Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

There's always one thing that's guaranteed to blow my mind when I'm leafing through the latest edition of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. And that's when I look up an older movie, only to find that Maltin has revised the review. This is actually quite a rare occurance, but it just happened to me as I was reading the brand new, 2006 edition. The movie? King Kong vs. Godzilla.

Here, let me demonstrate the revisions.

Here's the original review for King Kong vs. Godzilla, which has been in the same in movie guide for as long as I can remember. I transcribe this review from the 2005 edition of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. It's on page 753. Leonard Maltin gives King Kong vs. Godzilla two and half stars and says:

"All talk, talk, talk until the rousing finale, when the two monsters clash. Special effects are above average."

Now, let's flash-forward to the 2006 edition of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. Leonard Maltin believes now that King Kong vs. Godzilla is worthy of only TWO stars. And, the new review from page 694 says....

"Essentially a KONG remake, with Tokyo subbing for N.Y.C. and Godzilla showing up to make that mess even bigger. (Oh yes, there's also a giant octopus.) Third Godzilla movie-the first in color and in widescreen-was originally a clever satire of the worst excesses of TV journalism, but the U.S. version eliminates most of this (as well as Akira Ifukube's thrilling score), and adds awful new scenes with Michael Keith, Harry Holcombe, Byron Morrow, and Victor Millian. Still worth a look. (P.S.: Despite urban legend, only one ending was shot.) Japanese running time 98m."

So, what I'm curious to know is, when does Leonard Maltin feel that one of his reviews needs to be revised or revisited? Did Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong and last year's 50th anniversary of Godzilla spark a new interest in the two giant monsters, leading to a second look? Has viewing the original Japanese cut of King Kong vs. Godzilla given the American edit (presumably the one originally reviewed) a new flavour? I'd really like to know.

(Although, I do think that the new review really does over-use the parenthesis.)

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