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December 15, 2005

Peter Jackson's King Kong


As part of our work at Elany Arts, we had to do a number of projects including King Kong, the upcoming feature film from Peter Jackson. We had a good time with those jobs, so we decided to take a company field trip to see it yesterday during the day.

I have to say, Kong is one sensitive buttkicking king, and I loved it. But beware, this movie will cause you to cry, unless you're a heartless beast.

This is one great film with a miracle of special effects work in Kong. He's just such an accomplishment, this digital creature with such a soul and better acting than 95% of other movies. The humans around him - especailly Naomi Watts' Ann Darrow, do a fine job too. You never for one moment doubt that the beast and the woman are sharing the same space.

There are so many excellent moments in this film. When Kong first defends Ann against a huge number of deadly predators, it's probably one of the best action sequences I've ever seen. Just amazing. The moment when Ann realizes that Kong is not a killer to run from but a protector to run towards is just perfect. The time when Ann manages to melt Kong's heart for the first time is also priceless, as are the sunset and frozen pond scenes.

Hey, and who doesn't love some giant deadly insect scenes too? I know I like them.

The emotional connection between Kong and Ann is so real, it hurts. It's not a romantic love, more like the love of a father and a daughter mixed with the love between of a dog and it's master. Strange, I know. The way the film causes you to love Kong makes the last 3rd of the film so darn hard to watch, but it is beautiful and sad. It's almost like a funeral. Some executives at Universal told Collin that this would not be your standard monster movie, that the goal was to make you empasize with Kong. Well, they certainly did that.

There are some minor quibbles (NOT the 3 hour running time though, I love long movies!).

For instance, there is probably a little too much time before you meet the King, especially on the boat with the crew. I think they are trying to make you care about the crew, but from some reason you just don't (and that's ok, you spend most of your emotion on Kong and Ann).

They spend a lot of time especially on a deckhand boy and his mentor, and that could be cut from the film if you ask me, it just never pays off at all.

And there is a cool dinasaur stampede that probably causes you to suspend too much disbelief (and I think the effects on this particular scene are the most noticeable CGI).

And there are some Jackson film tricks that kind of took me out of the movie and made me think, "Hey this is alot like Lord of the Rings!" Like blurry action sequences, slow motion with high ethereal female vocals, and orc-looking set design. Now I like these things actually, and if Jackson wants a trademark that's cool, so I think I'd leave them in. But they did take me out of the experience for a moment and made me think, "Yep, I'm watching a movie."

But all those things become so minor once Kong starts rampaging around the screen that they are like complaining about the color of the doorknob to your honeymoon suite. That is to say. . . you should be able to quickly forget such things once the good stuff starts. And if you can't, you have serious problems.

All told though, you have to see this movie on the big screen. It's really excellent. And I never understood what was so special about King Kong before. Like, he's just a big monkey. But no, he's much more. He is truly the 8th Wonder of the World.

Posted by jason on December 15, 2005 01:47 PM


I'm so not reading this post. I know you will give something away, and I've never seen the originals.

Posted by: Ian on December 15, 2005 02:32 PM

I didn't actually give too much away. But dude, the story has been around since 1933, so this isn't exactly a big suprise.

Posted by: Jason – Band Member [TypeKey Profile Page] on December 15, 2005 02:34 PM

It's a surprise to me. you gave away too much in the first 3 paragraphs.

Posted by: Ian on December 15, 2005 03:05 PM

You didn't like the color of the doorknob on our honeymoon suite?

Posted by: darby on December 15, 2005 08:58 PM

Ian -- I'm sorry if you don't know that Kong is discovered by a couple of gay cowboys who walk through a wardrobe and find themselves thrust into the role of Japanese geishas. Wait, I might have mixed some things up there.

Darby -- I've been meaning to tell you, but really it ruined the whole night.

Posted by: Jason – Band Member [TypeKey Profile Page] on December 15, 2005 09:12 PM

Man, where have I been... I didn't think this was out yet.

Posted by: Jack on December 15, 2005 09:42 PM

I saw it yesterday ...excellent movie. Like you I thought it could have gotten to the island sooner - but once they got there, wow!

Posted by: Living in Canberra on December 18, 2005 01:24 AM

unlike you we have lives and we dont sit around watching movies all day but ty for the info it got me a A on a project

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