Friday, January 27, 2017

THROWBACK REVIEW: Queen Kong (1976)

Queen Kong is...a King sized stinker. Really, who thought this would be a good idea for a movie? If you want an idea of what the hell I just watched, just think to last year when the reboot for Ghostbusters came out. Remember all the controversy? I'm not gonna talk about it, because I really didn't care either way about it, but Queen Kong is essentially doing what the Ghostbusters would do last year. Only...times ten. Where the Ghostbusters would just say "Hey, we're gonna take the main characters of the original film and do that film if they were women", Queen Kong said, "I'm gonna do King Kong. Only I'm going to reverse the roles of everyone!" I kid you not, you play this movie after watching King Kong, and the roles of practically everyone are reversed. Without the risk of sounding sexist...there are a LOT of women in this picture. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but the overall film that they're in, the lazy production, the dumb and unfunny jokes, the pop cultural references that go nowhere, before it all just train wrecks into this climax that makes absolutely no sense, really make this a film I wanna give a giant middle finger to. And truthfully, part of me was actually hoping for a decent laugh at least. I love British humor, and this film was a British feature. But my God...talk about high expectations.

The film is of course the story of King Kong, only gender-swapped. We have this director by the name of Luce who is looking for a gentle, handsome man for her picture, which brings her upon this hippie boy wonder, named Ray. She drugs him, kidnaps him, and takes him to this island of natives who worship this huge ape monster named Kong, and yes, it's a she. Gorilla boobies and all (I wouldn't normally point this out, but the film does, so I will too). And it looks like shit. Like the Toho films, this film would use a suit to portray their Kong character, and it's just so inconsistent, so unconvincing, that I won't bother talking anymore about it. The dinosaurs of the film aren't any better either. The costumes straight up look like paper mache, and may very well be as such. You can tell the film is on a budget. But come on movie...these costumes just look half-assed! Anyway back to the story that's the same as King Kong, Queen Kong...or Queenie as Ray calls her, falls in affection with hippy boy wonder, and from there, the film just becomes this big romance chase of hippy boy wonder, because apparently the director Luce finds him attractive as well. Yeah guys, the fact that Queenie falls in affection with Ray is about the only real similarity that this movie has with King Kong.

The production of this movie is so unbelievably cheap that it became insultingly noticeable. The production of this movie makes some of the worst Godzilla movies out there look incredible by comparison. For example, in the beginning of the movie, the crew of the ship (all female) decide to have a musical number about their ship, because movie. There's nothing wrong with the song really, other than it being utter shit, and the choreography being incredibly lazy (the girls honestly don't look like they're even trying), but towards the end of this musical number, I began to notice something rather peculiar. The instrumental track and the vocal track were getting off sync. So the girls were singing ahead of the actual music. Did...no one realize this? Anyone at all? That is a fix that would take me less than five minutes in editing. I've already talked about the horrible suits and unconvincing dinosaurs, so I won't bother with them again. The costumes. Holy crap, I don't know if this was done intentionally or whatnot, but the costumes of the Natives are even more stereotypical than the original 1933 film. Was that intentional??? They're terrible! Ray wears this really stupid "attractive" costume, and compares himself to Elton John. Ray, you take that back, Elton John may not be a fashion master, but he dresses way better than you. It's also worth noting that the musical score is absolute shit, and so are most of the sound effects. There's no memorable theme whatsoever. It's just a score to tell you, "Hey, it's the seventies!" Though I'll give whatever band came up with the title song some credit. I hate the lyrics of it, but it's decently jamming. Just wish there was a bit more creativity and not so much adolescence in lyrics like "She's the queenie queenie for my weenie." Well done there...

I'm getting off track here...

For a British Comedy, there is very little comedy here. I'm a huge fan of British humor. I grew up introduced to Monty Python from my father, and I'm a huge fan of comedies by both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and one of my favorite YouTubers is Alex of I Hate Everything, who lives in Britain himself (and ironically enough, is the guy behind the "Because movie"  catchphrase that I love so much). So I was hoping for that British charm here. But it's incredibly absent. The film is absolutely littered with unfunny jokes, political jabs that I just rubbed my face in frustration to, and pop cultural references that are there...because they're apparently funny. It's incredibly disappointing. I can't say there weren't times I didn't feel a smile forming or let out a chuckle, or simply say "Ha ha...", but most of these moments seemed to be at the beginning of the film. As the film went on, I realized there was very little meat on these bones. And I think I have it figured out. It's because of Ray. Almost half the jokes of this movie are given by him, and the guy's just not funny. He lacks any charm to really be able to drop a punchline about Jimmy Carter. A lot of the time, he just looks blazed out of his mind, to the point that makes you wonder if all those joints he's asking for in the movie are actually real joints.

But I think the most confusing thing about this film is its climax, believe it or not. After an unfunny line by Ray, about how he wishes the Empire State Building was there, Queenie decides to scale Big Ben. Okay, I can get behind that. But instead of this action climax we all think we're gonna get, it quickly transforms into this "rights for women" message that falls flat. Look, I'm for Gender Equality. The fact that we're still having problems with it is really kinda sad nowadays, but this film just...isn't the film to preach this. Seriously. Queenie scales Big Ben, and Ray begins preaching from this Helicopter PA system that women don't have to be objectified, or taken advantage of anymore and whatnot, and it falls flat. Why? BECAUSE IN THIS MOVIE, THE WOMEN ARE PRETTY MUCH IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHING. Seriously, a scene earlier, Queenie has to save Ray from Luce who's trying to force herself on Ray. If anything, Ray is the one being used, objectified, and taken advantage of. But all of a sudden, the film forgets this and it has all these women protesting in the streets against the power of men, and for Queenie to be set free, and for women to stand up, and I just don't get why. Was this film trying to be a film for women's rights? Why does the film go this route immediately after Ray is almost raped by one? Am I missing something here? Why is my brain hurting by thinking about this? I don't care anymore, I want to get this over with. Queenie is of course set free amidst all the protests, she takes Ray back to her jungle island home, Luce watches in sadness before wondering if they'd allow her to join in a threesome, and as Brendon Tenold would say, Ray likely dies by crushed pelvis. It's funny because giant bestiality everyone! Just the joke to go out on! Fuck this movie.

Queen Kong gets a half star rating out of four. And the only reason it's not getting that lowest rating I can possibly give is because despite almost everything in this film absolutely sucking, the film does have a few laughs. I had a legit chuckle with the policemen when Queenie is walking through London. And despite it being such a lame joke, I chuckled when Luce talked about how her films have "not one wave" before someone obviously just throws a bucket of water at her. It's the British Charm in those silly jokes I could get behind. But literally nothing else. And to my knowledge, this film was pretty much doomed from the start. It never saw theatrical release when Dino De Laurentiis, producer of the next week's movie and RKO copyright holder of King Kong at the time took legal action against the film. It had some theatrical runs in southern Europe, and has a cult following in Japan but that's it. If you were anywhere morbidly curious about this film, listen well. Do not, I repeat...DO NOT go looking for a DVD. You can find the entire thing on YouTube. For free. That's how I watched it, and that's how I'll tell anyone else who wants to watch this shitty film to watch it. YouTube likely doesn't deserve this shit in its database, but it's there. Take advantage of it. 

Please feel free to request any films you'd like to see me review. Leave a comment down below expressing your thoughts on the film, as all comments are appreciated, and as always, thanks for reading.

Next week in the Kong-a-thon...King Kong sees his very first remake, as he returns to the States. Next week, Paramount takes on the roles of giving us King Kong, in the 1976 remake. See you then.

Final Verdict: 0.5/4

Thursday, January 19, 2017

THROWBACK REVIEW: King Kong Escapes (1967)

Well it's kinda hard to talk about this dumb film without talking a bit about its backstory. In 1966, King Kong debuted in his very first cartoon show, simply known as "The King Kong Show". It was made by American Film Company, Rankin/Bass Productions, but also partnered with Toei Animation over in Japan to collaborate with the show. If you're unfamiliar with Rankin/Bass, they did the cartoon renditions of both "The Hobbit", and "Return of the King". They also did "Mouse on the Mayflower". Still not ringing a bell? Okay, they did those stop-motion animation Christmas specials you love so much like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Yeah that company. And Toei is behind Dragonball which I don't care for, so moving right along. They had a King Kong Cartoon. I really wanted to review this, but honestly, the show lacks any depth for me to devote a full review to it. Each story is around six minutes long, is a rather simple story about this group of people, who team up with King Kong to fight this evil supercriminal mastermind named Dr. Who (....no not THAT Dr. Who), and end up foiling his plans after a fight with dinosaurs or whatnot. It's not exactly the best show out there, but it's harmless. The animation is bland, the characters are bland, the action is bland, but again, there's nothing really condemning about it. If it had more depth to the overall story, and if I could find it, I'd probably give it a review. But it doesn't, and I can't.

Well after King Kong VS Godzilla, Toho maintained an interest in producing King Kong movies, and partnered up with Rankin/Bass. They came forward with a script for a new King Kong movie they wanted to make, but because Rankin/Bass felt the movie didn't reflect the spirit of the show, they rejected it. The script would move forward and become "Ebirah, Horror of the Deep", otherwise known as "Godzilla VS The Sea Monster", another movie I debated long and hard about reviewing in this Kong-a-thon. Why? Because the movie really is kinda...terrible in the sense that it doesn't at all feel like a Godzilla film. You can tell that it was meant to star King Kong, despite the fact that Godzilla is right there. He's got all the King Kong characteristics. It stands as one of the first examples in which I really believe...they just didn't care. There was no rewrite, there was no edit, they shoe-horned in Godzilla in place of Kong, and the movie sucked. But...Toho didn't give up. They came forward with another script for a Kong movie that did get approved and the result was "King Kong Escapes". And my God they tried...

Right off the bat, something feels off about this film. One thing I guess I should say is that this seems to be a different incarnation of Kong than what we saw in King Kong VS Godzilla five years prior to this. Here, King Kong lacks his electricity powers, I think his size is smaller, and it just feels more like a standalone film than it does anything else. I guess that's not a bad thing, but my God, there is something missing from this film. And I can't put my finger on it. Based loosely from the cartoon I just mentioned, King Kong Escapes focuses on this group of criminal masterminds looking to take over the world by creating superweapons from this substance called Element X. Lead by Dr. Who, who often enjoys reminding you who he is, he builds a large robot monkey with the sole purpose of digging up this ore. I don't know why he didn't just build a digging machine, but I guess we need our Tokyo Tower climax later on. So...nice big metal monkey there, Dr. Who. Your evil plans will forever be a mystery to me.

I'm not gonna bother hiding it, the characters of this movie are atrocious. The only character I found any likable traits in was Dr. Who, mainly because of how cartoonishly evil he is. The way he speaks, his motivation, his goals, he even has a decent evil laugh now and then. He's an absolute riot. Too bad he's the only memorable character. The heroes of this film I wanna say are barely even a thing in this film. You have the woman that Kong of course takes an interest in, but she feels much like the girl from King Kong VS Godzilla, in that she's there just to be a damsel. There's no depth to her character out any of the other characters I might add. And joining her are her love interest, and this other generic captain explorer character...who are also in this movie. The most confusing character however is this...anti-hero-villain woman who's often telling Dr. Who what to do. I have no idea what to call her. At first she's this villain looking to take over the world. Then because movie she's suddenly questioning her morals. Then because movie, she's a villain again, threatening Dr. Who. Then because movie she tries to romance one of the heroes. Then because movie she starts turning to a good guy? Look I don't need to explain anymore that her character is poorly executed and just sucks in general. Her motivations in this film are absolutely stupid. They make no sense. She's the worst character of the film. One thing I found hilarious however was that the lead hero roles are obviously American actors. I was treated to an unintentional hilarious realization that they themselves were dubbed in Japanese. It can be hilarious to see them obviously speaking English, only to hear a Japanese voice actor dub them. It's the first time I've actually seen that.

The effects of this film, my God. Much like King Kong VS Godzilla, they're incredibly dated, and don't hold up, but unlike King Kong VS Godzilla, they stand out way more. There are effects that are hilariously bad. Like Kong's or Mechi-Kong's obviously blue-screened hand quickly grabbing the woman in a fashion that would likely kill her. I also loved how Monda Island, where Kong lives, had giant lawn grass everywhere, and only one...ONLY ONE NATIVE. Maybe the rest of the Natives saw the script for this movie and gave it the finger. The suit of Kong again just isn't convincing. The first time we see him, we just see his eyes open from a sleep, and he looks half-dead. I will say that Mechi-Kong is actually pretty cool as far as effects and looks are concerned. He has the most convincing costume of the film. It doesn't stand out nearly as much as Kong. The suit for that was well done.

And the action of the film can be fun. I enjoyed the climax well enough. Watching Kong battle Mechi-Kong on Tokyo Tower, watching it rock back and forth was very entertaining, even if it got rather easy to mock what was going on. I also enjoyed the first appearance of Godzilla fan favorite monster, Gorosaurus. The battle between him and Kong is pretty cool, though the death of Gorosaurus could have been better. Really dull sound effect for Kong prying the jaw apart. But as fun as some of the action is, it's also incredibly lacking. One thing I found disappointing was that there is absolutely no city rampage scene. Sure we get the battle on Tokyo Tower, and Mechi-Kong destroys a building upon entrance, but that's it. There's no rampage despite it leading us to believe there would be one. I'll also say the military of this film did the worst possible job evacuating the city in any of these movies out there. They show the evacuations, then all of a sudden all the civilians are back to witness the Tower battle? Shouldn't they be gone? Oh well, there wasn't any rampage. No big loss. Oh and by the way the musical score by Akira Ifukube is not in any way memorable in this film. Rather disappointing honestly.

I know I'm being rather critical here, but honestly, I can't say this film is completely bad. One thing I must credit the film for doing is being among the first films to attempt to develop the relationship between the woman, and Kong. It's the first film in which the woman he finds attraction to, isn't always afraid of Kong. In the movie, she volunteers to be picked up by him to attempt to calm him down. She develops this playmate relationship in a way, but at the same time, she can still hold to that fear. It's really weird. Eventually, she pretty much can give verbal commands to Kong. That's right, I forgot to mention that King Kong in this movie precisely just understands human language. The movie isn't all bad. It's not strong, but I can see it working as a kids film perhaps. This was after all based off a rather bland kids cartoon from back in the day. This film didn't have a lot to go off of. So as bad as it is, I don't blame Toho for it. It's not their fault. I can see effort being put into this. Their desire to do Kong justice is still there. The respect, the love, the want to do good with Kong does still show. Unfortunetaly, it's just too bland, too dated, and too...dull to really be anything more than a kids adventure. And not a very good one at that. So I can't be getting generous with the verdict.

King Kong Escapes is a one and a half star rating out of four for me. Yeah, pretty dang bad. I'm at a bit of a loss for words on this one actually. You can tell it was trying to go for that child audience again. Much like its predecessor, but where King Kong VS Godzilla succeeded with likable characters, fun action, and creative ideas, this film feels held back. It makes me wish Ebirah was indeed a Kong film. It likely would have faired much better than this film. This film wasn't allowed to experiment, it wasn't allowed to do much of anything to make it stand out. And the blame for that lies solely with Rankin/Bass. And unfortunetaly this would be the final film that Toho would make with Kong. They wanted him to appear in the Godzilla finale, Destroy All Monsters, but their license on the character ran out for them. They'd also try to remake King Kong VS Godzilla during the Heisei era, but couldn't get the rights, and instead went with King Ghidorah (and we all know how I feel about that one). King Kong Escapes was his last trial in Japan, and one that really just didn't do it for him. Not from me. And I'm sad to say that. I really do wish it could have been different. Perhaps one day again, Kong will return to Toho. Until that day though...keep watching King Kong VS Godzilla...and stay away from this movie.

Please feel free to suggest any films you'd like me to look at. Leave a comment down below expressing your own thoughts on the film, and as always, thanks for reading.

Kong's tenure in Japan has ended, but he isn't going back to the States yet...nope. Great Britain attempted to get in on the Kong franchise. However...they took creativity into their own hands, and decided to switch a lot of things up. Did you ever wanna see Kong as a girl? Well they thought you would. Next week, I'm taking on the parody film, "Queen Kong". See you then.

Final Verdict: 1.5/4

Friday, January 13, 2017

THROWBACK REVIEW: King Kong VS Godzilla (1962)

The popularity of King Kong after 1933 was apparent. It was an instant box office success, turning up a hefty profit and a bad sequel. Despite the minor setback, King Kong proved he was still on top for years. He saw his first theatrical re-release in 1938, though it would have certain parts censored as certain shots of the original film we're no longer appropriate at the time(mainly shots of Kong biting and attacking people, and removing parts of Ann's dress). Kong would also see theatrical re-releases during 1942, and 1946. Yet despite this success, he was not yet much of a pop culture icon. It wasn't until his theatrical re-release in 1952, that his rise to stardom would be apparent, and that his influence would finally start to be seen in film and culture. It was easily the most successful re-release of his time, and don't think I need to explain how or why. But for those who are in need of a refresh, let's talk about what happened after his global theatrical re-release in 1952.

King Kong's 1952 global showing would be a worldwide phenomenon, getting named "Movie of the Year" by Time Magazine. But one place Kong would find enormous popularity in would be Japan. Many people, who would work on a very iconic Japanese film would draw influence from King Kong. They were in such awe from the film that they wanted to shoot their film like just like that film. Unfortunetaly as they were pressed for time, they could not. But the resulting film they created would explode around the world, and this film of course, was Gojira. Otherwise known as Godzilla. Godzilla would quickly rise in popularity, and with his rise to stardom apparent, and with Kong's popularity still up there, someone around the world asked a question. If King Kong met Godzilla...what would happen?

Well, thanks to an unused idea from Willis O'Brien (in which King Kong would meet and fight a giant version of Frankenstein's Monster), and the people over at Toho (many of whom wanted very much to shoot a King Kong movie), we got an answer in a film that to date, remains the biggest box office hit featuring Godzilla. A film that not only featured two very popular monsters, but helped launch the Godzilla franchise to even higher stages of popularity. We got the film, King Kong VS Godzilla. A film with such a legacy behind it, that to present day, fans of both franchises continue to debate the fight, and who was meant to be the true winner. There are many urban legends surrounding this film, many which say that there's a Japanese cut where Godzilla wins and other similar myths, but let the record show that this is untrue. It may not stop the debates but...spoiler alert, King Kong wins. It's really that simple. Japan themselves advertised the film as Kong being the winner. Why? Because he was the more popular monster at the time, and at this time, Godzilla wasn't really quite in his hero stages yet. Hell, even the movie reminds you that Kong is just an animal, but Godzilla is a "monster" born from radiation. There's absolutely no purpose to this line other than to remind the viewer that Kong is the good guy, and Godzilla is the bad guy. So...there. Accept it. Godzilla lost to the giant ape. With all this said, how's the actual movie?

Well watching it again (and to those wondering, I watched the original Japanese cut), I really wasn't expecting much, but for a while, I was very much pleasantly surprised with the film. It is very fun. Sure the plot kinda disintegrates towards the end, but you can tell there was a lot of effort thrown into this film to get King Kong just right. I'm not sure they got everything right, but you can tell there was a lot of effort from Japan here, not only to do justice to Kong, but to make him a match for Godzilla, and to keep the spirit of the monster present within the film. They're very hit or miss with this unfortunetaly. One thing I didn't really care for was the Kong suit. While I understand that they were on a budget, you can tell that it's very much obviously a suit. The teeth don't always line up, the mouth can hang open, but one thing I hated was the arms. There were times the arms looked disjointed or out of place. I think the guy wearing the suit was holding arm extensions at times because the arms at times take an unnatural bend towards the elbow area. Like something getting pulled down by gravity. I also never liked how the fists never closed whenever Kong beat on his chest. Surely this could have been fixed guys. It's just not as threatening or intimidating as it normally is. My final criticism to Kong in this movie is that while we get plenty of hints to why Kong has the power that he does in this movie, it's never explained. I want someone to tell me exactly why electricity helps Kong fight better. The movie doesn't explain. It just kinda shows Kong munching on power lines and getting revived by lightning (lightning that doesn't strike anywhere close to him).  But regardless of my criticisms, you can definitely tell that again, they did put a lot of effort into his behavior and actions. From him finding a certain woman attractive, to him defending island natives who revere him as a god, Japan really did do their homework for keeping the spirit of Kong alive in this movie. Is it the same Kong we're used to? No. But it does the monster justice. It almost makes me ashamed of our Godzilla 1998 movie just a bit more.

Speaking of Godzilla, his suit is about as convincing as Kong's honestly. I could be mistaken, but I feel that this suit they used is much different than what they used before. It seems...lighter. Which honestly, I think kinda hurts this film a bit because there are times you can most definitely tell that it is a suit. The rubber can bend in places it shouldn't bend, the face, like Kong's, just isn't that convincing, it just could have been polished up a bit more. One thing I actually had to chuckle at was that there are times in the movie that Godzilla flails his arms at times, and you can hear the rubber hitting. You'd think something like that would get cleaned out in editing. And it's not just in one point of the movie. It happens numerous times. I also am a bit lost to the special effects of this film. Particularly that around Godzilla's breath. It's not nearly as bad as Godzilla VS The Sea Monster, but I do think they could have made it slightly more convincing than a slightly blue mist.

From monsters to story, does it hold up? Well right off the bat, I can say that the story was fun to follow while it lasted. It's not the greatest story ever told and it's not exactly told the best, but it does have a lot of charm. The only real weakness it has, is that once the monsters start fighting, the story is practically dropped. All human characters are reduced to literally nothing but spectators as both King Kong and Godzilla fight. This isn't an exaggeration. Despite some fun aspects in this story, about halfway through the film, the characters do nothing but watch the monsters from afar, or argue over who's the stronger monster. You know...like real life Godzilla fans. And once the fighting is over, they literally just shoe-horn in a message about treating earth and nature better, despite that not once in the film is the treatment of the environment ever mentioned. I find this lazy, even for early Godzilla. 

This is a bit of a shame because I was actually quite interested in the characters of this film. While the film has its fair share of characters that are forgettable, I forgot how much of a riot the head of the pharmaceutical company was. I'm not sure I follow his plan with Kong, mainly because of his dialogue. At first he's looking to boost his ratings for this science tv show he has, then he's pretty much announcing Kong as a brand sponser, it's a very confusing plot, but you don't care because of how funny this guy can be. You can easily detect that this movie was going for a much more light-hearted feel. It's goofy and silly, but in all the right ways. Other characters really aren't so essential, like one of the sister characters that Kong finds attractive. This girl serves no purpose for the film other than to be the token damsel in distress. She struggles clumsily across a river fleeing from Godzilla, she is captured by Kong to try and pay homage to the climax of the original movie, but seeing how beauty doesn't kill the beast here, and seeing how she's nowhere near as memorable as scream queen Ann Fray, the scene kinda feels unnecessary to me. There's also the fact that the size of the woman in the hand of Kong just isn't accurate. With the size of Kong, she'd be a lot smaller than that doll we see. And yes, you can obviously tell that Kong is holding what is likely a barbie doll. Gotta love budgets. And thanks to the fact that there's likely a 200 pound actor in that gorilla suit, Kong just kinda stands on what amounts to a common courthouse, rather than scaling a tall skyscraper. Just not that exciting.

I think my final criticism of the movie goes to the unfortunate aspect of time. This movie really hasn't aged well. At all. I normally don't criticize movies based on age, but I think I have a bit of a right to with this one, because this film is infamous for how poorly preserved it is. In 1970, director Ishiro Honda prepared an edited version of this film for a film festival, but made a terrible mistake of making actual edits to the films original negative. As a result, a lot of the footage was lost, as was some of the highest quality shooting. I'm willing to bet none of us have seen the original theatrical release of this film. You can tell there are problems in the editing of this film. There were times the frame jumped for a quick second, or there were times that I felt certain frames were just straight up missing. Ishiro really should have done a better job preserving this film.  It also needs to be said that other effects just aren't so convincing. Kong's blinking eyes, scenes involving obvious blue screens, obvious reused shots, you can really tell this film has not aged well at all.

But that's literally all I can really say as far as criticism is concerned. Some flat characters, a plot that kinda falls apart at the end, and effects that don't hold up nowadays. Everything else is just way too fun. I loved how Kong got his own Tokyo rampage scene. And they made it rather unique, too! Where Godzilla or literally any other monster in Toho's lineup will just kinda slowly walk through the city in question, slowly raining down destruction and whatnot like a giant lumbering tank, King Kong when he enters Tokyo, straight up RUNS through it. It's a nice little break from the mold that I really liked. I also loved how at one particular point, he just straight up punched one of the buildings down. He picks up trains like Godzilla, he scales the small model town buildings, it's all fun to watch, even if the homage to the original climax again, does fall a bit flat. I know I've said it already, but you can definitely tell that Toho was looking to get the character of Kong dead on. And the fights with Godzilla? They're fun, entertaining, and cheesy hilarious. Yeah due to the effects, I'm getting similar feelings that I'd get watching Arena from Star Trek, but I can look past that. You can tell that these fights are meant to be slightly comedic, while maintaining their intense fighting atmosphere. It's a wonderful treat to behold.

And one thing I'm gonna shower this film with praise on is Akira Ifukube's music score. This is the film that would help define some of the most iconic music in the Godzilla films for years to come. While we don't hear the iconic theme from 1954 here, you do hear a very iconic piece that would soon become part of that iconic theme. I think every fan kinda knows that piece I'm talking about. And if that's not enough, Kong's theme is absolutely haunting. From the time you press play on the movie, you're treated to this absolutely incredible theme, which though simple, shows the intimidation, the mystery, the all around atmosphere of the King Kong character. The sounds of the choir chanting over those strings, tribal drums, timpani, while the winds and brass give powerful blasts in the background is one of the coolest pieces of music of the entire Godzilla franchise. Incredible job from Akira for putting this score together.

If you put everything together, King Kong VS Godzilla remains a bit of a fan favorite, and one of the biggest films of the Godzilla franchise for a reason. It's by no means the best, but for me personally, despite its flaws, it's certainly up there. Even the American version is rather enjoyable. Aside from dubbing difference, the American version did add their own particular touch to the film. They added scenes of people talking on the news comparing the two monsters, how Godzilla is brute force, and how Kong is more of a thinking animal, and how they used footage from a film called "The Mysterians", to help enhance the earthquake at the very end of the film. They also rechanged sequences, and unfortunetaly almost completely replaced the Ifukube score with music from films such as "Creature from the Black Lagoon", "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman", among many many many other films, but regardless of it, you can tell that they too were interested in presenting this film as best they could for their respective audiences. And it's fun to compare the two versions.

I'm giving King Kong VS Godzilla a solid rating of three stars out of four. While I wish I could have given it a higher rating, it is held back by the problems I've talked about. But for King Kong fans and Godzilla fans alike, you should already know that it's not any statement to say you shouldn't watch this, because the opposite couldn't be more true. This really is one of those pinnacle essential monster films to go and see. It likely helped boost King Kong's popularity higher than it already was, and for Godzilla? Well...do I need to say? The big guy's legacy has long since been sealed, and it likely owes a lot of that success to this movie alone. It remains the biggest box office hit of the franchise, and in all of Toho's 29 Godzilla films, it is the biggest hit it has to date. And with a remake finally heading our way in three short years?  You can bet that there's no one more anxious, more willing, more excited to see how they will make this already fun movie, into something even more fun. It is about damn time...

Please feel free to request any film you'd like to see me take a look at. Leave a comment explaining your own thoughts and opinions of the film, as they are all appreciated, and as always, thanks for reading.

King Kong's tenure in Japan didn't end with his victorious battle over Godzilla. Join me next week when Toho partners with American film company Rankin/Bass, in which Kong takes on a mechanical menace. See you next week when I analyze the film, "King Kong Escapes"! See you then!

Final Verdict: 3/4

Friday, January 6, 2017

REVIEW: Sing

Sing is a predictable, but cute, and fun little production that gave me more charm than I originally expected to be completely honest. That's not to say it's one I'll flock to see again, but from what I thought it would be in the trailers, it was enjoyable enough. Again, even if it is a you know like the back of your hand. It's full of clich├ęs you've seen a thousand times, they lead to plot points you can see coming from miles away, that honestly feel like they're more tacked on than anything. But a likable cast, fun music, and charming jokes that even had me chuckling now and then help you look past a few of these things the duration of the film.

The film focuses on this guy (and I do mean guy, despite the fact that he's a koala bear but more on that later) named Moon, who owns a stage theater, and is facing rough times financially because he just can't seem to draw in the crowds, so he decides to put together a singing contest which he hopes will put him back in the business. However due to a typo, his grand prize draws in hundreds of singers hoping to get their hands on the advertised $100,000 dollars, and you can probably see where this will end up. Everything kinda revolves around this "Liar Revealed" plot that doesn't really have that big a payoff. In fact once it happens, it's almost kinda just glossed over.  It's not a terrible story by any means, but I do feel that they don't really do much with it. In fact, by the end, I'm not sure I'm supposed to care because no one seems to learn anything.

What I mean by that is this film has a whole lot of characters. In fact as they introduce them all in the opening sequence, I couldn't help but wonder if I was in trouble with the sheer amount of characters, all facing common life problems, there were. You got a housewife pig who isn't fully appreciated at home, this street mouse that's a self centered egotistical jerk, this gorilla egos the son of a criminal mastermind who doesn't wanna be in his gang, this shut elephant who lives singing but isn't confident in herself, this porcupine ego isn't fully appreciated by her boyfriend, look it's all been done before, and they do nothing new with it. There is no twist, there is nothing you can't predict, it's all practically given away in the trailers for God's sake. By the time the big payoff happens, and each character's story comes to a close, I couldn't help but feel that there was nothing accomplished. The pig is suddenly appreciated because she sings and dances really good, the mouse is still a self centered, arrogant jackass...and he actually kinda comes out on top (nice message to teach the kids, be a huge jerk, be rude, be dishonest, and you'll still come out on top!), there really isn't a whole lot of closure in this film. The only sense of closure I felt was really there was Meena, as her story actually had a sense of buildup. But as she isn't exactly the focus of the movie, I found it rather underwhelming. Everyone else is just kinda there, and things just happen, because movie. Why does the pig's husband suddenly appreciate his wife more? Does the porcupine's boyfriend realize after seeing his girlfriend's talent how arrogant he'd been with her? Why did the gorilla's father have a sudden change of heart after simply seeing his son performing on a television from prison? These are just a few of the questions left unanswered.

I guess one thing I actually found I really enjoyed was the music of the film. The cast does a very nice job of singing some of the bigger hits of recent years, or even some of the classics from back in the day.  Even if a lot of the music is stuff I don't normally care for. They do a good job singing things from Katy Perry to Frank Sinatra of all things. I also really enjoyed an original song from the film sung by the porcupine character, "Set it All Free", which she writes to help cope with the breakup with her boyfriend. And I will say that the way they animate her as she sings it in the movie is really good. There's a certain emotion to her face that is really convincing.

And I also like the films climax to an extent. In a way it actually reminded me of the ending of a movie I like, entitled "Be Kind, Rewind". The way it's setup, the way it's executed, it gives off a feeling similar to that movie. It doesn't end exactly like that movie by any means, but for what it was, I liked the similarity. Even if the payoff isn't as strong, and is seen from a mile away. Makes me almost wish that it did end similar to that movie.

But one thing I feel the need to say is that I just don't see the reason for this movie's existence. What I mean here is that when I first saw the trailer for it, and the trailers really didn't do a good job of advertising this I might add, I couldn't help but just see a movie that was trying to cash in on a craze started by "Zootopia". I loved Zootopia. It was my favorite film of 2016. But one of the reasons I loved it so much was because in this world of anthropomorphic animals that they created, they made the world feel alive. They had fun creating their characters, making them so similar in behavior and traits to their actual animal counterparts here in reality, that it raised my bar for what I expect in these movies that feature anthropomorphic animals. Sing just didn't do that for me. It didn't even come close to those expectations. They didn't have much of a reason to be anthropomorphic. The only time I can remember in which they actually kinda acknowledge they're  animals, is in a few...bad puns. Like when Mike is singing "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, he replaces the word "man" with "mouse". The only real smart thing they did with any of these characters is that when the porcupine for excited or emotional, she could accidentally start shooting her quills out in random directions. That's it. They don't have fun with this concept. Unlike Zootopia, you could have easily taken all these characters out, and replaced them with humans, and you'd have the same story practically.

I'm giving Sing a two and a half star rating out of four. While it's not exactly terrible, and while I did have fun, some of my suspicions on this film were clarified upon watching it. I'm happy it gave me the fun it did, I'm happy I laughed when I laughed, even if a lot of the humor fell flat for me, and I'm happy I saw it. To be honest, it's probably more a film for the youngsters than it is for me, and I'm sure they will have plenty to enjoy in this film. But aside from some nice music numbers, and colorful animation, I would not exactly say this is one for the adults to look in too much on.

Please feel free to suggest any movie or film you'd like me to have a look at. Leave a comment down below expressing your own thoughts and opinions on the film, as they are most appreciated, and as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 2.5/4

Thursday, January 5, 2017

THROWBACK REVIEW: Son of Kong (1933)

With the release of King Kong in 1933, people went bananas over the films popularity. Critics were raving, people couldn't get enough of it, and the box office easily turned up a profit. And with such a reputation, the film of course just had to get a sequel worked in there, right? Because if there was any movie that demanded a sequel, it was King Kong. (Sigh) You may already get the feeling that I'm not exactly the biggest fan of this film, mainly because it's a sequel to a film I straight up called the absolute best giant monster movie of all time. It had a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. Hell, that ending is probably one of the most iconic endings in film history! Why bother with a sequel?

I don't know why they did, but they did, and even they knew it would likely be a bad idea. The Script writer even admitted she didn't bother trying to make it as good as the first, based on the logic that they couldn't outdo the first film. Instead, writer Ruth Rose went for a more light-hearted film with a comedic approach. That's right everyone, King Kong's sequel is a comedy. Do you guys understand why I pretty much said the franchise behind King Kong sucks? It's stuff like this that makes me shower the King Kong movie with praise, and makes me bring the hammer down on the franchise as much as I do. Look, I'll admit that I don't exactly have a good idea on how to do a sequel to King Kong. Kong isn't a monster like Godzilla that just keeps coming back, Kong had a great movie, a phenomenal one at that, and in that movie, he dies at the end. If I was asked to come up with an idea for a sequel, I'd have a very hard time coming up with one to do that movie justice. So you know what I'd do?

I wouldn't do it. 

I WOULDN'T DO IT!!!

But they did it and so...here we are. What's the result? Well it's not really good, but it certainly could have been worse. A lot worse (we'll get there). But I will say there are some okay moments in this film. It's just that a good majority of this film is either dull, or completely underwhelming. One thing I need to point out is that unlike King Kong, Son of Kong is considerably shorter. Where King Kong was around 104 minutes long, Son of Kong is considerably shorter, at just over an hour in length. And the worst part is, we don't get to Skull Island until about halfway into the film. Fantastic. A film about the supposed son of Kong, and we don't get to Skull Island, the place where he lives, until we're pretty much halfway through the movie. Good move there, movie. Good move.

I'm being overly critical here, but despite everything, there is some stuff that I liked. One thing I can immediately point to is the opening scene of this movie, which takes place about a month after Kong's demise atop the Empire State Building, where we see Carl Denham, the movie director from the previous movie, and the captor of Kong, now broke, depressed, and very downhearted. New York City business owners are bringing him countless lawsuits for property damages brought on by Kong's rampage, the press is hounding him, and he's in this state of mind where he actually feels sorry not only for the loss of life Kong brought upon New York, but also sorry for the monster itself. It's almost like perhaps there really was a bit of a message in the previous film of how we treat nature so blindly. It's arguably the strongest scene in the movie. Too bad it happens right at the very beginning.

Carl is called upon by his skipper friend, also from the first movie, and they decide to leave New York to try and finds some shipping business and who should they come across, but the very sailor who sold Denham the map of Skull Island in the first place. He tells them of a treasure hidden in the island that may very much solve all the problems that Denham is facing, and it's off to Skull Island once more to try and find this mysterious treasure. But while there, they also bump into an ape-like creature, very much resembling Kong, only smaller and albino, who takes a bit of a liking to the human explorers. And from there it's nothing but an underwhelming treasure hunt that reminds me of "The Lost Continent", only fewer dinosaurs, and no rock climbing.

Immediately Skull Island feels lacking. The Natives are barely in this movie. In fact they only get two very brief scenes, one in which they turn Denham away, and the other where we see a small group of them getting killed as the island sinks into the sea (yeah that happens). Everything from the original movie that made Skull Island feel like this vast mysterious no man's land, is gone. There are VERY few dinosaurs here. And even though there are some, they're just not as impressive or used as much. People note that the stop-motion animation of this film isn't as extensive as that in Kong, probably because this film was as rushed as it was, and it shows. The only thing they seem to note is a very brief, and I do mean INCREDIBLY brief chase involving a Styracosaurus. It's the only real event in the movie that made me feel like there was any real threat in this island. Heck, the longest fight in this movie, is between Kong's son...and a cave bear. A CAVE BEAR. Oh we're gonna set this movie on an island where prehistoric monsters have survived all these millions of years, but let's pit Kong's offspring against a bear! That'll wow audiences!

I guess one thing worth noting is that Willis O'Brien wasn't as directly involved with this film as he was King Kong. He supposedly thought that the film was too cheesy, and though he left his models for the film, he left his two sons to do the actual animating. Unfortunetaly this was a rather depressing time period of his life, and a rather dark one, and it might have affected the films quality, because the special effects just aren't as used much here. Heck, the films climax, in which this huge earthquake tears the island apart making it sink into the ocean is rather underwhelming, and just not that fun to watch. You know...like  "The Lost Continent". And I need to say that the supposed comedic effect that was supposed to be in this movie is very flat. Not once did I really laugh watching it. Because most of the comedy revolves around Kong's son, giving off these derpy looks, grunts, or other goofy emotions. The musical score actually plays off it as if to say, "okay, laugh now!" There's one part in the movie where out of nowhere,  Kong's son just gives this very silly shrug as if to say some cheesy one liner line "Well, it's a living!" or "What'cha gonna do?" It's just all very flat, with no real purpose.

My final criticism of this movie unfortunetaly goes to the characters. While a few return from the first movie (Denham, the skipper, and the Chinese cook who's still a stereotype), the newer characters in Helmstrom, and the girl that I can't remember the name for (because they only reveal her name in the opening credits and not once do they say it in the actual movie), are flat to me. Heck, the girl's acting in this is absolutely terrible. Half the time, she looks half asleep, and rarely conveys any hints of emotion. Like when she confronts Helmstrom, who killed her father, she just speaks in this dull monotone that isn't convincing in the slightest bit. It's actually very funny how little she seems to care. I like how developed Denham's character is in this movie (to the point where I can understand why his actor preferred this movie to King Kong), he's arguably the films greatest strength, but it's literally all it has, and as a followup to the greatest monster movie of all time? You can bet that your movie will be beyond disappointing.

I'm giving Son of Kong a two star rating out of four. I almost gave it a one and a half star rating, but I think it barely earns the two star rating. Barely. That's not saying much. This sequel is harmless...but it's below average. It really is. It's dull, wooden, flat, and just not as exciting as its predecessor. Not by a long shot. If you were a fan of Kong, and your curiosity got the better of you, and you wanted to watch this, there's nothing so condemning in this picture that would make me say, "Don't do it, it's not worth it!", but there's nothing that would make me really say, "yeah, go watch it" either. It's just a bland forgettable sequel that was doomed from the very start. Nothing more, nothing less.

Please feel free to suggest films you'd like to see me take a look at. Leave a comment down below expressing your own thoughts and opinions on the film, as they are much appreciated, and as always, thanks for reading.

Next week, we take a look at Japan's very first attempt at filming King Kong, in one of the most famous monster movies ever created. Does it have any meat? See you next week when I review the infamous,  "King Kong VS Godzilla".

Final Verdict: 2/4

Sunday, January 1, 2017

CLASSIC REVIEW: King Kong (1933)

Happy 2017 everyone. If you don't already know (and if you don't, where have you been?), I'm a huge fan of giant monsters, and in a few short months, one of the most iconic monsters that has ever graced the screen with his presence, will make his return to the big screen. I'm of course talking about Kong. And though part of me is nervous, I cannot deny my excitement at seeing him once more on the big screen. And so to help with the excitement, until this new film is released, I'm going to be reviewing something Kong related each and every week. From beginning to end. And we of course start from the very beginning with an absolutely legendary film. The film by Merian C. Cooper, and Ernest B. Schoedsack, King Kong.

This is a very rare type of review I will do, because there are a few movies out there with such a legacy, such acclaim, that I really shouldn't need to review them. But now and then, I may just wanna add my two cents. But because these films have well earned their legacy and their iconic status, I won't dare rate them. Frankly, I shouldn't need to. I think my words should be enough. Besides...if you call yourself a giant monster movie fan, and you've not seen this 1933 masterpiece, I have only three words for you; "Shame on you."

Before I go on with my review, I may as well talk a bit about my history with Kong. Believe it or not, he was the first giant monster I ever saw on the screen, aside from Sharp Tooth of The Land Before Time or some other kid dinosaur movie. King Kong was the stepping stone for me in my love of giant monsters. Without Kong, I likely wouldn't have gotten into the Godzilla franchise. And I don't think I'd have it any other way.

So with all this said, what are my thoughts on the 1933 classic? Why bother asking?

Despite being over 80 years old, it's a film that has long surpassed the tests of time. The one thing I find myself saddened by nowadays is that the people I'm friends with don't always have a taste for the classics. Not everyone today can watch an 80 year old black and white film, and enjoy themselves. In a world where filmmaking is dominated by large budgets, CGI, celebrity power, and all these other things we've found out how to show on the big screen, not many really care about the old ways anymore, and it's a damn shame. Simply watching clips on YouTube of this movie, I shake my head at the comments of countless people who bash this film for the logic of its time, or how people behave in the film. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see this legendary film mocked by people who really have no idea what they're mocking.

Me? Here's my stance. Despite the film's dated effects, dated and inaccurate science, blatant and at times laughable racial stereotypes, there is a magic in King Kong that still works.  This is truly one of those films that proves it doesn't need to be flashy to keep your attention. There is a wonderful sense of adventure, intimidation, mystery, and thrill in this movie that remains strong all these years later. I'm sure we all know the story by now, in which a large oversized ape-like monster takes a fascination with a beautiful woman, and how his fascination with her eventually leads to his downfall. It's a classic telling of a beauty and the beast type of storytelling that had critics raving back in the day. Watching this in 2017, I cannot help but chuckle at some of the films dialogue. Despite being some of the cheesiest flub you'll ever hear in a movie (by today's standards), there is a hidden charm within almost every line. Whether it's Denham exclaiming how soon they'll proudly show Kong off on Broadway, or Driscoll brooding over how women make him uncomfortable and just get in his way. A favorite line of mine actually comes from the very beginning of the movie when Carl Denham straight up says "I'll find a woman for my picture, even if I have to marry one!" It's the golden age charm of this dialogue that makes you look past any cheese it has.

If you can't already tell, I love the characters of this movie. A few of them made my list of the best giant monster movie human characters a while back. The movie director Carl Denham, the first mate Jack Driscoll, and of course, the beautiful scream queen, Ann Darrow (and that's not much of a joke either, her screams in this picture do get very distracting). All are portrayed wonderfully by their respective actors and actresses, even if by today's standards, this acting is rather wooden by comparison. I will say that I don't often see a lot of development between Driscoll and Darrow to make me honestly believe they'd become a couple in this movie, but the banter between them both is still very enjoyable. Now one thing I should probably address is the racial stereotypes in this film. They're present and easily spotted. Like the Chinese cook, who literally talks like a stereotype ("Me no like crazy brown people."). And of course you have a few white actors playing black-faced natives on Skull Island. It's all behavior that's practically condemned by society by this point. Honestly I just remember when this was made. It wasn't right then, it isn't right now, but why raise hell over it? I'm not gonna censor it, it doesn't need to be fixed, it's just a reminder of the times, and honestly...it never really bothered me. And I'll admit...I get a chuckle watching the chef trying to volunteer to help find Darrow while wielding a butcher knife. Like I find it hilarious that we'd think someone would behave like that. Rifles being distributed, and this guy volunteers with a butcher knife. Should I feel bad about that? I don't know. I'm just gonna move on.

Watching this movie again, I couldn't help but really take note at how great the music score was. Seriously, it's been in my head all night. Max Steiner, one of Hollywood's key iconic composers back in the day, was originally told to recycle music he'd done in past films. Cooper wouldn't have any of that, and paid him $50,000 dollars of his own money to compose something new, and the result is absolutely incredible. Really amongst the best scores out there, and for its time, absolutely groundbreaking. I particularly love the piece that plays when Ann is being prepared by the Natives to sacrifice her to Kong. The score does a great job setting the mood, and having fun with whatever is going on onscreen.

But easily the best thing about this movie is its special effects. I shouldn't need to explain why. One look at this stop-motion animation, and you can tell you're watching something absolutely incredible. The mastermind behind it all, Willis O'Brien, really did up his game for this picture. He'd already impressed with his stop-motion animation before in the 1925 silent film, "The Lost World", but compared to this, it really was nothing more than a warm up project. While he'd go on with other projects where his animation would only improve (such as "The Black Scorpion" which is a mediocre movie with amazing animation), this really is his crowning achievement. From the monster, to the dinosaur models, to the occasional human models which can get attacked, picked up, watching them try and flee or pound against their attacker,  everything feels alive, and to have a film convey that kind of feeling over 80 years later, is nothing short of phenomenal.

The main setting of this movie, Skull Island remains one of my absolute favorite film places I've ever seen, and one of the places I'd never ever ever wanna set foot on. The film really does show how menacing a place it is. Skull Island I'm sad to say isn't shown in its entirety in this movie, as there was a lot of very famous footage, cut from this film. I'm sure many of you have heard about the infamous Spider Pit scene. For those who may need a visual reference, it makes an appearance in the Peter Jackson remake (but we'll get there when we get there), well this sequence was supposed to be in the movie, but was cut in the end. Even without it, Skull Island does give off the idea that this really is no man's land. An island where literally everything is out to get you. Even the plant eaters of this film. There's an awesome scene in which a Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus for those who prefer the modern term) actually mauls a sailor, and it's wicked awesome. You can tell there is some very dated science in this movie from the dinosaur behavior, but it's still such a treat to watch.

I've really gone on in this review haven't I?Regardless of a few nitpicks, King Kong is as strong today as it was back in 1933. The legacy of this film is unmatched by any giant monster movie today. To see this film influence such a genre in the way it has is nothing short of incredible. And this is why I say, that despite having believed otherwise before, I'm fully convinced that this legendary film is without a doubt, the absolute best giant monster movie of all time. Surpassing some of my absolute favorite films, such as "Them!" or even the ever so iconic "Gojira". While Godzilla does remain my favorite movie monster out there, I'd be lying to say that his debut film surpasses King Kong. It's just not true.

Why? Why do I say this, when Godzilla has potentially further influenced the Kaiju genre as we know it? Why do I say this, when it's initial message criticizing the use of nuclear weapons has been so hard hitting to this day? Well I'll tell you why.

My father pointed something out to me about this movie that I never really noticed before. Something he told me actually saddens him to the point of never really wanting to see this movie again. This film portrays mankind's uncaring attitude toward how it can treat nature. Seeing Kong in chains as "a show to gratify your curiosity", or seeing him gunned down at the very end, is actually pretty damn haunting today. And...God I hate to bring it up, but in many ways, it's a behavior that's still there. Remember Harambe? No jokes from me, I think the Internet outrage over it went a little too far, but I think my point is made just saying his name (and it'll be the only time I'll say this name). Aside from that, you know there's continued issues from poaching to deforestation, and this film does kinda serve as a grim reminder that it's still very much an issue. Was it this film's intent to portray such a message? Probably not. This was made when such concerns weren't even thought about most likely.  But the message can most definitely be seen, and should be respected. It is a message that is still very much a relevant thing. I'm not downplaying that the messages of Godzilla aren't important, but the threats of WWIII aren't really on the horizon anymore as they were 60 years ago. So as much as I support that message, it just doesn't have much of an impact if you ask me nowadays. The fact that this message can come from a movie that didn't even aim to portray that kind of message really does showcase the kind of film we're talking about.

But if that's not enough, all you need to do is look at this film compared to that of Godzilla and see the influence for yourself. When the producers of Godzilla first saw this film, they wanted to do what Willis did. Shoot Godzilla in stop-motion animation. And there are times in that film that it does come into play. But they didn't have the time for such a time consuming process. I also feel that the story is just overall more classic in Kong. It's just hard to beat, especially when it comes to the films climax. You cannot compare Godzilla's climax to that of Kong, it doesn't even come close. While I understand it's meant to be a more somber climax, it's very underwhelming to me. They very much just kinda...kill Godzilla. And that's it. Yeah there's more to it, but compare Godzilla's underwater death scene to King Kong climbing the then very new Empire State Building, holding Ann in his hands, before making his final stand at the very top, fighting off biplane fighters, and of course, we get that one very classic line of dialogue from Carl Denham; "T'was beauty that killed the beast." It's exciting, tense, and even again...a bit heartbreaking. And coming from a film that was meant mainly to be a fun horror film, there is really just no equal. I can no longer deny this film its proper title of the absolute best of the best when it comes to giant monster movies.

And so once more...to all those giant monster movie fans out there who have yet to see this film, and I know there are indeed a few of you, this is a must see. Even if you don't take away the things I take away from it, even if you disagree with my claim of it being the absolute best, you cannot deny that this is something you need to see at least once. An essential for your collection, and just an all around classic. This is ranked number 41 on the AFI's list of the greatest films ever made for God's sake. What more do I need to say? Go watch it. Go watch it now.

Thanks for joining me on the first entry of my Kong-a-thon. Now don't worry, there are a few films I'll probably go see while doing this, so I don't over-Kong you, but I think this will be...somewhat fun. And I do put emphasis on the somewhat, because there's plenty of crap in this franchise that I'm not looking forward to watching, but...hey. Kong's returning to the big screen. See you next week when I review the...unneeded sequel to this film,  "Son of Kong", and as always, thanks for reading.