his soulmate, but with no practical means of propagating his lineage with such a soulmate.

I'd be plenty frustrated too, and, in a frothing hormonal rage, would fuck up any lizards daring to get in the way of me and my semi-simian girl whilst I was trying to find some practical means of consumating our relationship without injury to the object of my affections.

King Kong is a love story.

Poor Kong.


Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

As noted before the T-Rex fight was way over the top (again I prefer the 1933 original) and 3 T-Rex's would have had Kong for lunch.




Don't get me wrong. He'd have fucked up a single dino as in the original.

But him getting all Jet Li on three at a time was a tad much. When a T Rex gets ahold of your arm, that is pretty much the end of that arm I'd think. The dangling T Rex's....no way she'd have kept any of those hand holds on the way down.

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:47:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

Originally Posted By SevenMMmag:


For someone whos never seen that version before, what was so bad about it?

Thanks



Denham was replaced by a greedy oil company exec looking to rape the environment.

Kong was just a peaceful, benevolent creature which needed to be understood.

White males are expendable canon fodder.

Natives are people just like you an me who should be respected and evil white males destroyed their valuable culture.

Basically, so much hippie bullshit agenda crap you'd expect to find Jane Fonda as the main character.

I'm amazed they didn't kill King Kong with nuclear waste.




Godzilla TRIED to wipe out Kong with his Nuclear Waste breath weapon...until Kong was struck by lightning, rejuvenating him, and then proceded to open up a whole new can of kick ass on Godzilla as we all know that Apes get all worked up and hyper strong when exposed to high voltage energy.

Any of you LEO's wanna go Taser a Gorilla to prove my point? In the cage? Remove the darts and see what happens next...just for shits and giggles?
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:50:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 5:09:03 PM EDT

[JoseyWhales]"Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is."[/JoesyWhales]


Being an Ape, it would be tough for him to get "mad-dog mean."

Because he's not a dog.

Biologically speaking, I think it is probably impossible for an Ape to get "Mad Dog Mean."

Instead, Kong might just have exercised is own innate power...that is...going "Ape Shit."

In a full state of Category 5 Ape Shit Rage, who knows what kind of ass Kong can Kick.


Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

As noted before the T-Rex fight was way over the top (again I prefer the 1933 original) and 3 T-Rex's would have had Kong for lunch.



Don't get me wrong. He'd have fucked up a single dino as in the original.

But him getting all Jet Li on three at a time was a tad much. When a T Rex gets ahold of your arm, that is pretty much the end of that arm I'd think. The dangling T Rex's....no way she'd have kept any of those hand holds on the way down.

Link Posted: 12/26/2005 5:09:46 PM EDT
Your complaints were about the same as mine, SA---too much revisionism wrt Carl Denham and the ape's relationship with Ann Darrow.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 6:06:30 PM EDT
The 1933 Kong Rocks! A true classic.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 7:47:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:
The 1933 Kong Rocks! A true classic.



Probably one of the 10 best movies ever made.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 7:47:43 PM EDT
I'll catch the DVD I quess
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:01:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Taxman:
I'll catch the DVD I quess



You should catch it on the big screen. The SFX are worth seeing on the big screen.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:09:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By Taxman:
I'll catch the DVD I quess



You should catch it on the big screen. The SFX are worth seeing on the big screen.



Was just gonna say that. Some things HAVE to be seen on the big screen.

Can you imagine seeing Star Wars on tv the first time? You wouldn't understand what the big deal was.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:16:40 PM EDT
The German ship captain rocked. I got the feeling that he had been in the war on the pointy end, thus the luger and the locker full of 98's.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 8:17:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By Taxman:
I'll catch the DVD I quess



You should catch it on the big screen. The SFX are worth seeing on the big screen.




Thats going to cost about $6 last movie I saw was Land of the Dead (pissed I spent $6) and Dawn on the Dead
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 9:03:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

Originally Posted By SevenMMmag:


For someone whos never seen that version before, what was so bad about it?

Thanks



Denham was replaced by a greedy oil company exec looking to rape the environment.

Kong was just a peaceful, benevolent creature which needed to be understood.

White males are expendable canon fodder.

Natives are people just like you an me who should be respected and evil white males destroyed their valuable culture.

Basically, so much hippie bullshit agenda crap you'd expect to find Jane Fonda as the main character.

I'm amazed they didn't kill King Kong with nuclear waste.




Godzilla TRIED to wipe out Kong with his Nuclear Waste breath weapon...until Kong was struck by lightning, rejuvenating him, and then proceded to open up a whole new can of kick ass on Godzilla as we all know that Apes get all worked up and hyper strong when exposed to high voltage energy.

Any of you LEO's wanna go Taser a Gorilla to prove my point? In the cage? Remove the darts and see what happens next...just for shits and giggles?




Oh, no!! There goes Tokyo
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