REVIEWED
8/24/03

STORY



LOOK

King Kong
Director: Merian C. Cooper
Year: 1933
TRT: 1:40


Alright, it's kinda hard being subjective about a movie that was made 70 years ago considering the progression of special effects, but it does have some decent moments. It's definitely the classic tale, and some of the dialogue isn't the utterly flaccid junk you get out of some of those early B&W pictures (and even providing some Hollywood jabs in the process).

Big moviemaker Denham has big plans for his latest movie. He's discovered the map of a "lost" island that seems to be inhabited by some kind of primal god. Inventive and influential, he does whatever it takes to make his films. This time it involves coercing a young beauty who's down on her luck to star in his latest since no other actresses will commit to such a crazy picture. What isn't realized is the ramifications their trip will have on the modern world.

It is fairly blatant in its "Beauty and the Beast" storytelling, while showcasing some great groundbreaking work in integrating stop-motion animation by Willis H. O'Brien. This inspired the legendary Ray Harryhausen, who went on to make some of the most memorable stop-motion effects in films to date.

Great Scene: Overall very creative, but the POV of the plane swooping in on Kong on the top of the Empire State Building is pretty cool.

DVD Notes: None, saw it on VHS. Most of it looks better than I thought it would in this 1998 edition put out from Turner's expansive library via Warner Bros, though some of the scenes are a bit beat up. There's been a 3-DVD set in development that should have come out by the end of this year, but we'll have to wait a little longer. It's tough to think they'll have 3 discs' worth of material, but whatever is collected and polished up will make this experience that much more enjoyable. And though I'm not a big fan of remakes, it will be very interesting to see how Peter "Meet the Feebles" Jackson approaches this as his latest project.