King Kong (2005)

Final Grade: A-

When some directors decide to remake a film, especially a cinematic legend, it ends their careers. Peter Jackson decided to pay homage to one of the most spectacular movies of all time, and in the process created one of the most amazing cinematic experiences since 1933.

Carl Denham (Jack Black) is on a search for the film of a lifetime, and the fame and fortune that will surely follow. What he finds is that his career is nearly over and no studio will fund his newest endeavor. Denham decides however, to take matters into his own hands by setting sail for an uncharted, uninhabited island. Playwright Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) finds himself caught up in Denham’s mess and is forced to accompany him to the filming location. What neither the ships crew nor Driscoll knows is that their voyage is to the mysterious Skull Island. The entire film is perfect in Denham’s mind, but the one piece that is missing is a leading actress. Denham convinces Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) to take the part to give her career a jumpstart.

After reaching Skull Island, the crew is soon faced with obstacle after obstacle. Skull Island proves to be worth more than the journey, filled with exotic plants, insects, animals, and an unexpected King. The natives of the island kidnap Darrow, and offer her as a sacrifice to their King. She is soon taken by the 25 foot eighth wonder of the world, and finds herself escorted around the island while escaping death on several occasions. The beast soon finds himself utterly smitten by the blonde haired blue eyed New Yorker, and would stop at nothing to save and protect her. Ambitious and money-hungry as ever, Denham sees a lucrative opportunity in the relationship between his actress and the beast and decides to show the world King Kong.

This film is an adaptation of the 1933 original that is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time due to its special effects. Peter Jackson’s King Kong is nothing short of spectacular. It’s as if God said to Peter Jackson, “Let there be Kong”, and so it was.

Jackson has become known for his skill behind the camera, and the ability to express his vision to a group of individuals who make movies that win visual effects Oscars. Coming from a person who will buy a DVD just based on its audio and video presentation, I will vouch that King Kong will give you sensory orgasms. I have not seen a movie since Jurassic Park where the computer generated characters have so much depth and impact on the story. I felt completely attached to Kong, and not for a moment did this film become unbelievable. Andy Serkis, who has become well known for his work as Gollum in LOTR, provided all of the facial effects for Kong throughout the film and brought a certain authenticity to the character that has never been seen before in the history of cinema.

King Kong is absolutely hardcore; the video and sound are so spectacular that they (rather than the 187 minute runtime) left me exhausted. The special features within the single disc version are incredibly disappointing, whereas the 2 disc version of Kong is just disappointing. This Jackson trend points to the release of a Super Mega edition in the coming months. If you really want to know about Kong and its cinematic beginnings, I highly recommend King Kong (1933) Collector’s Edition, which is packed full of special features that would keep even the world’s biggest nerds away from their vintage lunchbox collections, at least for a moment. This is a must own DVD for anyone, but you might want to hang out for a bit and wait for the ultimate edition.

The Upside:
Amazing visual effects and sound.
The Downside:
Peter Jackson is sure to release a Super Mega Edition in the coming months.
On The Side:
King Kong‘s roar is a lion’s roar played backwards at half speed.

Breaking Down the DVD:
The Story: A
The Delivery: A++
The Extras: D

DVD Stats:
Release Date: March 28, 2006
Starring: Jack Black, Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Writing Credits: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images.
Country: New Zealand / USA
Run Time: 187 min.
Studio: Universal

Technorati: Movie, Film, Cinema, King Kong, Peter Jackson, Action, Adventure, Epic