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Kong: Skull Island POST RELEASE THREAD

post #1 of 358
Thread Starter 

A series of unconnected, random thoughts.

 

In summary: this is one strange movie. Kong, John C. Reilly, the various creatures, a bunch of the deaths, the action, and the cinematography (good GOD the cinematography) are all great. Kong's battle with the helicopters is particularly awesome, though all of the action scenes are quite fun. It also has two too many main characters and as a result pretty much underserves all of them except Reilly, and two of the deaths are out of order.  MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
You could literally delete Tom Hiddleston and change almost nothing about the plot. Hell, give his guide duties to Larson (have her be a photojournalist who bravely rescued some downed soldiers from the jungle), and you beef up her character in a way it needs while deleting the excess (though her connection with Kong is nicely underplayed and distinctive from his relationship with the various Ann/Dwans, and there's no forced romance with Hiddleston). I'd also probably cut Jiang Tien - her character's pretty much just there for the ride.

Marc Evan Jackson and John Goodman's deaths should've been switched in order. Goodman gets the Cranston award for dying way too soon (though the way his camera flash is used is one of the film's best, sickest monster moments), without really feeling like his character story's done. Jackson - as much as I love him from TAH - is pretty much just along for the ride until he gets stomped by Kong.

John Ortiz's death feels like Vogt-Roberts saw the pterodactyl death in Jurassic World and thought "Yeah, I can top that". One moment actually made the audience gasp. You'll know it when you see it. Vogt-Roberts shows some great monster movie sadism with how Ortiz, Toby Kebbell (or, at least, the aftermath of Kebbell's death), Goodman, Shea Whigham, and the poor bastard who gets speared by the giant spider leg exit the film.

And finally, I was so goddamn happy that Reilly's character survived. That fucker earned sitting on the couch, drinking a beer and watching a Cubs game.

In short, if you want to watch some damn fun, big-screen monster action, this is your huckleberry.

post #2 of 358

The post credits thing. Does it come in mid end credits? Or do i have to wait till the very end?

post #3 of 358
Thread Starter 

All the way at the end.

post #4 of 358
The post-credits thing didn't get much response at my screening; I think people were confused by what the scrawled silhouettes were meant to represent.

Except that one guy clapping furiously as each one was revealed. That guy was who this was made for.
post #5 of 358
Did you like it, Erik?
post #6 of 358
Just came back from this. It's pretty damn good, and the complete polar opposite of Godzilla, in that the action and spectacle are predominant over character development, and the film suffers from it.
Now, don't get me wrong, the movie is pure monster adventure fun, but the large cast and world suffers from lack of exposition, unlike Godzilla, where overexposition hurt the action.
Editing is a bit iffy, and you can tell there is a longer cut of this movie somewhere.
Reilly and Jackson are the films MVPs, the creature design and fights are stellar, and the action is tight and dynamic.
Really loved it, and the stinger at the end of the credits was a great tease...but regarding it
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Is it me, or the cave paintings made it clear King Ghidorah looked more alien than Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan?
post #7 of 358

dullzilla?  character development?

 

 

BEST LAUGH

 

post #8 of 358
I bet nooj can't wait to be underwhelmed by this new Kong movie so he can start calling it "Dull Island".
post #9 of 358

Please keep terrible Godzilla 14 from this thread. Fuck if anything it had character undevelopment. You go from thinking Cranston is a character in the trailers to having him just run around screaming "it's in revelations people!!" and then fall in a hole or some shit.

post #10 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoken View Post

Reilly and Jackson are the films MVPs

Don't forget Brie Larson's shirt!
post #11 of 358
Thread Starter 

Jackson gets in some real good INTENSE SLJ GLARE ACTION going in this film, especially his last scene.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
And I did have to laugh at how sadistically anticlimactic his death is. No, you don't get to go up in a blaze of glory, Kong's just gonna squish you under his fist and immediately move on into his real fight.
post #12 of 358

The moment I knew for sure this film was in good hands was when

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Kong fights a completely inappropriately placed giant octopus just like in the original King Kong vs. Godzilla.

There were tons of little nods like that to the Toho films and to Jurassic Park that were respectful and affectionate, even as this film was pretty much blowing them out of the water.

 

It's not exactly a difficult feat considering the competition, but this is undoubtedly the best Kong film after the original.

post #13 of 358
Is it better than "King Kong Escapes?!"
post #14 of 358
Thinking of taking my kids to this.

OK for a 7 and 11 year old?

Edit: the 11 year old has watched 'zilla, Dredd and Terminator so she'll be right.
post #15 of 358

Loved it!  I dug the Cubs references.

post #16 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluelouboyle View Post

Did you like it, Erik?
Mostly.

http://www.daggerpress.com/2017/03/09/dagger-movie-night-kong-skull-island-bananas-in-the-best-possible-way/
post #17 of 358
I just thought of something.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
After Kong's parents are murdered, he becomes the protector of the innocent on Skull Island. So he's basically the Monsterverse's Batman.
post #18 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Pufncraft View Post

I just thought of something. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
After Kong's parents are murdered, he becomes the protector of the innocent on Skull Island. So he's basically the Monsterverse's Batman.

 

I swear...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If Godzilla tells him to save Martha, I'm checking out of movies forever.
post #19 of 358
I thought this was pretty good. The middle third is a little creaky, but once they get to the mass grave, it picks up again.
post #20 of 358

Saw it on March 1st.

 

(no need for spoiler tags right, this is post thread)

 

I agree that there were too many main characters. I find that the inter-humans conflicts were unnecessary, why couldn't it just be a survival movie like Predator, or Alien? Yeah, gonna sacrifice 3 people to save 1.

 

Samuel L. Jackson is distracting, they should stop casting him. I agree, they should have combined Flintstone man and Jackson into one, combined Loki and Ms Marvel into one. Marvel was a complete waste of talent, combining them would have gave her more to do.

 

I might be the only one here to didn't like Reilly's character. He felt out of place, it completely changed the serious tone into some cheap comedy tone. And he lived there for 30 years yet act like a normal person. Tom Hank was more messed up on his island. The native people should have been cut out, didn't add anything to the table.

 

The Kong vs Helicopter was great, cinematography as well as Vietnam's landscape (Kong Island) were also great.

post #21 of 358
It is kind of hobbled by having the best setpiece at the end of Act I. After that, it just downshifts into a long hike with occasional monster oddness.
post #22 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

 

I swear...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If Godzilla tells him to save Martha, I'm checking out of movies forever.

"Save Mothra!"

post #23 of 358
I like how right before the post-credits scene, the credits spoil the post-credits scene by listing the characters and their copyrights.
post #24 of 358
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

I like how right before the post-credits scene, the credits spoil the post-credits scene by listing the characters and their copyrights.


Yeah. I'm a little surprised they didn't do what Marvel did with GOTG/Howard the Duck and put the copyrights afterwards. Legal reasons, probably.

post #25 of 358
Movie credits can be mind-numbing to watch, but the names of those characters really stick out.
post #26 of 358
*Raises hand* I cried at the footage of Reilly coming home in the early end credits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Thinking of taking my kids to this.

OK for a 7 and 11 year old?

Edit: the 11 year old has watched 'zilla, Dredd and Terminator so she'll be right.

The fight scenes have the same "not guys in suits, but wild animals fighting each other" brutality to them as Godzilla '14. There are some genuine horror movie moments when the soldiers are being preyed upon by this or that piece of walking nightmare fuel.

There's a giant spider scene in particular, which I'm not even going to describe to certain family members of mine until I'm mad at them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoken View Post

Is it me, or the cave paintings made it clear King Ghidorah looked more alien than Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan?

The depiction of King Ghidorah reminded me of scenes of Aku in Samurai Jack. You know the ones, where Aku is like this liquid shadow.

I did get a kick out of how Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra were drawn in white paint on the cave walls, and King Ghidorah was done in black. The Showa Era Godzilla pictures were the ones I grew up on, and the depiction of Godzilla in this new continuity as Good Monster Who Fights Bad Monsters just rings incredibly true to my inner six year old/frosted wheat side.

_
Edited by Reasor - 3/10/17 at 2:40pm
post #27 of 358
Having given it some thought, I've decided that my main problem with the film is its protagonist. Tom Hiddleston's former SAS Captain What's-His-Name is such a non-entity, the movie just drags when any scene is about him. Think about it. If he and Larson were cut out of the movie, would it lose anything? NOPE!

Jackson, Goodman and Reilly are given interesting roles and material to work with, but they're all supporting a big block of wood that's our hero. It's not Hiddleston's fault. His character is just woefully underwritten.

I know, no one goes to these movies for the rich characters, but we do spend more time with the humans than the monsters. They should engage us on some level.
post #28 of 358
*kicks the anthill*

What makes you think Hiddleston is the protagonist? He's a big name actor now, but I read him as a supporting character at best. He's just the guy who knows more about land navigation then a bunch of helicopter crewmen and civilians who are highly specialized in other fields would.
post #29 of 358
It's spoilery to get into who can't be the protagonist because they either die before the end of act two (Goodman), or are the human antagonist (Jackson), but the movie positions Hiddleston as the hero by his introduction and makes him the proactive character that's driving the story forward by leading the others to the part of the island that they need to get to before they're left behind.

But yeah, the fact that he registers as a supporting character isn't good.

*rebuilds anthill*
post #30 of 358
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

Having given it some thought, I've decided that my main problem with the film is its protagonist. Tom Hiddleston's former SAS Captain What's-His-Name is such a non-entity, the movie just drags when any scene is about him. Think about it. If he and Larson were cut out of the movie, would it lose anything? NOPE!

Jackson, Goodman and Reilly are given interesting roles and material to work with, but they're all supporting a big block of wood that's our hero. It's not Hiddleston's fault. His character is just woefully underwritten.

I know, no one goes to these movies for the rich characters, but we do spend more time with the humans than the monsters. They should engage us on some level.

Yup, like I said - combine Hiddleston and Larson into one character and you get a much better movie. Larson, at least, provides a human connecting (if briefly) to Kong, which are at least some nice visuals. Plus, there's the absolute gonzo moment when Kong rips out, like, the entire internal organ system of the Skullcrawler with the same hand that he's using to hold Larson. If she's the tracker/lead, you could probably have more time to get into her anti-war views in comparison to Jackson and Goodman, but all that's by the wayside because the film has no time for it.

 

Hiddleston just gets the gas mask moment and that's it. It's implied they're hiring him to try to track Kong, but Kong just shows up anyway so that's irrelevant.

post #31 of 358
It's weird that they even need Hiddleston. Aren't American soldiers rorating home from 'Nam kind of skilled in hostile jungle environments?

I avoided the draft by not being born yet, so I'm asking for a friend.
post #32 of 358
I'm not a 'Nam veteran, but I'm an Army guy, so I can maybe answer that. Different units are different tools for different jobs, and these guys are from a Cavalry unit. They probably have some basic training on ground movement for the event that they get shot down, but the primary mission they train for is fighting from their helicopters.

British SAS falls much more on the side of unconventional, small team, light commando infantry tactics. They were the inspiration for the U.S. Army's Delta Force.
post #33 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munson View Post
 

Please keep terrible Godzilla 14 from this thread. Fuck if anything it had character undevelopment. You go from thinking Cranston is a character in the trailers to having him just run around screaming "it's in revelations people!!" and then fall in a hole or some shit.

The character development in Godzilla looks like Shakespear compared to this turd. A tonal mess. Kong is rather tame and would get his ass slaughtered by Godzilla. The action is okay but it goes from cartoon to serious within seconds. Sam Jackson need to get back to acting instead of accepting any paycheck that comes his way. If Michael Caine can do it, so can you. The designs were cool. That's about the only positive I can really give the film. It garnered a few chuckles from my audience. This movie feels like studios have finally figured out the correct nerd/average moviegoer ratio. Like most studio moves, it feels years late. 

post #34 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

I like how right before the post-credits scene, the credits spoil the post-credits scene by listing the characters and their copyrights.

Just shows how stupid the filmmakers were. All they had to do was a midcredits stinger. 

post #35 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

I'm not a 'Nam veteran, but I'm an Army guy, so I can maybe answer that. Different units are different tools for different jobs, and these guys are from a Cavalry unit. They probably have some basic training on ground movement for the event that they get shot down, but the primary mission they train for is fighting from their helicopters.

British SAS falls much more on the side of unconventional, small team, light commando infantry tactics. They were the inspiration for the U.S. Army's Delta Force.

Ah. See, I grew up playing with G.I. Joes, who all had unique speciaties, but could also do everything that everyone else could do.
post #36 of 358
So did I. I wished I had kept all those dossier cards on the backs of the packages, once I was old enough to know what the ranks and MOS's meant.
post #37 of 358
I had a box with the dossier cards organized alphabetically as a kid!
My favorite joes were Beach Head, Low Light and Tunnel Right.
post #38 of 358
Was a fun movie. Def kinda peaked with the helicopter sequence.... but damn what a set piece.

I liked Hiddelson, I woulda kept him and just killed the soldiers in the helicopter scene. Goodman did enough, he was basically a plot point to get them on the island so mission accomplished.
post #39 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

The moment I knew for sure this film was in good hands was when

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Kong fights a completely inappropriately placed giant octopus just like in the original King Kong vs. Godzilla.

There were tons of little nods like that to the Toho films and to Jurassic Park that were respectful and affectionate, even as this film was pretty much blowing them out of the water.

 

It's not exactly a difficult feat considering the competition, but this is undoubtedly the best Kong film after the original.

 

I still gotta give that to King Kong Escapes.  But otherwise, I agree 100%.  We get so few big-budget monster movies, it's nice to have one that isn't ashamed of being one.  Felt like it was taking cues from Sam Rami in the goof/serious mood swings, and downright mean kills.

 

Gotta agree there were a few too many characters, and combining a few would have helped.  Reilly can grate on me sometimes, and I liked him plenty here.  Even got in a Dr. Steve Bruel reference!

 

Don't remember a single character name, but it's still leagues better than Godzilla 14 in the character department.  I'd go again for the Kong vs. choppers sequence.

post #40 of 358
This had 90s Jurassic Park rip off vibe that I enjoyed very much. I had no problem with the large cast, as it meant a higher body count. The pleasure the film took in simply being a giant monsters eat people movie was palpable.

I would say it was proficient more than great, which still puts it ahead of pretty much every JP sequel. We're solidly in high end Stephen Sommers territory here. I would say the first half, when it took its time with the Vietnam/Heart of Darkness stuff, was the better half, simply because I didn't much like the Skullcrawler design. Made the final CG fest a bit of a snooze.

John C Reilly maybe saves the whole thing. He effortlessly manages to get that character across as both comic relief and the film's surprise human heart. In fact, I kind of wonder if his role didn't end up getting expanded late in the game. That opening and credit sequence felt like maybe they realized he was the character everyone was going to actually give a shit about, and acted accordingly. Because man, those were some underwritten leads! Who could possibly care about Hiddleston or Larson in this? They bring their movie star charisma, and that's pretty much all they get. It's remarkable they come off as well as the do, given how little the movie cares about them.

Goodman I would have liked to see better utilized as well. Give him an arc, at least! And I can't decide whether I liked Samuel L Jackson or not. On the one hand, he clearly isn't giving this anything like his best efforts, but then, it kind of makes the film feel more like those 90s monster movies again. He pulls off the silly Kurtz stuff pretty much just by being Samuel L Jackson. I like him generally, so I guess I like him here.

It did put me in mind of the Jackson film, of course. That one certainly had lower lows, but I think it had higher highs too. I missed Andy Serkis in this Kong, who felt much more like an effect than Jackson's did, and for all the monster death on display here, nothing comes close to human Serkis getting his brain sucked out by slugs. I think that movie's obvious mistakes make it easier to dismiss, but it really nailed a few things.
post #41 of 358
Thread Starter 

And certainly, in terms of the human performances, no one's on the level of Naomi Watts in the Jackson Kong here.

 

And Serkis getting eaten by the slugs is hard to top in general. Ortiz getting his arm ripped off in silhouette is pretty gross, as is Kebbell's skull getting vomited up (with blood and - I think - tendons still on it!) and everything to do with the giant spider, but you really have to bring your A-game when trying to beat Jackson when it comes to monster grossness. That dude is an artist when it comes to that stuff.

post #42 of 358

Enjoyed this a lot. Especially the Kong vs Giant Skull Crawler finale.

 

So Kong eats sushi. Think he might have wanted some sauce with it though.

post #43 of 358
I can't be the only one here that loved the utter contempt the movie had for cliches, right?

I mean, main characters get killed pretty unceremoniously, the veteran guy makes it, there is no romance whatsoever, female character isn't a damsel in distress, big sacrifice moment is jossed and so on.
There is plenty of "fuck that" moment when it comes to genre rules and cliches here, and I loved that.
post #44 of 358
Had a lot of fun with this, big monster action with humans running around underneath. So glad to see the immediate credit sequence. Agreed that Hiddleston's character was underserved but was a key character for getting everyone out. Enjoyed the post credits scene.
post #45 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

Is it better than "King Kong Escapes?!"

 

No, but that movie is fun, and not a schizophrenic mess.

 

I was entertained, but this really isn't any better schlock than say, The Great Wall. I will say though, that the sloppiness of the (clearly) combined scripts, kinda works in the film's favor, Because there are so many characters that feel like they should be the "star", there end up being some shocking, mean deaths. Toby Kebbell dying after being a voyeur to the Kong/Oodako battle caught me off guard. Whigham was probably the movie's MVP (pretty much the rest of the humor falls flat, the joke about the Skullcrawler's name is how you take the air out of a scene), and his death scene was FANTASTIC, the best thing in the movie. Ultimately, the movie worked best when it was aping Spielberg's THE LOST WORLD.

 

I also thought the action was pretty underwhelming too. Say what you will about Edward's Godzilla, but man, every monster scene in that movie is a perfectly crafted reveal. Here, our introduction to the skull-crawler (which has no presence) is a cut-away fight sequence as John C. Reilly dumps exposition about their history. 

 

Also, where are all the people who were whining about the Suicide Squad soundtrack? They pull two of the most obvious Creedence Clearwater Revival songs here.

post #46 of 358
Soundtrack needed more Donovan.
post #47 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoken View Post

I can't be the only one here that loved the utter contempt the movie had for cliches, right?

I mean, main characters get killed pretty unceremoniously, the veteran guy makes it, there is no romance whatsoever, female character isn't a damsel in distress, big sacrifice moment is jossed and so on.
There is plenty of "fuck that" moment when it comes to genre rules and cliches here, and I loved that.

The moment where Old Crotchety Veteran With Grenades gets swatted across the clearing with his grenades still in his hands was a terrific swerve.
post #48 of 358
Pretty sweet big-cast-gets-gradually-picked-off-by-horrible-creatures movie. I appreciated the relative lack of bullshit, though I think a version closer to 90 minutes would have been a fucking weapon.

I wish they had gone further with the psycho Samuel L. Jackson stuff. You're making a movie with giant lizards; restraint is a sin.
post #49 of 358
That was great. Both kids loved it.

Knew the youngest was on board when she said "thats ehat you GET for killing the deer" when Kong took out the helicopters.

She was also miming punches through the whole fonal fight.

Quality family fun.
post #50 of 358
Liked this. Good pulpy fun. That helicopter sequence is genuinely great. I'm also a fan of cheap allegory in my sci-fi adventure, and there was plenty of that.

Agree that neither Hiddleston and Larson serve much purpose except looking pretty. They probably could've been combined into one outsider POV character, but you have to give everybody in the audience a little somethin' somethin'.

I liked how they spent their one PG-13 F-bomb on Reilly's throwaway line, "It sounds like a bird, but it's a fuckin' ant" in a movie that has Sam Jackson in it.
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