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King Kong Reviews

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garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

December 27, 2006
An impulsive director whisks an unknown actress to an unexplored island to capture a mythic beast on film. The Jurassic Park of its day, King Kong is the original monster movie. Unfortunately the very element that no doubt wowed audiences of the time are now its greatest handicap; the visual effects. Special effects have obviously moved on a great deal over the last 80 years, consequently the creaky stop-motion animation is rather shocking by today's standards and the close ups of the beast's face look like a glove puppet manufactured by someone whose sole information about a gorilla's visage was supplied by an attention deficit toddler. That's not to say that the original Kong is not without its charms; it has a real sense of nostalgic adventure, the other effects have fared rather better than the creatures and Fay Wray manages to be extremely sexy despite being dis-robed by a plasticine primate! Although it's no doubt sacrilege to suggest, but Peter Jackson's re-invention is actually rather better despite its penchant for unnecessary excess and not just because of the visuals. It has better dialogue, greater depth of character, stronger performances and thanks to the talents of Andy Sirkis, a much more emotionally engaging ape. Still, King Kong can be seen as a real benchmark in the evolution of cinema and as such will always be worth a viewing.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

May 9, 2007
As far as I'm concerned, "Action/Adventure" as a genre begins here: this is the strange and beautiful that directors like Spielberg, and Lucas, and Cameron (and unfortunately, Roland Emmerich, too) have kept striving to capture on screen - the sublime, the unimaginable, the terrifying. Animated by stop-motion, (cutting edge for its day), Kong is the Hollywood monster all others wish to be - he even takes down a T-Rex! But leaving aside my childish joy, I can complain that the pre-historic animal fight scenes were a bit extraneous and stretched the movie out longer than it needed to be. It's a small knock on a film for the ages, though. I watched it on Turner Classic, and before it started Ben Mankiewicz said this was the first film for which a score was composed (all previous used other music). It's worth noting because the music is as big a part of the thrill from this movie as any other, setting the pace and quickening your pulse as the story ticks along. Also, the film contains one of the best foreshadows you'll ever see, when Ann (the novice actress) is practicing screaming for the tests. It gives you goosebumps before you arrive on the island and the intrigue begins for real. The scenes with the natives are absolutely riveting, and the effects, though rough, are surprisingly good, allowing for an expressive monster when we finally meet him. In all, it's an age-old story, one of the greater ones ever told, and as soon as enough time has passed, we could probably put it into the class of "archetype." Visionary, brilliant film that should never be forgotten, and essential viewing for anyone who claims to enjoy movies.
Graham J

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2011
The granddaddy of all the big budget special effects films and they are still pretty impressive today. The interesting part about this action/horror classic is that the real monster is the movie director and not the 50 foot ape.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2011
King Kong feels no shame! Neither do we for the fact that this film is a classic.

Each remake of 1933's KING KONG (which stars Fay Wray as Ann Darrow) has lengthened the running time to an even longer point in order to add in more detail, dialogue, and action. (The 1976 remake was about two hours long, and the 2005 Peter Jackson re-imagination ran for a whole three hours, at least!) Quite seriously, I think the hour-and-forty-five-minute point at which this stands is long enough to add in enough legend.

Come 2013, this film will be eighty years old. And it's not dead yet: it still is famous; and it has its occasional offspring, whether good (PJ's '05 remake) or bad (KING KONG VS. GODZILLA). Whoever can have a spot in their mind just to hate this, I pity you. You have no bloody taste in a good classic, fool.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

April 1, 2010
78 years later, this still holds up as high-caliber entertaining spectacle.

I'm sure you all know the story by now (you should), but just for giggles, here's the quick synopsis: a film crew travels to the mysterious Skull Island to track down a ythical creature known as Kong in hopes of capturing him and using him to make a profit.

All hell breaks loose though, especially when Kong, who it truns out is a massive ape, breaks free from his chains and goes on a rampage through New York City. Along the way though, the beast fals in love with beauty- the lovely lady who was supposed to star in the film he was captured for.

This film has such an astoundingly long list of films and things it has influenced, that I sometiems forget that it isn't actually on many (if any) lists of the greatest films ever made. It sure should be though. I mean, seriously. Like Citizwn Kane, this film has a great story and featured some really top notch techniques, effects, and filmmaking for its day- all stuff that has led to much imitation and further innovation.

Given the time period, this was cutting edge. That's now no longer the case, but the effets still hold up, and I have much respect for movies made like this, because i know this sort of thing is damn difficult to do, then or now. This film took a lot of work and was unlike anything that had been seen before.

Everything else is top notch too. The story is just a typical adventure romp, but it's fun, well played, and they make the msot of it, adding to it with the pioneering visual and audio effects. The acting is good, the music is excellent, and this is just a really difficult film to not like.

It's got a bit of everything (romance, drama, action, adventure, fantasy, horror), and it's never boring. Again, I'm not sure why this film isn't quite a revered as it should be. I mean, I know it's respected, but, like I said, it deserves to be on one of those "greatest ever" lists. The remakes have both been longer, and not quite as tight and concise as this one, but at least in the case of the 2005 version, it was made with love, respect, and care, and the added material ( which made the film almost twice the length of this one) added greater depth to the story, environment, characters, and relationships.

You really must see this film. It's just one of those essentials.
Jacob E

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2011
THIS, is one of the most important films in history. Where do I begin with this one? The innovative uses of stop-motion animation? The breakthroughs in compositing elements of film? Or the fact that this film was one of the few films to feature a major score? I could go on for a long LONG time about how much power and influence this film holds over not only filmmakers, but hundreds of films, TV episodes, and so much more. This film has defined filmmaking ever since it came out. The effects are (naturally) dated and a lot of the acting is quite bland by today's standards, but no one watches this for the story or acting, it's all about the fact that while stop-motion had been used before (most notably in "The Lost World", released in 1925), this film took it to the next level. Willis O'Brien is the man who created these effects and would eventually be succeeded by Ray Harryhausen, arguably the most prolific special effects artist of all time (who was inspired by this film, just one of many countless people to do so, including Frank Darabont, Peter Jackson, and Rick Baker). In total, you have to watch this. And if you don't enjoy, you have to appreciate its impact.
michael e.
michael e.

Super Reviewer

June 17, 2011
the beginning was boring but it soon got very entertaining and very cool, plus the whole 1 hour documentary is very cool on the second disc of the DVD
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

July 7, 2007
untouchable. the promoter's denial of a summation: "twas beauty th'killed the beast!" right after we've seen an hour and 45 minutes of his own unbridled greed disregard anything and anybody in his way, still sparkles. A great adventure film for the ages!
Jennifer X

Super Reviewer

May 1, 2011
King Kong is a really sexy film - something that caught me by surprise.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2007
An extremely enjoyable, thrilling adventure concerning a group of ambitious film-makers and sailors who venture to an unknown, native-inhabited island where a great beast lies within. Although it is mostly horribly acted (Fay Wray especially, who Kristen Stewart apparently learned her incessant lip-biting from), somehow this movie remains entirely engaging even if it is now badly dated. The relationship between "Beauty and the Beast" is well put-together, and the ending is undeniably tragic and tear-jerking. However, I have to say that I still prefer Peter Jackson's version of this story. That movie had me misty-eyed during the last twenty minutes. With that said, this is still a fine picture, even if it still has the same flaws Jackson's version has as well (how in the world did they keep that huge ape subdued, and how did they get him on to such a small boat?!)
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

January 18, 2007
the original cinema classic in all its glory, one of my favorite films. i happen to be a believer that the two remakes of this iconic film were fine films that did this justice, but niether of them beats the king. the effects for 1933 were well done and this is just a really fun film to watch. the end scene gets me in each incarnation of this film. while the others create kong as a sypathetic character, this film sort of portrays kong and humanity as possessing equality in their villiany. a wonderful movie.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 27, 2010
Finally seeing this whole movie, I'm still not a fan. Okay, it is great to see the special effects, but after a while it gets boring to see Kong fighting the dinosaurs, I don't really know why he was fighting them anyway. This movie, like the show within the film, is just a spectacle. The story isn't that great, and the actors don't get to do much because the effects show them up.
YodaMasterJedi
YodaMasterJedi

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2010
3 stars
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

August 9, 2010
One of the greatest monster films ever made. Also this was a benchmark in motion picture special effects. A true classic that has stood the test of time. King King along with The Mummy is the best of classic horror monster films of the golden era of cinema. Also the film has a touch of drama as King Kong meets his demise on the Empire State Building. King Kong is asuperb film, a well crafted film that is legendary as is really one of the greatest of all monster films
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2010
B
KJ P

Super Reviewer

January 13, 2010
It is sort of boring to watch a 30's film now, but this film wasn;t all that bad, it was actually fantastic!
Conner R

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2009
A complete classic and a landmark in film. One of the best universal monsters. It has amazing visuals and a very large scale to the whole plot and look of the film. The performances aren't exactly what you'd call amazing, but they are extremely memorable and fun. It's the very definition of a blockbuster horror that has a great blend of action and adventure to go along with it. Even after 70 years it is still just as good.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2006
Truly inspirational filmmaking.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

June 13, 2006
Carl Denham: And now, ladies and gentlemen, before I tell you any more, I'm going to show you the greatest thing your eyes have ever beheld. He was a king and a god in the world he knew, but now he comes to civilization merely a captive - a show to gratify your curiosity. Ladies and gentlemen, look at Kong!, the Eighth Wonder of the World.

King Kong is the classic story of a film crew traveling to an exotic island only to discover a massive gorilla, which they manage to take back to New York, only to have it cause a rampage there, because of a women.

Carl Denham: Don't be alarmed, ladies and gentlemen. Those chains are made of chrome steel.

It's classic because not only is it a fun adventure movie, with an engaging story, and a light-hearted approach to things, but because it combined several kinds of new special effects that changed movies. Stop-animation, layered matte paintings, and projection screens all make up the surprisingly detailed jungle backgrounds and creatures seen in this flick.

Jack Driscoll: What do you call that thing?
Carl Denham: Something from the dinosaur family.

It's over 70 years old, and is still a wonderfully fun movie to watch. A grand, classic adventure movie. Even back in the 30s, this movie still looks really good.

The score by Max Steiner gives an epic quality that matches the film perfectly as well.

The actors are all suited well in their roles. Fay Wray is a great damsel in distress, while Robert Armstrong is perfect as Filmmaker Carl Denham with his fast talking overload of energy said to model the director of this film.

Kong, himself, is such a fun character to watch, and actually a little darker than the remade Kong. He is given the monster profile, but you can still understand the things that he cares for amidst the destruction he causes.

It starts off slowly only to build and build to great set pieces and action. A joy of an old epic.

Carl Denham: Holy mackerel! What a show!
William S

Super Reviewer

September 12, 2007
Fuck off Peter Jackson! You may have the big T Rex scrap but the original had heart, was a lot of fun and, in the scenes on the island, it was atmospherically dark and menacing as only a film from the 30s could - plus we don't get an ice-skating Kong or a heroine practically having it off with the bloody ape!
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