Where Does A 180-Minute Gorilla Sleep?

Why, at Universal Pictures, of course! According to this report on Rottentomatoes.com, Peter Jackson delivers another epic with King Kong. With a 3 hour running time and a $207 million price tag, this movie has grown beyond original expectations. Described as "a masterpiece" by the suits at Universal, the fact that they don’t seem a bit nervous about recouping their money on this release is a sign that they aren’t just slinging monkey poop.

Since Jackson has already lost his indie cred in the wake of Lord of the Rings, he doesn’t seem to care that Kong might transform him hopelessly into the guise of a bigtime Hollywood director. Personally, I think this is the jolt that might save the American movie industry from drying up creatively. I’m impressed with the way Jackson has made the transition out of the indie realm directly into big budget blockbusters while maintaining a large degree of his distinctive style.

I’m hoping that more indie directors follow his lead, and that the studios nurture this new talent instead of continuing to strangle all creativity with their committees and focus groups. And if you think that Hollywood can never make movies as good as the independent releases, remember that many of the great films of the 70’s were made within the studio system. Low budget is workable for character-driven dramas and comedies, but some artistic visions can only be brought to the screen with the financial support of the studios.

Lets hope that Peter Jackson’s successes lead to more masterpieces by more visionary directors working in the major film industries around the world.

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