Saturday, April 29, 2006

'King Kong' ...

Long movie, short review:

Three hours of Peter Jackson self-indulgence.


OK, maybe a little longer than that:

At one point, I was actually bored. It's like Jackson got sidetracked in the CGI department and started pushing buttons. "What does this one do? Oooh! Tyrannosaurus Rex! Let's have a lot of those in the movie. And what does this one do? Oooh! Big flying bugs! Let's have lots of those in the movie. And what does this one do? Oooh! Big crawly cockroach things! Oooh! Let's have lots of those in the movie! And what does this one do? Oooh! Giant bats that look like Nosferatu! Let's have lots of those in the movie!"

Honestly, once everyone arrived at Skull Island, it was just one frickin' thing after another. The natives aren't nice. They want to kill us. The dinosaurs aren't nice. They want to kill us. The swampy sucker worm bugs aren't nice. They want to kill us. The big flying bugs aren't nice. They want to kill us. The big crawly bugs aren't nice. They want to kill us. The giant bats aren't nice. They want to kill us.

I mean, it's King Kong. It's not like we're all waiting to find out how it ends, but every once in a while, it's nice to move the story along, instead of just masturbating with the computer graphics. I like cool special effects, but not when they're used to make a movie run more than three hours unnecessarily.

Ebert loved the movie. Gave it four stars, but he too comments that it could have been shorter, that we could have done without a few bugs. Still, he really loved it. And if it wasn't more than three hours long, I think I would have loved it, too.

The Kong-sized budget for this film was $207 million. Released in mid-December, it's made, as of the begnning of April, $218 million. So when you factor in how much a studio spends on marketing these days, this movie lost money. DVD sales will no doubt save the day. That's what studios rely on now. Some might say that the reason the film didn't make more money is simple math: It's very long so theaters have to show fewer screenings. Ebert points out that the studio wanted the film to be about 45 minutes shorter for just that reason, but Rog also needles the studio execs, pointing out that we all have to sit through 20 minutes of commerical time before a movie starts, so they're tying up the space anyway.

I'd give it three stars, simply for its length. It's a good movie, it's beautifully shot, the special effects really are amazing. There are just too many of them.

Oh, and I really liked the score.

1 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

I don't like remakes by nature. Think the vast majority of them are, frankly, useless, pale caricatures of what made most of the originals so successful in the first place. But what make "Kong" work a bit more for me was, frankly, Kong himself. Peter Jackson's decision to change the dynamics of the formula, to make Kong more sympathetic and to give him actual personality (Andy Serkis, yay), and to make Naomi Watts' character more empathetic to Kong and his plight. That, combined with that first Kong-less hour with the humans and the boat, made audiences give more of a damn about what they knew was going to be the ending - the big gorilla dead on the street. It's the same reason "Titanic" was such a monster hit. Could it have been shorter? Probably. But those two factors work at least partly because Jackson had time to build them up toward the conclusion.


Oh, and the bugs scared the bejessus out of me.

11:41 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home