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Movie Review: King Kong

Alternate Title: Gorilla In Our Midst

Story: I saved the biggest and longest film of 2005 for last. I am sure that I don't need to give you any background on this remake by director Peter (Lord of the Rings) Jackson. He has brought to the big screen his lifelong dream of King Kong and no one could have done it better or bigger than Jackson.

I have recently seen both the original version and the 1976 remake (which is almost unwatchable unless you go in for the laughs) on TV. This latest remake is fabulous. It is over the top in every way - from too lengthy fight scenes, grotesque giant prehistoric attacking insects, silly dialogue and shallow characters. The exception is Kong - who is simply tenderly wonderful. Kong will break your heart and unless you are made of stone I am sure you will cry for his demise on top of the Empire State Building.

I liked that Jackson stayed true to the depression era original and only tweaked the story line a little here and there.If you like your blockbusters BIG than you have to see this on the big screen. TV will not do justice to its grandness and detail.

What's wrong with it? It is simply too long. An hour and 20 minutes passes by before we even meet King Kong. Three hours without the credits is a lot to ask for an audience. I can't imagine what this director will do as a follow up to this very large undertaking.

Acting: King Kong is exceptional. Credit goes to Andy Serkis who was the Gollum in LoTR's. Naomi Watts is a powerful actress and does much with a lot of staring, crying and exceptional running. She does a lot of running in this film. Adrien Brody is a long way from The Pianist and I though his role was one of the weaker ones. Jack Black as Carl Denhem, the PT Barnum type guy, hit his part right on the money.

Predilection: I like blockbusters.

Critters: Oh my - there were lots of critters (but that term does not apply to these scary Jurassic Park type guys). At the beginning of the film he shows the old Central Park Zoo before the 1935 buildings were constructed and has cotton top tamarins (which we also have today) some lions, hippos and other small monkeys.

Food: Very little time to eat when you are being chased all of the time. Kong did eat some bamboo.

Theater Audience: I was in the secret balcony of my favorite stadium theater with about ten other folk. I did hear people downstairs but have no idea how many were there.

Squirm Scale: I squirmed with the attacking insects and I squirmed for the cruelty towards King Kong.

Drift Factor: I occasionally looked at my watch more to plan my comfort break than anything else.

Tissue Usage: I wept like a baby at the end.

Oscar Worthy: Who knows? Probably.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen a must. For some of Naomi Watt's other films, try renting: 21 Grams, Le Divorce, Ned Kelly, The Ring and Mulholland Dr.

Length: Three hours plus.