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Old 12-11-2005, 10:19 PM
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I dont usually count on Entertainment weekly, but they gave KK an A rating f.w.i.w. The aritcle commented on the visuals but I got the impression that the "A" came from the story and acting as well. I also read somewhere that if this movie does well, Peter Jackson will pretty much be able to do whatever he wants, but I think that is a given. I was going to wait for the DVD, but I might have to check this one out at the theater.
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:09 AM
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Here are two excerpts from Ebert's review:

"King Kong" is a magnificent entertainment. It is like the flowering of all the possibilities in the original classic film. Computers are used not merely to create special effects, but also to create style and beauty, to find a look for the film that fits its story. And the characters are not cardboard heroes or villains seen in stark outline, but quirky individuals with personalities.

The result is a surprisingly involving and rather beautiful movie -- one that will appeal strongly to the primary action audience, and also cross over to people who have no plans to see "King Kong" but will change their minds the more they hear. I think the film even has a message, and it isn't that beauty killed the beast. It's that we feel threatened by beauty, especially when it overwhelms us, and we pay a terrible price when we try to deny its essential nature and turn it into a product, or a target. This is one of the year's best films.

Another big fat slice of cake early Christmas present from Peter Jackson! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!

I missed you last Christmas...

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Old 12-13-2005, 05:38 AM
 
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Ebert is a certifiable idiot, but I'll see the film anyway:

'You Beast,' She Said, and Meant It

By A. O. SCOTT
Published: December 13, 2005
Among the reasons "King Kong" - the old 100-minute black-and-white version, that is - has retained its appeal over the years is that it reminds audiences of the do-it-yourself, seat-of-the-pants ethic of early motion pictures. In 1933, when RKO released it, sound film was in its infancy, and film itself was in the midst of a coltish, irrepressible adolescence. Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack, who directed the first "Kong," understood the alchemical convergence of gimmickry and sublimity that lay at the heart of the medium's unrivaled potential to generate spectacle and sensation.

That potential still exists, but it may be harder to find these days, given how much bigger and more self-important movies have become. In his gargantuan, mightily entertaining remake, "King Kong," Peter Jackson tries to pay homage to the original even as he labors to surpass it. The sheer audacious novelty of the first "King Kong" is not something that can be replicated, but in throwing every available imaginative and technological resource into the effort, Mr. Jackson comes pretty close.

The threshold of sensation has risen drastically since the 30's, when movies were still associated with older, somewhat disreputable forms of popular culture. Unlike the 1976 remake, which tried to drag the story into the corporate present, Mr. Jackson's version returns it to the Great Depression, reminding us that the road to the multiplex stretches back through the music halls and burlesque houses of those bygone days.

Of course, this new "King Kong" (written by Mr. Jackson and his frequent collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) cost more than $200 million to make and can hardly be called scruffy. It arrives burdened with impossible expectations and harassed by competition from all sides. The director, who not so long ago was making low-budget monster movies in his native New Zealand, clearly wants to hold onto the artisanal, eccentric spirit of the past - his own and that of the art form he loves. But at the same time he must live up to the success of his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and prove to a glutted, gluttonous audience that large-scale, effects-driven filmmaking is still capable of novelty, freshness and emotional impact.

He succeeds through a combination of modesty and reckless glee, topping himself at every turn and reveling in his own showmanship. His "King Kong," though it has a few flourishes of tongue-in-cheek knowingness - including references to Cooper and Fay Wray and shots that directly quote the original - never feels self-conscious or arch. And though it presents the interspecies love story between Kong (Andy Serkis, who also plays a shipboard cook named Lumpy) and Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) with touching sincerity, the picture wears its themes lightly, waving away the somber, allegorical sententiousness that too many blockbusters ("Lord of the Rings" included) rely upon to justify their exorbitant costs. The movie is, almost by definition, too much - too long, too big, too stuffed with characters and over-the-top set pieces - but it is animated by an impish, generous grace. Three hours in the dark with a giant, angry ape should leave you feeling battered and exhausted, but "King Kong" is as memorable for its sweetness as for its sensationalism.

After setting a nostalgic mood with Art Deco titles and James Newton Howard's old-fashioned movie-palace overture, "King Kong" plunges into a New York of vaudeville houses, soup lines and Hooverville encampments. Ann, a winsome, wholesome hoofer, is performing in a threadbare revue that shuts down just as Carl Denham (Jack Black) loses the star of his next movie. Somehow, he entices not only Ann, but also her favorite playwright, the Barton Finkish Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), onto a rusty tub whose unsavory captain (Thomas Kretschmann) captures and transports exotic animals. Denham's plan is to take his film crew - which also includes his anxious assistant (Colin Hanks) and lantern-jawed star (Kyle Chandler) - to Skull Island, where they will discover ...

Well, take a guess. The sea voyage is, for the most part, a diversion and a tease. Denham frets and schemes, Ann and Jack make tentative moves toward romance, and we also meet the noble first mate (Evan Parke) and his skittish young protégé (Jamie Bell). The actors take evident pleasure in shedding the demands of naturalism and trying out an older, more emphatic screen style. Mr. Black holds some of his clownishness in check and adapts some of his "School of Rock" monomania to the task of playing Mr. Jackson's alter ego. The rest of them mainly serve as dramatic fodder for the coming battles with Kong and the islanders.

First among these are the human Skull Islanders, whose grunting, wild-eyed savagery is one bit of nostalgia Mr. Jackson might have forgone. But their seaside settlement is soon abandoned for the island's green, craggy interior, which gives biodiversity a whole new meaning. There are enough dinosaurs to overrun Jurassic Park, and every kind of slithery, crawly, beetly thing you can imagine, as well as some you can't.

At times, the blending of computer-generated imagery and live action is pushed to a point where the seams begin to show, as in a Pamplona-style running of the brontosauruses, with various human actors darting between the legs of rampaging lizards. But two scenes are so madly inspired that they are likely to become touchstones: a three-way T-Rex versus Giant Ape wrestling match in a deep ravine hung with vines, and a battle involving fanged worms and giant vampire crickets (at least I think that's what they were).

In this world, Kong, while certainly irascible, also shows himself to be a pretty evolved guy. Apparently the only nonhuman mammal on the island, he is a grumpy vegetarian who treats the people sacrificed to him as playthings rather than prey. He takes a special shine to Ann, not just because she is blond and lovely, but because of her pratfalls and dance moves, which turn out to be the universal basis of entertainment.

The rapport between Ms. Watts and Mr. Serkis is extraordinary, even though it is mediated by fur, latex, optical illusions and complicated effects. Mr. Serkis, who also played Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" movies, is redefining screen acting for the digital age, while Ms. Watts incarnates the glamour and emotional directness of classical Hollywood. Together they form one of the most unlikely and affecting screen couples since Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina did their beast and beauty act in "La Strada."

Come to think of it, there is a touch of Fellini in Mr. Jackson's sentimental, ambivalent love of theater and spectacle. Returning to New York, "King Kong" evolves from jungle adventure to pop tragedy, as the big monkey becomes a symbol for ... well, for quite a few things, not all of them coherent. According to Denham, his captivity and display prove the power of show business to make the mysteries of creation available to anyone with the price of admission. In his mouth, this sounds both appealingly democratic and grossly cynical, which is fitting enough, since that is precisely the paradox Mr. Jackson embraces. He intuitively understands that the machinery of mass spectacle has the power to despoil and demystify whatever it touches and, at the same time, the ability to endow easy pleasures with a durable and genuine nobility.

The climax of "King Kong" - one of the most familiar sequences in movies, and one that never grows old - exemplifies both tendencies. It is shameless and exalted, absurd and sublime, vulgar and grand. It's what movies were made for.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wojtek
Ebert is a certifiable idiot.
Was that necessary?
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Ebert is a certifiable idiot, but I'll see the film anyway:
Really? Do you happen to have objective proof of that? I would love to see the documentation proving that about Ebert. The other part of that statement implies an interesting conclusion.:D

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Old 12-13-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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For me, the certification of Ebert as an idiot was his effusive praise for "A Constant Gardener", an overt propaganda film, an infomercial for a certain political point of view and an all-around bad movie.

I really think he liked the movie, hence, an idiot.
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Old 12-13-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wojtek
For me, the certification of Ebert as an idiot was his effusive praise for "A Constant Gardener", an overt propaganda film, an infomercial for a certain political point of view and an all-around bad movie.

I really think he liked the movie, hence, an idiot.
I liked that movie too and i imagine its the message that pharmaceutical companies exploit people that you didn't like as thats the only political message i got from the film, unless you are falling for some of the reviews which state there is anti - american sentiments in the film, i disagree about that although anti-bush sentiments are there but hey that doesn't make a film bad if it did then i suggest you don't watch Team America as ur hate that even more.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyMulder
I liked that movie too and i imagine its the message that pharmaceutical companies exploit people that you didn't like as thats the only political message i got from the film, unless you are falling for some of the reviews which state there is anti - american sentiments in the film, i disagree about that although anti-bush sentiments are there but hey that doesn't make a film bad if it did then i suggest you don't watch Team America as ur hate that even more.
That's why I will stick to King Kong, Ebert's praise for it notwithstanding.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wojtek
For me, the certification of Ebert as an idiot was his effusive praise for "A Constant Gardener", an overt propaganda film, an infomercial for a certain political point of view and an all-around bad movie.

I really think he liked the movie, hence, an idiot.
I didn't agree with Constant Gardener's poltical POV, either, but I still liked the movie. It was well made and intelligent, a rare commodity this days.
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aintnosin
I didn't agree with Constant Gardener's poltical POV, either, but I still liked the movie. It was well made and intelligent, a rare commodity this days.

After watching A Constant Gardener I felt like I just had been mugged and $9 was stolen from me. Or, like I was unwittingly sold an infommercial for the party line I disagree with. Or, like I was just conned to contribute $9 to the next Democratic campaign and got a bad movie in return. (I know, I know, almost any $9 I spend on a movie pretty much goes to the Democratic party, but at least I expect some entertainment in return... ;) ).

And all that because of Ebert.

:mad:
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:18 PM
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Maybe he is an idiot, but if so, sign me up. I want to see every movie for free and get paid well to do it.

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Old 12-13-2005, 05:27 PM
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Yeah? But, heeeyy------! That's hard to argue against.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:23 PM
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just saw it. i kinda start to feel sick to cgi excess, colorimetry modifications,which reveal easily in a theater, which has a mere 800:1 contrast ratio the "fake" aspect of a lot of scenery. this will look better, a bit more realistic/3D in dvd at home or in HD. it really needs a 4000:1 real CR. otherwise it looks too fake, too "painted"

I still prefer the 1976 version except Lange's screaming. Naomi Watts is perfect. though i would have liked more emotions at the end. in 1976 they KILL Kong in a way that enrages you. Jackson didnt for me succeed in conveying this rage.
Also, at $220M budget, this is a very big challenge commercially. i dont think it will do as well as those who hoped it will.... the premiere here (public) was 1/10 full for instance

too long also. should have lasted 2hours.
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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Tomorrow @ 11 A.M. I'll be seeing KK. I hope I like it more than the '76 version. (I am not a fan of the guy in the rubber suit version) I do like Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges. I just couldn't get into the "Godzilla-like" look of that Kong. Although I'm sure I'll watch it again to see if time has changed my memory of it.

I even hope I like it more than the '33 version. We just watched that a few days ago. I liked it but wanted more expressiveness from KK. This version is one of my earliest cinema memories.
I remember many (many) years ago walking home through orange groves (Garden Grove, Ca.) at dusk after viewing the film with neighborhood friends in someone's living room. I kept half expecting some very large animal's torso to come looming up over the crown of the orange tree tops. :eek: I can still feel the thrill of that unexpressed expectation. The same film doesn't do the same thing now although our HT is much better (and larger 80" dia.) than that little CRT - on the floor - console TV where I first saw Kong.

Ah well :) Manana! :D
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:59 PM
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hi
I think i and some others might appreciate the visuality (let's call it this way) at home on dvd or hd dvd. there's so much cgi and effects that the film contrast ratio often makes it look (overall, not kong itself), fake, cartoonesque.
The consistency of Kong (the cgi) is very good though (except still at times its size doesnt remain constant).
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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If you liked 76 Kong at all then there is no hope for you anyway. :)

This movie is fantastic. The effects are amazing and Kong is the most real character ever invented. Naomi Watts and Andy Serkis make an impossible relationship real. It is a great balance of story and spectacle.

This is a fantasy world and Jackson does not go in for stark realism, but rather something beyond real but still exquisitely rendered.

The reviews are piling up and more and more of them are overwhelmingly positive and give it a shot at gaining Titanic proportions.

This is THE film of 2005 and maybe of this century so far.

P.S. Talk about the Incontinent Granger in some other thread. :D

GO SEE IT FOR YOURSELF and ignore the endless internet reviews of people that hate everything to appear intelligent. (I am not addressing anyone in this thread, but rather Rotten Tomatoes, Ain't it Cool, etc.)

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Old 12-14-2005, 08:08 AM
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I'm anxious to see this version; probably tomorrow evening. Jackson has likely outdone the original Cooper film from 1933 in every aspect, but there is one hurdle PJ probably cannot cross. The sense of awe and amazement that early movie audiences had when they first saw "King Kong" is something almost impossible to provide modern moviegoers. We know so much about the technical tricks used to present the story (PJ even released his "production diaries" on DVD yesterday). We just can't be "wowed" the way an audience could when they were experiencing something so unique.

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Old 12-14-2005, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowstone Tim
The reviews are piling up and more and more of them are overwhelmingly positive and give it a shot at gaining Titanic proportions.
So it has a shot at becoming the #6 box office of all time? Cool... ;)

Now, if it could approach Gone With the Wind poportions, that would be something... :D

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Old 12-14-2005, 10:23 AM
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the sense of awe indeed(execept for 2 scenes) is not there like it was in 1933, or in 1976 or with... Jurassic Park. it's evident and logic.
I just saw abstracts on tv again after seeing it last night in pre view in theaters. the image is MILES away better in the TV trailer on TV because of.. contrast! it gives a sens of depth that theather with its 800:1 at best can NOT provide.
so i'll buy it on dvd or hd and will likely appreciate it better. Also in hd at home on a 100" it's miles away sharper than from film stock on a 70ft screen.
The huge lack of contrast increases the lack of realism in many scenes.
This is a technical aspect of the film, not a critic of the film itself.
Still too long. jack black and brody arent well cast imho. Krentschman, Watts and Serquis are good casting though. The score lacks a bit compared to John Barry score imho.

i'm really curious at the box office this will do...
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:21 AM
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There is a rumor this film will get the 3D treatment ala "Chicken Little" It would make sense that it is already done as ILM seems to have done the CGI. I certainly hope so. They will probably wait until they've figured everyone has seen it then release it in 3D there by making it the top grosser of all time. I can't wait. 3D will make it the best experience at a movie ever and something you can't wait for at home. "The Polar Express 3D" is doing great. Do yourself a favor and see it or "Chicken Little 3D" and you'll see why I'm so hyped.

As far as contrast, the digital projection of "Chicken Little 3D" I saw had excellent contrast and that is ALL CGI. I haven't wanted to go to the theater anymore because my HDTV has a better picture but this "RealD 3D" will get me back.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:33 AM
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Is King Kong playing in the DLP theaters, or is it film prints only?

Generally speaking I prefer to see the heavy special effects movies in a digital theater.

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Old 12-14-2005, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wojtek
For me, the certification of Ebert as an idiot was his effusive praise for "A Constant Gardener", an overt propaganda film, an infomercial for a certain political point of view and an all-around bad movie.

I really think he liked the movie, hence, an idiot.
I also really liked that movie, hence you are an idiot.

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Old 12-14-2005, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy
Is King Kong playing in the DLP theaters, or is it film prints only?

Generally speaking I prefer to see the heavy special effects movies in a digital theater.

Gary
Seems it would depend on the theater. "Crossroads 8 Cinema" in Washington is showing a lot of their movies including "Kong" digitally. Century 22 is showing "The Chronicles of Narnia" digitally. You really need to see it from a 1080p projector such as are being used for "Chicken Little 3D". I don't know what kind of DLP projector the "Century" has. Hopefully "King Kong 3D" will follow 'Chicken Little 3D" at the "Oakridge 20".
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
There is a rumor this film will get the 3D treatment ala "Chicken Little" It would make sense that it is already done as ILM seems to have done the CGI.
Are you saying that ILM did the CGI on Chicken Little or Peter Jackson's King Kong?

If you're saying yes to both or either one, then neither is the case.

Chicken Little's animation is done by Disney's new fangled 3D animation studio.

King Kong's effects are done by Weta Digital.

If you're saying that ILM did the 3D process for Chicken Little, well that's rather odd too, since Disney's studio would have all the original 3D animation files and could better convert them into 3D than ILM.


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Old 12-14-2005, 12:22 PM
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Since George Lucas was at the screening of "King Kong" I assume ILM was involved or it just might be his new process that was used on "Chicken Little 3D" and can be used to make any film 3D. It is strongly rumored the last three episodes of "Star Wars" will be rereleased in 3D. People have seen clips of 3D portions of the movies. I assume they perfected it with those movies. Then He'll probably follow them with the original 3 in 3D. Can anyone say the richest man on earth?
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:31 PM
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An unstructured review of Peter Jackson's King Kong.

I wouldn't call myself a PJ fanboy but I'm a fan of his work. And this movie works!

One of the movie reviewers got it almost right. This is a film that not only is a mix-n-match of genres but it also defies genres. It starts off as a period piece slash drama, then burgeoning romance, then thriller/sci-fi/fantasy, to thriller/fantasy/romance.

And what I mean by thriller is that it really is a thriller. If you've lived as an adult in the last ten years, you would figure that not much stuff on celluloid can thrill you that you can't see as news footage on CNN. Then you watch King Kong - and scenes after scenes after scenes will make your knucles turn white!

I think the first hint that PJ will give you that adrenaline push is when the Venture stumbles upon Skull Island. From then on the adventure begins. He fuses this film with plenty of phobias people suffer from - strangers, insects, large meat-eating animals and height - that you realize this kinda stuff is really pushing the PG-13 rating to the limit.

But to Jackson's credit, all of this serves the story. it is a grand story. I for one am glad that he is the one telling this particular tale. Kong still can't communicate in English so if you think Gollum can act, you haven't seen Kong's eyes!

I do predict that Universal will eventually pony up the money to release this movie in a longer cut on Blu-Ray discs, mainly because some character threads are not fully tied. Otherwise, I know for sure that this will be a big seller in the cinemas and on future home video release.

Go watch it in a bigger screen theaters and don't be afraid to watch it 20 feet from the screen. It a tremendously fun, funny, scary, thrilling movie that will delight and disturb all people. It's an entertaining movie that is more than just pop-corn fare. It's King Kong and Jackson gave us a great new take on a cultural icon.


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Old 12-14-2005, 01:56 PM
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i wonder what box office (week and total) anyone would guess here... i wouldnt bet on it making a huge splash. i think $75million wednesday-sunday max (remember, a remake and 3hours and PG13). total: $200M max. so it better do good overseas...
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:05 PM
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I've been watching the supplements on the Warner DVD release of the 1933 "King Kong." The segment on the WETA effects team and Peter Jackson trying their hand at re-creating what the "spider pit sequence" might have been like in the original film was fascinating. I'd say that's one of the most intriguing bonus materials on any DVD. Jackson is like the ultimate fan-boy, with the resources to take his "what if" musings much further than almost anyone else could.

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Old 12-14-2005, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriteSimple
Chicken Little's animation is done by Disney's new fangled 3D animation studio.

King Kong's effects are done by Weta Digital.

If you're saying that ILM did the 3D process for Chicken Little, well that's rather odd too, since Disney's studio would have all the original 3D animation files and could better convert them into 3D than ILM.
Chicken Little was not originally animated in 3D. It was produced in 2D and then 3D-ified through the "RealD" process after the fact.

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Old 12-14-2005, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK
Jackson is like the ultimate fan-boy, with the resources to take his "what if" musings much further than almost anyone else could.
Until he has a flop (and it may take more than one flop with him), he will be able to explore whatever "what if musings" his little heart desires. He is the hottest director in hollywood right now and can do whatever he wants, with virtually whatever budget he wants as well. I think that, even at 3 hours and a PG-13 rating (the same as the LOTR series), this version of Kong is going to be as huge as the monkey himself. Can't wait to see it either tomorrow or Friday.
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