This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘David Stratton: A Cinematic Life,’ ‘The Salesman,’ ‘A Few Less Men,’ and ‘Kong: Skull Island’.
This episode also contains interviews with Tom Hiddleston, David Stratton, Xavier Samuel and Philippe Patel (2017 Alliance French Film Festival).
You can listen to The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show or download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.
Summary: After the Vietnam war, a team of scientists explores an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 10th March 2017
Australian DVD Release Date: 19th July 2017
Country: United States, China
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Screenwriter: Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, Dan Gilroy, John Gatins (story), Merian C. Cooper (characters), Edgar Wallace (characters)
Cast: Will Brittain (Young Marlow/Marlow’s Son), James Michael Connor (General Ward (voice), Eugene Cordero (Reles), James Edward Flynn (Sgt. Dren), John Goodman (Bill Randa), Corey Hawkins (Houston Brooks), Tom Hiddleston (James Conrad), Mark Evan Jackson (Landsat Steve), Samuel L. Jackson (Preston Packard), Richard Jenkins (Senator Willis), Tian Jing (San), Rachel Joseph (Iwi), Toby Kebbell (Jack Chapman/Kong), Brie Larson (Mason Weaver), Thomas Mann (Slivko), Thomas Middleditch (Jerry (voice)), Jason Mitchell (Mills), Miyavi (Gunpei Ikari), Terry Notary (Kong), John Oritz (Victor Nieves), Allen Rachel (Secretary O’Brien), John C. Reilly (Hank Marlow), Shea Whigham (Cole)
Runtime: 118 mins
OUR KONG: SKULL ISLAND REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Kyle McGrath’s Kong: Skull Island Review:
The second film in Legendary Pictures “MonsterVerse” Kong: Skull Island is the story of a team of soldiers, scientists and explorers who at the end of the Vietnam war set off to an uncharted island in the Pacific. Almost immediately they encounter the wrath of the mighty King Kong who destroying their military helicopters leave them stranded on Skull Island. The survivors must traverse this unknown land to reach their originally planned evacuation point completely unaware that there are things on this island much worse than a 100 foot tall monkey.
I thoroughly enjoyed 2014’s Godzilla. While I thought the movie had some issues I feel it captured the perfect tone and representation of the titular King of the Monsters. I had heard about Kong: Skull Island from one source that it didn’t take itself too seriously and then from another that it took itself too seriously. After seeing the film I think it’s a mixture of both and it isn’t alway pretty.
From the beginning the filmmakers attempts to make “Apocalypse Now but with monsters” comes off as comedic. The opening scene which itself is set at the height of WW2 as both a US and Japanese soldier crash land on the island and duke it out before being interrupted by Kong feels more like a parody than anything. I was seriously expecting it to turn out to be “golden age of Hollywood” crew making some schlocky movie as a reference to the storylines of other “King Kong” films before being attacked. But no, this is the tone of the movie, rather than awe or drama I’m expecting a punchline and usually getting one from one of the movie’s many comedy relief moments. At a moment of high tension as Kong is about to eat some unfortunate soldier it jump cuts to a man biting into a sandwich. This is comedy stuff and drives a steamroller through any tension the film has built up and turns it into a joke.
The other serious moments, or attempts at serious moments come from the characters mostly, all of whom are non entities. There are simply way too many characters in this movie and not enough plot to go around to flesh them all out in 2 hours. One of the shortcomings of Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005) was the amount of time early on spent on supporting characters who either weren’t going to make it or weren’t going to be relevant at all by the halfway point.
Their stories felt genuine at least however. Here every other character has some monologue about their past. They talk about writing letters to their mama back home, or their newborn son they’ve never seen or they reminisce about some village they obliterated in ‘nam. All of it feels so melodramatic and ridiculous, again like it came from a parody film such as Black Dynamite and it comes from characters who probably shouldn’t be in the movie at all as their only purpose is to be fodder for some beastie or in some cases not even that. I know it’s complaining about “forced diversity” or “trying to appeal to the Chinese audience” in movies is low hanging fruit but it helps if in a movie your writers give a black guy and a Chinese girl something more substantial to do than just exist, follow the main characters around and talk to each other every now and then to remind us they’re there.
All of this damages the movie. I don’t care about the plot or Samuel L Jackson’s Colonel Kurtz-surrogate insane military commander because so much screen time is dedicated to redundancies. I would say it feels like a movie that has had 30 minutes of story cut out of it if it wasn’t for the low quality of what IS in the movie telling me otherwise.
Now while the actual monster on monster action fares much better and let’s be honest that’s what people came to see even that I found to be harmed by the need at comedy relief. We’re told about “Skull Crawlers”, the REAL threat on the island and what our hero Kong is up against, in a scene which needs to be interrupted for some jokes from long marooned soldier John C. Reilly told in exactly such a fashion that you’d expect from him. The result is on par with a Bond villain slipping on a banana peel in the middle of his master plan speech to James.
That said fans of the genre may get more out of this movie than out of Godzilla 2014. Purely from the fact that while in that film the filmmakers wished to hide the monsters from us as much as possible, here they can’t seem to wait to show it to us.
The film is what it is, a monster themed popcorn movie with cheesy comedy, wafer thin characters and story and 100 foot ape. I do believe that much more could have been done with it however if the filmmakers just knew more what tone they wished to take and story they wanted to tell. The film is tries to mix serious moments with comedy but comes off more like Hot Shots 2 than Mash.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Kong: Skull Island Reviews: N/A
Well Comic Con is over for another year and once again we have seen some amazing trailers released to fans at the con. Let’s take a look at the films that trailers premiered.
Summary: An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world, and becomes the greatest of its heroes.
Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, David Thewlis
Release Date: 1st June, 2017 (Australia)
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Summary: An action/adventure story centered on King Kong’s origins.
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Johnson
Release Date: 9th March, 2017 (Australia)
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Summary: A spin-off of The Lego Movie centering on Batman.
Director: Chris McKay
Stars: Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Mariah Carey
Release Date: February 2017 (Australia)
Summary: After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant and conceited surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under her wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast:Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton
Release Date: 27th October, 2016 (Australia)
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
Summary: Feature film version of the classic King Arthur story.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Eric Bana, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou
Release Date: 23rd March 2017 (Australia)
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Summary: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
Director: David Yates
Cast: Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight
Release Date: 17th November 2016 (Australia)
THE WOODS (BLAIR WITCH)
Summary: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his sister’s experiences in the cursed woods of the Blair Witch, Blane and a group of friends head to the forest in search of his lost sibling.
Director: Adam Wingard
Cast: Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry
Release Date: September 2016 (Australia)
Summary: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Amber Heard, Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Ezra Miller, J.K. Simmons, Jeremy Irons, Willem Dafoe
This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Legend,’ ‘The Walk,’ ‘UnIndian,’ and ‘Learning To Drive’. This episode also contains interviews with Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowski, Emily Browning, Brian Helgleland, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon and Anupam Sharma.
Also make sure you are listening this week as the boys launch their brand new competition thanks to our friends at eOne Entertainment. Simply listen to this week’s episode of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show and message us the answer to the question on either Facebook or Twitter and you can win a very special for fans of The Walking Dead. We have two Rick Grimes Pop! Vinyls to giveaway in celebration of eOne Entertainment making available each episode of The Walking Dead Season Six on their digital platforms (iTunes and Google Play) the day after each episode airs on TV from October 13th.