A $9.8 million opening day total makes it the 21st highest day gross on a wednesday. It's also means that even though it beats ARMAGEDDON, it's not good enough to beat out POKEMON or JURASSIC PARK 3. Let's hope it makes up some more of that $207 million budget over the weekend when the kids are out of school.
As for the film itself... well, it wasn't bad. It wasn't edge of you seat, blows everything else out of the water either. Personally, I'd say it wasnt TITANIC either, who the hell decided on a three hour running time? I found myself going to the restroom once AND back out for a refill on my Sprite.
The effects were great, but nothing you haven't seen elsewhere. The acting was on par with what you'd expect, except Jack Black was reeled in drasticly and it worked for him. More directors need to have him act less like a cartoon character and more like a human. He deserves credit for this film, if only because he didn't play 'Jack Black'.
Overall, I'd rate it 4 stars.
Good for the kids and good for the adults who didn't buy the DVD boxed set of the original, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young that came out a few weeks ago.
If you've seen the original and the 1977(?) version, where does this one rank among those two? I prefer the original to the re-make, so if this isn't any better than the re-make (without regard to the CGI), I'll probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD.
Originally posted by Sec19Row53If you've seen the original and the 1977(?) version, where does this one rank among those two? I prefer the original to the re-make, so if this isn't any better than the re-make (without regard to the CGI), I'll probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD.
Oh my god. This was way WAY better then the 1977 version with Jeff Bridges.
I just think the original version(1933) was better. Rick Baker's Kong from the 1977 version was pretty good though. Too bad it was such a clusterfuck of a film. Jessica Lange was pretty hot back then, as well, seeing as it was her first film, but she's no Fay Wray... neither is Naomi Watts, at that.
Over all, this remake falls a lot closer to the original then the 1977 version, but it isn't quite as good as the 1933 one... in MY opinion. I'm sure many others will say it IS better, but for my money, it's not. The 1933 King Kong had more heart in it's 1hr44mins then Jackson's version does at almost twice that length.
But, still, I'd say go see it in a theatre. Movies like this are ALWAYS better in a theatre on a big screen with people around you then they are sitting at home infront of your television set.
I don't really remember the 1933 version, but I just can't take cheesy special effects. No amount of appreciating what it was "for its time" will make me forgive a claymation monkey, I just don't have a stomach for that kind of stuff.
I do however, miss the days when filmmakers used to try and create things in real life, instead of making everything on a computer. I hate CGI and everything it represents. It should be used to enhance what's there, instead of just making something where there's nothing. There is at least one shot in this movie that is so obviously people in front of a green screen that it actually stood out as twenty-years out of date. The part where they're running away from that brachiosaurus stampede is really, really poorly edited. And there are numerous shots where she just doesn't look like she's being picked up by a hand that's really there. You have 280 million bucks, have them build a giant hand for God's sake.
All that being said, those shortcomings were not enough to make me dislike this movie. I was worried that it would be fantastically racist, as the 1933 version was, what with the jet black islanders worshipping a giant monkey and all. And boy, the islanders here were probably worse. This was Temple of Doom bad, folks. But at least those people were under the influence of an evil spell, this is just how Peter Jackson thinks black people act without Jesus. That being said, you can't do an homage to racist material without being racist. Luckily for me, and anyone with a sense of decency, Jackson counter-balanced this by putting one black person in a prominent role, that of Hayes, played by Even Parke. That he couldn't act was not really Jackson's fault. The weird father/son relationship Hayes and Jamie Bell's character, Jimmy, was just forced and useless, since they both end up kicking the bucket anyway. Jack Black, as noted, was definitely toned down and that's as always to the benefit of anyone who has share a shot with film's most rabid scenery-chewer. I've always thought Jack Black was kind of like Jim Carrey in that regard, except that Carrey is capable of moments of empathy whereas Jack Black just becomes grating and annoying. That being said, Jack Black is well-liked by audiences today, even if I don't quite get it. Every moment he was on-screen the audience was with him, eating up every joke. Adrian Brody was just a waste in a film like this, he's too serious an actor and he can't really switch gears to do lighter-hearted material easily. That haunted look probably wasn't right for a film as one-dimensional as King Kong. Naomi Watts was milfy, as usual, and did the best she could looking at a tennis ball that is supposed to be a twenty-five-foot gorilla.
Kong himself steals the show, here, and gives the best performance. As much as I dislike CGI, this graphic ape really managed to have a personality. As when I watched the 1977 version, I felt for the animal who is abused, abducted, humiliated, and killed by dirty rotten human beings who worship money.
Jackson did a good job pacing and plotting, and the action scenes, as CGI heavy as they were, were some of the best in recent years. I will long remember Kong V.S. The Three T-Rexes, and I can't say that about anything in motherfucking Van Helsing. It was a good adventure film, and I personally didn't feel like it was too long. It certainly didn't seem like Jackson was spreading it too thin, he had a reason for every scene that he put in this thing. Nothing was in there for filler, everything forwarded the plot, every person had something to do and a reason to be there, and no one said a word they shouldn't have. The script was spectacular, as monster movies go.
If you're going to see it at all, see it in theatres. I must echo that sentiment. Much like Revenge of the Sith, it'll be a nice little DVD to own but it just won't ever be the same as seeing it on the big screen. You want to be taken away into this world, you want it to surround you, and it is impossible to experience it properly without having it twenty-feet high before your eyes.
So yeah, now that you know I like it, you can consider going.
Anyone remember the 1986 sequel to the 70's version? It stars Linda Hamilton. I saw the movie for the second time tonight at The Alamo Drafthouse, and appropriately enough they played the trailer for the 80's sequel .
I thought it was a great movie, and I don't think there is anything wrong with the three hour running time. Everything moved as it should to me.
Seeing 1930's Depression era New York was amazing in my opinion.
I thought it was really good for a movie that you already know the story for the largest part. Even Titanic only had to deal with the fact that at one point the boat was going to have to sink. While King Kong has to stick to a lot more storypoints so to say. Con-man director, damsel in destress, big ape, big ape in city, big ape on building, etc etc.
Jackson and the cast did it really well. I wondered a bit at the Hayes-Jimmie relation as well, but it didn't bother me. Naomi Watts was good imo, Jack Black good (His beady little eyes showed he was so full of it) and Adrian Brody? I like him. He plays the intelectual well. Both Andy Serkis' characters were good. Lumpy the cook was a nice sidekick so to say, and the ape was awesome.
It's been aeons since I have seen the earlier versions, so I don't recall if Ann Darrow was this assertive but it made things a bit more fun.
The action scenes were good, though the one with the bugs was sort of like "WTF..where is this leading?"
I loved the part where Ann and Kong are on the loose in New York. The one scene on the ice was so much fun and even romantic that if you didn't feel sympathy for the ape before, you surely would now.
I just had two minor problems with the flick, and they were all my own fault. 1. I had to grin when they entered the forest, as it reminded me of Fangorn and I was hoping for Treebeard to show up. 2. Jack Black..being a big Tenacious D fan, I was just hoping he would go nuts and go "Think about it man! We have a huge monkey! And he's inward singing!" or something like that. Once I got that urge under control I enjoyed his performance a lot more.
I liked the movie, but I think the fact that Peter Jackson directed this thing may actually hurt the film overall, because people are going to come in expecting an EPIC feel to the movie and (personally) I just didn't get that.
And there was one scene that just really seemed totally ridiculous to me (as if a movie about a 25-foot gorilla isn't ridiculous in itself?) ... When the young kid was shooting the giant bugs off Driscoll with a machine gun, and telling him to "Hold still"; now really, am I supposed to believe that not ONE of those bullets was going to hit the guy? Seriously.
I thought Jack Black was great as a giant douche bag, it's like it was the role he was born to play. What's her face was damned hot. And GAINT APE FIGHTING DINOSAURS~!
I'm not sure if I liked it because I liked it or because I felt that I should like it, but... it had a giant ape fighting dinosaurs. Which is what made the movie for me. Now I can't wait for Snakes on a Plane.
God bless the men of 2nd Bn, 127th Inf, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, WI Army Nat'l Guard...good luck, and come home soon.
Bah...I want my 3 hours back. Points of p*ssed-off-ness:
* RUNNING TIME: 3 HOURS!? Great googly moogly, that's too much. Even Revenge of the Sith wasn't that crazy-go-nuts. Hell, it took 'em about 2:45 or so to get the big ape to NYC.
* CHARACTER "DEVELOPMENT" SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS: They spent WAAAAAAYYYYYYY too much time setting up Jack Black and the chick in NYC, and on the boat? Look, we don't care if the stowaway-turned-cabin-boy has ADD or PTSD or whatever, and we're not worried if the captain's a heel and the 1st mate a babyface, or vice versa. At least they got across the message that the lead actor in Black's movie is a vain coward nice and quick. Not so anything else in the movie not covered in fur.
* OVERACTING: Goes with the previous point...but when Jack Black is your most restrained actor on-screen, it comes across as strictly B-movie stuff. It's called "nuance," people...look into it.
* THE ISLAND: I came to see King Kong tear up NYC, not Jurassic Park IV: Now With a Monkey! Spare us the 20-minute dino fights booked like Kong is John Cena.
And add my "what-the-f*ck" vote to the "hold still" moment during the humans-vs.-creepy-crawlies battle. Why are we even wasting time with big bugs? They ain't on the marquee...the monkey is. (Jeebus, now I'm starting to sound like Verne Gagne.)
And how many times can we lather, rinse and repeat the "close-up-of-chick's-watery-eyes, cut-to-close-up-of-Kong's-confused-ape-eyes, cut-back-to-chick's-eyes" schtick? Puh-leeze.
* FINALLY, BACK IN NEW YORK...and Kong actually does something funny by inspecting and tossing aside random blondes that aren't the one what did him a vaudeville routine back on Skull Island. But when he does pause his MONKEY RAGE!~ to find the real blonde after her backlit re-make of the Resevoir Dogs walk...they go ice-skating...with his GIANT MONKEY ASS (sorry, Rock)...and he doesn't break through.
And shouldn't the wind on top of the Empire State Building have been enough to blow any non-secured human right the f*ck off!? No, just a gentle breeze through her lovely blonde locks, thank you.
* CGI OOPSIES: Uh, should those rolling waves battering the ship to port and starboard while grounded on Skull Island's surrounding rocks actually have been moving the damn boat back and forth THAT much!? Bad physics, gang.
Kudos on the CGI goodness of the ape...but there sure were a few "man, that looks fake" moments.
And one more, unforgiveable, lapse...
* JUMP CUTS. F'n jump cuts. In a FINISHED multi-million dollar Hollywood spectacular.
(FYI...in the biz, a "jump cut" is when you see a figure in one shot, and in the very next shot you see the figure in a not-too-different or identical angle, where the figure has changed its look or position significantly, and the effect is that it happened instantly, like the chick from "Bewitched" just twitched her nose, and BAM! the person's arm is up where it was at their side in the previous shot.) It's death to any suspension-of-disbelief unless done intentionally for effect (see earlier "Bewitched" example.)
Unacceptable, Universal. 1.5 thumbs DOWN...saved from my Doubledeuce of Doom only by trying to stick to the 30's original, and how well they did w/ Kong himself.
Otherwise...bah, humbug. Or hum-monkey...whatever. :-(
Originally posted by The ThrillAnd how many times can we lather, rinse and repeat the "close-up-of-chick's-watery-eyes, cut-to-close-up-of-K?ong's-confused-ape-eyes, cut-back-to-chick's-eyes" schtick? Puh-leeze.
I think that's just a Peter Jackson thing. I ranted about it on this board about a year or so ago, but I saw Return of the King in a seat about three rows back from the front row, and that really made it obvious how much he loves that "head fills the screen," misty-eyeball kind of shot. When I went back and watched Fellowship and Two Towers at home, I noticed just how often he tightens the shot on the eyes and uses the extreme close-up to hammer home emotion. It's a shame he's doing that again with this movie. I don't deny that that can be a really evocative shot at times, but he relies on it too much. It makes me think that the scene should be very emotional, which of course takes me out of the emotional aspect of it, because I'm suddenly aware that I'm being directed at something.
I noticed the close-ups, but wasn't annoyed by it or taken out of the movie. It was mentioned a lot when the LOTR movies were released and many claimed it was because of having to deal with the various sizes of the creatures.
Now it turns out it's his style of filming. NP with that. Another thing I from now on call the "Pete Jackson shot" is the one where during an important moment the shot goes into semi-slow motion, maybe even a tad of faded colors. If it is a really important moment you will hear a choir or something similar. (He used this for instance when things looked bleak in the insect-fight and when Carl + crew were trying to capture the monkey and Ann looked at them in shock)
I was most disappointed that we really don't get any resolution for characters like Captain Englehorn and Jimmy. They were made out to be significant supporting characters but we really don't find out what happens to them. Like what have they been up to.
I heard once that people in "the business" of entertainment (television, movies) are always looking to rely on something beyond "well written" because they don't know how to tell whether something is well written.