2017 heralds the return of one of Hollywood’s all-time biggest (hee hee) movie stars, the fictional giant ape ‘King Kong’. After receiving a few retellings of his classic story and several other strange off-shoots, we now have a major new Kong movie that reboots his story in a way that honors its history, but also sets itself apart boldly and distinctly. It stumbles here and there, but overall “Kong: Skull Island” is loads of fun and a great new start for this iconic character.
There may be no character in all of cinema who is more thematically-charged than Godzilla. Without having to utter a single word, the legendary monster has been the harbinger of poignancy and grim allusions to the real world for more than sixty years. He’s been able to don the identities of both hero and villain, and often has fallen somewhere in the blurry realm between them.
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Toho, the Japanese film company behind the Godzilla movies, isn’t going to let American studios have all the fun with reviving the King of the Monsters. Back in December, Toho announced that it had its own plans to do a reboot for the Big G alongside Legendary Pictures’ 2014 summer blockbuster. Three months went by without much information on this Japanese resurrection of the world’s most famous monster until last week when the film’s director and special effects director were revealed.