In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.
In Venice Beach, naive Midwesterner JB bonds with local slacker KG and they form the rock band Tenacious D. Setting out to become the world's greatest band is no easy feat, so they set out to steal what could be the answer to their prayers -- a magical guitar pick housed in a rock-and-roll museum some 300 miles away.
Carl Denham needs to finish his movie and has the perfect location; Skull Island. But he still needs to find a leading lady. This 'soon-to-be-unfortunate' soul is Ann Darrow. No one knows what they will encounter on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they will soon find out. Living on this hidden island is a giant gorilla and this beast now has Ann is its grasps. Carl and Ann's new love, Jack Driscoll must travel through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, whilst avoiding all sorts of creatures and beasts. But Carl has another plan in mind. Written by
For the New York scene, the few hundred extras used each had three different costumes that they would wear for different exterior scenes. At one time during production, as many as 100 people were working in the costume department alone. See more »
Before leaving port, Denham tells his asst. to pack "Red Label 80 per cent proof" into a crate labeled "lemonade". At present, Johnnie Walker Red Label scotch sold in the US is 80 proof (meaning 40% alcohol). However, until the late 1980's and early 1990's, almost all blended scotch sold in the US, including Red Label, was reduced from 86 and 86.8 proof (or 43% and 43.4% alcohol) to 80 proof (or 40% alcohol). Though numerous single malts are still 86 proof, from 1909 into the 1980's, Red Label, which is a blended scotch, would have been at least 86 proof. Denham's mistake of saying "per cent proof" is a natural mistake that the character may have made, and may even have been intended by the writers, but referring to Red Label as 80 proof back in the 1930's is a definite goof. See more »
That's a funny one. Isn't that funnier?
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The end credits are set against an art deco backdrop rather than the traditional black screen. The backdrop is an exact replica, in Technicolor, of the same backdrop that was used for the opening credits in the 1933 version of "King Kong". See more »
A 10-star 2-hour movie screaming to get out of a 7-star 3-hour movie
Let me be the first to admit that there's nothing wrong with a long movie, nothing at all. "Titanic" was a long movie that was as exactly as long as it needed to be. "Gone with the Wind" was a really long movie that was exactly as long as it needed to be. "Dances with Wolves" was a long movie that I wish had been even longer when I saw it in the theater. But "King Kong"? Phhewww...this sucker clocks in at least 30-60 minutes longer than it needs to be. While it played, I kept inadvertently thinking to myself, "Boy, we really should be out to sea by now...they haven't reached the island yet?...man, are they EVER gonna find Ann?...jeez, when are we gonna go back to Manhattan already?..." and so on. Hand to God--I actually yawned twice during the last third of this movie. I even closed my eyes for a second before I realized, 'hey...you can't just rewind this when you wake up!'
Sure, many scenes in "King Kong" were thrilling (e.g., LOVED the T-Rex sequence) and, yes, I even teared up a little a couple of times. And I must say, Kong himself was beautifully realized--he looked and acted like a REAL gorilla (albeit a tiny bit anthropomorphized)! But I gotta tell you...I was more relieved than exhilarated when this movie ended. (If I saw one more flyover of the native village, I was gonna scream!) Peter...baby...why spend so much time developing all these extraneous secondary characters if you don't really have much closure with them by the end. For example, the ship's captain and Jimmy...once we leave Skull Island...pfffftttt...we never them again. Why all the backstory scenes about them? As with the original version, Jackson should have concentrated simply on the four main characters throughout: Kong, Ann, Driscoll and Denham. Period.
The problem is Jackson tried to make an epic out of a thriller, when these two approaches are generally exclusive to each other. The original "Kong" MOVED because it was simply a thriller and content to be so, but Jackson's remake starts and stops, and starts and stops, and starts and stops, merely frustrating the thrillseeker in us that wants to keep going every time Jackson establishes some momentum. But instead Jackson pauses to "delve" or "explore" or "elaborate" a la David Lean or something like that. One can excuse Jackson for shooting so much material for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy--consider the rich source material . But how anyone could have taken the 100-minute original and nearly doubled it for a remake has far too much memory on his Mac. He should have saved all the extra footage (and I'm betting there's a LOT more we didn't see in the theatrical cut) for the DVD release as he did for LOTR. Mr. Jackson's first priority as a filmmaker (well, all filmmakers) is to present the most appropriate cut for THEATRICAL audiences during the film's initial exhibition in theaters. In this case, more WAS less. Much shorter movies in the past have had intermissions!
Honestly, though I certainly enjoyed "King Kong", I really have no desire to see this movie again--I just couldn't bring myself to sit through all the filler just to get to the good parts. How I wish Jackson and/or Universal would consider releasing a 2-hour DVD version. Hey, it's happened before, so what's the harm? Inside of a year there'll be 17 versions out on DVD anyway...what's one more? But having to sit through a 3-4 hour DVD version someday? I'll take a pass.
Do I recommend seeing "King Kong"? Of course. You'll probably enjoy it immensely, despite it's overlength. But if you do go, by all means lay off the Jumbo Coke until at least 90 minutes in! You'll thank me later.
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