Friday, November 04, 2005

Holy Giant Gorilla, The full length Kong Trailer is finally up!!

After all the bellyaching that I’ve done about the fact that the King Kong trailer has been sorely missing from the trailer rotation out there, it’s sort of amazing that I wasn’t aware the very instant when the trailer hit the Apple site, which, as it turns out, was yesterday afternoon.

At last, I was able to feast my eyes on two minutes and fifty seven seconds of footage of the film. While there was invariably several pieces and segments that were shown in the teaser, there was still some new stuff, ….but to be honest, not that much new stuff….

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I idolize Peter Jackson, andtruth be told, if this blog had been around a couple years back it would’ve been a virtual Lord of the Rings fan site. But as much as I’d like to gush over the new Kong trailer, the honest truth is that I feel a little bit underwhelmed.

I thought the teaser looked terrific. Not only was it cut and put together well, but the way it wove the storylines together was intriguing and captivating. I liked that it started out with Jack Black and Colin Hanks in the streets of old New York struggling to get their film off the ground. I liked that we see them finding their lead actress, and then embarking on a mysterious voyage towards their unlikely filming locale. The teaser builds on the sense of creepy eeriness that the cast and crew senses the moment they set foot on the island and heightens it when they (and we) heard that bloodcurdling savage roar. We are unsettled even more as we are introduced to the island’s natives with quick ominous cuts. We shiver at sight of the freaky looking little girl, who’s wrist rattles like a snake when she extends it. And the first time we see Kong open and widen his eyes in that close-up is unforgettable. The music they put the images to in the teaser worked well, and created tension and excitement throughout.

But these elements were somewhat lacking from the trailer. It squished the meandering adventurousness of the story and framed in the film’s unavoidable “Beauty and the Beast” theme. Those first couple of shots of Kong and Darrow in the street look pretty terrific FX wise, but I’m a little wary of the narration in the background which says:

“and lo the beast looked upon the face of beauty, and beauty stayed his hand and from that day forward, he was at one dead.”

Obviously a large part of King Kong is rooted in the whole beauty and the beast mythos. But the magic it has always held for me, is that it is also a tremendous story of adventure. The story has an interesting turn of events, and it unfolds like one of those Russian wooden dolls that has five smaller ones inside it; Kong leaves you unsure of where it will go next. I was always under the impression that one of the reasons why people panned the ’76 version so much, is because it got all sappy and focused too much on the Anne Darrow, Kong “romance”, highlighting the tenderness in certain scenes to the point of comedic effect. I suddenly got a horrible gut feeling while watching the trailer that this is where this movie might be going. The teaser alluded to a depth and importance of the relationships between the characters, the trailer, on the other hand, was going for all the Kong “grab” moments, I have never seen Naomi Watts looked distressed while in the air so many times in such quick succession. I suppose all this makes sense if you’re Universal and you’re trying to market one of the most well known creature movies of all time. But it also cheapens the movie to a certain extent.

But it wasn’t only the fact that the “Beauty and the Beast” theme was more prominent in this trailer. When I watched the teaser and trailer back to back, I really felt like the discrepency in quality was large. Simply speaking from the perspective of trailers in general, I thought this one was sloppily made. The slow-motion shots of the natives grabbing the crew looked silly, and the music that they used was less effective. I really did not care for the way they cut from the action in the jungle, to the Marquee, of Kong as eighth wonder of the world in New York City, and then proceeded to show him causing more mayhem there. There series of images screamed to me, “Come see King Kong, you’ll get to see him fight dinosaurs AND tear apart the big apple!” Since I think of Peter Jackson as being such a sophisticated filmaker and I am expecting his interpreation of the Kong story to be sophisticated as well, I was surprised as the lack of sophistication the trailer had. It is logical that the studio is trying to maximize their audience by playing it up as an action/adventure, but I wanted something that would show that the film would be much more than that. Just as the Lord of the Rings movies were much more than a series of silly fantasy battles.

It’s interesting actually, when I’ve gone back and watched all the trailers for the Lord of the Rings on the DVD’s, you can see that the first trailer for the first film Fellowship of the Ring, was not very good and had a very trite tone. However, the trailer for the Two Towers was far better and more artistically done. I imagine it had to do with the fact that once New Line saw that Jackson really knew what he was doing, they let him have free reign with the trailers. But why wouldn’t Universal do the same, now that his success and capability has been proven threefold?

I am going to chalk this one up to studio control issues. Though there’s always the possibility that it’s just me, as I’ve spoken with a couple other people who adored the trailer. Or maybe my feminist level is running a little higher than normal today, and I find myself irked by the whole damsel in distress thing. Wouldn’t it be a clever twist to actually make Anne Darrow wicked at heart, and have her vye for Kong’s death at the end instead of screaming at the bi-planes not to shoot?

But that I guess would be a different story altogether.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree about the cut to nyc. but man those nyc shots are cool. i can't wait. this may the coolest movie to come along in a while.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the costume looks really fake.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous nach said...

alas.... i cannot watch the trailer as quicktime now requires itunes to function.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...


"Windows 2000 or XP"

My computer is too old to watch movie trailers?!?! What the hell.


5:06 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Wha? Are you actually running '98 on that thing? My poor compatriot you must immediately befriend some hacker type who can provide you with a crack for the necessary software so you can join the rest of us in the twenty first century.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous DoorFrame said...

Windows 98? I wish. If only my computer had a name that didn't inspire quite so many bemused and pitying smirks from the hacker community. No, my computer is powered by the monstrosity that is Windows ME.

Windows ME!


5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

be grateful that you can't run quicktime... the trailer is, how do i say, BAD.

2:45 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:24 PM  

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