Movie Review – ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Isn’t Monkeying Around

After the roaring success of Godzilla, the resurgence of the monster movie was officially in full swing, giving studios the green light to release several more remakes and reboots of classic monster films. And while we wait for them to unearth Steve McQueen’s The Blob (crosses fingers), we’ll have to settle for more popular franchises like King Kong.

Kong: Skull Island does everything it needs to be a crowd pleaser minus one pretty important piece. It’s heavy on the action and comedy, providing a fun escape to the theater, but the overflowing humor and lack of solid, likable three-dimensional characters weaken the stakes. It has great potential, but it doesn’t seem to care to go any further.

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Movie Review — ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ — The Rare Horror Franchise that Deserves to Go Viral

2008’s Cloverfield was a decent monster flick that suffered from one fatal flaw: it was a found footage film that did not need found footage. Writer Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) had proven they were more than capable of developing characters and building suspense the old fashioned way. The shaky camerawork and gimmicky “realism” just got in the way.

The argument, I suppose, went that massive disasters today are also viral media events. Horror should address the way we view catastrophes in the modern world: at a distance, from low res cellphone footage taken by onlookers. Fair enough. But the movie wasn’t committed to that perspective. We weren’t watching the monster from the camera phones of helpless bystanders on the ground. We were platform jumping across skyscrapers and going on missions like any hundred million dollar blockbuster. In the end, if the film aspired to ape the zeitgeist of genuine viral sensations, it achieved only their less flattering attributes: it lacked substance and faded quickly from memory.

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