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King Kong

Peter Jackson's epic 2005 remake of King Kong.

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This is how you do a remake

  • Aug 23, 2010
Rating:
+5
Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 King Kong is exactly how to do a remake. This movie keeps to the spirit of the original, whilst including state of the art special effects and exciting action scenes. Jackson didn't try to add any silly plot twists or change the setting to 2005, but rather set out to remake the original film as it stood. He deserves a lot of credit for resisting the urge to "improve" the basic plot structure and settings of the original King Kong.

The only significant change Jackson made to the plot arch of the original is that Ann Darrow is no longer a vapid blonde yelling her head off, but rather an empathetic, subtle person who is genuinely moved by Kong's pain. This makes the movie much more emotionally sophisticated and interesting than its predecessor - and one of the few times when a remake truly does improve upon the original.

And what a remake. I thought the casting, effects, and soundtrack were great in setting the mood (Naomi Watts was perfect as the new Ann Darrow). The native Skull Islanders were absolutely creepy - a far cry from the silly natives in the 1933 version. Best of all, Kong himself looks superb, both realistic and empathetic. I nearly cried when he died.

Sure, the plot is contrived and it's filled with "Hollywood moments" of unrealistically impeccable timing. But at the end of the day, like its predecessor, this movie is about finding wonder in the world (or the movies). King Kong shows the epic struggle between the exotic, capitalism, and modern society - on unfortunately in which the exotic Kong meets his demise.

My only criticism of the movie is that sometimes the action can become too drawn out - one epic battle after another, after another... All of them are very well done and will get your adrenaline pumping. It might be too much for some people though. I love watching this movie once every few years, but could never watch it much more than that.

The best thing I can say about this movie is that it makes the original obsolete - Jackson's remake captures everything great about the original, while updating the special effects and filling it with an even better cast. Bravo!

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August 24, 2010
It didn't quite make it to a 5 for me, but I did buy a copy. I thought the whole bit with the dinosaurs stampeding was way too much and needed to be eliminated completely. For some reason it felt like a video game to me. Although the natives didn't suffer from Hollywood Shuffle diseas in the new version, I can't deny that they were the scariest this in the flick. I kind of wanted them to be a little more human though.
August 24, 2010
The first time I saw it I thought the natives were a bit overdone. However, watching it again I realized that it's actually a clever interpretation of how a native tribe might appear to a group of explorers who had never seen anything like that before. The natives were deliberately exaggerated in order to recapture that sense of "shock and awe" that the first explorers must have felt when they saw certain tribal practices (and, believe me, some of them were pretty freaky, like certain prairie native americans hanging from their skin to test their strength). At the end, that's what both the original and this King Kong were about - finding wonder and exoticness even when there are no blank spots left on the map.
August 24, 2010
I did like them better the second time too. But I could still do without the dino stampede. For my money the most successful remake would be the Donald Sutherland version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS or Carpenter's version of THE THING.
 
August 23, 2010
Gosh, now you tell me! I hadn't even realized there was an extended version. Unfortunately, I just watched the three hour version this afternoon. Now I'll have to track down the three hour version and watch it again to see the difference.
 
August 23, 2010
I know some folks didn't like this movie, but I am one of the ones who did enjoy it quite a bit. I even liked the longer extended version Jackson made. Those extra scenes were good! In the original, Kong fought 2 T-rex'es right, while here it was three.
 
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More King Kong (2005 movie) reviews
review by . September 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     After finishing his breathe-taking "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy, Peter Jackson realized that he still had the rest of his entire career ahead of him; and he intended to use whatever time he had left. He has, since the "LOTR" films, made but two films; one of them great, one bad. And luckily for me and for you, we're talking about the better film; which is "King Kong". There's a name you may not; or at least, you should know it. It's the name that comes …
review by . December 12, 2010
Stephanie's Favourite Movies: King Kong      If anyone can do grandeur, it's Peter Jackson. I mean, it's the mastermind behind the LOTR films. He is the one that can make a true monster epic for our time, and King Kong is definitely that. Great effects, great acting, great story, just general greatness. Some say that it was too long, I say that you need that much time to tell the story. Some say Adrien Brody isn't hero material. I say that he did just fine.   …
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
ONE OF THE BEST REMAKES EVER
      KING KONG      I remember watching the original Kong film back in the day and every one that followed and could not help but be entertained by every one although the first was the best. I have always enjoyed Kong films and have only rooted against him when he took on the greatest of all time in Godzilla. So after years of nothing new when this film was announced I was actually excited about it when normally I would be like "oh man they are going …
review by . August 22, 2010
Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 King Kong is exactly how to do a remake. This movie keeps to the spirit of the original, whilst including state of the art special effects and exciting action scenes. Jackson didn't try to add any silly plot twists or change the setting to 2005, but rather set out to remake the original film as it stood. He deserves a lot of credit for resisting the urge to "improve" the basic plot structure and settings of the original King Kong.     The only …
review by . August 19, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Right after Lord of the Rings became such a smash success at the Box Office and the Academy Awards, Peter Jackson set out to do a film he just about always wanted to do: King Kong.  Peter Jackson talked about how much he enjoyed the film.  And for the most part, King Kong really sounded like a movie Jackson should do.  It could've been a huge epic!  Yeah!  And Peter Jackson does make it an epic.  But when making such an epic where exactly does the line get drawn?  …
review by . July 15, 2009
Peter Jackson's King King is an excellent film.  I was surprised by how well it was made.  The direction, photography, acting and special effects were just fantastic.  I usually have negative opinions of big budget remakes but this one is excellent.  Even Jack Black is good in this film (I an not a fan of his other work) and I'm impressed how Peter Jackson managed to get a very good performance out of him,  Naomi Watts redefines the role of Fay Wray and Adrien Brody …
review by . February 11, 2009
DVD
It's the height of the Depression in New York City, and down-on-her-luck actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) accepts movie director Carl Denham's (Jack Black) offer to sail off for an adventure and make a movie. Playwright/screenwriter Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) gets stuck on board and they all sail off for Skull Island, a mysterious place that just happens to be the home of bloodthirsty natives, prehistoric animals, and a 25-foot tall ape called Kong. When the natives kidnap Ann and sacrifice her …
review by . April 29, 2009
This movie was excellent. It borrows a lot from the original with incredible special effects and amazing recreations of 1931 New York! King Kong finally moves like a real gorilla and the destruction that gets wrecked throughout the movie is very convincing! The natives of this movie look like something out of the Exorcist although there was a tribute to the original natives during the scene where Kong is displayed to the New York public at the theater.     There are a lot more …
review by . November 22, 2008
Pretty girl meets monster ape   King Kong has got his charm   In all the most romantic scenes   The girl is on his arm     Naomi's got the strongest arms   She must be doing curls   But Kong has got the safest paws   For catching falling girls     Packed to the brim with CGI   This movie's much too long   Stampeding dinos, "Tremors" worms   Some parts just don't belong …
review by . June 13, 2008
4.5/5 Stars     This remake of one of the most cherished films of all time wins an award for something, a minor one, but still an award and that is that it's probably the best remake of all time. Not much considering its competition, but still it's something. King Kong (2005) is certainly worth a look, but I must say some critical response to the running time of over three hours considering it could easily be two hours and still give the same level of emotion, but in the end …
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #79
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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Wiki

The extended version of Peter Jackson'sKing Kongadds 13 minutes to the running time--fortunately those 13 minutes include two dynamic action scenes and no material has been added to the movie's belabored set-up, which tries to give depth to these quintessentially b-movie characters with a clumsy patchwork of melodrama and in-jokes. But once movie-maker Carl Denham (Jack Black,School of Rock) and his crew finally arrive at Skull Island, the movie kicks into gear with spectacular action, technical wizardry, and genuine feeling. ThoughKongseems crafted to dazzle the eye on the giant screen, the overlong structure improves when you can take an intermission at will. At home, each scene can be approached on its own terms, be it the insanely choreographed battle between Kong and three T. Rexes or the subtle and multi-layered interplay between Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts,Mulholland Drive) and Kong (played, through motion-capture technology, by Andy Serkis, who previously played the similarly animated Gollum in Jackson'sLord of the Rings). The addition of a rampaging ceratops and an underwater race with what the movie's crew dubbed a "piranhadon" not only add more eye candy, but provide some valuable moments of character development. But in the end, that's frosting on the cake; when the movie's weaknesses and strengths are weighed, the emotional power of the fantastical relationship between a woman and a giant ape is a real cinematic achievement.--Bret ...
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Details

Director: Peter Jackson
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 14, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
Runtime: 3hr 8min
Studio: Universal Studios, Wingnut Films
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