Kong

Is Kong: Skull Island Worthy Of The Title Of King?

Kong
The short answer to if the just released Kong: Skull Island is worthy is…yes. Having said that you might want to know what type of movie you will be paying for. I was lucky enough last evening to get to see a screening after work. The audience seemed split on their enjoyment of the newest film featuring Kong. I believe those that were feeling let down expected Kong to be the main character of the movie. It is Skull Island however as well as those stranded on it that are the main focus.

[Via] Jimmy Kimmel Live

Now I hope you won’t get me wrong. You will certainly get a healthy dose of the massive ape throughout the picture. I think that Kong is a force of nature – albeit an intelligent force of nature. It’s just like they say in that trailer – he serves as protector to Skull Island itself. Watching over the various forms of peaceful wildlife in addition to the few humans who manage to survive there. And let me tell you there are some really horrible things waiting for the unwary on the island – like the Skull Crawlers.
Kong

Also under the great beast’s protection are those that might be stranded on Skull Island. Case in point the majority of the cast of the film. And make no mistake about it – being trapped on Skull Island is literally one of the worst places you might find yourself.

I suppose this goes without saying. It is a very, very, very bad idea to come to Skull Island and try to pick a fight with the big guy. He may not hold a grudge necessarily but he will punish those that threaten the island.

I will attempt to go into a synopsis for the film, avoiding SPOILERS for Kong: Skull Island as best I can. At the very least I will attempt to stay in the range of what you may have seen in the trailers already.

The story for Kong: Skull Island concerns John Goodman’s character of Bill Randa. Along with his younger partner, Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), who work for the organization known as Monarch. The two men are attempting to pull together a group to investigate Skull Island.

You might remember the post I did for the fan made Skull Island trailer last month. I brought up what certainly looked like possible connections to this being a shared universe. While Kong: Skull Island takes place in 1973 there are ties to 2014’s Godzilla.

To survive the island the duo need the aid of both Tom Hiddleston’s expert tracker, James Conrad, as well as the military might of Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). This expedition is kind of hitching a ride with a scientific group and that is where Brie Larson’s professional photographer, Mason Weaver, comes into play.

This might be dipping my toe into SPOILERS but the end of the Vietnam War takes place shortly after the film begins. This is something that seems to weigh heavily on Packard – the need to feel he accomplished something in his career. This almost Ahab-like behavior as you might suspect is more dangerous than the creatures on the island. I feel it would be fair to say that Jackson’s character is the villain of the movie.

After coming into contact with Kong the survivors must trek across the island to reach a rendezvous point to escape. Along the way they meet a stranded World War II pilot named Hank Marlow – played by John C. Reilly.

The cast of Kong: Skull Island does an excellent job. I should point out though that both Reilly and character actor, Shea Whigham, manage to steal the show. While Hank is the kooky survivor, Whigham’s character of Cole brings an everyman quality to the part, Moreover his character is a career soldier – who rolls with the punches better than some of his fellow soldiers.

So in closing, if you go into Kong: Skull Island realizing the point of the film isn’t about wall to wall Kaiju vs daikaiju. Understanding the story follows the group of survivors more than that of Kong, I believe you will enjoy the thrill ride. I absolutely felt moments of joy on my viewing equal to the feelings I have when watching the 1933 original.

In addition, make sure to stay until the very end of the credits. Your patience will be well rewarded, friends.

Toho

What If Toho Had Done The Kong: Skull Island Trailer?

Well, I guess Toho has actually done Kong: Skull Island itself when you get down to it. At least in regards to certain elements of Toho’s King Kong vs. Godzilla from 1962 getting a nod in the upcoming Kong: Skull Island film. Case in point the addition of a giant octopus in the new movie.

A kaiju eiga in fact that was seen in Toho’s own 1962 movie. However in that film it involved the use of an actual living octopus.
Toho

Which furthermore necessitated the addition of an octopus wrangler on the set.
Toho

Perhaps this is what inspired Gorizard to create this fan made trailer. A look at how Kong: Skull Island might be handled if Toho had released the movie in ’62!

I want to thank Daniel XIII for the heads up on that bit of awesomeness. I have watched it a couple of times now and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Of course with the upcoming Kong: Skull Island film by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The Kong mythos is getting a reboot – in addition to giving us a new take on the character. It has set the events of the film squarely in the 2014 Godzilla universe. Which began Legendary and Warner Bros. “MonsterVerse” in partnership with Toho of course.

The link between films so far is the Monarch organization. A scientific outfit that was responsible for the investigation of Godzilla in the 2014 film. I should point out that the 2014 comic book prequel Godzilla: Awakening reveals the secret outfit was formed in 1946 to seek out and catalog massive unidentified terrestrial organisms.

I am guessing that Monarch is behind sending in the team in Kong: Skull Island. As evidence suggests in this television spot – to say nothing of the Godzilla reference by the nuclear test footage and John Goodman’s character!

[Via] Comicbook.Com

Regardless of all that, it is important to realize the true point of the MonsterVerse. The eventual meeting of both King Kong and Godzilla. The last time these two iconic titans tussled was one of the greatest Kaiju battles in cinematic history. Imagine what will happen the next time these two meet?

Now that you have had a chance to see what might have been Toho’s version of Kong: Skull Island. Why not check out a trailer for King Kong vs. Godzilla

[Via] TJ

Pop Culture Postage - Clark Orr

Clark Orr’s “Pop Culture Postage” Is Incredible!

Clark Orr’s Pop Culture Postage is the most awesome thing you will see all day. At least most awesome retro-inspired pieces of art you will come across today. I realize that is a rather bold statement but I stick by what I’ve proclaimed! Fortunately for myself you can look on some of Orr’s Pop Culture Postage artwork below and judge for yourselves.

All images courtesy of Clark Orr and Gallery 1988.

As you can certainly see – all manner of pop culture properties have been selected by Clark Orr. Besides He-Man from the Masters of the Universe for example there is Skeletor as well.
Pop Culture Postage - Skeletor

Many movies have been included in the Pop Culture Postage collection. Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and even Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Of course how when picking from pop culture legends could one overlook 1933’s King Kong?

With this in mind is it any wonder that Clark Orr chose to also showcase a Universal Monster? In this case it is for 1954’s classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon!

Equally important in the collection is none other than Count Chocula. Although I have to add that I am certainly disappointed that Boo Berry wasn’t included in the Pop Culture Postage. I will remind you I am rather biased on this subject however.

Clark pays tribute to history as well with his artwork entitled “Challenger”.

Pop Culture Postage is in fact part of Clark Orr’s show at the Gallery 1988 West in Los Angeles, California. A solo show which opened on February 3rd and will run until the 18th of this month. As well as this exciting news – his artwork is available for purchase at the Gallery 1988 website!

Hopefully you’ve stopped drooling over Clark Orr’s Pop Culture Postage now. Because thanks to Creative Mornings HQ you can totally watch him give a lecture on his art style!

There Was A 1976 King Kong Panorama Colorform Set?!

I can tell you truthfully that in 1976 I was all about the remake of 1933’s King Kong. In fact I had seen the original film thanks to a local channel’s midnight movie. I was of course at the tender age of four blown away by Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion effects. It also made me a lifelong admirer of that craft and of primates.

I was fortunate enough to catch the Dino De Laurentiis produced film at the 62 Drive-In. Moreover the weeks before it was released, I can recall staring at the one-sheets. You know what I’m talking about. The legendary posters featuring artwork by John Berkey!
King Kong

That is to say nothing of how excited about the movie I was after watching the trailer.

Having said that and I know I’ve stated this before on The Retroist. I really didn’t see much merchandising for King Kong. Besides some awesome drinking glasses and a few T-shirts. I do however have very fond memories of the board game by Ideal.

king-kong-board-game

There was much more than that, just none of it making it to my neck of the woods. So please try to imagine my surprise when I stumbled on the fact that Colorforms made a King Kong play set. Not just your average Colorforms set would do for something as epic as this, right?

Image courtesy of Jon's Random Acts of Geekery.

Image courtesy of Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery.

That is why they released it as the King Kong Panorama Play Set! A 32-inch play set…but that is not all. This also happened to feature a reversible second side – so that you could have adventures on Skull Island and change the fate of the misunderstood Kong atop the World Trade Center.

Image courtesy of Jon's Random Acts of Geekery.

Image courtesy of Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery.

We have Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery to thank for these last two images. Make sure to hop on over and check out more King Kong goodness. For example a 1976 belt buckle featuring some of the Berkey artwork!

Now here is a link to ebay if you decide you can’t live without a Colorforms version of Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.
king-kong-panorama-play-set-colorforms
But I feel I better give you a slight warning. I have yet to find any for sale under the $160 mark…but on the other hand doesn’t Kong demand such a price?!

Ready for more 1976 King Kong awesomeness?


How about this 1976 interview between Dino De Laurentiis and Bill Boggs?

[Via] Bill Boggs TV

How Does Your Favorite Godzilla Measure Up?

Back in my youth at the 62 Drive-In, an outdoor theater that I’ve talked about quite a bit on the site and on the Saturday Frights Podcast – they held a weekend long Godzilla marathon. First they played 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster from 1964, followed by 1967’s Son of Godzilla and then they closed that Friday night showing with 1968’s Destroy All Monsters!

Image courtesy of IMP Awards.

Image courtesy of IMP Awards.


They would actually do another Godzilla marathon the next year which is how I learned of Mechagodzilla and Mechani-Kong. Anyway, thanks to that magical marathon of my childhood I totally was hooked on Godzilla for life. Which is why I was so impressed when I stumbled on this fantastic size chart from @GMANonScified over on Twitter – well by way of Brian Ashcraft’s post on Kotaku if I’m being totally honest.
Image courtesy of GMAN by way of Kotaku.

Image courtesy of GMAN by way of Kotaku.


While I will admit that I’m a little disappointed that my first Godzilla from around the 1974 era is actually shorter than the 1998 Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin “Godzilla” I am glad that 2014’s version truly towers over that one – of course he/she is actually shorter than the version used in the upcoming (for the US) release of Godzilla Resurgence…which looks very scary actually.

[Via] New Trailer Buzz

A big thank you to IMP Awards for the Destroy All Monsters one-sheet image in the post above!