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Kiwi
2005-Dec-04, 06:31 AM
A few minutes ago our 6pm Sunday TV3 news had a nice long article about the movie, which was shown to a selected audience in New York "last night." I'm guessing that means Friday night there. It had a few clips which included Kong fighting a dinosaur, smashing an airplane above the Empire State Building, and rampaging around New York. Also an interview with Andy Serkis who chuckled about working with the same crew as when he was Gollum in LOTR, one with the guy who plays Carl Denham, and an interview with a newly slimmed-down Peter Jackson.

Our New Zealand correspondent who was there says there were security guards wearing night vision goggles at the screening to ensure nobody recorded anything they shouldn't. She pointed out that this was always Jackson's life-long dream. "Forget LOTR, he always wanted to do this movie, and it's spectacular." [Paraphrased] Jackson said that he actually had a failed attempt at making it back in the 1990s.

Metricyard
2005-Dec-04, 06:53 AM
I can't wait to see King Kong myself. I've always loved the original 1930's version. And the trailers so far look pretty nifty.

Here's a good website that has kept good track of the production of Peter Jacksons King Kong. if anyones interested.

http://www.kongisking.net/index.shtml

Maksutov
2005-Dec-04, 12:40 PM
I've seen the trailers and they look like CGI.

One day all CGI pseudo-animators will be sent to the Chuck Jones Academy to learn how real (and unreal) objects rise and fall in a gravitional field, plus how to produce convincing effects (among other things).

At least it looks better than the 1976 fiasco, which isn't saying much.

Glom
2005-Dec-04, 01:08 PM
It looks great visually, continuing Jackson's trend of high production values are visually rich images, but I am not finding myself overwhelmed by it. There's a CGI monkey and some CGI dinosaurs and they hit each other. Usual stuff.

weatherc
2005-Dec-04, 03:27 PM
I've seen the trailers and they look like CGI.

One day all CGI pseudo-animators will be sent to the Chuck Jones Academy to learn how real (and unreal) objects rise and fall in a gravitional field, plus how to produce convincing effects (among other things).

At least it looks better than the 1976 fiasco, which isn't saying much.
Yup, yup, and yup. I agree on all counts. Just because you can create it in CGI doesn't mean I'll suspend my disbelief for it. I still laugh when I think about the scene from the Van Helsing trailer in which the horses are jumping a canyon where the bridge is out. It's called physics, people, try reading a book, or at least talking to someone who has!

Just because this is the movie that Jackson has always wanted to make doesn't make me feel obligated to go see it. It doesn't even look like it would be worth watching on cable, let alone paying $10 US for.

I'm still waiting for Hollywood to get over the whole "Look, we can make a giant ape/dinosaur/spaceship/big explosion phase and put together a decent script for once. I think I'll be long dead before that happens, though, as long as other people keep going to see this dreck.

mugaliens
2005-Dec-04, 10:22 PM
I saw it and eck. If you cannot adhere to physics just provide a good reason why, such as Star War's The Force or warp driver or hyper driver or something.

sarongsong
2005-Dec-05, 05:15 AM
There's the Official Game (http://www.kingkonggame.com/us/), too.
Two-level demo (http://www.fileplanet.com/157500/150000/fileinfo/King-Kong-Demo) (290MB)

Maksutov
2005-Dec-05, 05:52 AM
BTW, "gravitional" should have been "gravitational" of course. Perhaps "gravitional" could be a coinage for CGI effects that try to simulate the paths of masses in a gravitational field but wind up looking phony due to the lack of correct motions.

In reference to this I recall watching The Phantom Menace with my fiancée back in 1999. We exchanged notes on the various technical blunders as the movie progressed. Near the end during the big celebration scene, when Boss Nass jumped out of his litter and descended to the ground in a decidedly non-ballistic manner, we instinctively looked at each other and said "Whoops!"

Lianachan
2005-Dec-05, 09:33 AM
Can't get excited, or even vaguely interested, in this at all. Standard issue brain-off popcorn muncher - and to make it even less interesting, it's yet another remake.

Dave Mitsky
2005-Dec-05, 09:51 AM
CGI is fine when it serves to enhance a movie. However, all too often nowadays special effects are the movie.

Peter Jackson and Jack Black were interviewed by Stone Philips on "Dateline" on Friday night.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8828472/

Dave Mitsky

mid
2005-Dec-05, 02:42 PM
I've seen the trailers and they look like CGI.

Which trailer have you seen? The difference between the shots of Kong in the earlier trailer and the latest one is quite remarkable; Weta seem to have taken onboard a lot of the criticism of the early shots and substantially redone them. I was personally very impressed by the latest bits that have been shown.

Maksutov
2005-Dec-06, 12:25 AM
Which trailer have you seen? The difference between the shots of Kong in the earlier trailer and the latest one is quite remarkable; Weta seem to have taken onboard a lot of the criticism of the early shots and substantially redone them. I was personally very impressed by the latest bits that have been shown.It was the one that starts with Carl Denham on a street in New York saying


What are they going to do? Sue me? You can see it on the film's website, but the quality of reproduction is of course not as good as on the big screen. In the movie theater the shots of Kong jumping around in NYC were the ones that were the most unrealistic for the reasons already mentioned. Plus the CGI looks like CGI wherever it appears. It's getting to the point where I'm starting to miss mattes and miniatures. I guess suspension of disbelief is definitely a requirement.

On the plus side, it's nice to see this film set in the early 1930s. The folks finding the uncharted island in 1976 was another aspect of that version that was really bad.

Nevertheless, as Lianachan pointed out, "It's yet another remake."

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/muede/a050.gif

Cl1mh4224rd
2005-Dec-06, 07:02 AM
Standard issue brain-off popcorn muncher ...
Yep, and it should be great. I don't know about anyone else, but my brain works enough during the day. I don't always need it to "work" during a movie. I find I enjoy movies better, as the entertainment they're meant to be, if I'm not trying to critique the finer details, or, God forbid, actively looking for "whoops" moments like some of you. ;)

Of course, that doesn't excuse the really horrid screw-ups, but a vacation is nice sometimes...

Lianachan
2005-Dec-06, 09:08 AM
Yep, and it should be great. I don't know about anyone else, but my brain works enough during the day. I don't always need it to "work" during a movie. I find I enjoy movies better, as the entertainment they're meant to be, if I'm not trying to critique the finer details, or, God forbid, actively looking for "whoops" moments like some of you. ;)

Of course, that doesn't excuse the really horrid screw-ups, but a vacation is nice sometimes...

Well, I guess some people just don't set very high standards.

:D

I wouldn't ever condem a film I've not seen, I'm just not interested in this one. There is a place for mindless entertainment, certainly, and I do enjoy some such films, but there are just too many things going against this one for me. I can't stand Jack Black, for example, in addition to the things I mentioned earlier.

Melusine
2005-Dec-06, 09:49 AM
On the plus side, it's nice to see this film set in the early 1930s. The folks finding the uncharted island in 1976 was another aspect of that version that was really bad.

Nevertheless, as Lianachan pointed out, "It's yet another remake."

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/muede/a050.gif

Was the 1976 version that bad? I remember liking it, but then I was 10 years old. Never saw it again.

I've been looking forward to this since I like Peter Jackson's work, and I want to see what he does with it. I watch enough documentaries and foreign films that I don't mind a somewhat brainless, entertaining movie now and then, as long as it tells a good story or at least visually wows me. Some of the island scenes in the trailers look a little hokey, but we'll see if it can hold up to nearly three hours. I'm not expecting greatness, just good entertainment.

mid
2005-Dec-06, 10:11 AM
Never mind then Maksutov, I think that's one of the final ones if memory serves. Personally, I'm at the point where I'm coping well with most CG, though there are still a few absolute clunkers out there.

sarongsong
2005-Dec-06, 10:41 PM
Self-styled 'Mr. All-Things-Hollywood', Matt Drudge (http://drudgereport.com/flash1kk.htm), has a prediction re next Wednesday's opening, based on Universal's pre-release screenings.

publiusr
2005-Dec-09, 11:42 PM
You mean the guy who looks like a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Kolchak: The Night Stalker?
Oh so that was HIM on CBS late nights after McMillan & Wife and Harry-O?
Before the Legend Of Boggy Creek and Tom Snyder.

I mean, he has the same hat, the same blue clothes, the camera that falls all to pieces and the tape recorder the cops keep pulling the ribbons out of?

BTW

MTV2 will have a new clay-mation Celebrity Death Match, with THE BATTLE OF THE NIGHT STALKERS:

Darrin MacGavin vs. Richard Ramirez


or not...

LurchGS
2005-Dec-09, 11:53 PM
I've seen the trailers and they look like CGI.

One day all CGI pseudo-animators will be sent to the Chuck Jones Academy to learn how real (and unreal) objects rise and fall in a gravitional field, plus how to produce convincing effects (among other things).

At least it looks better than the 1976 fiasco, which isn't saying much.


OMG! another person on the planet who knows who Chuck Jones was. I've died and gone to heaven

paulie jay
2005-Dec-09, 11:54 PM
Was the 1976 version that bad? I remember liking it, but then I was 10 years old. Never saw it again.


Well it scored the readers choice for "worst movie of all time" in the Golden Turkey Awards...

LurchGS
2005-Dec-10, 12:05 AM
I admit I have a bias against remakes, but come on, realistically, does anybody know of 3 movies where the remake was better than the original?

There's been a growing trend in the last 40 years to incorporate more gee-whiz in movies in general, and in remakes in particular. I'm sorry, Gee-whiz does not a good movie make. If you can't improve on the acting or directing, you are just wasting my time. (A great, recent, example is "Flight of the Phoenix". The original is a jewel beyond price, the remake should have all the prints burned. As cheaply as possible)

I dread the day ANY movie is remade

Gillianren
2005-Dec-10, 12:31 AM
Well, I thought Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was better than the incorrectly-titled Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, if that matters. And The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was way better than the BBC version starring the fat squeaky girl as Lucy.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-10, 12:37 AM
Well, I thought Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was better than the incorrectly-titled Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, if that matters. And The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was way better than the BBC version starring the fat squeaky girl as Lucy.


that's two ;)

I agree with you on these (much as I like Gene Wilder and Tom Baker)...and I've not seen the new release of LWW... but the pickings was pretty slim, weren't they? :D

paulie jay
2005-Dec-10, 12:54 AM
I thought that the remake of Cape Fear was better than the original. :)

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-10, 02:13 AM
I expect there are quite a lot, you just don't notice them as remakes because the original was so bad you don't remember it.

five_distinct
2005-Dec-10, 02:43 AM
I can't get into the hype of this movie either and I watch a lot of really stupid movies (Chuck Norris anyone?)

I don't understand how people are even saying that this is supposed to be bigger than Lord of the Rings? Come on. Lord of the rings is a huge adventure, this is a big ape smashing things.

I have a feeling that when it comes down to it, Lord of the Rings will be remembered as a part of Film History. The 18th remake of King Kong will not. Sorry PJ (not that he's got anything to be sad about, he DID create a fantastic LOTR trilogy).

LurchGS
2005-Dec-10, 09:13 AM
Five -

I *live* on bad movies. The badder the better (and yes, I have a stack of Chuck Norris, and tons of Chop Suky). Part of their charm is that they're NOT usually remakes, and they're usually bad enough that nobody is fool enough to remake THEM. Usually. Please oh please oh please

I agree with you on the KK vs LOTR - LOTR is an epic bit of film work (no matter the quibbles I have over directitorial changes in the story). Never really been done before - and he did a good job. KK is just that - ANOTHER KK movie.

Nobody's done a better job than Mr Karloff as Frankenstein's monster (well, Peter Boyle came close, but that's another concept entirely), nobody's done a better Flash Gordon than Buster Crabbe.. Johny Weismuller is still the touchstone Tarzan...

Face it, in any medium besides film, the artist will tell you "Never remake anything - it will never be as good as the first one"

The thing here isn't that the remake is supposed to be better - it's not about *art*, it's about making money. Hype it and they will come. Maybe the studio's ledger will actually show some black this year!

Weird Dave
2005-Dec-10, 12:58 PM
Maksutov, why the bias against CGI? Maybe it does look like CG whenever is appears - not surprising, if that is what it is. Stop motion has always looked like stop motion; blokes in suits have always looked like blokes in suits; computer graphics are no different in that respect.

The difference is that special effects no longer limit the story that can be told. In the good old days, you would hide your monster in shadows so that nobody can see how fake it looks. Now your monster can go around in broad daylight, if necessary. In theory, this should lead to better storytelling because the plot can drive the effects, not the other way round.

And yes, I do accept that this theory is not happenning much in practice. I do agree that monsters should lurk in shadows if that makes it scarier. And I do agree that CGI is widely abused (Example: the first Harry Potter where they CGed a centaur - centaurs are half human and should be acted be a human!) But I think that a lot of the criticism of CGI sounds like snobbery, rather than fair comment.

Maksutov
2005-Dec-10, 02:09 PM
Maksutov, why the bias against CGI? Maybe it does look like CG whenever is appears - not surprising, if that is what it is. Stop motion has always looked like stop motion; blokes in suits have always looked like blokes in suits; computer graphics are no different in that respect.

The difference is that special effects no longer limit the story that can be told. In the good old days, you would hide your monster in shadows so that nobody can see how fake it looks. Now your monster can go around in broad daylight, if necessary. In theory, this should lead to better storytelling because the plot can drive the effects, not the other way round.

And yes, I do accept that this theory is not happening much in practice. I do agree that monsters should lurk in shadows if that makes it scarier. And I do agree that CGI is widely abused (Example: the first Harry Potter where they CGed a centaur - centaurs are half human and should be acted be a human!) But I think that a lot of the criticism of CGI sounds like snobbery, rather than fair comment.There's no bias against CGI. There have been a few movies where it has worked pretty well.

Instead the criticism is against the hype that's surrounded it since it first showed up. The hype said that you wouldn't be able to tell the CGI from the real parts of scenes. That didn't happen. But the same hype continues.

If criticizing something for not living up to its promises is snobbery, then count me as a snob and proud to be one.

Re


In theory, this should lead to better storytelling because the plot can drive the effects, not the other way round.please let me know when this happens.

In Ben Shahn's book, The Shape of Content, he discussed issues which are relevant to today's movies. In short, with a few exceptions, there's too much shape, and not enough content.

Yoshua
2005-Dec-10, 07:14 PM
Well as far as remakes that surpassed the original goes, I'd add Kiss of Death. The original wasn't bad, just seemed to gloss over a whole lot of things and was over way too quickly. The remake was differant in most ways, pretty much just used the basic premise of the story, but I enjoyed it much more.

Melusine
2005-Dec-10, 08:48 PM
Well it scored the readers choice for "worst movie of all time" in the Golden Turkey Awards...
I was reading the DVD reviews on Amazon and IMDB; it seems that people are very split about that one. Wikipedia also cites:



Although the film is often inaccurately described as being a financial flop (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flop), King Kong was in fact commercially successful, earning Paramount Pictures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramount_Pictures) back almost triple its budget. The film ended up at #5 on Variety (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variety_%28magazine%29)'s chart of the top domestic (U.S.) moneymakers of 1977 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977). (The film was released in December, 1976 and therefore earned the majority of its money during the early part of 1977.)
While the film received mostly mixed responses from critics, especially from fans of the original King Kong, it did receive extremely positive reviews from several prominent mainstream critics. Pauline Kael (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Kael) in The New Yorker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Yorker), Richard Schickel in Time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_%28magazine%29), Charles Champlin in the Los Angeles Times (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Times), Roger Ebert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Ebert) in the Chicago Sun-Times (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Sun-Times), and 'Murf' in Variety (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variety_%28magazine%29), among others, responded favorably to the film's pathos and (often campy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campy)) sense of humor. Kael, in particular, truly loved the film, noting "I don't think I've ever before seen a movie that was a comic-strip great romance in the way this one is -- it's a joke that can make you cry." [2] (http://www.pulpanddagger.com/canuck/kkreviews.html) The performances by Bridges and Grodin were generally well regarded, and even the film's most ardent detractors noted that Richard H. Kline's Academy Award (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award)-nominated cinematography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinematography) and John Barry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Barry_%28composer%29)'s thunderous musical score were first class.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Kong_(1976)


I'll have to check it out again some time...maybe. This new one has apparently brought grown men to tears.

I agree with you about "Cape Fear." I was very disappointed with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." I think "Ocean's 11" was better than the original, though "Ocean's 12" was :sick: .

Weird Dave
2005-Dec-10, 11:26 PM
There's no bias against CGI. There have been a few movies where it has worked pretty well.

Instead the criticism is against the hype that's surrounded it since it first showed up. The hype said that you wouldn't be able to tell the CGI from the real parts of scenes. That didn't happen. But the same hype continues.

If criticizing something for not living up to its promises is snobbery, then count me as a snob and proud to be one.
You're probably right about the hype - it will be a very long time before anything unreal looks totally real, and anyone claiming otherwise is guilty as charged. But it still seems mean to judge CGI against perfection, rather than against the alternatives.

I've just come out of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and I'd say that the computer generated creatures were generally more believable than the animatronic minotaurs. But the biggest problems were integrating real actors into a computer generated background [Mild Spoiler, highlight to read](e.g. when Lucy and Susan are travelling on Aslan's back). Blue screen work still attracts carelessness.

By the way, I do think there are specific situations where non-CGI would still be best - such as using stop-motion for animated films. And Godzilla should remain bloke-in-a-suit forever! But those are cases where realism isn't the top priority.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-11, 12:30 AM
I was reading the DVD reviews on Amazon and IMDB; it seems that people are very split about that one. snip


Oh I never said it didn't make money! But then The Swarm made money didn't it?
The Golden Turkey Awards was published in 1980 so there was a good four years for the badness of the film to sink in...


responded favorably to the film's pathos and (often campy) sense of humor. Hmmm..."Put me down you male chauvinist pig ape!". With woofers like that I just can't understand why King Kong didn't go down as a classic...:lol:

gzhpcu
2005-Dec-11, 04:46 PM
I have the original King Kong with Fay Wray and IMO it still sets the standard. Despite the fact small little models were used, I find it still better than CGI. Just like I find the old Walt Disney movies like Snow White and Pinocchio better than the latest animated pictures. They were hand painted and photographed frame for frame, with transparencies of the figures on top of the background. But then I like the black and white photos in the old National Geographics better than the slick photography they have nowadays. Just a personal opinion, but I find the slicker the technology, the less artistic the result.

Gillianren
2005-Dec-11, 11:13 PM
Well, my boyfriend's got Wednesday through Saturday off this week, and has insisted on either King Kong or Zathura; since I don't particularly want to see either, I've agreed to King Kong on the premise that it should only be seen on a big screen if at all. (And I like Adrien Brody.) So I'll let everyone know.

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-12, 12:39 AM
Nobody's done a better job than Mr Karloff as Frankenstein's monster (well, Peter Boyle came close, but that's another concept entirely), nobody's done a better Flash Gordon than Buster Crabbe.. Johny Weismuller is still the touchstone Tarzan...
You just lost part of your argument, Karloff's Frankenstein (http://imdb.com/title/tt0021884/) was a remake:)
First Frankenstein's monster was Charles Ogle (http://imdb.com/title/tt0001223/)

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-12, 12:48 AM
Face it, in any medium besides film, the artist will tell you "Never remake anything - it will never be as good as the first one"
You're definitely forgetting theater here.
Actually, I've several times seen the analogy to theater used as a argument why it should be considered ok to remake a movie.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-12, 04:28 AM
You just lost part of your argument, Karloff's Frankenstein (http://imdb.com/title/tt0021884/) was a remake:)
First Frankenstein's monster was Charles Ogle (http://imdb.com/title/tt0001223/)

oi - I should have done my research, shouldn't I? I'll have to look that one up and watch it. Odds are, it's better than Karloff - but then, the 'never remake' is a rule of thumb, not an absolute.

For me, though, the theater argument doesn't hold up... but that's likely because I'm not a big theater fan (for all that I have family and friends involved professionally)

SeanF
2005-Dec-12, 05:15 PM
oi - I should have done my research, shouldn't I? I'll have to look that one up and watch it. Odds are, it's better than Karloff - but then, the 'never remake' is a rule of thumb, not an absolute.
There were Tarzans before Weismuller, too. ;)

LurchGS
2005-Dec-13, 07:30 AM
yeah, I thought about that (even Buster Crabbe, I think), but included it anyway. It was a bad choice in that there were other Tarzans, but very few of them (if any) were "Remakes" - they were more like sequels (serials), and sequels have a place in hell all their own.

mid
2005-Dec-13, 10:31 AM
Serials aren't (probably weren't) sequels, though, as they are designed to tell a single story across those multiple episodes. You might as well reserve a place in hell for every chapter other than the openings of each Dickens novel.

TheBlackCat
2005-Dec-13, 04:56 PM
King King is actually getting excellent reviews. Rotten Tomatoes is giving it a 95% (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/king_kong/). While this early in the week that usualy doesn't mean much, there are already 45 reviews. Once a movie gets this many the review seldom changes much. Considering the good reviews are generally really good, and the bad ones generally not that bad, I can't see this dropping much below a 90%. That is certainly a good sign.

ToSeek
2005-Dec-13, 07:32 PM
Some folks got bonus special effects (http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/12/13/051213155437.9nqbefkd.html) during a screening.

Gillianren
2005-Dec-13, 07:34 PM
Serials aren't (probably weren't) sequels, though, as they are designed to tell a single story across those multiple episodes. You might as well reserve a place in hell for every chapter other than the openings of each Dickens novel.

For most of them, I do--opening chapters, too . . . .

LurchGS
2005-Dec-13, 07:44 PM
Serials aren't (probably weren't) sequels, though, as they are designed to tell a single story across those multiple episodes. You might as well reserve a place in hell for every chapter other than the openings of each Dickens novel.

Did that long ago