King Kong (2005) Poster

(2005)

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1/10
Total Monkey Dung!
jadortmunder18 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I hardly know where to begin. I had such high hopes for this film. I felt that Jackson was a good choice to reinterpret the story and there are brief flashes of what I was hoping for salted throughout the film, but they are few and far between. And what they are hidden in is as big a mess as I've ever seen.

Many of my biggest complaints are covered by other reviewers - too long; pointless characters and subplots that conveniently disappear; bad CGI scenes; lousy dialog; utterly inappropriate attempts at comedy relief; stupidly contrived situations where people absorb physical punishment that would cripple or kill a trained stuntman, but they just jump up and carry on as if nothing happened; inane inconsistencies (Watts in winter with no coat doesn't shiver on Empire State, ape that pulls down theater balcony can skate on thin ice, etc); the abominable performance by Jack (I can't act to save my life) Black; and, worst of all, the mind-bogglingly idiotic concept of having her love the ape more than she loves the guy.

But here's a couple of things I didn't see mentioned (and I only made it in about 200 reviews before crying Uncle, so if someone did catch these, I apologize):

When they first go ashore to investigate the village, nobody thinks to bring a weapon? Are you kidding me?

One of the only bits of dialog retained from the original film is the "scene" Denham shoots with Ann Darrow and the ham actor recreating Fay Wray and Bruce Cabot's scene where Driscoll tells Ann that women are bad luck on a ship. Then, the new film takes pains to assure us that this was not the deathless dialog of playwright Brody/Driscoll but a bit of cheese made up on the spot by the ham "playing" the film-within-a-film's first mate. It's odd, but in every one of the few instances that Jackson (who calls himself a big fan of the original) references the first film, he does so in the most disrespectful manner possible, as if to say, "Yes, wasn't that a quaint, creaky old piece of junk I used as the basis for my superior cinematic achievement?" Only problem is that quaint old film is a classic and will still be entertaining audiences long after this new pile of dreck has mercifully faded away.

And about the ham actor - hasn't anyone ever taught Jackson that one of the most important rules of good cinematic storytelling is that a character undergoes a change in the tale but only once. The ham goes from sniveling coward to avenging Rambo on a vine with a tommy-gun, back to sniveling coward whenever it suits the plot.

I could go on but to what purpose. I've already given this film more time than it deserves and if you haven't gotten the point by now, you probably never will. But there is one last thing I'd like to address and it's the issue of suspension of disbelief.

I'm a pretty agreeable guy when it comes to buying into a film's universe. If you let me know up front that in this movie, pigs can fly, then I say fine, fly those pigs. But the filmmaker has to hold up his side of the bargain. And if his film is poorly conceived and badly made, before long, I'm going to be looking at those flying pigs (and every other element in the film) with a far more critical eye.

This leads us to a complaint I saw mentioned several times in the reviews I read where folks were incensed that Jackson skipped over the process of getting Kong on the ship and then showing the journey back to New York. But if you look at the original, it's done the same way. Denham talks about Kong's name being up in lights, how they'll all be millionaires, how he'll share it with all of them and BANG! we're back in NY outside a theater advertising the appearance of Kong - Eighth Wonder Of The World. The difference is: in the original, we're caught up in the story, entranced and ensnared, we willingly follow wherever the film leads us because we are under its spell. But in the new one, many of us have been looking at our watches for an hour or more. We're fed up with a boatload of unlikable characters acting like morons and monsters who act just as dumb. We're in a hurry to get this over with, but we know we're not going anywhere for a while so we resort to the time-honored sport of the bored film-goer - we start picking apart every single thing we see.

And that's really it in a nutshell. We didn't care. Jackson, for all his supposed gifts and his love for the first film, couldn't involve us. The good reviews this film has received baffle me. The only answer I can come up with is that a lot of people have been taught to have diminished expectations from their entertainment. Make it enough like a video game and they think it's fine. But it's not fine to anyone who grew up in the grip of great storytellers. I had supposed Peter Jackson might be such a storyteller. If, in fact, he is, then this is no more than a woeful misstep. But it is so poor, one is forced to entertain the thought that this is the true Peter Jackson - a hack with too much money and not enough talent.

What a bitter disappointment this film is.
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1/10
It's one of the most boring and stupid movies ever seen
g_venturi25 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I could barely sit for the whole duration of the movie. I was fond of Peter Jackson because of Lord of the Rings (LoR) and this movie is a major delusion for me.

It is totally lacking of credibility, of tension. From the photography and the use of digital, it is similar to LoR, but the effects are totally out of context here. For example, the tribe people look like the orcs in LoR.

The dinosaurs are like in Jurassic Park, just they totally lack of credibility. At some point in the movie some of them even bounce like bowling balls. You don't know if to get angry at the director or to laugh for the stupidity of the action and of the dialogues.

Overall, it was an incredible (negative) experience! Tell to your friends not to waste your money in this film, please!
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1/10
JACKSON'S Boring, Awful, Silly Remake of a Classic.
vitaleralphlouis8 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Peter Jackson's movie isn't good enough to rise to the level of trashing a classic. This clueless filmmaker has no concept of character development, plot continuity, the necessity of camaraderie between characters in an adventure movie, or the need for heroes vs girly men.

The opening scenes are only half-bad, but the movie falls to shreds when the party lands on Skull Island and finds --- not South Pacific natives --- but a Haitian voodoo crowd obviously on drugs. From there the miscalculations get worse. The dinosaur scenes, including ones where men are eaten alive, are so bad they have the audience snickering. Who cares anyway? One hour into the movie and the audience is involved with nobody. There's no suspense without involvement, no mystery, no concern who lives or dies.

Peter Jackson is a director committed to excess, because with excess being excellent or not doesn't matter. Thus when Kong is attacked on his mountain perch by a flying dinosaur, it isn't one but several; allowing Jackson to simply film a confused mess.

One critical scene which Jackson screws up badly is when Kong follows Ann to the village and slowly breaks the mighty gate down. Not here, no, there isn't any slowly; Kong bashes it down in 2 seconds flat and the tension-building scene falls flat.

When the story reaches New York the picture deteriorates from a snicker-filled bad movie into a colossal bore. Kong just goes bananas and it doesn't really matter how.

The clinker is that Ann Darrow supposedly goes all dew-eyed for our ape-hero. Well yahoo! That's worth 3 hours and ten bucks easy!

This film contains one pointless excessive scene after another, scenes which contribute nothing to the storyline, bog the story down like deep mud on a racetrack, serving only the purpose of bloating the running time of a 90 minute story to almost 3 hours.

This moviegoer wonders, having heard the snickers in the audience and remembering the glowing reviews including the IMDb, how much of the $150 million was spent filming this mess of a movie, and how much went to pay off film critics? Including input supposedly by folks like us in this database? Has the day come when Hollywood rigs these amateur reviews? Easy enough to do.

On the cheery side, this film is on death row at the box office. Universal's dreams of having the all-time hit are replaced with questions of how many million will the film lose. This film won't even be a memory come Easter.

When the real KING KONG was released in 1933 during the Great Depression, there were about 80% less people in the USA and admission prices were scaled at 35 cents to 75 cents at the New York first run. More typically people paid 20 cents to see KING KONG. It was a smash hit, and has continually made money for 72 years. The original was a winner: artistic, popular, long lasting. Something to be proud of.
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1/10
For Dedicated Sadists
Neil S. Bulk23 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Somewhere in this 3 hour mess is a good movie. It's based off of a winning concept, but clearly one not meant to last this long. All this film has to offer over the original is color and surround sound. For a 3 hour investment, I expect something more, beyond a headache.

The score is dreadful. This film featured the worst scored bug-eating-humans scene in history! And when this scene starts, there is still an hour of this movie to go! I know, because I checked my watch.

I got so desensitized to the CG action that by the time the T-Rex fight came on, I just didn't care anymore. The rapid cutting and close ups didn't help either. I guess when it was viewed on small monitors during the editing it made sense, but on a theater screen it was incomprehensible. This also isn't the only movie to suffer from this, but it's the longest and has nothing to make up for it, so it's even more annoying.

I felt sorry for Kong, not so much for being misunderstood and killed in the end, but for having to appear in this movie. He was the best actor in this thing. Everyone else had all the charisma and charm of a fan film and looked lost. Jack Black is ridiculously bad and Adrien Brody is dull as dirt. And Naomi Watts couldn't power a small light bulb, let alone generate any star power

At one point in the fog, the navigator says, "There aren't any stars." This movie doesn't deserve any.
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3/10
Over-hyped, Overlong, Over-indulgent
deronny6611 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
From a conversation with a friend, I have decided it is unfair to judge a film such as King Kong differently from a film like the Shawshank Redemption. A lot of people had said 'This is supposed to be an entertaining film, stop being so critical' but I think thats a very poor way to judge. Why shouldn't I expect such a high calibre film in the first place? King Kong stumbles at many points before it falls completely head over arse. Given the sheer weight of Kong himself, you can see the comedy value of this, but I don't give films credit for being unintentionally humorous.

Firstly, I admit that the film is very well set up. The 1930's vibe is given perfectly by the introduction, and when we are introduced to Jack Black's character the whole buzz and excitement of shooting an exciting film is captured. From this however, the film begins to sag due to several factors, starting with two that contradict each other.

The problem is with King Kong that not a lot actually happens. Secondly, a huge problem for this film is that far too much happens. This probably makes no sense, so let me explain. The film has three main chapters it can be broken into, New York, Skull Island, back to New York. Whilst the first as already stated is impressive enough, the second is quite a painful adventure to say the least. The film feels like it has been artificially extended with filler material, or putting it another way its like ordering a huge steak only to find its mostly gristle. What the audience is treated to is a number of boring CGI sequences and chases that occur one after another, most of which is not relevant to progressing the plot in the slightest. I am fed up of CGI sequences in films, they just make you instantly think 'I'm watching a film'. Jurrasic Park was far more convincing, and it still is, not to mention Jurrasic Park is over ten years old now. One chase scene involving running dinosaurs in a canyon has the ever increasing in number party weaving through their legs. Not only was I embarrassed at this, but I couldn't help thinking if the scene wasn't so over the top it could of been far more dramatic (ala the jeep chase in Jurassic Park). On the other hand, this chase has one of the most unintentionally funny moments in film history, which is when the dinosaurs fall over on top of one another. Think those 'funny' home movie shows showing people falling over on an ice rink set to epic 'lord of the rings' music, and you might get the same sort of idea of 'Trying to be epic / exciting' but failing miserably.

Remember when I said 'Too much happens?', well this is what I meant. It's like the film 'xXx', just one long continuous mind numbing stunt. Too much of just about everything is forcibly crammed into the long 3 hours that makes you care far less about the outcome. Imagine a horror film with someone dies a 'gruesome' death every 3 minutes. Not nearly as suspenseful or scary as a film with hardly any deaths is it? A case of 'less is more' was needed with this film, and Peter Jackson failed to realise that.

The film is filled with many horrible continuity errors which add to the disappointment of this film. For a starter, how many people can they fit into those two rowing boats they journey to skull island on? More and MORE people keep showing up to have some boring / gruesome death. You can almost pick out who is going to die from the start as well. The whole 'captain' and 'prodigy' relationship is painfully predictable. Also, where the hell did the natives go? All disappeared apparently.

I guess my biggest problem with the film is that is the one which is most obvious. If you can't tell already, its an incredibly boring film that could be easily cut down to under the 2 hour mark. Its purely self indulgent of Peter Jackson to string it out so long when there was so little to say. I was almost screaming "Why wont you DIE?!" at the screen in its final sequence, which is strung out so long I discovered I had in fact grown a beard by the time it had finished.

Speaking on its behalf, its fair to say when back in New York, I did have a fair bit of sympathy for Kong when he was chained up, and I did get the feeling that man was the true monster after all. So something went right when this movie was made. However, this is nowhere near enough to save it.

Over-hyped, overlong, over-indulgent are just some words I would use to describe this film. I guess one thing can be said about this film to sum it up: This film would of been canned by the critics if it wasn't a remake.

You have been warned...
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1/10
I waited months just to be disappointed
tjzoso4 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Back this past summer, I saw a trailer during War of the Worlds for the new King Kong movie. At the time I had only heard about who was in it, directing, etc. I had to say this trailer blew me away. Peter Jackson was able to make me a LOTR fan just from the movies alone, it wasn't till after the first LOTR that I read the books. So I figure, King Kong will be amazing. I loved LOTR, I felt that Jackson does an amazing job with CGI, and as unrelated as it may seem I am a huge Jack Black fan and was dying to see his first dramatic role in a blockbuster film. So Summer passes, as does Fall, and Winter rolls around. Soon enough its mid Decemeber and my friends and I are all amped, to say the least, to see what we honestly expect to be one of the best movies of all time, and a true experience. (Note the movie had been out for a week by this time, so any bad reviews we may have heard by that point.) So I enter my set with the most positive outlook on this movie and it goes all downhill from there. For the first portion of the film, NY to Skull Island. Every shot that involves a character speaking or listening to someone else speak is a tight and long close up. When this happens in a film, it is just plain insulting to intelligence. Only four year old need to be shown nice a big exactly who is talking. The characters seemed predictable, but then again there were few variations in which they could have been played. Although it may sound biased the best dialog acting was done by Jack Black, but maybe this was because he had almost the majority of the lines in the film, regardless of screen time (I mean come on, Watts can't talk to an ape for 90 minutes). Skull island looked pretty, and the most tense and "into" the movie I felt for the entire 3 hours was during the foggy night when they reached the island. About 90% of the movies I see in theaters entice my senses and grab my attention, keep me interested in the characters in other words, for the vast majority of the film. Even with the most positive state of mind on this film it failed to make me connect with it. Every shot of a native on skull island was horrid. Grosteque close ups with a blurry shaky camera left me shaking my head in shame in the seats. But then Kong shows up. Oh boy! I think, now this movie will get going. Again I am wrong. The best thing about Kong in the entire film was its realness in comparison to actual gorillas. Not at one point in this film did I feel sorry for Kong when he died, or saw any chemistry between Watts and Kong. By the time they leave the island, Jackson's shot have become tiresome clichés that he overuses again and again. I wasn't really expecting him to use the heroes crossing the bridge in single file shot like i saw so many times in LOTR, but he does it twice in the film. The Kong vs Rex scene was nice. But 4 minutes of action won't save the film. The bug fight was disgusting, revolting, unbelievable, and simply boring. I think my favorite part of the film was when they skipped the ride home on the boat. I actually half expected another 25 minutes or so and was actually relieved to see that part skipped. So what happens next? Well the part of Kong that everybody already knows from the first, ape gets lose, tears up NYC, finds girl, climbs tower, gets shot, famous last lines. I had heard that the original actress from the 33 film was to do the last lines, but she passed away before it could be filmed. I laughed for a bit when I saw Black deliver the famous last lines. In short, me and everyone I know found this movie completely overrated. Granted we had high hopes, but reading the online reviews and hearing the comments people made in the first week really was misleading. I sometimes wonder if they all just said they liked it so they seemed cool or something.

Things I liked, NYC shots did looked very 30s. Costumes again were amazing, and a couple nice scenes that were tributes to the original film. But not a movie I plan to see again ever.
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7/10
A 10-star 2-hour movie screaming to get out of a 7-star 3-hour movie
BuddyBoy196117 January 2006
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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1/10
this is a horrible movie.
finlayhjones29 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
seriously, king Kong sucked so much it wasn't even funny. the whole premise just is completely retarded. i know movies aren't meant to be real, but for some reason i just cant handle a 25 ft ape and a women. not to mention the dinosaurs and then the creepy worm things which looked like they were from tremors.

i really don't understand why i cant accept this fantasy world though.. tremors is fine! creepy worm things getting blown up by teenagers in an American desert? fine. dudes flying around in space shooting up aliens? fine. ridiculous flying martial arts? fine. but for some reason...

woman and 25 ft ape, REALLY NOT FINE. you're meant to feel compassion for Kong, which is fair enough. cruelty to animals isn't always hilarious. but how can you feel compassion for something that bit out a t-Rex's tongue! (ok, that bit was pretty awesome) Kong is a monster. only someone who was superhumanly humane wouldn't just see it and go "oh dear god! its a monster, kill it, kill it!". people are scared of what they don't know.

and add to the fact that Kong romper stomps about 200 people in the movie. Ann sees most of the ships crew she was on get killed, and doesn't even care? yet she cares when Kong gets killed? she is one messed up person.

what happens to a dog when it bites one person? it gets killed. how the heck are we meant to feel compassion for something that kills hundreds of people, when animals get shot for killing one?

jack black is the only good thing about this movie. he makes me laugh just to look at him.
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4/10
I liked the old versions better. Too many 'oopses' in this one.
tmbarfod8 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
King Kong - the 2005 version... is it worth it?

Sure the original movie from the 1933 is outdated and the effects are only impressive when you think about the time it was made, but the story is good. The 1976 version retains the story, bringing it into color and with some better effects - I actually enjoyed that version.

OK, about the 2005 version... A lot of hot air blown into an old balloon - in fact so much hot air that it's blown the balloon completely out of shape. Yes, the effects are great, but perhaps the makers got a little too obsessed about that part and forgot about the story. There are things in the trailer that are not in the movie, but I'll let that slide, seeing as they could have cut a LOT more from this movie and IMPROVED it... 3½ hours is just too much. Just because the "Lord of the Rings" movies were that long, doesn't mean "King Kong" has to be.

It's SLOW and then tries to make up for it with so much action you get bored with it. I personally found myself looking at my watch about a dozen times and dozing off more than a few times, even in the action-sequences. It takes close to an hour before we even get a glimpse of Kong - get on with it already! Then we get almost 1½ hour of something that seems like a mix between "Jurassic Park" and "Eight-legged Freaks" - and perhaps something from the time of "Meet the Feebles." There is so much going on with these dinosaurs and hundreds of huge, angry bugs - it's amazing anyone survives the stay on the island. Only the last hour is set off for the return to New York and the whole showing Kong off, him breaking lose and rampaging through the city to end up on the top of Empire State Building.

The heroine of the movie must be the most thick-skinned person ever. She gets captured by these scary tribe-people and sacrificed to the mighty ape, who snaps her from her perch where her wrists are tied with strong ropes (how she survives this without her wrists being torn to blood and her shoulders being dislocated, I have no idea) Then he rampages through the jungle with her being jostled about in his one hand, and although he gets bits of branches and things stuck in his fur, her hair remains perfect, she hasn't a scratch on her (she does get one about 2½ hours into the movie though) and her long silky dress seems to have no dirt on it or any tears...

When Kong fights dinosaurs, he gets cuts that bleed, but heal pretty nicely into scars that we see later on. However, when he is shot hundreds of times by a dozen planes, he doesn't bleed... One has to wonder what he actually dies of. Some may say it's just because you can't see the blood because of all his fur... OK... at one point when he gets shot, he puts his left hand to the spot and then looks at his fingers. My guess is that if he'd bee hit, he'd now have blood on his fingers. Then he grabs hold of our heroine, who is wearing a white dress - and through all the commotion on top of Empire State Building, there is not a stain on her dress - not from blood, dirt, grease or anything else. Talk about staying clean! Glass flies through the air like snow, and yes she doesn't cut herself.

And what's with colored electric Christmas lights on the trees in the park - in the 1930s??? I am not 100% about that, but really... you think? Oh, and it must have been one heck of a cold winter, since the ice on the lake is thick enough to carry the weight of a 20-foot gorilla... yet our thick-skinned heroine doesn't seem to be cold, despite her bare arms and thin dress. I'm just asking, is this superwoman or what?

All in all, I could find a lot of things I'd rather do than go see this movie again - one being to watch both the previous versions. It would take about the same time, and I'd be happier for it.
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1/10
One of the worst movies to come out!!!!!
peuge325 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If you like good graphics and the worst mess up of an original ever then go watch this movie! OK i agree the movie is from an original which had the ability to be a good movie. The problem with the remake is that they have put all the focus on graphics and none on making the actual story as real as it should be. Firstly, king kong could never fight off a t-rex let alone three. Another way to look at it is that a normal gorilla wouldn't be able to kill three raptors. The producers took this movie and made absolute shambles of it. There were just so many mistakes it was unbelievable. How can a top class production company oversee such vital elements of a movie, this i will never understand. Another thing i cant understand is how many people rate this movie a good movie? Please can someone enlighten me. If this is what the masses enjoy then I tend to wander where people intelligence and cultural integrity has disappeared too. If anyone wants to challenge me on this crit you are more than welcome to, this is my opinion and i really would love to hear yours! Yours sincerely peuge
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