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.

Skull Island

Retroist Scoreboard: From Central Park to Nakatomi Plaza to Skull Island

March is roaring in with some serious music, soundtrack fans, so gather ’round for this week’s batch of retro releases.


Intrada is rolling out the never-before-released-on-CD score from Baby’s Day Out (1994), by Bruce Broughton. The movie was positively slathered with music – 9/10 of its screen time had music underneath it – so the CD is filled to capacity. You can’t ask for better than that.

Varese Sarabande has a new entry in its “We Hear You” series – fan-requested reissues of titles that had previously been issued only on LP or as very limited edition CDs. This time around, Neal Hefti (he of Batman ’66 theme music fame) is in the spotlight with two scores from movie versions of Neil Simon plays, Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple, both on a single CD. There are only 2,000 copies of this disc being pressed.

Kritzerland Records has a slice of vintage Henry Mancini on tap, an ever more limited release of the maestro’s score for the 1967 Audrey Hepburn comedy Two For The Road. Only 1,000 copies of this CD are being pressed.

Want an edition that’s even more limited than that? Try 500. 500 copies. As in 500 copies of Ennio Morricone’s score from the 1977 killer whale flick Orca, thanks to European label Music Box Records. Jump on this one fast…which isn’t something I usually say about Orca.

A current movie score of keen interest to retro cinema fans can now be ordered from WaterTower Music, Henry Jackman’s soundtrack from Kong: Skull Island . Be aware that Watertower’s releases often come in CD-R form, as they rely more on digital sales, and produce physical copies of their releases on a burn-on-demand basis.
Skull Island

Further into the future – the 23rd century to be exact – La-La Land Records has revealed that its March 14th release (not yet available for pre-order) will be a 2-LP vinyl pressing of the expanded Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack from 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, now with eye-popping new artwork by Darren Dochterman, a CGI artist who was part of the team behind the CGI scenes from the DVD Director’s Edition. 1,500 copies of this 2-LP set will be pressed; smart money says it’d be wise to be sitting on La-La Land’s website next Tuesday at noon Pacific time to get an order in.
Skull Island - Star Trek

Even further out, on March 28th, La-La Land will be putting one of their fastest-selling releases back into print for a limited time: the late, great Michael Kamen’s score from Die Hard was released a few years ago on the same label, selling out in record time. Proving that the same soundtrack can happen to the same guy twice, La-La Land is re-releasing Die Hard in an edition of 2,000 copies, with new artwork to differentiate it from the previous release.

Now, why does everything happen in limited editions of only a few hundred to a couple thousand copies? Here to answer that is the first chunk of an essential glossary of terms and concepts for budding soundtrack collectors. I’ll be adding to this in the weeks ahead, so stick around and you might learn a few things about this tuneful hobby.

The Retroist Scoreboard Glossary, Part 1: Collectorspeak
One of my aims with the Retroist Scoreboard is to heed the words of Master Yoda and pass on what I have learned – in this case, about the soundtrack collecting hobby. After you’ve been reading the Scoreboard for a while, you should basically know what I know. Our tastes may not line up, sure, but you’ll have the objective knowledge that it’s taken me 25+ years to accumulate. With that in mind, here’s a quick – but probably by no means complete – glossary of terms that come up frequently in the course of building a soundtrack collection.

Golden Age – generally considered to have been Hollywood’s heyday, stretching from the 1920s or ‘30s through the 1950s, Hollywood’s Golden Age has become a useful category for film score collectors. “Golden Age” and “Silver Age” were labels that Film Score Monthly (FSM) applied to its own soundtrack releases, and were quickly picked up by the soundtrack collecting community at large.

Limited Edition – many boutique soundtrack labels limit the print run of a new CD release to 3,000 copies, a number that became an industry standard due to Film Score Monthly negotiating with the American Federation of Musicians in the early days of specialty soundtrack releases. To keep a title in print indefinitely (i.e. FSM’s Star Trek II and Gremlins expanded soundtracks), it costs the label more, sometimes significantly more money. Limited editions may, if a label perceives a smaller audience for a release, number less than 3,000, possibly even in the hundreds.

Out Of Print (OOP) – whether it’s 3,000 copies or a whopping 10,000 copies, this title has sold out, and in most cases no more will be made. OOP = oops…you’re headed to the Secondary Market. Good luck, we’re all counting on you. There are precedents for OOP titles being reissued (SpaceCamp, the 1987 Masters Of The Universe movie score, The Omega Man, the soundtrack from the 1966 Batman movie, Die Hard), but these are the exception rather than the rule, and the reissues themselves may be Limited Editions.

Pegwarmer – this is a term from the toy-collecting hobby that I use to describe any slow seller. If it’s a pegwarmer, it’ll be keeping the pegs on a retail display warm for quite some time because no one’s buying it. Granted, CDs aren’t sold this way, especially from the soundtrack specialty labels, but it’s a nice bit of shorthand. “Shelfwarmer” may be more accurate, but “pegwarmer” is just so catchy.

Secondary Market – when a title goes Out Of Print (OOP), this becomes your last refuge for obtaining a soundtrack CD. Some soundtrack vendors do carry second-hand/used items, such as Screen Archive Entertainment and Buysoundtrax.com, but whether you’re dealing with them or heading straight to the dreaded swamp of eBay or Amazon sellers, expect to shell out more. In a few rare cases, quickly-sold-out titles that are in demand can command prices into multiple hundreds of dollars. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Silver Age – a period in which Hollywood’s output gained maturity, presenting more stark realism and occasionally violence, stretching from the 1950s through the late 1970s, Hollywood’s Silver Age has become a useful category for film score collectors. “Golden Age” and “Silver Age” were labels that Film Score Monthly (FSM) applied to its own soundtrack releases, and were quickly picked up by the soundtrack collecting community at large. It could be argued that Jaws (1975) is a Silver Age film, while Star Wars (1977) belongs to the modern age.

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