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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » KONG - SKULL ISLAND

   
Author Topic: KONG - SKULL ISLAND
Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5198
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 03-11-2017 05:26 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: Regal/UA Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn NY 1am show
AUDITORIUM: IMAX
SPECIFICS: 3D, IMAX 12 Channel Sound, Reserved Seats
PRESENTATION: Image: 3/5 -- Audio: 4.5/5 -- 3D: 4.8/5

OVERALL RATING: 2.5/5 stars
-----------------------------

OK, do we REALLY need another King Kong movie? Didn't Peter Jackson's film 12 years ago pretty much wrap up whatever interest there was in this particular idea? Hollywood needs to get one or two new ideas every so often. To this point of retreads, we had to sit thru trailers for ALIENS (what's the number of this one four?, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY number 2, and yet another of the planet of the apes never-ending rereremake.

As for KONG...it's no mystery what they are going to find on the island: one really big mother of a monkey; nothing new here, move along.

There are two visually interesting sequences that are quite intense -- one is the sky rage sequence where he's smashing helicopters right and left. The other is that they added a really baddass nasty overgrown lizard and the inevitable battle...but if you are looking for something more to think about, forget it.

Storyline -- take the most complicated storyline of any of the King Kong movies and then edit out anything that might have the slightest depth and you've got SKULL ISLAND. Even the always implied interspecies romance that has been part of every King Kong story since Fay Wray is so thin here that it is almost an after-thought. Bottom line, the storyline is so simplistic that nothing I could say about it here would even rise to the level of spoiler!

A rivalry of sorts between the big ape and Samuel L. Jackson is no more complicated than multiple close-ups of their eyes staring at each other. His role and acting is so uninspired that it would have been more rewarding if he had been able to work in a "What's in YOUR wallet" line to add some levity to the silliness. In fact, two of my colleagues complained specifically that Jackson was as the most annoying character in the movie. On the other hand, John C. Riley alone was a warm bright spot, bringing a semblance of humanity to the thing. It was a relief whenever he was on the screen.

One positive -- it has a superb sound mix and the IMAX 12 channel (they claim) system certainly has a bottom end that will rattle your gonads -- exactly why you got to the movies. And while IMAX does not have Atmos, it sure did come pretty close with lots of helicopter sounds zooming from front screen location across the room to the opposite side rear corner and crossing by way of the ceiling --lots of creature sounds that were all over the room and very localized. They definitely have overheads in this IMAX setup.

I only went to see this because the stage crew all wanted to go after a long week. I was not enthusiastic, but I'll go to almost movie that's in 3D and IMAX. I must say, the 3D artists (about a million of them) did a superb job. The depth is very natural and only in-your-face when the action warranted it -- the helicopter sequences in particular, but for the most part, the depth was kept natural with many sequences that made you feel you could walk right into the scene.

There is an engaging score by Henry Jackman with the orchestra mix recorded by Brooklynite and our own Brooklyn Center Cinema alum, Alan Meyerson. Great to see his name in the credit crawl -- and hint, there is an egg after the credit crawl although it's nothing very clever, just a setup for what I am sure will be yet ANOTHER retread if Warners & Legendary make enough money on this one.

Best I can say -- some visual fun, but mostly a vehicle to sell popcorn & soda. 50/50 chance I will buy the BR.

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 378
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 03-11-2017 06:20 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Legendary's plan for the reboot is to have it followed by Godzilla 2, which will lead into Godzilla vs King Kong.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 356
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 03-11-2017 07:51 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
His role and acting is so uninspired that it would have been more rewarding if he had been able to work in a "What's in YOUR wallet" line to add some levity to the silliness.
Classic.

Met Alan Meyerson at NAMM in 2016 and was really impressed with his knowledge concerning recording an orchestra in legit Decca-Tree fashion, but modified for 5.1 and even immersive mixes. End result is very natural and sweetly spacious. That was around the time we were blown away by the audio quality of the score for Interstellar, which he also recorded.

Nice guy, too.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10703
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 03-11-2017 09:02 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
One positive -- it has a superb sound mix and the IMAX 12 channel (they claim) system certainly has a bottom end that will rattle your gonads -- exactly why you got to the movies.
The typical IMAX-branded multiplex theater has only two surround speakers, large enclosures installed in the upper rear corners of the room. The newer 12-channel sound system is supposed to have a pair of side wall surround enclosures, back wall surround enclosures and four up in the ceiling.

As far as I can tell IMAX has kept the 12-channel sound system exclusive to only its "IMAX with Laser" locations, which to me is a pretty freaking stupid policy considering there are still ONLY 13 IMAX laser-based screens in the US. New York has only one laser-based IMAX location (AMC Lincoln Square). There are less than 40 such screens world-wide.

If this 2K Xenon-based IMAX-branded theater in Brooklyn has the new 12-channel sound system that would indicate a change in strategy.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1379
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 03-12-2017 09:23 AM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
K, do we REALLY need another King Kong movie? Didn't Peter Jackson's film 12 years ago pretty much wrap up whatever interest there was in this particular idea?
I'm still wanting a King Kong directed by Guillermo del Toro where Ron Pearlman plays King Kong as just a regular guy.

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Frederick Lanoy
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: North of France
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 03-12-2017 01:31 PM      Profile for Frederick Lanoy   Email Frederick Lanoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
As far as I can tell IMAX has kept the 12-channel sound system exclusive to only its "IMAX with Laser" locations
In France, we do have a xenon IMAX screen in Paris (dual 2K) with the 12 channels system.

This is a new screen opened in december for Rogue One with an extra small "IMAX screen" of 55 feet.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10703
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 03-12-2017 03:10 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For what it costs to watch a movie in ANY "IMAX" branded theater they ALL should be equipped with the 12 channel sound system. That's the least they could do for the super high ticket prices.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5198
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 03-13-2017 12:10 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This IMAX setup did have the behemoth L R surrounds but also multiple side wall speakers and spaced much closer together than is normal for 5.1 or 7.1 channel sound configs. It did look like there were ceiling speakers as well, although the ceiling lighting was with deep set fixtures and the room was never very bright even when they were at full level, so it was hard to get a good look at them, but it certainly sounding like they were functional. Perhaps IMAX is installing some of their 12 channel setups without much fanfare. It did sound impressive; as I said, subbass for days. And to my ears, what defines a good system is that even when it is pumping at the top extreme db levels, it doesn't sound harsh. There have been screens where they get levels up half this volume and there are upper frequency spikes where I have to hold my ears for the pain.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-13-2017 01:12 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
Didn't Peter Jackson's film 12 years ago pretty much wrap up whatever interest there was in this particular idea? Hollywood needs to get one or two new ideas every so often. To this point of retreads, we had to sit thru trailers for ALIENS (what's the number of this one four?, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY number 2, and yet another of the planet of the apes never-ending rereremake.
Remakes used to happen every 25 or 30 years, back when movies disappeared into the ether after their popularity faded; but now movies have an infinite lifespan thanks to home video.

Then the problem is compounded by "contractual obligation" movies -- the licensing for the characters states that if you don't make use of the characters in a feature within "x" years, you lose the rights to those characters. That's why Sony keeps coming out with new Spider-Man movies when it's way too soon. I'm sure other studios have similar contracts with characters...that's why we're seeing a lot of these unnecessary remakes.

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Claude S. Ayakawa
Film God

Posts: 2725
From: Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 03-14-2017 10:24 PM      Profile for Claude S. Ayakawa   Author's Homepage   Email Claude S. Ayakawa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw KONG-SKIUL ISLAND today at Consolidated's Pearlridge 16 in 2D and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I had planned to see it in 3D at another Consolidated theatre but because of show time scheduling, I had to go with 2D. It does not really matter however because I plan to get the blu ray in a couple of months and see it in 3D at the time in the comfort of my home. I thought the movie was shot in 2D and converted into 3D but after reading the credits, it looks like it was photographed in native 3D.

The movie was very entertaining and I was very proud my state had played a big part providing the jungle location for the movie.

4/5

-Claude

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10703
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 03-14-2017 11:55 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
Then the problem is compounded by "contractual obligation" movies -- the licensing for the characters states that if you don't make use of the characters in a feature within "x" years, you lose the rights to those characters. That's why Sony keeps coming out with new Spider-Man movies when it's way too soon. I'm sure other studios have similar contracts with characters...that's why we're seeing a lot of these unnecessary remakes.
This is exactly what's going on with Fox and the X-Men franchise. They gotta keep cranking out X-men movies to keep the rights from reverting completely back to Marvel (and Disney). Hugh Jackman may be done playing Logan/Wolverine, but we all know Fox will, possibly very soon, re-cast a younger actor into that part for new X-men movies. It's bound to happen.

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