A Few Words About A few words about...™ King Kong (2005) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For fans of Peter Jackson's take on King Kong, Universal's original HD release was considered reference quality, albeit limited to the theatrical release only, presumably based upon the ability of the HD format to contain both.

    Released concurrent with the HD disc in November of 2006, was a three-disc SD version filled to overflowing with a myriad of additional extras.

    Now, finally making its bow on Blu-ray, one receives the same extremely high quality image and audio as the 2006 HD, but now with the addition of the longer (200 minute, and not necessarily better) cut of the film, which is interconnected with the 187 cut via seamless branching.

    If one looks at price -- the new Blu-ray is currently available on Amazon for $20, reduced from $30 -- I would have preferred to put on end to this particular version of Kong, by adding a second disc with the extras only found on the standard def version, and making this release all inclusive. A $5 price increase would have been quite acceptable.

    As it stands, one can make the case of yet another Kong coming our way within the next year, probably billed as an Ultimate Edition.

    What we have is a technically beautiful, reference quality Blu-ray, but still missing the extras for those who desire them.

    As far as time is concerned, the 1933 original seemed to get everything into 100+ minutes. Seven decades later, I'm not certain that we've gained anything story-wise over the original.

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I understand that point of view, but I have to say, having only seen the theatrical cut, I can't think of anything in particular I'd want cut. Yes, you can demonstrably tell the story in less time, but I appreciate the background Jackson added and how beautiful things looked. It's good length, and as much as it may have annoyed theater owners that they couldn't sell as many tickets, that's not really my problem as an audience member.

    Besides, it might be almost necessary for a modern Kong to be extended like this: Where the original was something hugely unusual even at 100 minutes, what made it a spectacle then is commonplace now. To make his version of King Kong as grand as the original, Jackson expanded it so that it would be a singular experience.

    I've been having this same discussion with friends about Benjamin Button - it was based on a short story, after all, so does it have to be that long? But as much as some films are great for sticking to what's essential, some are for going to areas that aren't essential and making the whole enterprise even more fascinating.
     
  3. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I love Jackson's Kong. It is a bit long and I could definitely see scenes being cut, but I love the movie as it is as well.

    I'll repeat Robert's sentiments that Universal should've included the previous releases' extras. The first Blu-rays I purchased were the first 2 Pirates of the Caribbeans and I really appreciated Disney's inclusion of all the supplements. I liked the fact that I could essentially dispose of my old SD versions. So with Kong, I'm still gonna have to hold on to the previous versions if I want to keep the extras - spread over 7 discs (2 from the production diaries release, the bonus disc from the 2-disc release, and the 3 discs from the extended release)!
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm not particularly happy about it either but the fact that both cuts are on this disc means that I won't be buying any future BR re-releases containing those special features.
     
  5. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I wish seamless branching allowed me to by-pass the godawful bronto stampede sequence, which I feel is the film's only major misstep. But that's been covered in earlier threads.
     
  6. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I've have yet to see the EE so this will be a welcome addition to my collection.
     
  7. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the word, Robert. I was concerned about the extended cut all on one disc affecting the image quality, but it sounds like this is one to get.
     
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I too really liked this movie. It was an adventure and I really liked the island scenes - just visually stunning. I'm anxious to hear the DTS-MA track too.
     
  9. PerryD

    PerryD Supporting Actor

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    Almost every action scene could have been cut in half time-wise and the movie would have lost no story, and overall the movie would have been less taxing to watch, and 30 minutes shorter.

    That said, I still appreciate the movie, and at $20, I will probably upgrade my HD-DVD version at some point.
     
  10. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Now listen--just because giant apes have attached New York three times in human history doesn't make it a commonplace event! Haha; all kidding aside, I think one of the things that make the original a classic IS pacing; everything you need is in those 100+ minutes. That's a movie that MOVES--that's why I still watch it (and prefer it).
     
  11. Brian Dobbs

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    Any chance we'll see a re-release with extras this time?
     
  12. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    The current release has extras; Theatrical and extended versions of the film Commentary with Jackson Walsh and Boyens U-control picture in picture with behind the scenes footage interviews and more Art galleries While not as extensive as the 3 disc DVD special edition, it isn't barebones either. Would Love a new super duper edition with all the previous extras and some new ones.
     

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