King Kong


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"The Masked Reviewer hasn't seen King Kong..."










King Kong
The Masked Reviewer

The Masked Reviewer hasn't seen King Kong, at least not the 2005 version.  This will be a No-Look Review (tm).  Why?  Because the screening for the film happens the day before it opens, and the Masked Reviewer will be out of town.  They just announced the screening, less than a week hence (that's a good word, hence the Masked Reviewer will utilize it). 

After the Masked Reviewer actually sees the film, the review will be adjusted accordingly.  The Masked Reviewer is nothing if not fair and balanced.  Perhaps the movie itself will sway the Masked Reviewer's opinion.

First of all, one has to wonder why the screening is being held the day before it opens.  Typically, this is a very bad thing.  Film companies love to have the films screened a week (or more!) before it opens, so that they can get the buzz machine a-churnin'.  When they do a last-second screening, they don't give the reviewers much time to come up with witty puns to suggest that the movie isn't good.  "This movie should make like a giant banana and split."  "You'll want to throw your own feces at the screen."  Or, perhaps the straightforward approach: "King Kong?  More like King Suck."

At least there will be a screening before it opens.  Some films never have a screening.  Remember From Justin to Kelly?  No, of course you don't.  Be glad.  Let's just say that Gigli had a screening the day before it opened, too.

But, maybe the movie is so good that the studios don't want to risk piracy.  That's possible.  Cling to that hope. 

Another unusual fact: the movie opens on a Wednesday.  This is done by the studios to generate much bigger weekend numbers...because they count Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as the opening weekend.  It's a way to bolster the numbers and get momentum.  Typically this is done on or around a holiday, not in the middle of the week in December.  Why didn't they open on Christmas Day?  Well, maybe it is good and they know that people will see it and tell their friends in the two weeks before Christmas.  Or maybe not. 

What else do we know about the movie?  It's directed by Peter Jackson.  He did that other series of movies, Lord of the Rings.  Perhaps you've heard of it.  That information alone will be the deciding factor for most moviegoers.  If you loved Lord of the Rings, you'll be there on opening day for King Kong.  If you thought Lord of the Rings was great only in terms of being over-rated, you'll probably pass on it. 

This may be a mistake.  Peter Jackson has done some entertaining movies, and the source material for King Kong is quite different than the J.R. Tolkien novels.  For instance, there are no giant gorillas in Lord of the Rings.  Are there?  There might have been, actually.  But that's beside the point. 

One can expect some stunning visuals.  He shot King Kong in New Zealand, which has beautiful scenery.  He's working with the best effects people in the business (show business, that is).  Even so, the clips don't really make the Masked Reviewer want to go out and climb the Empire State Building.  It looks fine, and it's probably a big action movie with a lot of CG.  Then again, so was the remake of Godzilla

The fact is, unlike getting a seat on the Supreme Court, most viewers will be able to know if they'll love or hate King Kong by taking the following litmus test: if you loved Lord of the Rings, you'll love King Kong.  If you didn't love it (or didn't like it) you probably won't like King Kong.  That's the Masked Reviewer's guess. 

But what about the Jack Black factor?  Jack Black plays...some guy...and so does Adrien Brody (who either won or was nominated for an Academy Award (tm), so he must be good).  Does that combination work?  Popular guy, serious actor?  Well, remember how it worked for the 1976 version of King Kong with popular guy Jeff Bridges and serious actress Jessica Lange (who either won or was nominated for an Academy Award (tm), too).  The gorilla probably looks better in this version.

So, in conclusion, when the Masked Reviewer actually sees this film, he'll give it a rating.  Maybe he's wrong, but his guess is that it will be visually impressive, kind of unfulfilling, and almost certainly way too long.  Jack Black will probably seem like an odd choice, but there's only one way to know for sure...stay tuned!


Expectation from the Title: In trying to come up with a name for their chocolately cake product, the manufacturers tried everything.  Sing Song.  Ping Pong.  Bing Bong.  Wing Wong.  One night, when the doorbell rang, a lightbulb went off in Mark's head...the guy at the door was wearing a gorilla suit...and a snack food legend was born.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  That gorilla is probably very good to his mother.

The Pros: Well, without seeing it, it's hard to say, but let's go out on a limb and say "visuals."

The Cons: Again, not having seen it, it's just a stab in the dark, but how about "cheesey Jack Black performance." 


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