KING KONG (2005). A stunning achievement all around.
The film was a bit long and could have benefitted from some judicious cutting.
But the performances from the various actors (Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, etc.) were all very good.
The set pieces were brilliantly staged and executed, and the visual effects were top notch.
Parts of this film were downright beautiful in its visual poetry, and emotional sensitivity.
Also, this was the first time that I felt Kong was a carefully thought-out and performed character. Andy Serkin did an amazing job fleshing him out, while physically and emotionally transforming himself into the ancient huge gorilla with a full spectrum of emotions. That man is an astounding talent who doesn't get nearly enough accolades for his impressive abilities.
What I think is sad is that there are quite a few people who will see KING KONG for the first time at home on their small TV, and they will NEVER understand the real majesty and splendor of that film.
In order to truly appreciate the artist's (filmmaker's) intentions and aestetic choices, certain films absolutely MUST be viewed on a theatrical big screen, with impressive sound. The film should make the first time viewer feel small and insignificant compared to the bigger-than-life characters and situations featured in this stunning period piece.
The film should also be (first-time) viewed with an audience. The communal experience of film is so important for a film like this. A comedy is MUCH more fun when 200 other people are in a movie theater laughing along with you. A horror film or thriller is MUCH more gripping when 200 other people are screaming in fear right along with you.
I can't tell you how many people I run into who unfairly judge a really well-made and crafted film (like this one) after seeing it at home for the first time on a crappy bootleg DVD with poor sound and picture (illegally shot with a camcorder)!
And of course, at home, they usually have a billion and one distractions (phone, kids, doorbell, etc.). These people constantly get up to use the bathroom, fix a drink, grab a snack (or whatever), and they repeatedly destroy the continuity of the film... for themselves and others around them.
Naturally, when asked what they thought of the film, these people almost always respond with, "Uhh... it was okay. I didn't see what the big deal was, though."
Yeah. That's the point. You didn't see. You were too busy picking your nose, scratching your butt, and chatting on the phone.
Maybe my viewpoint is colored by the fact that I'm an eternal New Yorker, and a big movie fan. But I can tell you that in New York, big event movies are a very big deal. In this city, camping out to see the first showing of a big event film is pretty common. There is NOT a more enthusiastic audience anywhere than a New York audience. And I've travelled all over this country, and seen films in virtually every major city.
I'll never forget the cheering, shouting, and applause of 1,400 people at the Loews Orpheum in New York City on May 25th, 1983, the openning day of Return of the Jedi. There was just nothing like it.
Sadly, it's an experience that is gradually being fazed out of our culture.
Atttention spans are shrinking, and the specifics of being a good audience are being lost.
But I digress. I loved 2005 King Kong.
I... am an action figure customizer