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Kong: Skull Island

USA / China 2017
produced by
Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Thomas Tull, Edward Cheng (executive) for Eric McLeod (executive) for Legendary, Tencent Pictures, Warner Brothers
directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts
starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Eugene Cordero, Marc Evan Jackson, Will Brittain, Miyavi, Richard Jenkins, Allyn Rachel, Robert Taylor, James M. Connor, Thomas Middleditch, Brady Novak, Peter Karinen, Brian Sacca, Joshua Funk, Daniel F. Malone, Glenn 'Kiwi' Hall, Garreth Hadfield, Shannon Brimelow, Jon Quested, Korey Williams, Dat Phan, Cynthy Wu, Beth Kennedy, Bryan Chojnowski, Terry Notary
story by John Gatins, screenplay by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, based on characters created by Merian C. Cooper, Edgar Wallace, music by Henry Jackman, visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Rodeo FX

King Kong, MonsterVerse

review by
Mike Haberfelner

1973: On the behest of modern day treasure hunters Randa (John Goodman) and Brooks (Corey Hawkins), the gouvernment funds a military-led expedition to newly discovered Skull Island - basically to beat the Russians to it. But once they arrive in several helicopters, they're pretty much immediately attacked by a giant ape, Kong, who seems to be hell-bent on defending his island, and he takes down one chopper after the other, being apparently impervious to bullets. Soon our heroes are split in two, there's the soldiers led by Colonel Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), who set out into the jungles of the island to explore and stumble upon many mean monsters in the process, and there's the civilian branch led by tracker Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), seconded by war photographer Weaver (Brie Larson), who soon discover a village of natives, who are actually protected by Kong, as there are prehistoric beasts out there a dime a dozen. Among the natives, they also find a white man, Marlow (John C. Reilly), who has been shot down over the island in World War II and lived with the natives ever since. But now he decides to return to civilisation with the others. The civilians and the soldiers soon join forces again, and now all they have to do is to cross the island to pick-up point. But Packard has this idea to destroy Kong along the way and lays all sorts of traps for him - while at the same time, Conrad and Weaver discover the giant beast's more gentle side and determine he's actually the humans' friend ... and they literally stop Packard and the soldiers from destroying Kong in the very last moment - and not a moment too soon, either, as soon they are attacked by local prehistoric monsters en masse, and only Kong can save them now ...


What can I say, this is not a bad movie, it delivers all the monster action you'd expect it to, and the CGI is actually pretty well done. Also, the film does feature some inventive scenes of destruction and death that are sure to hit a note with genre fans. The problem is, the action aside, the film seems very empty, more a video game where one has to use one's ingenuity to fulfill some missions and have some adventures along the way than an actual narrative feature: The characters are all very bland, the story's straight-forward as can be, lacking all the complexity and sexual overtones of the original King Kong, and thus the film fails to build up proper tension and suspense, as it cares for little other than spectacle - but at least it's good at that.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD