If you feel a need to condemn or forgive my boyish enthusiasm, by all means please go ahead and do so. But I can pretend no longer—I’m very excited to see this big gorilla movie that’s coming to town. And although I can’t take my daughters—too scary, you see—thanks to all the brouhaha over the new version, I have got them interested in seeing the 1933 original. They even watched with interest Kevin Brownlow’s documentary about Merian C. Cooper on TCM with me a few nights ago. Who knows? Maybe seeing Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s King Kong will change one of my daughters’ lives too.
And now comes Newsweek’s Devin Gordon, who has seen Peter Jackson’s new movie:
“Jackson's epic, $207 million remake of King Kong is a surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film… The original… was 100 minutes long, Jackson's version is a Kong-size three hours. ‘A few people have already asked me why we're taking twice as long to tell essentially the same story,’ says the director. ‘And I don't really know. We've been asking that ourselves. I'm going to have to come up with a better answer.’ The best answer—the only answer, really—is the movie itself… Jackson has honored his favorite film in the best possible way: by recapturing its heart-pounding, escapist glee.”
And how about this, from coscreenwriter Philippa Boyens:
"I know I shouldn't say this," she begins, "but when other directors see this movie, they're going to fucking give up."
(Thanks to David Hudson at GreenCine Daily for the heads-up. GreenCine Daily is an absolutely essential daily read for me, and if you have any interest in keeping up with the latest worthwhile writing on film available on the Web, it should be a daily stop for you too.)