King Kong (2005, NZL/USA) C-187m. SCOPE *** D: Peter Jackson. Starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis, Evan Parke, Jamie Bell, Peter Jackson, Frank Darabont, Howard Shore, Rick Baker. Superbly made fantasy horror drama, a worthy remake of the 1933 monster movie classic. Down-on-her-luck actress Watts agrees to join seedy movie director Black to film an adventure movie overseas, not knowing that he is running away with money from his producers. Scriptwriter Brody is equally fooled. They all end up on mysterious island harboring creatures that time has forgotten, and Watts becomes the victim of a tribe who make regular sacrifices to a giant ape. Staggering tour-de-force from the maker of the LORD OF THE RINGS movies, breathtaking action and special effects as well as carefully plotted drama make this a winner all the way. There's real movie magic at work here. Excellent score by James Newton Howard. Director Jackson also coscripted and coproduced. Winner of 3 Oscars for Best Sound, Sound Editing and Visual Effects.

© Ron Altman