New On Netflix: King Kong

[BoxTitle]King Kong[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="672225"/] [NetflixWatch id="672225"/]
Never let it be said that producer Dino De Laurentiis did not know promotion. The idea with King Kong ’76 is that the world would get a new Kong, a Kong that would scale not the Empire State Building but the World Trade Center, and he would be bigger than the old Kong, and he would make you cry more when he died, and he’d fall in love with an even hotter babe than Fay Wray. It’s not just “big” and “more” going on here, though, folks — there’s some legitimate cinematic revisionism happening, too! Here, instead of an adventurous showman looking for a new thrill, you have a bunch of dastardly oil barons looking for a new supply of black crude (led by Charles Grodin). Instead of a dashing documentary filmmaker, you have a hippie photojournalist who, like, cares about monkeys, man (Jeff Bridges). Instead of a struggling young actress lucking into a big break, you have a brain-damaged socialite set adrift on a life raft after her yacht goes boom (Jessica Lange, so ridiculously hot it almost seems like a put-on). Plus, Rick Baker stomps around plastic plants in an ape suit for no credit and no money. The screenplay is riddled with clumsy politics and hamfisted dialogue, but, in a way, that’s a good thing — it frees us up to enjoy the plasterboard sets, threadbare costumes, awkward performances and the hysterical sight of poor Baker let loose in a series of craft-class jungle dioramas. In short, ’twas the ’70s that killed the beast.

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