King Kong

King Kong

4.4 70
Director: Peter Jackson

Cast: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody


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One of the greatest adventure stories in Hollywood history gets a new interpretation in this action drama from Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson. In the early 1930s, Carl Denham (Jack Black) is a daring filmmaker and adventurer who has gained a reputation for his pictures documenting wildlife in remote and dangerous jungle lands; despite the objections of…  See more details below


One of the greatest adventure stories in Hollywood history gets a new interpretation in this action drama from Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson. In the early 1930s, Carl Denham (Jack Black) is a daring filmmaker and adventurer who has gained a reputation for his pictures documenting wildlife in remote and dangerous jungle lands; despite the objections of his backers, Denham plans to film his next project aboard an ocean vessel en route to Skull Island, an uncharted island he discovered on a rare map. Correctly assuming his cast and crew would be wary of such a journey, Denham has told them they're traveling to Singapore, but before they set sail, his leading lady drops out of the project. Needing a beautiful actress willing to take a risk, Denham finds Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), a beautiful but down-on-her-luck vaudeville performer, and offers her the role; cautious but eager to work, Darrow takes the role, and onboard the ship she strikes up a romance with Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), a respected playwright hired by Denham to write the script for his latest epic. When Denham and company arrive on Skull Island, the natives react with savage violence, but they happen to be the least of their worries. Skull Island is a sanctuary for prehistoric life, and lording it over the dinosaurs and other giant beasts is Kong, a 25-foot-tall gorilla who can outfight any creature on Earth. The natives kidnap Darrow, giving her to Kong as an offering to appease the giant beast; Denham and his men set out to find her, with Driscoll bravely determined to save the woman he loves. Eventually, Driscoll finds Darrow and Denham outwits Kong, intending to take the giant ape back to New York for display. But Kong has bonded with Darrow, and his attraction to her proves to be his undoing. Andy Serkis, who provided the body movements for Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings pictures, performed similar duties on King Kong, studying gorillas so he could mimic their actions, which were then used as the basis for the special-effects crew's digital animation of the great ape.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Some said it couldn't be done, others said it shouldn't be done, but Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson did it: He remade the classic 1933 monster movie that put a Depression-era spin on the legend of Beauty and the Beast. An avowed fan of the original, Jackson used cutting-edge digital technology to make his Kong as realistic as possible, and the special effects are flawless -- leading to a 2006 Academy Award for Best Effects. He also retained the 1930s setting and the basic plot: With creditors yapping at his heels, daring filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black) enlists a Dutch ship captain to take his expedition to a remote, uncharted island where monstrous creatures, never before photographed, are said to roam. Hoping to improvise a workable plot around the sensational footage he expects to get, Denham brings along playwright Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) and actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts). They eventually reach the fog-shrouded island, and that's where the monkeyshines begin. Jackson fleshes out the original's story with extraneous supporting characters and subplots, but the principal thrust remains the same -- Kong's fascination with the doll-like blonde beauty proves his undoing. We could quibble with some of Jackson's choices: Black's Denham could be more sympathetic, and the big action sequences are longer than they need to be. Nonetheless, this is a remarkable achievement that succeeds both as an homage and a thrilling adventure film in its own right.
All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Peter Jackson's King Kong is a spectacle of big-budget adventurism that indulges in flashy childhood monster-movie fetishes while upping the original's sentimental quotient to new grandiose levels. Filled with furious action and exotic locales, the film gives Kong a much broader canvas to wreak havoc upon in this retooled version of the famed story. The big screen's largest primate has also been given more time to do so, with a three-hour-plus running time weighing heavily on the audience's shoulders as each act is expanded to mixed results. Needless backstories take center stage in the beginning, just as the middle tends to blur into one long chase sequence that is downright excessive in its scale and endless barrage of thrills. Viewers might find themselves caught up in the breathless imagery, but one senses that Jackson isn't flexing his storyteller muscles as much as he's fulfilling his own boyhood dreams of the prehistoric rock 'em, sock 'em material. In that way, the director momentarily ceases to involve his audience in the drama, opting instead to deliver fast-paced action with multiple icky, gooey, ferocious creatures filling the screen to dizzying degrees. Ironically, the picture's strongest moments are its quietest, as Kong and Naomi Watts build a sincere and touching bond that goes far beyond the creepy unrequited love of the duo in the 1933 original. It's this relationship that fuels the bravura third-act opening with a lavish and witty recreation of the villagers from the original, as dancers cavort Broadway-style in front of the broken and battered giant ape. What follows is a miraculous recreation of one of the most famous scenes in movie history that is as heartbreaking an experience as any. Time will tell how the film will be viewed years down the road, but one thing is for sure -- this isn't the King Kong that Peter Jackson would have made before Lord of the Rings (which was originally the plan). The film might benefit from the sensitivity gleaned from Tolkien's trilogy, but on the flip side of Hollywood's cursed coin, his unlimited power and success no doubt bloated what was once a slim tale of beauty and the beast and turned it into a personal journey of obsessive boyhood dreams come true, not unlike the film's monomaniacal filmmaker Carl Denham.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Naomi Watts Ann Darrow
Jack Black Carl Denham
Adrien Brody Jack Driscoll
Thomas Kretschmann Captain Englehorn
Colin Hanks Preston
Andy Serkis King Kong,Lumpy the Cook
Jamie Bell Jimmy
Evan Parke Hayes
Lobo Chan Choy
Kyle Chandler Bruce Baxter
John Sumner Herbert
Craig Hall Mike

Technical Credits
Peter Jackson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Miriam Barrard Set Decoration/Design
Joe Peter Bleakley Art Director
Jan Blenkin Producer
Philippa Boyens Co-producer,Screenwriter
Simon Bright Art Director
Victoria Burrows Casting
Christina Crawford Set Decoration/Design
Carolynne Cunningham Asst. Director,Producer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
John Hubbard Casting
Dan Hubbard Casting
Brian Van't Hul Special Effects
Andrew Lesnie Cinematographer
Darryl Longstaffe Set Decoration/Design
Grant Major Production Designer
Eileen Moran Co-producer
Liz Mullane Casting
Jabez Olssen Editor
Hammond Peek Sound/Sound Designer
Barry Read Set Decoration/Design
Ann Robinson Casting
Terry Ryan Costumes/Costume Designer
Jamie Selkirk Editor
Richard Taylor Makeup Special Effects
Philip Thomas Set Decoration/Design
Ethan Van der Ryn Sound/Sound Designer
Fran Walsh Producer,Screenwriter
Weta Workshop Ltd. Makeup Special Effects
Annette Wullems Associate Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- King Kong
1. Opening - New York 1933 [3:03]
2. Vaudeville [1:17]
3. Theater Closed [2:23]
4. Denham's Screening [3:45]
5. "Defeat Is Always Momentary" [2:03]
6. A Fateful Meeting [1:44]
7. "A Woman Born to Play This Role" [3:22]
8. The Moving Picture Ship [2:44]
9. An Early Departure [3:47]
10. Jack's "Quarters" [1:42]
11. Bruce Settles In [:17]
12. Jimmy's Story [1:50]
13. Ann Meets Jack Driscoll [2:25]
14. A Moustache for Bruce [:39]
15. "We're Filming on an Island Now?" [1:59]
16. Filming a Classic Scene [1:06]
17. Romance on the Venture [2:41]
18. The Last Blank Space on the Map [2:49]
19. A Long Sea Voyage [1:21]
20. "It's in the Sub-Text" [1:24]
21. A Change of Course [1:14]
22. Skull Island [8:33]
23. Expedition Ashore [3:30]
24. The Inhabitants of Skull Island [6:16]
25. Ann's Abduction [5:25]
26. The Sacrifice [5:06]
27. Rescue Party [1:48]
28. The Killing Ground [3:24]
29. Discovering the Footprint [2:19]
30. Brontosaurus Stampede [6:37]
31. Playing Dead [:56]
32. The Party Is Divided [1:41]
33. Ann Disarms Kong [6:45]
34. The Log Chasm [3:43]
35. The T-Rex Battle [11:38]
36. The Insect Pit [5:42]
37. "Beautiful" [4:09]
38. Denham's Plan [2:32]
39. Jack Rescues Ann [5:44]
40. Captured [8:18]
41. "Eighth Wonder of the World" [1:54]
42. "Cry Havoc!" [1:50]
43. Carl Denham Presents Kong [9:12]
44. Kong in New York [4:30]
45. Reunited [4:32]
46. Under Attack [1:05]
47. The Empire State Building [2:20]
48. Kong's Last Stand [7:31]
49. "It Was Beauty Killed the Beast" [6:35]
50. End Credits [9:40]

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