King Kong (2005) ****

This isn't your great grand daddy's Kong! Jackson has swung at his lifelong dream project, and he has clearly hit the game winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning of the 7th game of the World Series. Jackson keeps reinventing the cinema. That ape had more personality and emotion than half the fluffy Hollywood actors working today! A couple of things concerned me going in: (A) The 3 hour length, (B) Jack Black as the lead character, and (C) Did this classic REALLY need to be remade once again? Well, all I can say is (A) never has 3 hours moved so swiftly, (B) Jack Black can be successfully directed in a non-comedic role, and (C) not only did it need to be remade, but this is the movie that had everything that was missing in the original: namely, an ape with enough heart, emotion, and character to make grown people cry at his demise, and special effects so dazzling that you'd swear that reality was happening before your very eyes! Enough will be written in the weeks to come about its various shortcomings (and ALL film can be critiqued to death if you stop and think about it!) but what can't be ignored is that this is one helluva masterpiece in design, flow, and character study that will go down as one of the greatest achievements in cinema history. Run, do not walk, to see and revel in this magical fantasy by this genius filmmaker!!!

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