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King Kong (1976)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

King Kong (1976) I still have ambivalent feelings about this 70's remake of the original 1933 film. On one hand I can understand them wanting to 'update' it to the present day, making it an oil expedition rather than a film crew. I don't have a problem with that. What doesn't work about this is the Charles Grodin character, complete opposite of his 30's counterpart. He's too ruthless, too unlikable and you want him to die right away. It's great when he eventually gets stomped on by Kong, but it was long overdue by the time it happened. Jessica Lange's Dwan character is much more sympathetic towards Kong than Fay Wray was. The movie's scenes with them interacting at the waterfall, her falling into the empty tank where Kong is prisoner, and her trying to get him to pick her up when they are on the Twin Towers so the helicopters won't shoot at him, all work well.The man in the ape outfit works to a limited amount, primarily in the close-ups, and Rick Baker always does a good ape. When he's walking around he walks upright, not like a gorilla. The blue-screen effects look very noticeable nowadays and detract from the scenes.I think that if the producer DeLaurentis had kept all of the dinosaurs, rather than substitute Kong fighting a giant python, there would have been a much better film. Also, THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN (1978), which is basically a remake of this version of KING KONG, is far more entertaining.
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