Ave’s review published on Letterboxd:
Toho Godzilla Marathon Part 1
Wow, those stop-motion/live action integrated effects really are a work of mastery. The costumes, environments, and all around atmosphere created on both ends blend beautifully. The most astonishing aspect of this film, however, is how it so naturally turns humans from the good guys to the bad guys at a distinct point in the film. We enter Skull Island, a foggy, primitive, jungle-like fortress of the most dangerous creatures on the planet. A woman is stolen by a giant ape. Men are attacked by dinosaurs, but retort and fight back with their weapons. But there comes a moment where the men begin shooting down dinosaurs before they even attack, arrogantly assuming their superiority to the creatures' threats before even being threatened. After a few simple turns in perspective we begin sympathizing with Kong, who is simply seeking love and care just as a human would, and is only fighting back out of defence.
Then, man steals the woman from Kong, and captures him to display as a "wonder of the world". We enter New York, which now with our shifted perspective, is a place just as ominous and terrifying as Skull Island was. King Kong is the perfect origin for the many films that followed it about human arrogance, insignificance, and self-imposed superiority against forces of nature, and is also movie magic at its core. This is a great start to my marathon.