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King Kong
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Web Site: www.kingkongmovie.com
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, it gets pretty violent and creepy at times.
Date Movie: It's good for both the dudes and dudettes.
Gratuitous Sex: Some smooching is about all.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of people die, but only a few gratuitously.
Action: Lots of chasing and it's really cool.
Laughs: Some dorky moments give some levity.
Memorable Scene: For some reason, and although most critics bring out the touching moment as Ann and Kong watched the sunset on the mountain, I thought the scene of Kong and Ann on ice in Central Park was more touching, in a creepy, dudette loves a giant ape but can never get it really on with him, sort of way.
Memorable Quote: I still hate the line where Carl (Jack Black) explains that beauty killed the beast.  Even if it was in the original, it was too clichť, and when he said it, he sounded like his character back in "School of Rock."
Directed By: Peter Jackson
Produced By: Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh

King Kong
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 3:07 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I read a headline a while back that the new "King Kong" movie made grown men cry. I have to proudly admit that I didnít cry, although there were a couple of times I almost got the urge to get a little weepy, but then something that just didnít seem to fit would happen and the feeling went away. That, I would say, was one of the very few flaws I had with this remake of an original movie that I have absolutely no recollection of seeing (although I did set my TIVO to record it a few days from now), and I now have a new actress that I am totally infatuated with, her being Naomi Watts. Anyway, letís get to the story.

"King Kong" starts with the story of a filmmaker, Carl Denham (Jack Black). Itís the 1930ís and heís having a little trouble getting the funding to finish his latest flick, especially when he wants to set sail to this uncharted island that is supposed to be spooky and scary and perfect for his film. The funding folks arenít buying it, so Carl decides to steal some equipment, round up his crew, and set sail. Thereís one other hitch, namely that his lead actress quit the day before, much to his surprise when his assistant, Preston (Colin Hanks) tells him so. By chance he finds Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), and convinces her to come along with him on his adventure.

After setting sail just soon enough not to get arrested, our cast is now cruising to, supposedly Singapore, until Carl convinces the Captain to set sail to a mythical place, and the Captain does. All of a sudden there it is, Skull Island, a place where some members of the boat crew had heard stories about, and then all of a sudden, Carl has his film folks taking a lifeboat to the island when the big boat gets stuck on a spooky rock. Sure enough, the island is creepy, thereís this giant wall for some reason, and the natives donít like chocolate bars it seems. With the film crew being attacked by the natives, itís up to the boat crew to save their collective asses, but then, as the big boat is finally free to boat away, Jack (Adrien Brody), the screenwriter/playwright, discovers Ann has been kidnapped, so itís back to the island we go.

Next, of course, we finally get to see Kong, as Ann is sacrificed by the locals and Kong is off with his new prize. But Ann is different than the other girls Kong has had in his life, mostly, it seems, because she fights back a little, and is quite entertaining to the big ape in a later scene. Meanwhile, Carl and the boys are making their way through the jungle, finding dinosaurs and giant bugs, and somehow, most of them, surviving all of the running and mayhem. Also, meanwhile, Ann begins to realize that Kong actually cares for her when he saves her from a group of T-Rexís that, for some bizarre reason, are more interesting in a bite-size snack dressed in white, rather than just taking the porterhouse steak in Kong.

So, yea, you guessed it, or know it happens anyway because the story isnít new, but with his film footage gone, and visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads, Carl and the boys capture Kong, bring him back to New York City, put him on a stage, and piss him off. Yup, Kong is out to find his Ann in the big city, which doesnít bode well for any blonde-haired girl in his path as he scoops them up, looks at their faces, realizes they arenít Ann, and tosses them aside like rag-dolls (itís pretty funny if you let it be). Then, of course, Kong finds Ann, or sort of more Ann finds Kong, theyíre off to frolic in Central Park and enjoy the city, but wouldnít you know it, the Army arrives and yes, itís now time for Kong to make a calculated mistake and head to the top of the Empire State Building, not knowing that us humans now have these things called airplanes, equipped with guns.

Alright, story synopsis done. Why did I love this movie? Let me count the ways. 1) The film was over three hours long but didnít seem like it, and paced nicely from their start in the city to their extended ocean voyage, when character development really takes shape, to the land of the lost world of Skull Island and Kong being King, and back to the big city where all Kong really wants to do is spend some quality time with his woman. B) The special effects were insanely amazing. New York in the 1930ís looked fantastic, exactly how I would figure it would look, in color, back then. Skull Island was a fun place to visit, though I wouldnít want to live there. And Kong was freakiní unbelievable. I mean unbelievable. Remember how you were amazed at Gollum from the "Lord of the Rings" thing? Multiply him by 100 to get Kong (the same dude, Andy Serkis, played both Gollum and Kong). Kong is big and mean, but also likes sunsets. He doesnít like getting yelled at by pretty girls he has a crush on, causing him to pout like a little boy, but will still break the jaw of a T-Rex if said T-Rex tries to eat his woman. III) I wasnít as annoyed at Jack Black as I thought I might be. 4) Odd as it might sound, but it is crucial to the movie, there was really a chemistry between Ann and Kong (not so much so between Ann and Jack, but that didnít bug me at all). Mucho props to Naomi Watts and the computer animation folks for using a lot of "you can see the feelings being portrayed by just looking at their eyes" for both Ann and Kong. V) Some squashes, being sucked into an ugly bug, and quality kills, like when Kong rips the head off a dude. F) Naomi Watts. 7) Oh hell, Naomi Watts again.

The more I think about this movie, the more I loved it, although there were times I just couldnít help comparing some scenes in it to those in "Titanic." The fact that they were on a tramp steamer, which, if memory serves me right, and I know if my memory indeed does serve me right this is a memory I should have forgotten, but Jack from "Titanic" had been on a tramp steamer a few times in his travels. Then there was the touching sunset scene with Kong and Ann. Then there were the dolphins in front of the boat as it was cruising along. Then there were the engine pistons going up and down and the dude shoveling coal into the boiler. Then there was the boat wreck. And finally, as Kong and Ann were at the top of The Empire State Building, with Kong ready to fall (this was the moment I almost got weepy, then this thought kicked in), I couldnít help but hope and pray, for just some total comic relief, that Ann would tell Kong, after grabbing Kongís giant hand, "Iíll never let go," then Kong would die, and just like Rose did to Jack, Ann would let go. Iím sick sometimes.

So wrapping up this long review to go with a long movie, itís 5 stars out of 5 for "King Kong." Even with the kinda dorky moments, and my thoughts of "Titanic," just the marvel, Kong, and Naomi Watts transcend all of that and make it a 5 starrer from me.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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