King Kong

King Kong ★★★★★

Something I need to get off my chest: it annoys me how people say the special effects in Peter Jackson's remake are better, because they are more realistic. First of all, the effects in the remake are not realistic. 'More' realistic is nonsense; something either looks real or it doesn't. If it looks 99% real, it looks 100% fake.

More importanty, I don't think they were going for complete realism with the effects in the original. The point is not to convince us that there is really an ape that big; the point is to create a world of weird and fantastical creatures to gaze upon in fear and wonder.

That is why the effects in the original are not nearly as dated as those in the remake: because they were always meant to dazzle rather than convince, they have a much more timeless quality.

Of course, King Kong is dated in the sense that no viewer now has the experience its audience had back in 1933. But it's still a great adventure story full of wonderful sights, and a perfect example of economical storytelling. There is a common misconception that old movies are slower than contemporary movies. PHAH! If only they still made adventure films this fast-paced.