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Kong: Skull Island [2017] (2 discs)

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Director:Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Writer:Dan Gilroy
Derek Connolly
Max Borenstein
Composer:Henry Jackman
Length:118 minutes
(1 hour 58 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Sorting Category:Action
IMDB Rating:6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:76%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Action
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • CG
  • Suspense / Horror
  • Drama
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Synopsis: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.


Reaction: This one is more exciting than the 2005 remake where the action sequences simply became so overdrawn as to become boring half-way through. This one uses the action very effectively and the spider sequence is just so satisfyingly creepy.


Personal Rating: 8/10

Select Cast and Crew
Jordan Vogt-Roberts => Director
Dan Gilroy => Writer
Derek Connolly => Writer
Max Borenstein => Writer
Henry Jackman => Composer
Allyn Rachel => Secretary O'Brien
Brie Larson => Mason Weaver
Corey Hawkins => Houston Brooks
Eugene Cordero => Reles
James M. Connor => General Ward (as James Michael Connor) (voice)
Jason Mitchell => Mills
John C. Reilly => Hank Marlow
John Goodman => Bill Randa
John Ortiz => Victor Nieves
Marc Evan Jackson => Landsat Steve
Miyavi => Gunpei Ikari
Richard Jenkins => Senator Willis
Robert Taylor => Athena Captain
Samuel L. Jackson => Preston Packard
Shea Whigham => Cole
Terry Notary => Kong
Thomas Mann => Slivko
Thomas Middleditch => Jerry (voice)
Tian Jing => San
Toby Kebbell => Jack Chapman / Kong
Tom Hiddleston => James Conrad
Will Brittain => Young Marlow / Marlow's Son

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Tom Wilkinson was in talks to play Senator Willis (Richard Jenkins).
  • The copyrights of the Kong franchise are complicated. The novelization of the original 1933 film are now in the public domain. One small difference between the movie and the novelization, is the name of Captain Englehorn's ship. In the film, it is the Venture, in the novel it is the Wanderer. The rusted-out hull of the Wanderer, in this movie, is a nod to the novel.
  • Samuel L. Jackson repeats his line, "Hold onto your butts," from Jurassic Park, which is also about an island inhabited by giant creatures.
  • Samuel L. Jackson stated on a talk show that throughout filming, he and his co-stars had no concrete idea of just how big Kong was supposed to be, since whenever they asked, they kept getting conflicting answers.
  • Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons were originally attached to the film, but both had to drop out, due to scheduling conflicts. John C. Reilly took over Keaton's role, while Samuel L. Jackson replaced Simmons.
  • The outfit worn by John Goodman, replicates the outfit worn by Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham in King Kong.
  • Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts admitted that he was strongly influenced by video games from his childhood. That is why the movie contains many point-of-view shots of guns being fired (like in a first-person shooting game), and the shot of a helicopter making 360 degrees spins towards the ground was inspired by a similar scene from a [Resident Evil] game.
  • Princess Mononoke helped influence the design and approach of the monsters, Jordan Vogt-Roberts stated: "Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke was actually a big reference, in the way that the spirit creatures sort of have their own domains and fit within that, so a big thing was trying to design creatures that felt realistic and could exist in an ecosystem that feels sort of wild and out there, and then also design things that simultaneously felt beautiful at the same time". However, biophysical analysis of Kong and other creatures concludes that, although biophysically they are viable, the ecosystem of the island could not support them.
  • At 104 feet (31.6992 meters), this incarnation of Kong is the biggest out of all the American versions. Peter Jackson's Kong was only 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall by comparison. The reason Kong is bigger than usual is because Jordan Vogt-Roberts said he wanted Kong to feel like a god in front of his audience. The tallest incarnation of Kong overall is the one featured in King Kong vs. Godzilla, which stood approximately 147 feet (45 meters) tall. However, it is stated in this film that Kong isn't yet fully grown, so this could mean he may be taller in future releases.
  • Marlow (John C. Reilly) and Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) are likely references to Joseph Conrad, and the lead character Marlow, from Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness. The novella, as well as the film it inspired, Apocalypse Now, are thematic and visual inspirations for this movie. On top of that, the poster for the IMAX release is an homage to the iconic poster for Apocalypse Now.
  • The Mother Longlegs spider could be an homage to the giant spider with crab claws, that was cut from King Kong. Also, the two-armed pit lizard from King Kong was used as a reference for the Skullcrawlers. They were also inspired by several other cinematic creatures. Jordan Vogt-Roberts stated, "That creature, beyond being a reference to a creature from the 1933 version, is also this crazy fusion of all the influences throughout my life, like the first angel from Evangelion, and No-face from Spirited Away, and Cubone from [Pokémon].
  • No reporter would be embedded with MACV-SOG. The military never even admitted MACV-SOG existed until the 1980s.
  • According to Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the first draft of the screenplay had the action taking place in 1917, and was an entirely different film. Although he liked the script, he didn't think it was something he wanted to make. When asked what kind of monster movie he had in mind, he suggested to have it take place in the Vietnam war era, as a sort of "Apocalypse Now with monsters", since there had never been a monster movie set in that time. He also saw interesting parallels between the political turmoil and racial riots from the 1970s and the 2010s. Contrary to his expectation, the studio loved the idea, and the script was re-worked from there.
  • This is the first of two movies released in 2017 where actor and stuntman Terry Notary motion-captured an ape. His second film is War for the Planet of the Apes, where he plays the ape "Rocket". He previously motion-captured "Rocket" in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Kong, in this film, is based on the appearance of his 1933 counterpart.
  • In the credits, near the end is a line that says: Characters of "Godzilla", "King Ghidorah", "Mothra", and "Rodan" created and owned by Toho Co., Ltd. This ties in with the MonsterVerse, and could be a clue to Kaiju appearing in future films, including Godzilla vs. Kong.
  • To prepare for filming, Jordan Vogt-Roberts screened the South Korean monster movie The Host, the South Korean western The Good the Bad the Weird, and the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, for the cast.
  • The film's cast includes one Oscar winner: Brie Larson, and three Oscar nominees: Richard Jenkins, Samuel L. Jackson, and John C. Reilly.
  • Russell Crowe was considered for a role.
  • Peter Jackson recommended Guillermo del Toro direct the film during development. Joe Cornish was offered the chance to direct, but declined.
  • This film features five actors and one actress who have appeared, or will appear, as characters in films based on Marvel comics: Samuel L. Jackson played S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury, Tom Hiddleston played Loki, John C. Reilly played Nova Corps Officer Rhomann Dey, [?] Shea Wigham played Roger Dooley in [Agent Carter], [?] Toby Kebbel appeared in Fantastic Four, and Brie Larson will play the title character in Captain Marvel. All except Fantastic Four are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Samuel L. Jackson makes multiple references to [Force 5] during the opening helicopter attack sequence. One of the failed television pilots in Pulp Fiction is called [Fox Force 5].
  • Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson starred together in The Avengers, with Jackson playing Nick Fury, a virtuous hero, and Hiddleston playing super-villain Loki, the treacherous brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Here Hiddleston plays honorable hero James Conrad, while Jackson plays Preston Packard, a villainous, Captain Ahab-like character.