Revenge of ‘Hitch It or Ditch It’ – Apocalypse Kong on ‘Skull Island’

Site Note – ‘Hitch It or Ditch It’ is a column Marcus and I originally created a couple years ago from the original Sonic Film Box blog. Marcus picked up the mantle for a bit on the now defunct Examiner.com and it bounced over to We  ♥ TV for a bit, but I let it languish in obscurity. However the beast will not be contained and demands to be let loose on a new batch of trailers.

The Set-up–  Have you ever found yourself watching a trailer before a feature presentation and turning to your friend or date with a snap judgement of, “I want to see that” or “Oh, that looks awful!”? That’s the experience we wanted to recreated. A movie trailer (aka preview) is suppose to sell you on a movie. You may never read anything else about the movie or see any cast on talk shows promoting the film.  So, the trailer might be the only experience you have to learn about the movie and quickly make a decision on whether you file this away as something you want to see or skip. Marcus and I will either recommend a “Hitch It” (go see it when it comes out) or “Ditch It” (wait until cable/streaming/home video release or never) based on the trailer and what we know about the actors, director, etc that could sway our opinion.

First up will be some expected summer blockbusters, because honestly, it will help bring in some clicks.  However, with this column you will get something unique besides just the trailer and a press release. As the column progresses I hope to bring in more diverse titles.

“Kong: Skull Island”  
(IMDb | Wiki )
Opens:  United States on March 10, 2017, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and in Dolby Cinemas.
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson

The old format was I’d post one trailer that we’d Hitch or Ditch. However, for this latest King Kong creature feature, I changed my Hitchin’ mind after viewing the Comic Con teaser and then later the first official trailer. Let’s watch both, shall we?

and now the official trailer:

(Marcus says, Hitch it!)

Personally, I have never “bought-in” to teaser trailers when it comes to an upcoming film. It never lives up to what you expect or want and while it serves the purpose of giving fans a peek into what’s to come, I would rather just wait the couple weeks until the full trailer is released. Oddly, the teaser for “Kong: Skull Island” is very nearly a full trailer, so it does more than get you excited. Yes, it’s that good of a teaser, but then again wouldn’t it have to be when being played for the first time at Comic Con? Maybe I just forgot they were still going to reboot this story or maybe I didn’t care if they did. Either way, it’s nice to see the likes of Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston and John Goodman in it. That group alone would make me want to watch it, so assuming then action and special effects are not too far over the top, it might be fairly entertaining to watch the destruction. And what I liked most about this teaser is they don’t really show Kong at all, which naturally leaves you rather intrigued. Totally different story with the actual full-length trailer where you get a full view of him early on.  Now, this doesn’t necessarily change my view on the film, it just would have been nice to see him in all his glory when sitting down to watch it for the first time. That being said, it’s still a film about a giant ape, so my expectations for it are already buried. So even if the regular trailer shows a little too much, I would still go watch it based off the cast and how ridiculously fun it looks.

(Kel says, Hitch it!,  DITCH IT! )

The teaser trailer introduces us to an ensemble of power players Tom Hiddleston,  Samuel L. Jackson,  John Goodman & John C. Reilly with Brie Larson. Larson,  in her first big blockbuster film after winning an Best Actress Oscar trophy for “Room,” takes over the inevitable role of “the blonde human female to which Kong takes a shine,” from predecessors such as Faye Wray (“King Kong” 1933), Jessica Lange (“King Kong” 1976),  and Naomi Watts (“King Kong” 2005.) This is the Vietnam Era and there’s helicopters, natives, and jungles a-blaze. Right away I uttered “Apocalypse Kong” (an homage that is very intentional once you see the IMAX poster at the top of this post, compared to the “Apocalypse Now” poster below.) I was enthralled with this set-up. Humans questioning each other’s motives and plans on how to survive. Kong as KING. This is his home, you puny humans. While Kong is a CGI creation, the rest of the trailer grounded me in enough reality and hopefully strong characters.

Then the next trailer hit. #FFS. That’s “For F***’s Sake” for those that don’t speak text and Twitter lingo. WHY THE BIG CRITTERS? I thought this was a Kong movie?  WHY SO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS? They will only take away time from our humans versus Kong story. The long beaked and weird legged creatures really piss me off as they aren’t that original. They look like relatives of JJ Abrams creatures alone (see “Cloverfield” and “Star Trek.”) Hollywood big budget creature features these days can’t help themselves to pile on more and more things visually instead of say, “plot” or “character development.” All my good will disappears when there’s a shock cut of those big beaked monstrosities coming at the audience (obviously for the 3-D ticket price up charge.) A giant spider might have been cool, but no we have many of them! The giant moss covered bison looks really cool. That at least fits for me that this island has giant ancient relatives of things that exist today. Now you say, “Kel, don’t you love “Star Wars” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” where just about everything is something that doesn’t exist in our world?” YES. However, the built very big unique worlds with their own mythology and unique characters. I worry the sheer volume of critters and critter food humans will reduce any emotional attachment and character arcs.

“Skull Island” is part of a new movie universe that will include “Godzilla” as rebooted in 2014. But, considering that the “Godzilla” movie was set in modern times, it will be interesting to see what year they set for 2020’s planned “Godzilla Vs. King Kong” supersized sequel. But, first we have “Godzilla 2” in 2018, so stay tuned.

Bottom line, Hiddleston and Larson are both very beautiful people but the excess of CGI critters has ruined my desire to see “Skull Island” in theaters.

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