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Old January 2nd, 2006, 01:14 PM   #31
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I really wanted to love this movie and mostly I did, but there isn't three hours worth of story here. I like long movies though, so I'm happy to overlook that, if it's the biggest complaint.

What was up with the first mate? Did he have a crush on that annoying kid or what? Why was that plotline even in this movie? I couldn't wait for that little jerk to get his.

I thought the CGI was a mixed bag. Much of it looked so fake it was embarrassing, but a whole lot more of the time it was just amazing -- which was how I felt about the "Lord of the Rings," incidentally. No doubt in my mind that Kong is the most vivid, fully realized CGI character to date in a live-action movie. My directing partner just said that she thought the monkey was the best actor in the whole movie. I thought Jack Black was great though. He's always fun to watch.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 02:50 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt
... What was up with the first mate? Did he have a crush on that annoying kid or what? Why was that plotline even in this movie? I couldn't wait for that little jerk to get his.
Lol, yeah me too, but that's because the kid is not supposed to be lovable.

One of the main themes in the movie is the exploration of what it means to be a man. Each male character, including King Kong, represents different types of men and the phases they go through.

The plot line of the first mate & kid represents the father/son relationship. And that's why the kid is so annoying, he represents what males are like when they're still children: foolish, childish, annoying, and a little dangerous to themselves and those around them, especially when they have no guidance. They could have made the the kid more lovable, but I think it would have played false against this theme in the movie.

One thing to watch for in King Kong, is how each man, treats the women around them. Notice who gives good/bad advice, ignores, manipulates, falls in love, and protects the women in the story, and you'll see the filmmakers commentary on what it means to be a man.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 03:41 PM   #33
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Hello!

I thought that First mate/cabin boy plot line was going to get out of hand, but I think their roles really added to the movie, especially if you stop to imagine that it was set in the Great Deppression.

The (ah-hem) odd relationship was between the cigar smoking one-eye-closed guy and the chinese cook...

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Old January 3rd, 2006, 11:20 AM   #34
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Am I just jaded?

I saw Kong two weeks ago and have had plenty of time to reflect on it. Part of me is hoping that I learn to love it, that it grows on me with time. Sadly, this just hasn't happened and I don't think it will.
I have to agree with those who are saying "good, not great". Maybe I've seen one too many movies, maybe I've been making commercials too long and been around the business so much that the magic of movies has been lost a little, or a lot. Or maybe, just maybe, Kong wasn't that great of a movie.
Length of the movie wasn't the problem here, lack of story to sustain a 3 hour pseudo-epic was. The movie felt a bit forced. Jackson in my opinion was trying to stretch a tired and aged story line a bit too far. In the 1930's Kong was a fresh idea and a grand cinematic event never before dared. In 2005 Kong was another in a long line of effects heavy blockbusters and it failed to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. Yes it was big, and yes it was mostly well done in the CG department, but it still felt hollow and it fell short of it's promise. Much CG and many special effects wonders were in LOTR as well, but lets not forget that ultimately a good film comes down to story and story telling. Effects are just icing on the cake, or at least I feel they should be.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 11:43 AM   #35
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I definitely thought I got my money's worth, but it's interesting to note that Kong is 12 minutes longer than "The Godfather." I don't think there's any question which film put the time to better use.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 12:56 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper
Part of me is hoping that I learn to love it, that it grows on me with time. Sadly, this just hasn't happened and I don't think it will.
I agree with you. I think there are some really great scenes in King Kong, but the entire movie didn't really move me, it's like the BIG point got lost at the end, the story just never made it clear.

It's great piece of entertainment though, and I hope Andy Serkis gets an Academy award for playing Kong.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 01:14 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper
... Maybe I've seen one too many movies, maybe ... the magic of movies has been lost a little, or a lot. Or maybe, just maybe, Kong wasn't that great of a movie...
Yeah, Ethan speaks for me too. My college aged son and I were suitably entertained but moved not at all. I think this movie, like many others I could name, is a litmus test for something in us. I partly envy Jackson and the contributors above who were brought to tears, for still having that much emotion in their gut and that much romanticism in their souls. Me, I have trouble getting past even a detail like the improbability of a bottle smashing on impact against the flesh of the ape's face.

I do adore Jackson's LOR trilogy, as well as the Wizard of Oz, because I'm perfectly willing to suspend disbelief for a blatant fantasy. But when you try to bridge fantasy and reality, you have to be a little more careful to get me to buy in. Is it an overactive and prideful intellect, or simply a deficiency in the emotional department? I don't know.

I'm not totally empty and unreachable, though. The Deerhunter had me shaking in my seat during the harrowing POW scene. Without even trying I came away with a new sense of the differences among individuals in what it meant to be a man. I was unwillingly forced to examine things in myself. If Jackson was reaching for something like that, he missed with me.

Emotionally, the idea of platonic love between large monkey and pretty blonde doesn't work for me. Didn't work for Fae Ray's character in the original either-she screamed and tried to get away through the whole movie. Of course, there was less fascination and dalliance with the notion of good and bad being interchangeable back then, and they hadn't heard of the Stockholm Syndrome.....
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 02:51 PM   #38
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I also wanted to like it, and I tried harder than I should have, but ultimately I hated it.
Things I found hard to accept:
1. They kill the noble black guy. Hello 1979.
2. Kong had an apatosaurus (brontosaurus) Jackson's kong has a herd. More is better.
3. Kong had a t-rex, jackson's kong has three(?) more is better.
4. Kong has a fight with a pteronodon. Jackson's kong fights dozens of bats. more is better.
5. In Kong the wall is shown from a human perspective, which gives you a good idea of it's scope. In jackson's kong, it is displayed mostly with crazy swinging (cgi) helicopter shots that keep you from getting a look at it.
6. The camera moves too much, especially during the fight scenes. I could not at any time figure out how many of the trex's were still standing.
7. T-rex on strings. High level video game nonesense.
8. Ann Darrow travels on a ship for several weeks, maybe a couple of months, and makes friends among the crew. Kong kills half of the crew of this ship- while they are engaged in an effort to save Ann. Of course she is going to side with the giant ape that kidnapped and terrorized her. It is only natural. In fact the months of reflection she has had on the voyage back only strtengthen her love for her kidnapper. weak. Really really weak.
9. Kong has just killed dozens of people in manhatten, Ann wants to take him ice skating. Weaker.
10.Who on earth would trust Jack Black's denham even for a moment? Who? And the scene where he "tricks" driscol into staying aboard. the view from the office windows, makes it apparent that the ship is casting off. I figured it out. How come the genius screen writer did not? please.

all in all this movie is about the strongest argument for restraint and the occasional use of a stationary camera that I have ever seen. Furthermore, it shows how wrong one can go when one makes a period piece and insists on viewing the characters from a perspective of contemporary morals. The original Kong contained much of the same subtext as this one- but it had two things this one lacked- originality and subtlety.
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Last edited by Michael Gibbons; January 3rd, 2006 at 03:34 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
Someone should have said "no" to half the movie.

TOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG
I could not agree more. Peter Jackon wasted this movie with his ambition. Because this is his favorite youth movie, I believe that he could not cut as much as he should as he wanted to put "everything and more" in.

The result is a three-hour long movie that should have ended after two-hours. The original is 110 minutes and is perfect in length. All the things Peter Jacskon put in do not add to the story. Like the story of that boy, it just does not contribute to the movie. It is all about Ann and Kong.

I must say however that I was so impressed by the special effects and the way the movie was filmed. It was hard to see that New York is almost completely in CGI in this movie. I did not like the scene with King Kong and Ann on the frozen lake in Central Park, I think it is cheesy. However, I understand that many people think this scene is already a classic. I also did not care about the "Jurassic Park" in the middle of the movie. The original movie shows only a few dinosaurs, and not dozens.

So to summarize, I think Peter Jackson could not do with King Kong what he could with Lord of the Rings... only put in the necessary. The original Lord of the Rings episodes where also like 5 hours each and were cut down to 4 hours and then to 3 hours on order of New Line Cinema.

But everyone should see this movie.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #40
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There were many great things about King Kong, but it was severely limited by a few things. Here is how I would fix it if I had magical powers (skip to the next post if you don't like criticism of this otherwise good movie):

I would completely cut out the scene with the brontosaurus-like dinosaurs stampeding down the chasm. It was not really relevant and did NOT LOOK GOOD. A movie depending on it's visuals should cut out ridiculous compositing like that. I saw on several occasions (and I'm not alone on this) dinosaur legs passing through people's bodies without touching them. Also, one could not run down a passage that narrow with cows without being crushed. Brontosaurus? Give me a break. This scene made the action boring and silly and dampened the enjoyment of action that happened later.

Three t-rex vs. Kong made the t-rex seem lame. One or two really kick-ash dinosaurs would have made them seem more threatening. And why the heck were they so interested in eating Naomi Watts? They are going to risk their lives for a tiny bite of food? I doubt they would pay something her size any attention. Naomi should have been the reason the fight started, but once King Kong is pounding on your skull you would probably not be interested in a potato-chip sized snack.

Kong needed to have a reason to be eating people. It seemed to be clear that he, like all gorillas, was a vegetarian. His relation to the island's people needed to be elaborated. There was not that much story to begin with and Kong's niche on Skull Island needed to be better shown. There seemed to be something odd going on between Kong and the bad island people, but it never was revealed. Some bad action shots could have been shortened to fit this.

In a partially-related issue, Kong seemed a bit strange to hate ALL people except Naomi Watts' character. Once he realized she is not so bad, they should have shown him being more open-minded about people. THEN, people should betray him (trying to capture him) and he should go ape-sht on them. Why did he start out hating them so much? I don't hate cows and I eat them all the time. Was there something about those creepy island people that started this hatred?

Kong's capture should have happened because of Kong's rage and his single flaw. He should have been out of control pursuing the men and followed the rowboat into the water. Once Kong realized that he was in too deep and can't swim, that is when Jack Black's character would have the opportunity to gas him. They had a harpoon ready and could have hooked the drowning and gassed Kong and floated him out to the boat and winched him up with the cargo crane. This would set up an unjustified overconfidence in their ability to control Kong. This would also establish Kong's flawed personality in that he can't control his rage.

Why didn't Naomi Watt's character EVER stick up for Kong? She never said the obvious "Please don't shoot him! He saved my life! Just leave him alone!" Then, when they antagonize him, the people are fair game. Without someone revealing that Kong is something other than a vile beast, it makes the people seem completely justified in harming him. After all, he killed a bunch of them. Without some of them knowing that they are doing wrong, it takes away human responsibility.

OMG! Give me a frickin wide shot! Throw us a bone! Does ALL action need to be with a long lens 6 feet away from the characters? If they would have, for just three seconds, shown a really wide shot of Kong fighting the t-rex it would have really put things in a better perspective. One thing that was being told about Skull Island is that it is a big and brutal place and Kong is just one of a host of big bad boys. The problem is, they never pulled back to give the audience perspective.

And last, but not least, Jack Black's line at the end of the movie was either written, acted, or both written and acted CHEESY!
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Old February 18th, 2007, 10:50 AM   #41
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I agree with you on one point: the last sentence in the movie is rubbish.

However, I think it was a really great and almost perfect movie.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #42
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I disliked it alot. Thought a remake was bad idea--but I was shocked how much of a mess it was, given all I had heard about Jackson's fanatical love for the source material. I think he loved the idea of Kong--but should have examined the original script a bit more carefully.

Jackson had said he had to remake it because audiences couldnt appreciate a black and white film, and supposedly, Kong was such a timeless story it had to be remade. Which was arrogant of him to say on both fronts.

The original is a personal favorite --but the story of a giant ape who goes up a building then falls down, just isnt something with the thematic depth to compare to say, reinterpretations of Hamlet. To suggest it is, is pretentious and "film geek overthink."

It came about when cinema was experimenting and is firmly rooted in that period.

The human characters are pretty thinly drawn(deliberately) with the exception of Denham. What is truly remarkable about it, besides the technological innovations, was that the title character was a 18 inch puppet who didnt speak, and was a ramaging monster, stomping on people, chewing them up, dropping them from windows, and yet--you feel sorry for him at the end.

The remakes hit you over the head with the idea that you have to feel sympathy for him--and they removed all the homicidal violence he was doing in the original.


It wasnt a literal beauty and the beast story--which seems to be how Jackson approached it--having the girl develop this weird bond with Kong was not realistic--and undermined audience sympathy for Kong.

Even Dino Kong didnt go that route. The fact that he didnt have a friend in the world is what helped make the audience feel sorry for him.

Also--I never saw the original Kong as a giant gorilla--he seemed to have a mishmash of simian characteristics--even human qualities, was more like some prehistoric ape than a modern gorilla.

Technically speaking--the JP movies and Mighty Joe Young beat Jackson to the punch--so audiences just couldnt be wowed by the CG novelty of a giant ape(the one scene that was unique in that respect was the ESB finale-hadnt seen a giant CG ape standing on a building in daylight in full colour before-but he could have easily financed a short film without doing an entire movie).

The movie was overindulgent. The backstory for the human characters, the dinosaur fight scenes(I like a good CG spectacular but there has to be some restraint or logic--having dinosaurs swingings from vines and massive pileups of brontosauruses was bad storytelling).


It was like Lucas' prequels--he had years and years to prepare for them--and made a mess. If Jackson was such a fan of Kong you would think he could have thought more about the story. The dialogue was anachronistic at times, in fact--he seemed to be mocking the original, especially Bruce Cabot.

The only good thing about it is that we probably wont see another remake attempt until they perfect 3d or virtual reality.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #43
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"The movie was overindulgent."

That sums it up well. I don't understand why those scenes made it into the production, never mind the final release.

"-and they removed all the homicidal violence he was doing in the original."

Actually, Kong killed lots of people toward the end. As he was going through the streets looking for the woman, he picked up and threw several blonde ladies. Being tossed 50 feet in the air is a pretty sure way to die.

I really never felt much sympathy towards any of the characters in the movie except maybe the female lead.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #44
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I must not have been paying attention when he was throwing people around. i suspect the Coca Cola ice skating scene in Central Park dulled my senses.

ps
they did make Jessica Lange sympathetic to Kong in the 76 version-my first post suggested otherwise--I just didnt think they were so overt as in the Jackson version.
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