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King Kong

Released

Latest Home Video

Mar 27, 2006

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

187

Cast

Naomi Watts

Jack Black

Adrien Brody

Studio

2005 Universal Studios

Still shot from the movie: King Kong.

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Reviewed by

Overall B
ViolenceD+
SexA-
LanguageB-
Drugs/AlcoholB-
Run Time187

Making the Grades

Tackling Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was a gargantuan project, but now Director Peter Jackson has taken on the mammoth task of remaking King Kong. Fortunately, the award-winning Jackson has both the talent and the technology to pull off the huge feat, updating the Monster-in-Three-Acts storyline while maintaining the flavor of the original production.

Relying on advances in computer-generated images, the animators attached over a hundred sensors to the face of Andy Serkis (who also plays Lumpy the Cook in the film) in order to capture even minute facial movements for King Kong. The end result allows Jackson to breath life and personality into the 25-foot ape and to build a tender, almost romantic rapport between the gorilla and his human captive. Original moviemakers could never have hoped to catch this kind of emotion with their stop-motion puppet

In the picture, Jack Black plays an over-ambitious filmmaker that dreams of making the ultimate adventure movie. As Carl Denham, he has a reputation for being a flagrant self-promoter who stiffs both his creditors and the local police. In his possession is a mysterious map pointing to an uncharted island somewhere near Sumatra. It's there he is headed with his camera crew, a conscripted playwright (Adrien Brody) and the lovely Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts)--a Vaudeville actress whose career has experienced a Depression-era slump.

Their destination, known as Skull Island, also has a legendary reputation among the classic cast of 1930's sailors who man the appropriately named tramp steamer, The Venture. From other seamen, they've heard ominous tales of a 100-foot wall and mythical creatures. Once on shore, those sinister accounts come to life when hideous looking natives attack the group in a bloody ambush and capture Ann for a sacrificial gift to the beast living on the other side of the wall.

Unwilling to abandon her to an unsavory destiny, a selection of shipmates head into the jungle, with Carl and his cameraman in tow. However, everything on this island is super sized and the body count burgeons as the men encounter predatory dinosaurs, gigantic cockroaches, enormous spiders and massive, mud-dwelling bloodsuckers that ingest one man right before his companions' eyes.

Ultimately, the crew captures the mighty Kong and transports him back to New York City, where Denham schemes up another moneymaking exploit by putting the ape on display for the city's rich and famous. But after watching the giant of the jungle take on a T-Rex, there is no question this abusive display is likely fated to end badly.

With repeated depictions of violent interactions as well as an extended runtime of 187 minutes, this film is more suited to older audiences. It also makes popcorn and drinks an almost mandatory requirement. Yet in the spirit of spectacular epics, this larger-than-life headliner is sure to be crowned as a King at the box office.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about King Kong.

Carl Denham is determined to make his movie. What positives result from that determination? What are the detrimental outcomes of his resolve? How does he prod on the other members of his filming crew? Do you believe his remarks about honoring the dead and their families?

How do greed and pride act as motivating factors for many of the characters in this film? What are the consequences?

What does Ann discover about herself during this adventure?

News & Views About King Kong:

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated Violence; frightening scenes
AB PG Frightening Scenes, Not Recommended For Young Children.
MB PG Not Recommended For Young Children, Frightening Scenes, Violence
ON PG Violence. Not recommended for young children.
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: 14A

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of King Kong...

DVD Release Date: 28 March 2006

A movie with a title character as big as King Kong deserves a DVD of equally epic proportions! Universal Studios has stepped up to that expectation with three presentation offerings: widescreen, full screen, or a 2-Disc Widescreen Special Edition. If you choose either of the single disc options, you’ll receive a copy of the over three-hour movie in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), with subtitles in English, Spanish and French, as well as two bonus features: The Volkswagen Toureg & King Kong (a cross promotion commercial) and Wish You Were Here (a video postcard from the cast and crew). If you go for the double disc package, you’ll get all of the above plus a special introduction by director Peter Jackson, and three documentaries: Post-Production Diaries (Peter Jackson takes you on an unforgettable journey revealing virtually every aspect of post-production with nearly three hours of exclusive behind the scenes footage), Kong’s New York, 1933 (1930s New York comes alive in this fascinating piece that explores vaudeville, the skyscraper boom, the construction of the Empire State building and more) and Skull Island: A Natural History (travel to treacherous Skull Island with Peter Jackson and his crew). This larger-than-life DVD is sure to keep big fans busy for hours.

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