Visually stunning. Terrific pace. Jackson winds up the tension to breaking point
and never lets you go till the final frame.
This is what you would expect from a Christmas Blockbuster, but this reworking of the
original King Kong film, has so much more than the usual thrills and spills.
Naomi Watts is very striking to say the least and the ill-fated love between her
character Anne Darrow and Kong is realistically portrayed.
After over a decade of working on smaller film projects the Aussie/Brit
actress found critical acclaim in David Lynch's Mullholland Drive.
Then Naomi took the lead in the Gore Verbinski remake of classic Japanese horror The Ring in 2002.
She carries the movie as effortlessly as her beloved ape carries her.
Her performance is heartbreakingly honest and the viewer can't help but
relate to her impossible predicament.
She faces all manner of opponents both human and prehistoric on this
forgotten fantasy island; from, stop at nothing, movie director Carl Denham to fully grown T -rex.
As he repeatedly rescues her from peril time and time again she begins to see a very
real humanity behind his dark brooding eyes.
The huge ape is given his humour and heart by Andy Zerkis and the same CGI technology
used by Jackson for bringing Gollum in Lord of the Rings to life.
Jackson operates on an emotional plane continually plugging into the female psyche,
playing out a girl's fantasy to be rescued by her true love and kept safe from harm-
albeit on a much grander scale.
Jack Black does a surprisingly good turn as the unstoppable director with big
plans for the future.
He plucks Anne Darrow from virtual starvation to be his leading lady for his epic adventure film.
Her human love interest is played by British actor Adrien Brody, he plays a
scriptwriter whose work Darrow holds in high esteem.
An older Jamie Bell plays bookish deckhand with a penchant for thievery and Marlowe and
handles the role adequately.
The timing of the dialogue is just right and although some criticism has been
aimed at the long sequences to set the scene and characters in 1930's New York,
I found both the styles and the scenery of the city both nostalgic and aesthetically pleasing.
As the intrepid team get closer to the island the atmosphere builds and there
begins a rollercoaster ride with some truly heart-stopping moments.
The CGI fight sequences are incredible and genuinely thrilling. I did have to
suspend my belief as the dino pile up ensued, a scene reminiscent of the police
car sequences in Blues Brothers.
On a number of occasions I found myself clutching my chest as our heroine battled
with the outside dangers and her inner turmoil.
This is perfectly portrayed when Denham finally catches up with Anne
and finds her, clad only in her diaphanous dress, fast asleep, cradled
in the giant hand of the Silverback gorilla.
When she opens her eyes the look she gives him is loaded with shock, surprise and guilt.
It is as if she has been caught with another lover, which of course she has.
The tears she cries for the magnificent animal serve to confuse Denham further.
After all he's a perfectly decent chap, stout of heart, intelligent and good
looking, yet he pales into the background cast against the magnetism and rugged
masculinity of Kong.
Yet another sure fire winner by seven times Oscar winner Peter Jackson that
will surely challenge for the big prizes during the award season.
Ultimately this film left me feeling exhilarated thoroughly entertained
and more than a little emotional.
Reviews, Books - Complicity by Nick Quantrill Reviewed by Steve Rudd
The rain refused to ease as Coleman made his way through Queens Gardens
and on towards King Edward Street. He pulled his collar up and hurried his pace...
This is a staggeringly enthralling showcase for Hull-based writer Nick Quantrill's
unmistakable talent for writing fiction - and crime fiction, to be more precise.
He has written a fair few short stories that revolve around crime
Reviews, Books - Ian Newton - The Night Shift Reviewed By Kevin Maguire
The guy in a sharp business suit glowered as if I was mad for laughing out loud
while waiting for a flight in Washington Dulles International Airport.
No exhibitionist, I rarely laugh out loud. Indeed, I rarely read anything worth
laughing about, let alone out loud. But the story about two on-the-run robbers
holding a group of Hull factory workers hostage after a fish
Reviews, Books - East Of The Mountains By David Guterson Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Alright, so you might not have heard of the author before, but you might
actually be already familiar with some of his 'work,' as his debut novel
was called Snow Falling On Cedars... a staggering bestseller that came
to be made into a Hollywood movie starring Ethan Hawke.
Such a debut made it apparent that Guterson is one hell
of a story teller who goes to great
Reviews, Books - Scott Phillips - The Walkaway Reviewed by Steve Rudd
It is imperative that you keep your wits about when reading this novel more than with almost
any other mighty slab of fiction ever published. If you've never read Phillips' awesome debut
novel The Ice Harvest, then there's actually little point whatsoever you even making a
beeline for The Walkaway, for this mesmerisingly cool epic crime-drama is the incredible
Reviews, Books - Robert Adams - Antman (Bitterne Books) Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Antman is the latest crime novel from prolific Hull-based author Robert Adams.
It is his interest in ant behaviour that forms the heart of this book, and one
that allows him to craft a dark narrative that absorbs and terrifies in equal measure.
The novel starts with the discovery of a dead pig at a remote location in the Hull area.
Forensic investigation reveals that the animal was reduced
Reviews, Books - The Two-Bear Mambo By Joe R. Lansdale Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Lansdale certainly is one hell of a prolific author, and this is something
like the tenth novel of his that I have had the pleasure of reading.
The vast majority of his novels follow two buddies, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, as they manage - without fail - to get into all kinds of violent predicaments through being often overly stubborn and too-proud-by-half men.
Reviews, Books - Wobegon Boy by Garrison Keillor Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I have a responsible job and pay my taxes and keep my lawn mowed, but because I dare to be
an individual, people whisper about me behind my back. Why is life like this?
This epic novel is an absolute masterpiece that is drama-driven and hugely poignant, as it
follows a man called John Tollefson as he bumbles through his life over a pronounced period
of time, with the
Reviews, Books - Down By The River Where The Dead Men Go by George P. Pelecanos Reviewed by Steve Rudd
As the novel title must suggest, this is a crime thriller... and one of the highest order.
I first heard of the author in Pelecanos through him heaping praise on
the 'action-thriller' writing of Steve Hamilton.
Like with Hamilton's work, Pelecanos weaves an engrossing story around a
series of hugely believable and genuinely exciting set-pieces.
Interestingly, many authors
Reviews, Books - Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller Reviewed By Steve Rudd
You can get something out of a book, even a bad book.
First published in France in 1934, this extraordinary piece of writing never saw the light of day in the United States and the wider world at large until after 1961, following a mighty legal battle that resulted in the book finally being published elsewhere.
Human beings make a strange fauna and flora...More than anything
Reviews, Books - Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Bret's work, it seems, is either loved or truly loathed.
Almost all of his past novels have been as controversial and as feared by some people as
hell itself, especially as Bret focuses on taboo subjects with intense abandon.
His best known book is the huge-selling American Psycho masterpiece, yet his other
work is most definitely worth reading too - if you like that kind of thing.
Alright, Less Than Zero isn't half
Reviews, Books - The Hunting Wind by Steve Hamilton Reviewed By Steve Rudd
This is the fourth thriller of Steve's that I've devoured with a heady, stance-steady vengeance. He really does reside in the top drawer of American-based thriller writers, living in New York but writing about the state in which he was raised… the often cold and bleak Northern state of Michigan, near to the border with Canada.
The previous three novels that I've read of his
Reviews, Books - Fury by Salman Rushdie Reviewed By Steve Rudd
I must live until I die.
Perhaps best known for his hugely controversial book The Satanic Verses, Indian writer
Salman Rushdie is one of the most famous writers in the world, which is understandable
when his writing is so utterly extraordinary in timbre.
Mysteries drive us all. We only glimpse their veiled faces, but their power pushes
us onward, Read more...
Reviews, Books - The Nineties by John Robb Reviewed By Steve Rudd
If you remember the Nineties... you were there!
This incredible book, written by the singer for punk rock 'n' roll band Goldblade in
truly is a breathtaking overview of an exhilarating decade.
And it isn't just music that is covered, as the always-opinionated Robb proffers his honest
opinions about anything and everything that had a
Reviews, Books - Lost Souls by Michael Collins Reviewed By Steve Rudd
We only live once. I don't think we ever really confront that until it's too late.
Understandably shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Lost Souls is not your average mystery-thriller
novel, with this engrossing 'whodunnit' focusing on a small-town cop trying to get to the bottom
of the mysterious death of a three-year-old girl.
The prime suspect is the local football star,
Reviews, Theatre - Sep 20 - 25th - The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Northern Broadsides Company at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough by Patrick Henry
The scandal school of the title locates itself in tea-parties gathering mostly at the home of
Lady Sneerwell, who has a voracious addiction to gossip amid the Darjeeling and cream cakes
passed around her close acquaintances equally hooked on rumour-peddling.
Suspectedly, no-one has any friends in this circle or in upper-class society at
Reviews, Books - Harry Potter Series by Mark Petherbridge
In my opinion, the Harry Potter books are fantastic, whether it's read to escape into the intriguing, yet marvellously complex world or to read in third person about a boy whose life is a series of amazing adventures, in a secret yet in-your-face wizarding world.
According to recent studies (the source being Newsround) these books have
Reviews, Books - Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck Reviewed By Steve Rudd
People don't take trips - trips take people.
It's almost impossible, in this day and age, to not have heard of John Steinbeck.
First and foremost, his Of Mice And Men short story is the staple part of almost every school
curriculum, while his Grapes of Wrath novel is equally as well-known.
Steinbeck was born and raised in the Salinas area of California,