Rewatched May 07, 2012
So this does it. This ends my King Kong marathon.
1933, 1976, and 2005.
What did I think of Peter Jackson's adaption?
I've got to say, pretty dang awesome.
Jackson captures the feel and essence of the thirty's so incredibly well, that my favourite parts of the movie were that in the beginning and the end when we spend time in New York City. His attention to detail is extraordinary. The original clocked in at an hour and forty-six minutes, (while I watched the extended cut of Jackson's clocking in at three hours and twenty-one minutes) this let him flesh out some of the scenes that were rather rushed in the original. We don't see Kong until around 75 minutes in. This let's us get to the know the characters on board the ship headed to Skull Island. That doesn't mean you may like them all, but you get to know them.
Once on the island, the action begins. What some, actually what most people who watch the movie will say, is that everything that happens on the island is SO far fetched that it's corny and ridiculous. I can agree somewhat. It is over exaggerated to say the least. In the original, Kong places Miss Darrow in a tree while battling a T-Rex. In 2005 he battles three of them, all while holding her in his hand. Things like that may turn off some, but I feel it leads to a pretty decent action scene, and I am able to forgive them.
Also used much in the film (most notably during the scene of the natives) is the use of the most random slow motion. I did not like it AT ALL. I really do enjoy slow motion in movies, and it can add a whole new set of feels for a scene. But really? It wasn't even cool slow motion used in this movie. It was like the slow motion used in the first episode of The Walking Dead when Rick is in his coma.
Just. Plain. Annoying.
I have to say, that my favourite role in the film is that of Carl Denham, played by Jack Black. He does a great job of playing a selfish and money hungry film maker. As much as I love Adrien Brody, he didn't do much for me in this role. Still good, but nothing extraordinary. And I feel even more so of that for Naomi Watts. She is the pretty face of the movie, and that's really all she does. I do have to say, she is good at screaming. I tend to grow annoyed of hearing a woman scream over and over in a movie, but her screams are quite fearful.
All the references, not only to the original, but to all old movies in general, are fantastic. I spotted a poster for Fritz Lang's M, and another for Dinner at Eight. The scene in the theater when Kong is shown off to everyone, recreates the 33's sacrifice with original outfits and music. Listening to the commentary, you learn how many props of the original Kong Peter Jackson himself owns, and he features them in the movie, is fun to point out.
My final thoughts: What is a fantastically edited, visually stunning, and technically superb movie, is weighed down by less than stellar acting and a long running time. But, I have to say, Peter Jackson has made a gift for lovers of the original.