Off Topic Messages

Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:32 am

i'd like Kong to pick up Bush, traumatize him. i was listening to his speech of 'we are winning the war in Iraq' etc. that is the biggest load of bullshit i've heard! there is no war in Iraq! Bush makes it out to be. they've made it clear that they don't need American troops to run their country, but still he sends them over.

and what does my bloody prime minister do? kiss his arse and send ours over. ask me what i think of the 2, and you won't get a nice answer

Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:46 am

ok, i could'nt help myself, i'll have to tie my hands behind my back when that happens. i apologize

Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:33 am

Based on cost:profit ratio, it looks like King Kong is a flop.

Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:41 am

Graceland Gardener wrote:Based on cost:profit ratio, it looks like King Kong is a flop.

It's really too early to tell GG. It didn't have as big an opening as the pundits were expecting, but it may become a 'long haul' type of box-office success. Titanic started off with relatively moderate box-office, then snow-balled over time.

Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:06 am

It'd be interesting to see how it stacks up with December film releases in general.

I recall the 1976 KK version was a December release

and was Superman The Movie - that was instant box-office despite the weather.

Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:57 pm

I saw this yesterday and was tremendously disappointed. I think it is a bad movie, not a flawed good one. The pacing is just absolutely leaden and Jackson's hand is impossibly heavy. He overdoses on slow motion and underlines every plot line excessively. Too many of the actions are filmed with that jump camera two inches from the action technique that makes impossible to know what's going on.

Too much is jammed into too many sequences and the story often stops dead. The film is one of the worst edited movies you'll see in a long time though it's more Jackson than an editing problem. There is so much bloat here. So much story is simply perfunctory and designed to make Jackson's film seem bigger and more important than it is. Merian C. Cooper wanted to tell the greatest adventure story ever made. Jackson wants you to know that he has made a work of "significance". When a point is made of an otherwise useless supporting character reading "Heart of Darkness" Jackson is at his most belabored. In moments like this and others when he spoon feeds us his points, he almost seems to have contempt for his audience.

Amazingly considering his professed love for the original movie, he seems to express contempt for that as well. The original movie is often referenced usually in a mocking type tone. Well, these old cornballs had a good idea but this is how you do it right.

Jackson though apparently learned nothing from the original "Kong" on how to pace a movie. Instead of the thrill upon thrill when you reach Skull Island, Jackson breaks each confrontation up with pointless jibber jabbering between his characters. He lulls to sleep in between the action which because of the way it is filmed is usually uninteresting.

Unbelievably, Jackson botches Kong's first appearance. Instead of giving us a full view of all his glory, he films from the side and way close up. Perhaps he was trying to attain a sense of mystery but a sense of awe would have been better.

I admire Jackson for wanting to go on his own with the story. But for every change that worked like the new vision of the natives- uglier and scarier than the original (although not necessarily more accurate. Merian C. Cooper saw a lot of this type stuff first hand so I give him the benefit of a doubt)- there are two or three that damage the story. These include the rethink of Carl Denham's character. I don't necessarily mean changing him from a documentary filmmaker to an auteur. Rather I mean making him the villain of the piece and changing him from a thrill seeker to a weasel. The great flaw of the original Denham, who in many ways was a Kong alter ego, was hubris. The grandness of his visions was his undoing. This Denham is fundamentally flawed as a human being. He thinks of only of his immediate advantage and his next dollar. The original Denham captured Kong because that was what "civilized" people do when they see a great beast. The new Denham just has no conscience (or even the film hints talent).

Another change that REALLY hurts the film is the relationship between Anne Darrow and Kong. When I first heard that there was going be some recriprocation I thought it was a good idea. Because we love Kong so much it stings the fans of the original movie when all Ann can return is fear for all of Kong's sacrifices. (Perhaps this is intentional.) And in this version when Darrow realizes that Kong killed the T-Rexes (because this is 2005 there has to be more than one) for her it's a beautiful moment. However, Jackson goes waaaaaaay overboard having Darrow absolutely love the ape. A better approach would be a sort of grudging respect and a sense of guilt for bringing Kong down sort of like Jessica Lange in the 1976 movie. (Never thought I would be praising anything from there.) The way it is left here, Kong is just not fearsome enough.

Worse Jackson elects not to have Darrow at the show in NYC. She's just too principled for that sort of thing. This makes Darrow more sympathetic but it also destroys the impact of the scene and of Kong's relationship with her. When he's in New York he's broken. But when they take the pictures of Darrow- hurting her in Kong's eyes- he flips. In this movie, it's only a matter of time until he breaks out.

Then Darrow manages to come all the way across Manhattan to find Kong and settle him down. This is perhaps the movie's most unfortunate scene and a cop from "Mighty Joe Young".

There is some good stuff. Kong's battle with the airplanes is beautifully filmed and really does convey a sense of otherworldly awe. The one section of the movie that uses new technology to improve on the tecnical limitations of the first film. Even this is marred by some useless intercutting though. The scene where Anne is sacrificed is also well done and has a sense of grandeur. Flawed again though by the weak appearance of Kong.

The special effects are good to a point. The representations of a giant ape and dinosaurs are as close to a realistic presentation as you are going to get. (For some reason Jackson is obsessed with filming all the detail in Kong's mouth.) However, they don't especially fit any better into the action than the process screens in all the old horror movies. You can still tell it's a computer image jammed into the picture. And Willis O'Brien did a better job of making Kong a unique personality although this great beast is not without his charm.

The decision to make Kong leap like lightning from place to place opens up the action but it also makes Kong seem more like a video game creation.

I think because Peter Jackson made the Lord of the Rings films and because this is an update of an old favorite with contemporary special effects and some changes have been made to contemporize the story to appease critics (I.E. Anne is now a spitfire, Denham is an auteur.) Jackson has gotten a pass with this movie. I think the emperor has no clothes.

Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:14 am

..........but apart from all that - you liked it ? ...............

Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:31 am

I couldn't tell if he liked it or not. What I'm wanting to know his real name Roger Ebert or Richard Roeper and is it a two thumbs up or down?


Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:20 am

a CCN aired list of Top Five Movies of 2005......

"Sith" at #1

"Kong" was not on the Top5 List.

but---"Narnia" was on the list! and it was a December release.

Which implies that Narnia has made more money so far than Kong

I'm indifferent I guess about the Kong film and whether it's a success.

I've always been a fan of the Kong "franchise" so to speak,
but I don't give a rip about who Peter Jackson is or that Lord of the Rings crap (to me, its crap) sooooooooo I'm really indifferent about whether or not Jackson's Kong does well.


Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:27 am

According to CNN today, Narnia has made $200 million and King Kong is up to $400 worldwide. I don't know why some people on this messageboard thinks Kong will be a disaster or flop. It's a smash and it is good.

I just saw Narnia today and it wasn't bad. I expected a more enjoyable film but it was way overdone with violence for basically a children's story. I did enjoy it pretty much. The four kids were great and fun to watch. The special effects were very good. Just too many long sequences of violence. I had this same problem with Lord Of The Rings.

I think anyone who hasn't seen Kong, see it now in the theatre. It will never be as good on your home screen. I have a 52" set and have the box set of King Kong that just came out and the sequences on the disc from the film don't look anywhere as exciting as they did on the big screen. Not even close. See it in the theatre.
As Likethebike mentioned, there are some problems with this film but what film doesn't have some problems? You can disect any film and find problems with it. King Kong is on many of the big critics top 10 lists and most critics hate these types of films.
I might go again this week.

jeff R

Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:27 pm

jeffreyjames wrote:According to CNN today, Narnia has made $200 million and King Kong is up to $400 worldwide. I don't know why some people on this messageboard thinks Kong will be a disaster or flop. It's a smash and it is good.
Jeff R

Jeff -
The $200 million for Narnia is for North America. The $400 million for Kong is worldwide.

Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:53 am

Iagree with Rusty and Jeffrey James........An effin' fabulous film.....If you havent seen it yet, go see it.

LTB....did you actually watch the movie or just sit there taking notes?? lol

Jack Black rocks!

Naomi Watts is..........well...i know i would for sure :wink:

The action scenes are champagne super(nova) cool

Can't wait for the dvd, to be able to watch it in 5.1 surround at home

Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:03 am

The squirrel -

You wrote:
Naomi Watts is..........well...i know i would for sure

I found that a rather crude & sexist remark.

And I liked it !

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:20 am

I liked Kong.........there were some pacing problems, and the movie was fairly tedious before the arrival at Skull Island......but overall I think it was well done.

I'd see it again........but I doubt I'll have the time.

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:57 am

Had I taken notes I could have REALLY outlined why it doesn't work. This only scratches the surface.

Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:15 am

I almost always enjoy your posts LTB but I think you missed something on this film. It is supposed to be entertainment not Citizen Kane. I thought it was a lot of fun. Not the greatest movie ever made but a lot of fun and amazement. Yes, some scenes were pretty fake but most of all it was fun.

Someone mentioned the slower scenes earlier on before Skull Island. That was deliberate just like the original. Once Kong appears there is about a half hour of non-stop action that just doesn't stop. Then the beautiful scene of Kong sitting on the edge with the beautiful sunset....great moment.
One other great scene is at the end when Kong has had enough and falls from the Empire State. I thought that was well done where you just see his head slip behind the tower and then he falls. Great filmmaking.
Bravo Jackson. To me, you outdid Rings for entertainment and scope.

jeff R

Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:13 am

That was my point JJ. I didn't have fun. In the original movie, the slow part is ok because it's build up. Here they're jamming all these obligatory side stories in. The big problem though for me was the way the scenes on the island and in New York were handled. There was too much space between the action, every piece of excitement was broken. And the way some of the battles were handled is a pet peeve (along with excessive length) I have against modern filmmaking. This moving camera bit two inches is I guess supposed to put you right in it but for me it makes the scenes incoherent.

I also thought the changes wrought in the story brought nothing to it and in the case of the Watts character actually detracted from it.

Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:03 pm

We took our 3 grandchildren to see it last week (after the original had been shown on TV)

One at eleven and her twin sisters at seven years old they took the new "King Kong" in their stride. Back in 1953 the original frightened the life out my brother and I. And our dad! How times change :lol:

Nevertheless I enjoyed the movie but felt it was a at least half an hour too long, at a full packet of Murray mints!

Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:08 pm

Had he cut out 45 minutes, and shortened it to a standard 110 min. - 120 min. film,
it would of course play on more screens each day.

Therefore make more money each day.
And draw more people (because many do not want to sit for 3 hrs)

consider the showtime situation at 3 hours

4:00 pm
7:15 pm
10:45 pm

- that's it for one cinemaplex (unless they got Kong on 2 screens with staggered start times - usually only happens during 1st week of release of an anticipated blockbuster)

and start times after 10pm, for a 3hr film, means the place has to stay open until 1am or longer - not many employees want to work til then. Many would consider that not very safe that late and lonely in a parkinglot.


showtimes for a 2 hour film:

3:00 pm (if opened that early)
5:15 pm
7:45 pm
10:00 pm

- more showing per day = more $
(and how much it makes is a big factor in success, eh?)