King Kong

King Kong ★★★★

80/100

The last time I saw the original King Kong, I gave it 3.5 stars, a decision that I've since obviously regretted.

My original complaints were that I found the characters paper-thin and the acting hokey. While that complaint is still there on my rewatch, they didn't bother me like they did before. I really enjoyed the Carl Dennim character especially, this over-the-top movie director who'll stop at nothing to make his dangerous movie, finding him extremely hammy and a true scene-stealer. The rest I can take it or leave it. Jack's bland as a pile of rocks and Anne's just there just to advance the plot along and to scream her head off.

I guess Fay Wray was the first scream queen in movies!

Some have complained about alleged racism with the natives in the film, but for me personally, the characters weren't a major part of the film despite some insensitivities, and I'll give the movie credit for having the natives and the main cast team up together near the end of the film to help take down Kong, so at least that's a step in the right direction as far as representation is concerned.

Originally, I thought King Kong was a B-movie, no more no less. How wrong was I to judge that. This original classic was the closest thing to blockbuster cinema at the time, and the fact that a movie this old still has the power to entertain an audience shows how well-crafted this is. As soon as we get to Skull Island, the movie never lets up, there's technically impressive and ahead of its time stop-motion animation which, for the most part, has aged fairly well, and I'm more blown away seeing some of the monster action and how brutally violent this film was for a 1933 release! You got Kong stomping on innocent people, cracking a T-Rex's jaw open (complete with gore), another dinosaur slashing people's necks in the swampy waters, and Kong grabbing another woman out of her apartment just to throw her to her death.

King Kong is a fun movie. It's not a personal favorite for me, but I admire the craft of the filmmakers and the technical breakthroughs this had to further advance the art of visual storytelling. Seriously, without King Kong, we wouldn't have had people like Ray Harryhausen, Rankin/Bass, Henry Selick, Tim Burton, and Travis Knight continuing the legacy of stop-motion animation, so in that regard, King Kong is to stop-motion as Tron is to CGI.



YouTube updates:
-King Kong video in production as one of my Pre-1980 classics of May (the theme being non-Universal monster movies).

-Just uploaded my Death Proof video... www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H-nuXBm05s

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