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King Kong (1933) Blu-Ray

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#1 of 107 OFFLINE   Paul Penna

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Posted April 27 2010 - 06:53 AM

 Old news? I hope not.

In his Movie Crazy blog, Leonard Maltin, in writing about the TCM Film Festival in LA, includes the following in his comments about the digital screening of the King Kong restoration:
 

Quote:
 Warner Bros.’ new digital restoration, which will yield a Blu-ray home video release later this year...

Link to Maltin's article in his blog:

blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/archives/classic_film_fest_an_abundance_of_riches/

 



#2 of 107 OFFLINE   Matt Stieg

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Posted April 27 2010 - 07:23 AM

Man, I hope this is for real and Maltin isn't just talking out his ass.

#3 of 107 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 27 2010 - 08:15 AM

We know from an old insert in early 2009 that it was a title Warner was at the very least planning to release on Blu, so it wouldn't surprise me.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#4 of 107 OFFLINE   John Morgan

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Posted April 27 2010 - 10:34 AM

 I can't remember the month, but I think it is October. I do know a new commentary track was recently done. How I wish they would put KONG, THE SON OF KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG together...all on a Blu Ray set. 

#5 of 107 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted April 27 2010 - 07:56 PM

you know, I got the deluxe tin of Kong way back when, very excited about the release, sent off for the poster and everything.

I don't think I ever got around to watching it on DVD. 

That said, I'm still excited for the bluray, go figure.
 

#6 of 107 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted April 27 2010 - 11:30 PM

But will King Kong look better in Blu-ray, or will we just see all the film grain sharper.

#7 of 107 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted April 28 2010 - 01:24 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_S 

you know, I got the deluxe tin of Kong way back when, very excited about the release, sent off for the poster and everything.

I don't think I ever got around to watching it on DVD. 

That said, I'm still excited for the bluray, go figure.
Oh, you should watch it.  At least some of the extras.  There's a segment where Peter Jackson "recreated" the lost spider pit scene.  It's worth the  price just for that.  Even when I get the blu, I won't get rid of the tin because I doubt they'll do something that nice again.


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#8 of 107 OFFLINE   Jesse Blacklow

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Posted April 28 2010 - 02:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Batson 

But will King Kong look better in Blu-ray, or will we just see all the film grain sharper.
Assuming you're just uninformed about both the resolution of film no matter what vintage, and on how to use the search function to read any of the many reviews and owner opinions on older classics like Casablanca, The Third Man, The Wizard of Oz, and other titles from the same time period the answer is...y'know what? I'm sure you can find it on your own.


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#9 of 107 OFFLINE   Brian Borst

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Posted April 28 2010 - 05:19 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by John Morgan 

 I can't remember the month, but I think it is October. I do know a new commentary track was recently done. How I wish they would put KONG, THE SON OF KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG together...all on a Blu Ray set. 
I hope they do that. I didn't buy the dvd set of all the movies, but seeing little bits and pieces on the documentary on disc 2 made me regret it almost instantly.

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#10 of 107 OFFLINE   Jesse Blacklow

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Posted April 28 2010 - 05:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Batson ">

Don't get shirty  Jesse. I've worked with film for the past 45 years, I don't think you have a clue. The resolution of what? The original negs (long missing), a fine grain pos/print from the negs, a print from a neg that was made from a print. As I remember, the transfer was made from a dupe found in the UK, the best source they could find....stop press, with each generation the "resolution" gets worse.
And why not? After all, a simple search on either this site or Google would have told you everything you needed to know about both the look of classics of the same era and how well this particular film had been treated, to say nothing of the extras on the DVD itself.  Everything you wanted to know about the negatives and prints, including the elements it was taken from, the quality of said elements, the work done in scanning to 4K, etc. is right there.  But instead, you chose to jump into the thread with snarky comments about the grain in what is Episode #142 of what appears to be some sort of doubt-mongering crusade about whether films can look better on Blu-ray.

FWIW, I think it's been pretty well-established that while an original negative or interpositive is good, even a decent release print can show improvement in resolution in 1080p, as long as the digital realms of the transferring and mastering process aren't fiddled with too much (a la releases like Patton).  And considering this film has had a lot of attention paid to it in terms of restoration in the last decade--again, this is a fact that you could have found if you had bothered to spend Comments removed by Owner

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#11 of 107 OFFLINE   Fritz Nilsen

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Posted April 28 2010 - 05:42 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Batson 

But will King Kong look better in Blu-ray, or will we just see all the film grain sharper.
It's a fair question. Resolution may not be the deciding factor, but I feel the better compression will decide in favour of the Blu-Ray.

And I'm sure you're just as eager to see all that sharp grain as I am :-)

Shazam!



#12 of 107 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 28 2010 - 09:32 AM

WARNING

I have already suspended one member for remarks
made in this thread.

From this point forward be certain that you are 
respectful to your fellow member here.



Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#13 of 107 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted May 04 2010 - 01:07 AM

 These forums are mostly made up of people with extensive knowledge and experience with film preservation so obviously passions run high and opinions differ. I'm sometimes reluctant to post comments being that I'm just a lowly film buff so I'm not gonna start a thread (for regular joes) on the merits of film grain vs. the 3-D "pop" factor with Blu-ray and what people prefer until things boil over :-)
 

 


#14 of 107 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted May 04 2010 - 01:36 AM

Count me in the group that didn't understand what all of the anger was about.  This seems like a very appropriate question considering the fact that the original negative is long gone.

I could SLIGHTLY understand if somebody was debating the benefits of Blu-Ray on Casablanca or The Searchers, but this is not the case.

I for one am eager to hear opinions about this from some of our members with much greater knowledge in this field than myself.



#15 of 107 OFFLINE   warnerbro

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Posted July 15 2010 - 04:38 PM

Does anyone know what actually happened to the original negative?  The only thing I've been able to find out is that it is lost.  I wonder if it just wore out from making so many dupes.  If their past history is any indication, Warner Bros. will improve on their previous efforts with the blu-ray and Fay Wray's see-through blouses will be even more revealing!



#16 of 107 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted July 15 2010 - 07:28 PM



Originally Posted by warnerbro 

Does anyone know what actually happened to the original negative?  The only thing I've been able to find out is that it is lost.  I wonder if it just wore out from making so many dupes.  If their past history is any indication, Warner Bros. will improve on their previous efforts with the blu-ray and Fay Wray's see-through blouses will be even more revealing!


It also probably has much to do with being an RKO picture, since negatives of most from this studio are likely long gone, with the RKO film properties changing hands multiple times over the decades.  This is only a guess on my part however.


I don't think not having the original negative will equal an unimproved image quality though.  If STAGECOACH can look superior to previous DVDs despite an unavailable negative, I can be certain of KING KONG as long as the transfer is done competently.



#17 of 107 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted July 16 2010 - 04:07 PM



Originally Posted by warnerbro 

Does anyone know what actually happened to the original negative?  The only thing I've been able to find out is that it is lost.  I wonder if it just wore out from making so many dupes.  If their past history is any indication, Warner Bros. will improve on their previous efforts with the blu-ray and Fay Wray's see-through blouses will be even more revealing!


Rumor has it, in that last days of RKO, when they had been taken over by General Tire, it seems that the corporate owners decided that the films were worth more as elements than creative art, and had the negatives of virtually every feature film destroyed to recover the silver content. As a result there are no original negatives for such important films as King Kong, Citizen Kane, and Out of the Past.


I don't know how true this story is, it maybe completely myth.


Doug


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#18 of 107 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 17 2010 - 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Douglas Monce 

Rumor has it, in that last days of RKO, when they had been taken over by General Tire, it seems that the corporate owners decided that the films were worth more as elements than creative art, and had the negatives of virtually every feature film destroyed to recover the silver content. As a result there are no original negatives for such important films as King Kong, Citizen Kane, and Out of the Past.


I don't know how true this story is, it maybe completely myth.


Doug


Not to invoke Mel Brooks, but...


Myth.


I believe Kane went up with many, many other original elements in the 1978 GEH fire.


The last couple of wholesale nitrate destruction rampages by the studios were, as I recall, Fox c. 1976-7, and Universal c. 1948.


RKO elements seem to have been reasonably well protected.


RAH


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#19 of 107 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted July 17 2010 - 03:37 AM



Originally Posted by Robert Harris 

Quote:


Not to invoke Mel Brooks, but...


Myth.


I believe Kane went up with many, many other original elements in the 1978 GEH fire.


The last couple of wholesale nitrate destruction rampages by the studios were, as I recall, Fox c. 1976-7, and Universal c. 1948.


RKO elements seem to have been reasonably well protected.


RAH


I thought that might be the case, but I had heard that story for years. So is it possible that Kong went up in the fire too?


Doug


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#20 of 107 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 17 2010 - 03:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Douglas Monce 

I thought that might be the case, but I had heard that story for years. So is it possible that Kong went up in the fire too?


Doug


I don't believe so.

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence






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