Newsweek‘s Devin Gordon has seen and written about Peter Jackson’s King Kong (Universal, 12.14), and right off the top he uses the same “I” word I’ve been using to describe Jackson for the last four years. (What columnist would use such a term, after all, if he/she wasn’t unfairly biased against Jackson?) “Some critics will complain that the film’s length is an act of Oscar-drunk hubris,” Gordon allows, “but while Kong may be indulgent, it’s not pretentious. And it’s certainly never dull. Jackson has honored his favorite film in the best possible way: by recapturing its heart-pounding, escapist glee.” Keep in mind that any journalist-critic would be inclined to show politeness (if not outright gratitude) to Jackson for his goodwill gesture of letting the journo-critic get a world-exclusive look at King Kong, and that this would probably translate into stepping lightly and obliquely in the rendering of any judgments. And yet even with this psychology in place, Gordon has called the film “indulgent.” He also reports there’s a scene between Kong and Naomi Watts’ Ann Darrow “on a frozen pond in Central Park that tilts toward the corny.” Asked about the film’s three-hour length, Jackson tells Gordon, “A few people have already asked me why we’re taking twice as long to tell essentially the same story, and I don’t really know. We’ve been asking that ourselves. I’m going to have to come up with a better answer.” That quote alone gives me the willies. Jackson’s Kong is 80 minutes longer than the original, and he doesn’t even know why?