Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Kong Skull Island showcases a new scary Kong and other imaginative monsters

Movie Title:   Kong: Skull Island

Grade:  B

Rating:   PG-13, 118 minutes

In a Nutshell:  This is an entertaining re-imagining of the King Kong story and takes place where John Goodman’s character describes as “The place where myth and science meet.”  

In its debut weekend, Kong: Skull Island took in about $61 million in domestic theaters.  Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution, said, “The world of mouth is really kicking in,” adding that the weekend earnings “far exceeded everyone’s expectations.” 

It's a fun popcorn movie if you're looking for lots of thick action with thin characters.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Respect nature.
  • “The world is bigger than this.” – Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) 
Things I liked:
  • The entertaining cast includes Samuel L. Jackson (who made the audience laugh every time he appeared on screen), John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and Tian Jing (whose movie The Great Wall is still playing in theaters.)
  • The special effects are pretty amazing.  There are some pretty impressive and beautiful shots.
  • Kong is the perfect blend of super scary and endearing.
  • Some of the monsters are very imaginative with impressive action sequences.
  • Here’s to indie directors who are given the opportunity to direct big name franchises.
  • Keep watching after the rolling credits for another scene.
  • There are a few interesting transitions.
  • 3D enhances the images, but isn’t necessary to be entertained.

Things I didn’t like:
  • When Kong started to break that other monster’s mouth, I thought for sure it was going to be an ode to the original King Kong, but I was disappointed when Kong couldn’t actually crack it open like in the original movie.
  • Most of the humans are pretty bland with very little character development.  The only interesting characters with a back story and internal motivation are Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly.
  • Quite a few scenes look like they’re filmed with a green screen.
  • Not all of the humor lands well.
  • Check out Tom Hiddleston.  In every single frame, he’s flexing his muscles and standing in a macho hero pose.

Funny lines:
  • “I call ‘em skull crawlers.” – Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly)
“I’ve never said that out loud before.  Now that I’ve said it, it sounds stupid.  You call ‘em whatever you want.” – Hank Marlow
  • “Hold on to your butts!” – Preston Packard (Haven’t we heard Samuel L. Jackson say this like a thousand times?)
  • “I should be sitting at a desk.” – Victor Nieves (John Ortiz)
  • “You’re a good group of guys.  We’re all gonna die.  You shouldn’t have come here.” – Hank Marlow
  • “Mark my words.  There will never be a more screwed up time in Washington.” – Bill Randa (talking about the Vietnam period.  Aw, he should see us now!”  ha ha
  • “I AM the calvalry!” – Preston Packard

Things that really take you back in time to the 1970’s:
  • Nixon bobblehead
  • Great soundtrack
  • Slide projector
  • Brie Larson’s hairdo and clothes
  • Snoopy
  • Green rotary telephones
  • Life magazine

Stupid lines:
  • “There’s something going on here, something no one is talking about.” – Mason Weaver (Brie Larson)
  • “It’s time to show Kong that man is king!” – Preston Packard

Interesting lines:
  • The camera is way more dangerous than a gun.” – Preston Packard
  • “The right photos can change opinions.” – Mason Weaver
  • “Men go to war in search of something, Mr. Conrad.  If you had found it, you’d be home by now.” – Bill Randa

Tips for parents: 
  • It’s extremely violent with a lot of gruesome deaths.  There is a lot of brutal hand-to-hand combat scenes among humans and animals.
  • 1 F-bomb and some other profanity.
  • Some of the monsters are pretty scary and vicious.

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