We gave it a B+
Does it bug you when trailers drag on at the multiplex? If so, King Kong: Peter Jackson’s Production Diaries may not be for you. It’s the ultimate bloated preview: a three-and-three-quarter-hour plug for Jackson’s three-hour remake, due in theaters Dec. 14. And it’s not terribly fresh pluggery, since almost all of the bitsy material here — how they built New York street sets complete with steaming sewer covers, how they fabricated animal poop — was dribbled out previously at the fansite kongisking.net. (These archived communiqués disappeared in October, so now you can see them only in this $40 set. Gotcha!) But all that said, Diaries makes a tasty pile of leftovers, garnished as it is with a new segment (a sneak peek at the big T. rex fight scene) and wrapped in a cool faux-treasure-chest box with some nice concept-art lithographs (plus better picture quality than the Internet). Jackson’s determination to turn himself into a kind of reality TV character is in some ways a heroic gesture, more an expression of his love for moviemaking than a commercial stratagem. Dilettantes will balk, but if you’re into either Jackson or Kong, this is a dandy way to stoke your appetite for the main course.