Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

So, Kong: Skull Island isn’t “bad”, exactly. I don’t know, is it bad? It’s kind of bad. But the thing is, it wants to do one thing, and it does it, the thing promised right there in the title. Not “Kong” – this is closer to the dullest screen depiction of the giant ape Kong […]

An older review of this film can be found here When Peter Jackson, somewhat shockingly, used his brand-new Best Director Oscar and all the accumulated clout from having forced the three massive hit films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy into existence to get Universal to sign off on a new iteration of the […]

Popular history records the 1976 remake of King Kong as a terrible failure, but this is not in fact the case. The film cost a shocking amount of money, much of it wasted on a terrible-looking and dysfunctional live-sized robot Kong, but it also brought in a pretty healthy box office return, emerging as one […]

The 1976 King Kong really is quite magnificent in its badness. It’s not that it’s a unjustified remake of an all-time classic film, those are are all over the damn place, that’s not worthy of attention. Even if this one is especially unjustified (after Psycho and Seven Samurai, I’d be inclined to call the 1933 […]

Between 7 March, 1933, and 22 December, 1933, there elapsed a total of 290 days. That is how long it took after the world premiere of the magnificent King Kong to commission, write, produce, edit, market, and release that film’s extraordinarily deflating sequel, Son of Kong. And really, that kind of says it all, doesn’t […]

I can think of not one single reason to hold back: the first King Kong, from 1933, is probably the most perfect movie ever made by a Hollywood studio in what we would call, I guess, the “popcorn movie tradition” – that is to say, big-budget adventure movies with rip-roaring special effects, or some other […]

Everything about King Kong Escapes is inexplicable. It’s… no, let’s wait a second. Look at that Japanese poster there. I mean, really look at it. Bask in it. It is only descriptive of the things actually to be found in the movie it’s advertising, as giddily pulpy and inane as those longs would appear to […]

King Kong vs. Godzilla arrived in Japanese movie theaters in 1962 (and American theaters, in a considerably different incarnation, in ’63) after a strange and tortured path through Development Hell that stands up with the greatest making-of stores in cinema history. As you’d expect, when the two greatest giant monsters were put onscreen together for […]