King Kong (1976)

<strong class="MovieTitle">King Kong</strong> (1976)

(In French, On TV, December 2005) Some childhood memories should be left alone, and the seventies remake of King Kong is certainly one of them. Another look at it, post 2005-King Kong, only serves to make the Peter Jackson effort look good: The script is even more tedious than the 2005 version and the special effect really haven’t aged well at all. (Here’s a piece of trivia for you: It won the “Special Visual Effects” Oscar in early 1977. The next winner in that category, of course, would be Star Wars.) Fortunately, there are still a few good things about the film: Jessica Lange (in her screen debut) still looks hot thirty years later, Jeff Bridges is delightful in an early role as a shaggy photographer and the World Trade Center is prominently featured. The opening sequences have a charming feel to them as a petroleum expedition is efficiently dispatched to The Island. Things start to sour soon after, as the film grinds down to a halt to go through all of the expected plot points. King Kong himself is a disappointing man in a suit, even if said man is Special Effects legend Rick Baker. It adds up to a fine piece of seventies blockbuster entertainment: Sometime tedious, sometime earnest, occasionally fun, but certainly not something that escapes its context.

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