28 June 2005

What? No "Konga Redux"?

The trailer for Peter Jackson's "King Kong" remake rolled out last night in a variety of media and IMHO, it looks amazing. Of course, I'm biased: I've been nuts about the simian softee since I caught his 1933 debut projected in 8mm at my hometown's public library. I'll even stake my credibility on admitting a certain "affection" for the 1976 remake directed by John Guillerman. Just about everyone dismisses this Dino DeLaurentis production as an abomination the size of Fin Fang Foom, but it was the first EVENT movie that I ate, lived, and breathed until its Xmas release. Thanks to my patient folks, I had everything but the Levis belt buckle that came with a strand of Carlo Rambaldi ape-hair: the jigsaw puzzles of John Berkey's conceptual art, the soundtrack album of John Barry's score, and, in the dark ages before DVD supplements: the paperback of Lorenzo Semple Jr.'s screenplay and the notorious "Making Of Dino DeLaurentis' King Kong" book that essentially claimed that the ape onscreen was a 60 foot mechanical robot (Rick Baker and his monkey suit warranted nary a mention, and word has it he wasn't even invited to the film's premiere). My main quibble? They showed too much of the ape! Times have changed, sure, but those ambitious Wetans should downplay the pixels, play up the passion, and take a cue from Spielberg--who's given us teaser after teaser of A-listers staring mouth agape at something offscreen and it hasn't hurt his box office returns any.