Screen Anarchists On KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Unless you've been living under a (skull-shaped?) rock, you're probably aware there is a new King Kong film in theaters. It's called Kong: Skull Island, and opinions about it within Screen Anarchy are divided, to say the least.

Kwenton Bellette was the first of us to see it, and he wrote our official review. He was not benevolent-minded towards it. In fact, Kwenton basically tore Skull Island a new eye-hole.

Here are some nice quotes, taken from Kwenton's article:
...As if to revert expectations, the direction instead drains all the interest, intrigue and humanity, resulting in a bloodless theme park ride. (...) The bad direction ensures the film remains surface-level shallow, with genuine ideas and moments thrown at the screen, and almost discarded in the way the sloppy editing and character reactions seem to demonstrate. The exposition and commentary feels stilted and confused, and is conveyed equally so.
Ouch!
Truth be told, other people were a LOT more positive though, and as opinions started to trickle in we noticed how opposed these were. Divisiveness is always worth talking about, so we decided to do a team effort. Yes, several Screen Anarchists (me included) have written mini-reviews, for you all to sift through, believe and/or discard. Browse through the pictures below, as each of them has an opinion attached to them.

As usual, the original reviewer gets to speak up first. One week later, have you mellowed a bit towards Kong, Kwenton? Or...


Kwenton Bellette, Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Jim Tudor, Sean Smithson, Ernesto Zelaya Miñano, Jaime Grijalba Gomez, Kurt Halfyard, James Marsh, Eric Ortiz Garcia, Stuart Muller and Jason Gorber contributed to this story.

Kwenton Bellette, Contributing Writer

In hindsight, particularly when compared to Peter Jackson's iteration of the screen legend, Kong: Skull Island remains a heartless attempt that fails to capture the movie magic and classical Hollywood alchemy that made its human characters so vital to the mythic monster narrative. This would be less of an issue if the half-baked premise of post Vietnam War felt anything but artificial.

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ManateeAdvocateMarch 17, 2017 10:54 AM

The fact that this film is seemingly all spectacle and little to no story is what's keeping me at bay. Like I said in a previous comment section, I'll likely take a gander when it shows up for free (like I did with SW: TFA and will do with Jurassic World), but I'm just not enticed by what I've read and seen this far. I'm glad most of you had a fun time with it because movies should be enjoyable. Big CGI effects just don't do it for me. I require more.

This was great though Ard. Thanks for posting this collection of thoughts from the team. I enjoyed reading them all.

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Allan KoayMarch 18, 2017 6:50 AM

well, i thought it would be another usual CGI shitfest, judging from the trailer, and most reviews didn't give it much credit. but luckily i decided to go see it, and came away surprised. it's quite a smart film, with something to say about the world we live in. part anti-war, part pro-environment, very humanist. i feel it's the kind of film the great Joe Dante would have made. it kind of deflated just a little bit by the last third, but it's still a barrel of monkeys ... i mean a barrel of fun.

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