Other Movies Seen By This Director (8)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- The Lovely Bones
- They Shall Not Grow Old
|12.28.05||R/C Frederick||Took my parents to see this so they could at least watch it on a big screen. second time felt longer for sure... but the CG fest of T-Rex vs. Kong is pretty damn hard to beat.|
|12.10.05||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: Butt-Numb-A-Thon 7|
So my whole thing with King Kong is that I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I am not a huge superfan of the original, never saw the '70s remake, and thought that a 130 day shoot and over 200 million dollars for a remake was just insane. Some of my friends here had small parts in the movie though and most everybody around here thought it was going to be amazing. So I kept my mouth shut and just doubted silently. Then I saw the trailers, tv spots, and that 4 minutes that appeared online where the effects don't look up to snuff, the movie doesn't look that exciting, and it's freakin three hours long. I really enjoyed watching the production diaries online but felt they would ultimately be more interesting than the film they were making.
All that said, I think Peter Jackson made a movie as good as King Kong can possibly be. I mean, yeah the first hour is long... but come on. It's a three hour movie. The whole point of a three hour movie is so you don't have to rush through it. People wouldn't complain about the pacing of the first hour if they didn't already know about what happens during the second and third. It's sort of a trick movie in that it sets itself up as one kind of movie then changes completely once Kong comes on the screen. I can only imagine what it would be like to watch this movie cold as a kid or something, not knowing the story or anything. By the time I saw the original, I knew pretty much everything about it. So watching this movie for the first time is probably a pretty wild ride. These guys go on this ship off into the wilds in search of some uncharted island... and when they get there, the movie takes a complete left turn. All of a sudden they're all attacked and this girl is taken and tied up and offered up like a snack to some unseen beast in the forest; something so gnarly and huge that the villagers build up a huge craggy wall to defend themselves and give up offerings in order to keep it happy. And then this huge ferocious ape comes out and the movie suddenly becomes a tragedy where you eventually empathize with the ape and find yourself sad when he dies. In that respect, the first hour of the movie needs to be that long in order to set up the movie that Kong is supposed to be before it gets hijacked by the giant ape.
I don't think I could have seen this movie in a better environment than at BNAT. the audience cheered after scenes they liked... not just the beginning titles and end credits but after SCENES!!! The sound was top notch (so loud I think they either blew the center speaker or overloaded it. Tim was spotted about halfway through the movie replacing a wire or something because Kong's growls were rumbling), the print was brand new and crystal clear, and the whole place was filled with people there to see Kong. In fact, a lot of people left right after Kong... Of course none of the people sitting next to those that left let me know and I ended up spending the whole time in my wooden chair, but oh well. Like I said, I really didn't mind it.
So the movie that I was really worried about not liking ended up entertaining me completely. The distinct thought that I remember having over and over toward the end is that if this were any better, it wouldn't be Kong anymore. Jack Black HAS to say "It was Beauty killed the beast," Kong has to fall off the Empire State Building; this stuff just has to happen for it to still be King Kong. I do think there's still work to be done whenever one digital character rides on top of another digital character (although Anne getting flipped up onto Kong's shoulder is way better than Legolas on the Cave Troll) and some of the effects shots are a little wonky but hey, we're talking about maybe a dozen shots out of however many hundred or thousand there were and I'm sure they'll be cleaned up for the DVD anyway. You would never think that NYC is completely fake, or that mostly every shot had some compositing in it. Even Kong is really great for the most part. He easily outshines Golem. So on the whole I was pretty impressed. Now I just hope it makes back its absolutely gargantuan budget.
After the movie there was our first break which I used to snag by schwag bag and drop it off in my car. Afterward I caught up with the guy I went to highschool with, and ended up saying how in love with the Alamo I was as we walked up the stairs. Karen, the woman who just had her baby, heard me say it and said thanks. Awesome. In the lobby I ran into some AICN folks who went to the NY premiere. One of them said "fuck the premiere" and the general consensus is that this was a much better screening and they liked the movie even more here than they did there. This was also when I caught up with Micah and Blake, who explained that after the initial 11 got in, most of the crowd left and a small group stuck around just for kicks. SOmeone came back out a few minutes later saying there's three more seats available. Now in a group of only 9, Micah's ticket was drawn first and Blake's drawn last! Amazing odds that all three of us got in, but it made me feel good that we could all experience it and they wouldn't have to rely on this.