DOASKDOTELL MOVIE REVIEWs of King Kong , Invasion of the Animal People

 

Title:  King Kong

Release Date:  2005

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: 187 min

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Distributor and Production Company: Universal/Big Primate

Director; Writer: Peter Jackson; written by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens

Producer: Fran Walsk

Cast:  Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black

Technical: full wide screen

Relevance to DOASKDOTELL site: layered screenplays

 

OK, by the time I was six or so, I knew that King Kong “was” a gorilla. So, we take the 1933 “classic” and make it into a 3-hour epic about filmmaking. Peter Jackson’s sets (especially 1930s New York as well as Skull Island) seem less convincing than in Lord of the Rings, and there is less of a real story.  The beauty and the beast part is rather mechanical.

 

However, in the beginning, producer and promoter Carl Denham (Jack Black) fumbles paying Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) for a 15-page typewritten script. It’s only a beginning. It needs a middle and an end. So they will go on a voyage and live on the edge, and make their movie by creating the story as it goes, taking terrible risks. I know the feeling.

 

Part I of the movie is the voyage and non too interesting. Part II is on Skull Island, and it looks like a Jurassic Park with all kinds of monsters that King Kong rescues the beauty from. Some of the crew get killed, by giant insects and mullosks (snails) as well as dinosaurs.  They get Kong back to New York to exhibit him on Broadway as the Eighth Wonder of the Wordl. You know the rest.

 

The acting is a bit stereotyped. Adrien Brody appears to have shaved his chest, almost to complement the hair pattern of a gorilla (hair is absent on the chest of the animal but present everywhere else on the body, a curious observation when compared to humans who are so closely related genetically.) 

 

Invasion of the Animal People (“Rymdinvasion I Lappland”) (1959, A.D.P, dir. Virgil W. Vogel, story by Arthur C. Pierce) is an overlooked black-and-white monster movie that has quite a grip and makes a good comparison. A meteor lands in Swedish Lapland, and only gradually to we learn that it is a spaceship inhabited essentially by the Grays. It unleashes an abominable snowman (comparable to King Kong) to do its mayhem. The film takes its time with its buildup and has some personal confrontations with the unknown. The idea that a UFO could disguise itself as a meteor is interesting, and a theme that I have played with.  This little ditty was a regular on the Saturday night “Chiller” show in the early 1960s. While I am at it, I’ll mention that there used to be a Saturday morning show called “movies for kids” in the 50s with films like “The Clutching Hand” and “The Woolworth Mystery.”  I have not been able to find these yet.

 

 

Related reviews:. Lord of the Rings

 

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