Peter Jackson's King Kong.
The buzz on Peter Jackson’s King Kong (now playing nationwide) has been building steadily - so much so that it’s now the hottest-selling ticket on Fandango.
Kong has been something of an obsession for the Lord of the Rings director. When he was a nine-year-old boy he caught Hollywood’s original monster movie on television in New Zealand and decided then and there that he wanted to become a filmmaker.
There are many reasons why fans have been anxiously awaiting his three-hour bravura re-imagining of King Kong – here are ten reasons why we have been going ape with anticipation:
10. From Gollum to Gorilla: Andy Serkis, so memorable as a model for the deformed Hobbit Gollum in the Rings series, reprises his one-of-a-kind movements to bring to life the 25-foot-tall ape, with the help of New Zealand’s WETA special effects gang.
9. FX Are Better Than Ever: Jackson had originally hoped to make King Kong before the Rings films, back in the 1990’s. Neither the special effects, nor his grasp of epic storytelling, would have been nearly as fine-tuned as they are in 2005.
8. Nostalgia for the Original Kong: The film is set in 1933, the same year that the original was made – and a number of shots are wink-wink duplicates from the classic. The dinosaurs have an incorrect number of digits (three), rather than two, just like in the original film.
7. Inspired Comic Casting: Jackson and his life/creative partner Fran Walsh trust their instincts when it comes to casting. Certainly, the triumvirate of Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody and Jack Black is not an obvious one. In the case of Black, it was after their kids watched The School of Rock several dozen times that the pair settled on the actor for the role of big-talking filmmaker Carl Denham.
6. Nastier Natives: Even though the film is still set in 1933, Jackson has completely contemporized the Skull Island natives, making them threatening and vicious rather than classically stereotypical.
5. A Sexy Siren: Naomi Watts brings some much-needed luminous “Wattage” back to the big screen. After her turns as a frustrated actress in Ellie Parker and Mulholland Drive, Watts should help redefine the archetypal character of Ann Darrow, a starlet so desperate for a gig that she would take an assignment on…. Skull Island.
4. A Sympathetic Ape: The filmmaker (and his audience) may be rooting more for the beast than the beauty here. Reportedly the struggle of the ape coping in the face of 20th century culture is what really drew him to this fable.
3. Sticking with the Spider-Pit Sequence: When this scene appeared in the original Kong, it was so horrific that it was yanked after a single preview. In Jackson’s version, he goes full bore with it, in the spirit of his early-career New Zealand horror films like Dead Alive.
2. More Dino’s: One of the major attractions of the first Kong was the great Tyrannosaurus Rex – this version has three of them – plus a brontosaurus stampede.
1. A King-Sized Spectacle: It’s been a long time since we were treated to a good old-fashioned Jurassic spectacle at the movie theater – and the Big Ape simply has to be seen on the Big Screen. What could be a better holiday escape than a larger-than-life adventure with “The Eighth Wonder of the World”?
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