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 — ‘Crimson Peak’ is a Little Undercooked

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Fantasy has enjoyed an upswing in the last two decades. Twenty years ago the term conjured for the public imagination images of Disney films, kitschy studio oddities like Willow and Labyrinth, and low rent embarrassments like the Dungeons and Dragons movie. Today fantasy films are often pitched as major awards contenders. They litter the summer and fall release slots. “Nerd culture” has not just been accepted by pop culture. It has become pop culture.

Guillermo Del Toro, the writer and director of Crimson Peak, is as responsible for the present climate as anyone. His early films Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone weren’t blockbusters, but they inspired the current generation of filmmakers and gave newfound legitimacy to ghost stories. His first foray into blockbuster filmmaking, Blade 2, is a rare beloved comic book hero film before the 2000’s onslaught. His 2006 Oscar nominee Pan’s Labyrinth is probably the most critically acclaimed fantasy of this century and rightly so.

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