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NeonKnight
December 10th, 2005, 12:23 PM
I've been anticipating Peter Jackson's "King Kong" for quite a while now. I loved the original, and so did Peter, and that why I'm thrilled he concentrated on the original premise of the movie, not that terrible 80's remake.

Well, the reviews are already piling in, and "Kong" does appear to be a fantastic movie. I'm pumped up just to see the exquisitely detailed 1930's era NYC, which is supposed to be awe-inspiring! Kong himself and the whole Skull Island sequence are supposed to be ultra cool, and I hear Jack Black does a great job too!

And the more I hear about "Munich", the more I'm getting excited about this flick as well. I remember watching the 1972 Olympics as a kid pretty well, and I also remember being pretty damm pissed at the PLO.

It soesn't sound like I'm going to like the conclusion that Spielberg comes up with, but thats alright. As long as he sticks to making movies fine with me, just another opinion.

Both of these movies are surefire Oscar winners. Here is a brief preview of both:

http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/58453.htm


LOOKS like "King Kong" will be crashing Steven Spielberg's Oscar party. Earlier this week, I spent nearly six hours in the dark riveted by back-to-back screenings of Spielberg's gripping, morally complex thriller "Munich" and Peter Jackson's gloriously triumphant re-imagining of "Kong" - the last major contenders shown to the press.

To this bleary-eyed veteran Oscar watcher, it was clear these two masterpieces from the world's greatest directors - which couldn't be more different - are both going to be up for Best Picture when Oscars are handed out on March 5.

Awards season kicks off in earnest tomorrow with a list from the National Board of Review, followed next week by Golden Globe nominations and kudos from three key critics' groups - and this looks like the most interesting race in years.

"Munich," depicting the 1972 massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes by Palestinian terrorists - and a team of Israeli assassins dispatched to Europe to exact retribution - has been topping Oscar touts' lists, sight unseen, for months, if for no other reason than Spielberg's track record with serious themes.

Indeed, "Munich" turns out to be a very worthy successor to Spielberg's 1993 Best Picture winner, "Schindler's List," and his 1998 "Saving Private Ryan," which should have won the Oscar.

But unlike both of those World War II movies, there are no clear-cut heroes.

The leader of the hit squad (a terrific Eric Bana) and his men (including Daniel Craig, the new James Bond) come to question their mission - covertly sanctioned by Prime Minister Golda Meir and indirectly supervised by a shadowy government spookmaster (Geoffrey Rush).

What are the motives of the people who provide them information? Were their targets actually involved in the Munich massacre? What about the collateral damage from their unreliable bombs? And is the hit squad itself being targeted by the Palestinians, the CIA, the Israeli army, or all three?

The movie offers no easy answers, only nail-biting suspense - such as a chilling sequence when a Palestinian target's daughter in Paris picks up a telephone rigged with explosives.

Spielberg's controversial conclusion that any all-out war on terrorism is only going to beget worse terrorism is bound to resonate with the left-leaning Academy.

The bigger surprise this week was "King Kong," which was widely expected to be this year's top-grossing film - but whose Oscar prospects were believed to be primarily limited to the craft categories (for its awe-inspiring depictions of Skull Island, 1933 Manhattan and Kong himself).

Much like "Titanic," Kong is the kind of popcorn movie that will claim the Academy's attention because its central love story - between the doomed Ape and Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) - is so powerfully credible and involving.

In many ways, Jackson outdoes his Best Picture winner "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" with a dozen astounding set pieces - including Kong battling to save Ann from three T. rexes while all are falling on vines into a chasm and a magical sequence of Kong sliding across a frozen Central Park Lake.

Holbrook
December 10th, 2005, 12:31 PM
NeonKnight: please use the spoiler code!!!!

Your post just blows the plot for both film!!!

NeonKnight
December 10th, 2005, 12:41 PM
Holbrook:

Sorry you think I blew the plot for 2 movies whose plots are already well known.

In case you didn't know, KING KONG is a remake. And the plot of MUNICH is history. Therefore impossible to blow the plot for either. :p

Another thing, the review I posted is available anywhere,on the net, in your local paper, even in your local theaters now.. Don't watch previews if you don't want any plots spoiled... :D

(and for any admins out there, the method of adding "spoiler" code is not posted in an easily accessible area. Why is it such a secret?)

BlackCauldron
December 12th, 2005, 12:46 PM
I've been delighted with the flood of postive reviews I've seen so far for King Kong. It has certainly raised my expectatiosn even more, and I will be sure to see it opening night. I read a couple rocky reviews for Munich, but the subject matter interests me, and the trailer looks good, so I am interested in seeing that as well.

NeonKnight
December 13th, 2005, 08:41 AM
BC: I heard someone who saw this 3 hour movie say it was the fastest 3 hour movie he ever saw! Kong does not makes his entrance till around the 50 minute mark, but this guy says the buildup seems like about 15 minutes! This reviewer was someone in the movie business for a rival studio, so he clearly knows whats good. He thinks KONG is astoundingly great and it will break many records!

I hear Jackson was so meticulous about the 1933 NYC details, many, many of the details were not even supposed to appear in the final product.

I won't go opening night either, but I will see this blockbuster soon.

I've also heard some contrary things about Munich, but that never stops me from seeing something of such historic importance and even currently topical significance to world history.

Pluvious
December 14th, 2005, 03:12 AM
I love it when they make an epic blockbuster type movie also oscar worthy. That only happens maybe once a year. I'm looking forward to this one.

Evil Agent
December 15th, 2005, 04:14 PM
I just saw King Kong last night...

It was awesome. Although the recent flood of uber-positive reviews almost raised my expectations a bit too high. I was actually less blown away by the action scenes than I thought I would be. But that's not what made it amazing.. rather, it was the characters, the mood, the sets (Skull Island was the best part), Serkis as Kong, and of course the fights and smackdowns didn't hurt it. I'll agree with the above comments, it was the fastest 3 hour movie I've ever seen! It went by way faster than Lord of the Rings. I had read quite a few complaints about the first hour, which is mostly set up before they even reach the island, but it was great. It's never really boring, there are lots of good character moments.

To all the critics who say Jack Black was horribly miscast: What are you talking about?!?! Jack Black was excellent. There was not one moment that felt awkward or miscast to me, he almost fit the role perfectly. I think it just goes to show that some critics are so closed minded, they can't picture a comedian in anything but a low-brow slapstick role. I'm happy to say Jack Black is very good in this.

Also, I watched the original 1933 version the night before, and I was very glad I did. Jackson makes several very sly, very smart references to the original.

Note: I can't believe that in the last couple weeks, I've seen the 3 movies I was most excited for in 2005 (besides Star Wars): Harry Potter, Narnia, King Kong...it's like a fantasy/adventure lover's dream! :)

terminus est
December 15th, 2005, 05:21 PM
I just saw Kong last night. My god what a bloated movie that was. I'm giving it a 7 / 10 for effort. It should've been barely two hours. And the acting, especially by Brody, was almost unanimously subpar. Only Watts and Kong did good.

I almost passed out during the truly awful third act. I think the movie would've been better if the stuff after Skull Island only took 5 minutes. That's what I was hoping for at least. Oh, and that last line... that's gotta be the worst line I've ever heard in a movie.

Edit: this review fits pretty damn well to my opinions:
http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/view.php?id=11177

"Kong is long, long, long. It feels like the longest movie I've ever seen. Sure, there may have been a few pictures in the past that took a bit more screen time to get their points across. Schindler's List, for example, lasts exactly eight minutes longer than this popcorn flick about a people-eating ape. On the other hand, Akira Kurosawa's Ran clocks in a full 27 minutes shorter than King Kong. "

Evil Agent
December 16th, 2005, 03:22 AM
Really? I couldn't disagree more. I mean, it was long... but I honestly felt the 3 hours flew by, faster than in Lord of the Rings (of which I'm a much bigger fan). But your comments are interesting, since I've heard almost no negative reviews yet.

I thought that Skull Island was the best part. But the beginning buildup held my interest the whole time, and the New York finale never bored me.

As for the last line in the movie, it may sound strange to you because it's the exact last line from the 1933 original. It's one of many references to the original that Jackson included, and it would have probably infuriated die hard Kong fans if he had left that out.

juzzza
December 16th, 2005, 10:26 AM
As I said in another thread, I thought some of the dialogue at the start of the movie was a little lame, especially coming from the old actor when he was trying to inspire Darrow before buggering off to Chicago or Boston or wherever it was he was going.

But it was a great film, very entertaining and I thought the third act was just right, the focus absolutely should have been on the island. If they had made some scene-cutting choices it should have been in the first act. That was waaaaaaaay too long.

I actually thought Brody did a good job, and I was happy with Black although he did throw in some classic 'D' in some scenes but he certainly never shunted me out of my suspension of disbelief.

Kong was absolutely amazing (the character) and it's Serkis' attention to detail and his study of silver-back behaviour and mannerisms in particular, that make it so outstanding. They could have really messed up with the relationship between Darrow and Kong but they never pushed it close to anything romantic or sexual.

I think this picture is Oscar worthy, but other than Serkis, I can't see it winning many based on performances. Best Picture, Best SFX, sure. But I didn't think there was an outstanding thesp moment... again, other than Serkis (and not for his Popeye parody!)

Nostalgia may have a part to play in my love for this film, not for Kong per se, but for 'creature features' generally... Sinbad, Clash of the Titans, The Land That Time Forgot, Them and so on... all the stop-motion action and spikes glued to poor lizards and crocs in the old movies (lol) has come to a head in this film... The island is brilliant from the moment you see 'the wall' until they tame Kong. I was holding in a gallon of diet pepsi part way through the island scenes and quite frankly I would rather have unloaded on the couple in-front of me that miss a second.

Naysayers... you always get them and everyone is entitled to their opinion but I happen to think this is a great film and if I am honest, when I heard this was going to be Jackson's post-LOTR project, I shrugged and wondered what he would do after Kong, as I wasn't that inspired... then I saw the first trailer, teasing the showdown with the T-Rex!

It's like Jackson decided to give Kong a revival and P*ss on Jurassic Park at the same time.

10/10