Apparently so. Seriously, though, I loved it. I thought it was really well done, and visually appealing . . . a worthy re-telling of a beautiful, classic story.
I love this story, although I'd forgotten just how FUCKING TRAGIC the whole thing is. And I think Jackson really got that across, more so than the original (which now I'm in the mood to watch sometime soon - I seem to recall Fay Wray not warming to Kong as much as Naomi Watts did. It's been YEARS since I've seen that film, come to think of it). SO tragic. I had tears in my eyes WAY before he even got to the Empire State Building. And by the end? Sobbing. Just full on sobbing. (At least this time, C didn't tell me to stop crying - I think he was pretty caught up in the moment himself). And when Kong falls, I think I stopped breathing for a few moments. Very well done. Lots of prettiness, too - Kong looked AWESOME, and his facial expressions? Really impressive. It was easy to believe he was real. And I really enjoyed the interaction between him and Ann - her dancing for him? Very cool.
I enjoyed the rest of the cast, as well, although it took me a while to warm up to Jack Black in the role of Denham. I did eventually, though, and found him suitably creepy. I kinda wanted him to die at the end, though, and was rather disappointed that he didn't. And yeah, I KNOW it's his job to deliver the classic line. But whatever. The bastard deserved to DIEDIEDIE for taking Kong out of the jungle!
The dinosaurs were pretty cool, although I thought the apatasaur (or whatever they were) stampede scene went on about twice as long as it should have. Ditto the T-Rex fight scene (can you believe it? I would have been happy with less T-Rex)? The third Rex did make me jump in my seat and shriek, though. :D And I wasn't as sad as I thought I would be about them dying. Because, well, Kong just ROCKED, didn't he? TOTALLY ROCKED! :D Oh, and the islanders? OMG UBER CREEPY!!!! As were the giant bugs, and those bats were pretty intense, too. But the bugs? EWWWWWWW!!!!! I would definitely have rather faced a Rex, instead of being down in that canyon with the bugs. *shudders*
Oh - and something I thought was WICKED cool? (If I'm not mistaken about it, that is) . . . the music near the end, when the "natives" are dancing in the staged show? I'm pretty sure that's the music from the original King Kong film, when they're on the actual island*. I'll have to google that and find out for sure, but I know I recognized it, and I THINK that's where it's from originally. And how cool is THAT?
Anyhow, I thought it was a wonderful film, even if I did leave the cinema feeling bereft (something it took me a good hour, including a trip to JoAnn's, to shake. Come to think of it, I still haven't quite shaken it). Emotionally draining. But then, I KNEW it would be. Well, I didn't know. When I walked into the cinema, I was mostly just thinking about seeing some cool special effects. I hadn't really stopped to think that, oh, yeah, I DO know this story, don't I? And by the time we were half-way through the movie, and I remembered where it all was going (FUCK YOU DENHAM!!!!!!), part of me held out until almost the end that perhaps we'd get a really sappy "updated" 21st century happy ending (like the end of Jurassic Park 2) - where Kong gets to go back to his island home. But no. And honestly? That would have been lame. It's FAR more moving the way it is. But still, I like to think that in some happy parallel universe, Kong is still alive and frolicking with the friendly dinosaurs, and eating those really icky islanders for snacks. ;)
Oh, and BTW C made it through the film just fine - the scariest part for him was the islanders (because, um, they WERE scary), and a few other parts were kind of intense for him, but nothing that couldn't be handled by inviting him to sit in my lap for a few minutes. At the end, he and I both cheered for every airplane that got thrown out of the sky. So, yeah, he was just as crushed as I was when Kong dies.
*Oh, check me OUT! I was right about the music . . . from a review at Amazon.com:
Fair or not, James Newton Howard's score for Peter Jackson's "King Kong" will quickly be the focus of quite a discussion in the film score world. Howard's music is the third musical treatment for "King Kong," the others being Max Steiner's monumental score for Merian C. Cooper's classic of 1933, and John Barry's underappreciated music for the simply awful 1976 film. Howard enters this fray at a great disadvantage; whatever he produces will be immediately compared with two other scores, and one of them is quite simply the definitive "Kong" score. In many ways Steiner is the father of the true classical film score, and it can be said that all of this began with his music for "King Kong." Indeed, Jackson pays a lengthy tribute to Steiner by using much of his music in the film during the New York, "Eighth Wonder of the World," stage presentation of Kong played by an orchestra in the pit (by the way, is that Howard Shore conducting?). Beyond that grand accolade is the simple fact that his score was one of the greatest of all time. Indeed many consider Stiener's work to be the quintessential classical film score.
Do I have a great ear, or what? :D