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 KONG SKULL ISLAND General Thread/Reviews

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PostSubject: KONG SKULL ISLAND General Thread/Reviews   Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:34 am



Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, from a story by John Gatins. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and serves as the second film in Legendary's MonsterVerse. It stars an ensemble cast consisting of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary and John C. Reilly. The film follows a team of scientists and Vietnam War soldiers who travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific and encounter terrifying creatures and the mighty Kong.

Principal photography began on October 19, 2015, in Hawaii and various locations around Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island premiered on February 28, 2017, in London and was released in the United States on March 10, 2017, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and in Dolby Cinemas. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed $151.5 million worldwide, against its $185 million budget.






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PostSubject: Re: KONG SKULL ISLAND General Thread/Reviews   Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:01 am



KONG SKULL ISLAND is the second film installment within the Warner Bros/Legendary Picture's GODZILLA-KONG MonsterVerse Franchise, with its 1973 period story reviving the KING KONG franchise while reintroducing its iconic monster as a modernized KONG that the world has never seen before. Looming as a stand-alone film with the attached responsibilities of kicking off a cinematic universe while being a competent story in itself, does the film stand on its own and succeed?

In a mild spoiler-free(just-in case no one on the island has seen it yet), the answer to that very important question is: Yes, absolutely it does!

OVERVIEW:
KONG SKULL ISLAND takes place at the end of the Vietnam-War, and since the 1954 events of GODZILLA, the mysterious organization known as MONARCH has being seeing an extreme lack in activity. With no sightings or discoveries of MUTO activity within the world, or concrete proof of their existence, Sentator Willis finds little to no reason in keeping the organization around and funded. However decades later MONARCH discovered an uncharted island, and through Monarch-Official: Bill Randa and Monarch-Geologist: Houston Brooks, would make attempts in pursuing their latest discovery known as-Skull Island. Underhanded in their persuasion, MONARCH managed to convince the Senator to fund them for an expedition of Skull Island. Of course with an added request of providing them their own military escort for the mission.

Employing the inactive Sky-Devils, with the added inclusion of a tracker and anti-war photographer, an expedition team was deployed to the mysterious Skull Island. All under a falsehood that quickly leads to disturbance and wrecking havoc upon the island, carpet-bombing destruction that ultimately flushes out the island's monstrous god known as "KONG". Downed by the furious beast and scattered across the island, the remainder of the surviving team must reach towards the end of the island in 3-days to meet a refuel unit for escape. With the supercell storms surrounding the island to soon close its hellish entry, If unable to succeed in that span of time, they will be trapped on the island for ages unknown.

Overall KONG SKULL ISLAND is one helluva ride! To experience an entire King Kong story almost entirely on Skull Island is thrilling, entertaining, and incredibly brutal. Everything on Skull Island wants to kill you, crush you, eat you, it's a paradise that is both exotically beautiful and horrifically terrifying. Creating Skull Island itself through a combination of Hawaii and Vietnam's most beautiful and amazing locations really brings a Skull Island that feels both very otherworldly and mythical. As nightmarish as it is, this new Skull Island is an absolute Eden. This is further strengthened by the monstrous forces who inhabit the island, the otherworldly mega-fauna who are very much living characteristics of the island itself and its near-mythical nature. When taking all of this in, the noted Gilgamesh reference from the LANDSAT posters really clicks when seeing Skull Island come alive.

Speaking of the island's monsters, it's really interesting and satisfying to see a Skull Island inhabited by nothing but MUTO/Monsters and not the commonly noted Dinosaurs. They are not however, completely left out, as clearly dinosaurs once existed on the island before being eaten into extinction by more monstrous competition. But seeing monsters roam and exist on the island really helps set it apart from other Skull Island incarnations.

PACING:
The film itself was very enjoyable, a monstrous adventure filled with fantastic story elements, a satisfying plot, and solid yet plentiful action. The pacing is pretty swift feeling like a noted observation from studying PJ's King Kong film and not making the same mistakes in taking too long to get to the island. The film gets there in about 20-25 minutes from a 2-hour runtime. It knows what you're here for, and it knows to get there quickly by setting up its characters, giving a clear-cut plot, and moving forward. As soon as you're on Skull Island time just flies by and the film really steps up onto a whole new level of entertainment for a King Kong film. There are times in which the film perhaps could have used a few more minutes of runtime, to help develop its characters further and let some moments stay for a while longer before moving to the next scene. But overall the pacing is satisfying!

HUMANS
The main human characters in this story are generally meant to be viewed as an orchestra, a single, united entity with various instruments weaving out a performance together. They are not built as instruments with their own solo acts, because clearly when on their own individually, they are fairly weak. So given this direction the human characters when together, all feel serviceable and fairly interesting. You see glimpses and tellings of their characters, and while they are not given much development, for most of the characters, you actually feel mildly invested enough to care and see if they'll make it or not. Characters with most depth are definitely Hank Marlow, Bill Randa, Preston Packard, and Glenn Mills. With Hank Marlow being the top of the heap. Seeing this character be so out of touch, so unhinged, yet still be warmly quirky and welcoming despite being on Skull Island for decades really made his character intriguing, and perhaps the best out of the lineup! When seeing how his story ends, it drew a few teary eyes from us, we proudly admit that. Some characters were obvious walking causalities and cinematic sacrifices, these are the weakest, but they are serviceable for the story as they really help establish the Hell that Skull Island is rightfully called to be. Overall the human characters are serviceable, interesting, and work well for their purpose, to orchestrate the plot along, while delivering exposition, emotional investment, and carnage throughout the film.

KONG:
KING KONG, or in this universe at least, KONG, we absolutely love this incarnation of the character. He's brutal, wild, a complete and total monster, and yet you see glimpses of his humanity sprinkled across the film. Throughout the film you don't really know if Kong's a chaotic fiend, or an anti-hero, at best he appears to be seemingly chaotic good. He will not hesitate to destroy or kill anything that threatens him or his domain, but he's also smart enough to know who's on his side. Still despite this level of instinctive intelligence he's a brutal beast through and through.

A beast that does not fall for nor is killed by any Beauty, however throughout the film, the story does implements the character's iconic roots in small doses. KONG is young and hasn't found his humanity yet, however very slowly, you see him gradually showing interest in humankind. This is why we like this incarnation so very much, for you are seeing KONG before he becomes KING KONG, while still seeing the film slowly working up to it. You see seeds of it being gradually planted throughout his interactions with Mason Weaver and James Conrad, although more with the former than the latter. It really gives Kong a sense of character, one that is gradually evolving and growing into something than just a monster. At the end of the day, KSI really focuses on KONG's character, gives him plenty of screentime, and really works as an origin film for the character. He shows up fairly early, and isn't teased throughout the film, some critics felt this wasted an opportunity for a building up mighty Kong reveal with gravitating tension. That by showing Kong so early, that the film blew its load too quickly. It all depends on the story really. Holding Godzilla back in GODZILLA made sense since it was a classically build slow-burn monster film, which is fine for a first installment. But KONG couldn't have been held back in this movie, Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts wanted to deliver a monster movie that went against traditional monster movies. From playing with dark and light tones, to showing KONG really earlier, and from the film's reception, people really responded well to it, including us!

SKULL CRAWLERS
Speaking of KONG, Kong's backstory is fairly tragic, he's a god, but he's a lonesome god due to the horrific island devils known as Skull-Crawlers. Carnivorous serpent-like monstrosities that spread, devour, and destroy all in their path. They have the potential to practically reduce Skull Island into a forgotten wasteland, with a strong possibility of doing the same to the rest of the world should they get off the island. But the only thing keeping them at bay is KONG. The Skull-Crawlers are simple but interesting antagonists, real tooth and claw monsters that very agile, deadly, and fairly intelligent to some measure. They are very similair to the MUTO from GODZILLA in terms of threat level, if left unchecked they can grow into a planetary danger. The monster in itself is great but the build up to their reveal could have been better, perhaps if they had a more suspenseful entrance and gave Kong a bit more of a tough fight, then the things really go south in the 3rd Act then the creatures would really feel menacing! But as-is, they were monstrously threatening from the getgo.

HUMOR: The film's humor is mostly serviceable and even funny most of the time, but other times it's a swing and a miss. It's all a matter of delieverence, but overall most of the humor had us chuckling with a small few having us really dying.

SOUNDTRACK: The film's soundtrack were a mixed-positive bag, many of them are pretty solid and definitely deliver that monstrous atmosphere that KSI hits right out of the park! But the 70's music from time to time kind of felt a little too hammered in. With some strong or solid moments that could have used a more instrumental OST were bogged down slightly by an off-putting and unneeded 70's music track.

WORLD BUILDING/EXPOSITION:
What we generally loved about KSI is that it sheds more light on MONARCH, revealing more of its officials, their activities in the past, their discovers, while giving some interesting contrasting perspectives or ideals behind the organization. For example, Monarch-official Dr. Serizawa in GODZILLA found Godzilla to be a magnificent(though incredibly terrible) force of nature. A chaotic force of nature that while not good, is a complete necessary evil that mankind and the planet needs to survive against destructive forces that threaten all existent. He wants to study MUTO and Godzilla, to both research and understand these ancient legends. He doesn't want to destroy them unless there's absolutely no other choice. But Bill Randa played by John Goodman, he is an exact opposite to Dr. Serizawa, do to a tragic event back during WWII, he has come to fear the MUTO with strong beliefs(that most likely is carried through MONARCH potentially) that they are returning to take back the planet from mankind since it never belonged to man in the first place. And that if mankind continues to ignore this fact by the time they finally return, then it'll be too late to stop them and preserve whatever future they could have saved for themselves. This focus on MONARCH builds up the organization and its staff as an intriguing entity, with KSI offering what could be the main foundation of Monarch's existence(Basically to destroy all monsters, make sure that man remains the dominant king of the planet, and not let GODZILLA CATACLYSM happen). It really helps seed the next installments while raising the stakes for mankind's(and potentially the entire world's) survival.

PART 1

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