1. Don't fire your weapon into a dark cave to find out if anything's in it.
2. Don't get caught on the log.
3. When the shore of the island you've just pulled up on is decorated with the impaled skeletons of the last people who visited, turn around, get back in the boat, and find a different island.
I think Jackson could've easily cut a quarter of the movie, probably even a third. The subplot between the first mate and the kid was entirely unecessary. Kong's fight with the Tyrannosauruses, cool as it was, could've been about half as long, but all in all the film was pretty impressive. It was a nice, arch touch putting the Broadway-show islanders in the same outfits as the campy islanders of the '76 remake. And I must say, that was the realest looking gorilla costume I've ever seen. If you thought Jackson did incredible things with forced perspective in the Lord of the Rings films, you'll be amazed at how he makes a dude in a suit look 25 feet tall. Either that or Naomi Watts is freaking tiny.
At the root, it's a simple story, and I think Jackson told it pretty well. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back after fighting off dinosaurs, boy gets knocked out by some jugs of chloroform, boy becomes Broadway STAH!, boy plummets to his death from the Empire State Building, girl weeps. And, of course, the real tragedy is that, even if Kong hadn't died at the end, we know it would never have worked out. She's a city girl, he's from the country. She likes going to dinner and seeing a show, he's into outdoor sports. She's a modern woman who knows what she wants, he's as conservative as they come. Would. Not. Work. No matter how many adventures and tragedies they or we endure together, the gulf between each of us remains, yawning, ridiculing, and, umm...yawning.(/existential)