King Kong

King Kong ★★★★★

This movie rules. The beautiful use of sets and matte paintings to build up deep jungle. The physicality of Kong's fights, his genuinely apelike sensitivity and curiosity (playing with the bodies of the animals he kills? Fuhgeddaboutit!). Does a better job compositing actors into creature FX-heavy shots than the 2005 remake: the scene of Kong fighting the snake-lizard-thing with Ann and Jack on either side is consistently lit and totally convincing. Little details like the Pteranodon flying past Ann in the distance, before circling back to attack her. Unreal!

Like Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World (which it takes 90% of its plot from), its depictions of dinosaurs are unintentionally hilarious. Unfortunately, it's also pretty antiquated in other ways (read: sexist and racist). Either way, if you can get past that, what a banging movie!

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