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King Kong

King Kong (Guillerman, 1976)

This was better than I expected it to be... For 1976, the ape was brought to life and infused with emotion fairly well. I know everyone raves about Jackson's 2005 remake, but that flick has pacing issues, and a bunch of tacked on material (the bug ditch etc.) that tend to take away from the main thrust of the story for me. That said, this film also has issues, but mostly due to the period of time it was made in. While the creature effects work for the most part, there are a couple of segments where it all comes apart due to poor effects. Still, those are few and far between, so this worked for me overall. I have always been a Jeff Bridges fan, and I am pretty much over the moon for 1976 Jessica Lange.

After watching both the original 1933 film and this remake, it seems like Peter Jackson was aiming to remake this film in 2005 more than the classic original, although Jackson did set his remake in the 30s, as he was more able to recreate the period with advanced CGI. Watts is perhaps a better actress than Lange, but Lange is perfect for the role, without any of the post-modern characterization that was injected into the 2005 version my Watts. King Kong works better without post-modern concepts, IMO. The 1976 makes no claims at being the definitive version of Kong, which is of course reserved for the 1933 classic, but it's not as bad as its reputation would lead you to believe. I think it is just as entertaining as the 2005 remake, anyway. Also - the finale features the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, now also a relic of the past.