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

Robert Harris

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No intro needed.

 

I've just put Warner Bros. new Blu-ray of King Kong on screen, and taken a good, long look.

 

And I've come away very pleased.

 

The new Blu-ray looks far better than any 35mm print of the film that I've ever seen. Gorgeous black & white imagery, wonderful gray scale, and a perfect shading of what appears to be original, glimmering, glistening original nitrate grain.

 

This is a wonderful release. Packed with extras, inclusive of a multi-part documentary on the production, commentary, and a great documentary by Kevin Brownlow on Merian C. Cooper.

 

A treasure.

 

Very Highly Recommended.

 

RAH
 

Colin Jacobson

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Just watched this - color me totally impressed. I thought the 2005 DVD looked good, but this was a considerable improvement. I've never seen such an old movie look so good!
 

Mark-P

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Yeah, but did they replace the old jerky stop-motion Kong with a new smooth CGI one?
 

Robert Harris

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark-P

Yeah, but did they replace the old jerky stop-motion Kong with a new smooth CGI one?

Yes. They did. And for the record, the diplodocus shot first.

 

End of discussion.

 

RAH
 

Brianruns10

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How about replacing all those politically incorrect villagers with something cuter, like...

 

 

Ewoks.
 

John_S

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I am REALLY looking forward to this! One of my all-time favorites now on Blu-ray!
 

Felix Martinez

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Had a nice surprise...walked into my local brick-n-mortar just to kill some time and there it was on the rack. Looking forward to spinning the disc tonite. Gorgeous Digibook. I never understand the hate some have with that packaging format.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Judging by the DVDBeaver screencaps, it definitely looks like a different print than they used for the DVD release. The framing differs on many shots, usually with more of the frame on the Blu-Ray, but some times just a subtly different crop on the frame.
 

I'm curious, when the studios frame these for dvd and blu-ray, what do they use as a guide to have correct framing? I mean, how has the correct intention changed since the last dvd release as far as decisions go?
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Originally Posted by Eric Scott Richard

I'm curious, when the studios frame these for dvd and blu-ray, what do they use as a guide to have correct framing? I mean, how has the correct intention changed since the last dvd release as far as decisions go?

I'm sure someone with more knowledge than myself will chime in to correct me, but I would assume there are a few issues at play here.

  1. Pre-widescreen movies were shot at 1.37:1. When these were released on DVD, they were released as non-anamorphic 4x3 DVDs and trimmed to 1.33:1, sort of like how many 1.85:1 movies are opened up to 1.77:1 on both DVD and Blu-Ray but to a far more subtle degree. 1.37:1 cropped to 1.33:1 retains 97 percent of the original picture, while 1.85:1 opened up to 1.77:1 provides four percent additional picture. Blu-Rays are an inherently 16x9 format. This means that all of the old 1.37:1 movies are pillarboxed for Blu-Ray, and usually pillarboxed at the actual 1.37:1 aspect ratio. But this difference is so minor as to probably be a non-issue.
  2. Source elements. When presenting old movies on home video, studios use the best elements they have available to them. Over time, what constitutes the best elements may change, and sometimes a DVD or Blu-Ray release is cobbled together from the best parts of several flawed prints. These prints may have slight but noticable framing differences. Some of the shots from the Blu-Ray on DVDBeaver appeared to be slightly down and right from the DVD release, so that there was less information on the left and top edges of the frame and more information on the right and bottom edges of the frame. Other shots had more information on all four sides.
  3. On some older movies, the "correct intention" can only be guessed since the director and D.P. and both dead and never made their views clear on the subject. In thesee situations, the people responsible for the different video masters may have different guesses at what the original intention actually was.
 

Joseph Bolus

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Can't wait for this release!! With this movie -- along with "Sound of Music", "Back to the Future", and "Aliens" -- the Blu-ray format has finally arrived!!!

 
 

cineMANIAC

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Originally Posted by Joseph Bolus

Can't wait for this release!! With this movie -- along with "Sound of Music", "Back to the Future", and "Aliens" -- the Blu-ray format has finally arrived!!!

 


Throw in The Abyss and Scarface and, yeah, the format will definitely have arrived. Long Live Kong!
 

Nelson Au

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Thought you'd be amused by my experience at Best Buy this morning. I didn't see King Kong on the shelves and I asked the kid who was stacking up Iron Man 2 blu rays. His reply was, "You mean the really, really old one on blu ray?" It was way on the bottom of the shelf out of sight.

 

As my boss used to say, "The youth of today"....
 

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