I don't know that I ever saw the original King Kong, which was made in 1933. I do seem to recall making fun of the dinosaurs and effects with my brother in the early 80's though. Luckily for us cinema-goers, Peter Jackson was forever impressed by Kong as a child.
Michelle and I went to the Rave the other day, bought a $4.00 Diet Coke, and found some seats in the fairly crowded theater.
Being a huge fan of Peter Jackson's trilogy, I had great expectations coming into King Kong.
The movie manages well to not be just about effects (Michelle still jabs at me for getting all gung-ho about Godzilla, a remake that failed spectacularly in 1998). The love story between Darrow and the ape, and the unrequited (or put-on-hold) love between Driscoll and Darrow thread their way through the whole movie.
The visuals are amazing. Skull Island looks as you would expect it to; prehistoric and watchful. Andy Serkis, the guy who played Gollum in Lord of the Rings, does an excellent job of playing Kong. The major action sequences were entertaining to the point of almost being absurd, each new scene one-upping the previous one. You may find yourself going now this!?, but ultimately it's a thrill ride.
For guys, it's satisfying to see Kong protect Ann and beat a horde of Tyrannosaurs, carefully tossing her from hand to hand to foot while he fights. Women can enjoy that and the fact that Brody's character won't give up on rescuing Ann, despite a thousand near-deaths.
I do have to say that Jack Black felt odd in a leading role like this. It'd be like having Ben Stiller play something serious; I'd keep expecting him to launch into a Blue Steel pose, or worse, Magnum.