Kong: Skull Island

Discussion in 'General' started by Harry Warden, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    I understand not wanting to spend money going to the theater. Some films however truly benefit from a big screen experience. Seeing Kong staring you in the face on a larger than life screen isn't the same as watching it on a 70" (or whatever size) TV.
     
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  2. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Fair enough.
     
  3. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Got around to checking this out last night and was entertained and did enjoy it more than I was expecting to, but it definitely has its flaws. Let's start with the bad (which some of you have already pointed out a few of these things, but I'll reiterate): A poorly written script that's designed like the majority of mainstream movies as of late to set up a larger franchise which means character development is negated because they think this can be fleshed out over the course of the series. This is fine if they at least tried to do anything more than literally just give one-liner level character introductions like they did for this entire movie. John C. Riley's character is the only one who gets somewhat of an arc/development, but that's only because he gets to
    return home and will probably not appear in the other movies in the series.
    And this is proven because we are given too many characters with nothing to do other than be introduced and placed in the background (some of this is because the movie was co-produced and partly funded by Tencent Pictures, a Chinese company, which means that the Chinese character played by Jing Tian [the geologist woman] actually has additional scenes/character development in the Chinese version) who either survive or get killed. All the actors are serviceable in their parts, but that's about it since they aren't given much depth to work with. Example: Hiddleston (or Middleston as Workshed refers to him) is introduced playing pool against some guys who don't like to lose so he uses some ninja-like skills to take them out and then he's introduced to us as the team's tracker-for-hire. That's literally his entire character - the tracker - who gets to then display his ninja-skills again in case we forgot he has them in a goofy slow motion scene with a samurai sword later on. Also, just because this is an action movie does not mean character development can be forgiven/forgotten. That's a bullshit excuse.

    The mediocre: The needle drop music choices were also pretty cliché given the Vietnam war setting, as was the clear references to Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness (which I'm fine with, but they were definitely a little too "wink wink, nudge nudge"). And as much as the throwbacks to the original '33 Kong were cool with the multiple monsters/creatures on the island they were always separate from each other except for Kong fighting the Skull Crawlers, which again is because the script treats things too flatly and simply and too formulaic by maintaining its course of A to B to C. Would have been nice to see more creatures share screen time amongst the action set-pieces rather than once and done. The movie also runs a good 20 minutes too long as it currently is, which could have been trimmed from some of the action surprisingly and here's where they could have done some more character development, kept the same length, and it wouldn't then feel so long because the audience would be invested in the characters more, thus making the action also more engaging. I get that these are movies for the masses, and that is why a lot of the faults I described are present in the film because that makes it accessible to a wider audience, but I can't help feel somewhat cheated when spectacle is the only driving force of a movie. Even just a miniscule amount of emotional investment, which Kong: Skull Island lacks big time, makes a huge difference.

    The good: Firstly, I was worried about the comedy angle played up in the trailers for John C. Riley's character as it felt out of place with the setting/genre but was pleasantly surprised at how it worked because they fleshed out his character as having been stranded on the island for 28 years so he's a wee bit off his rocker, and it was also used more sparingly and organicly than I was anticipating. In a movie as poorly written overall, this was actually something that was written somewhat properly. Setting the film during the Vietnam war was an interesting choice that works to provide some (cliché) depth that's lacking in character development but works with some of the social commentary (who's really the enemy?, why are they fighting?, etc.). The action set-pieces are well designed, shot, and edited in a way that does not require quick cuts, speed ramps (other than one or two short goofy sequences), or shaky cam to "heighten" the action. There's actually breathing room with longer takes which made the action more impactful. The locations, sets, production design, and effects were all well done and organic to the story and helped build the world of Skull Island. Lots of Kong, and they actually show him right away and use him to great potential. Aside from the glaring faults mentioned above, it is still a fun film that's thoroughly entertaining and is never boring which was my biggest problem with the newest American Godzilla flick which I liked a whole lot less than Kong: Skull Island. And as someone who watches credits on all movies in the theatre (I work in the industry, so I gotta pay my respects) they weren't long for a special effects-laden movie for those complaining about that, and the end credits sequence did get me excited for who all will be in the future installments.

    The great: The clear reference to Cannibal Holocaust with the
    giant bamboo-stalk camouflaged spider leg impalement through the mouth of the one soldier.
    Anyone else see that besides me?

    Overall though, an entertaining 3 out of 5. It definitely could have been better, but it also could have been a lot worse.
     
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  4. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking about, when it happened.
    That, and "Didn't expect to see THAT in a PG-13 movie" :D
     
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  5. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    Great review and post with very valid points that I totally agree with.
    One thing though, you mentioned the film should/could have been 20 minutes shorter but then towards the end say it was never boring which seems slightly contradictory. Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying there.
    Also, totally agree with this this quote here:
    Too true and what I was trying to get at with my mentioning of Aliens.
     
  6. MisterTwister

    MisterTwister The Schlock King

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    If the movie had great character development?Awesome! Cool! Kick ass! Fucking radical!

    But at the end I went in for the monster action and it delivered for me.

    As for Aliens. I love Aliens but I always felt it dragged waaayyyy too much in the first act and wished it would move on already.....so that's my opinion on that

    But what do I know...I don't work in the film industry.
     
  7. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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  8. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Hey, at least he doesn't work in the film industry.
     
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  11. MisterTwister

    MisterTwister The Schlock King

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    Hey now I love Aliens. But I refuse to call it a flawless masterpiece. Sorry but I won't. NOPE.
     
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  12. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    Agreed. It's a flawed film, especially in the shadow of the original. I've said it before, but it's the T2 to Alien's Terminator, in that it discards everything nuanced about the original in favor of full-blown action (and it's even directed by Cameron, too).
     
  13. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Yeah, it was paced well and I wasn't bored but it still had a good 20 minutes worth of fluff/fat that could have been trimmed or spent on, as mentioned, character development instead.
     
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  14. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Glad you got out of it what you put in.
     
  15. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Who here that saw Kong: Skull Island, when John C. Riley was talking about the skullcrawlers, and mentioned the big one, thought that would be Godzilla at first? That's what I thought he was talking about initially. The crawlers were lizard like, so I figured at the end of movie they would reveal that the larger one was Godzilla.

    Also:

    When they release King Kong vs Godzilla. Will you be Team Kong or Team Godzilla?

    Me personally will be on team Godzilla. As I was for the 1962 movie too. Disappointed with the outcome. :( Wonder if the ending results will be the same for the new movie.
     
  16. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    I'd call it a masterpiece, just not flawless as most movies have some kind of fault somewhere.
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. othervoice1

    othervoice1 Well-Known Member

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    I saw Kong today and really enjoyed it. As far as who I would root for in King Kong vs Godzilla- I love both Godzilla and Kong but I favor Kong.
     
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  18. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    And, yet, some will find you a rebel for that kind of thinking.
     
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  19. Swampthing82

    Swampthing82 Active Member

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    I saw Kong today and I thought it was ok. It had good action and held my interest throughout. The highlight was John C. Reilly for sure. However, I have to admit that most movies I see in the theater anymore don't stick with me at all. I think it might be all the CGI. It looks great and all, but it doesn't have any real weight to it. A lot of new effects movies, while entertaining, just come off as kind of forgettable.
     
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  20. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone getting the bluray this Tuesday and what store exclusive ur getting it at? I am probably gonna get the target one. Lenticular slip and 12 min bonus content featurette which I hope and I think it is on disc and not digital content.
     

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