Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm just an actor with a gun who's lost his motivation

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
The original RKO King Kong is regarded as one of the greatest classics of all time. Despite not aging the greatest (claymation and treadmill mattes) it was still a great feat back in the day and people still talk about that film and remember it fondly. In 2005 however Peter Jackson, fresh off his multi Academy Award winning Magnum Opus Lord of the Rings he set out to remake this classic film and give it more action, more suspense and just generally more umph. He did exactly that, but was it the right decision? Yes and no.
The first great thing about this movie is the cast. Adrian Brody and Naomi Watts are phenominal in the movie with Watts having to take on the iconic role of Ann Darrow played by the great Fay Wray. She can never outshine Wray but she does a great job nevertheless. Brody plays Jack Driscoll, one of the main heroes of our story who was originally played by Bruce Cabot. He actually in my opinion outshines Cabot in this film and really plays the hero well. The oddest switch up though is the character of Carl Denham. In the original he was sympathetic, a risk taker but never put people in danger. In fact in Son of Kong he returns and says he is remoresful for what happened to Kong. Robert Armstrong was great in this role. In the remake however he is played as a con artist, willing to do anything to anyone to get his way. He is devious, callous and a jerk overall. And he is played by Jack Black. Im not saying Jack Black is bad in this movie, in fact he does quite well, its just really interesting seeing how he acts in this film. Its almost like watching Kong himself.
The second great thing is the visual effect and the sound effects (which is no surprise than why it won 3 Academy Awards for those specific things). Its all so well done and Kong himself looks, feels and acts like a real ape. Its a sight to behold and a true evolution of film effects.
The biggest and most detrimental thing to this movie (which is why it doesnt have a Top 20) is the length. Its unneccesarily long and it really just pushed the boundaries for how long I wanted to stay in the theatre. There are so many great scenes but there is just as much filler. Filler that could have been cut out. The film is 200 minutes long! 200 MINUTES. Let that sink in. Do you really want to see a movie that is that long? Even if its great? NO. The original was only 105 minutes long. It is 95 minutes longer than the original. That is just insane. So that is why if you really want to see it, you need to see it at home and with a lot of breaks.
Its a great film and a really well made film. It stands out as one of 2005's best and it shows off a true evolution of film. But at 200 minutes long it really hurts the film and does more harm than good. Its still a great movie, but be ready to take breaks.

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