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

Carlo Medina

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Hey at least he knew what you were talking about. It could have been worse. He could have brought you to the Peter Jackson remake and when you asked about this version he could have looked at you with only a blank stare...

Originally Posted by Nelson Au

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"....
 

Lord Dalek

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Well that's deffinetely interesting. I was under the impression that the BFI nitrate print they used on the 2005 dvd was the best that was available.

Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt

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.
 

steveausten

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Originally Posted by Robert Harris

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




Originally Posted by Eric Scott Richard

Thanks, Adam.


Wonderful. Its really look nice. I like it.


Thanks

Steve

http://dealsourcedirect.com
 

bigshot

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I just looked at it too, and it looks and sounds wonderful. I saw stop motion birds in the backgrounds of scenes I've never seen before. The grain had some processing going on though. Video freezes on the end titles are quite noticeable too. Nothing serious at all though. Great job.
 

Nelson Au

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Hey Carlo, that's true, at least he knew there was one before the Peter Jackson version! And Jessica Lange too.


I was comparing the contents of the BD to the last set in the tin, That older set has Son of Kong and Might Joe Young. I guess they felt this blu ray would only have the original. As many times as I've seen the original, I've never seen the other two!
 

Jim Peavy

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Originally Posted by Nelson Au


Glad to see the Big Guy on blu gets R. Harris' stamp of approval!
 

Keith Paynter

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Mr. Harris;


With all due respect, as much as I value your always impeccable insight, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one.


While I'm certainly not a fan of DNR, turning images into a glossy nightmare, I'm a bit puzzled by the virtually hands-off approach by WB, which a film like this does deserve.


I can't claim to be knowledgeable about film grain, but what I'm sadly seeing is a grainy nightmare, and please help me understand why. I first watched this on my HDMI capable PC, and I've always come away very impressed with how Blu-Ray discs look on it...popping in 'Kong' made me drop my jaw in disappointment, because, in addition to the sharp detail, there is not only film grain, there is so much of it I felt I was watching the film through a snowstorm, and I got the same impression on my 1080P CRT television. I stopped after two minutes and decided to watch my personal 16mm print instead, which was far more pleasant to sit through, even though it had dupe footage of the restored scenes.


Please help me - what I am not seeing properly about this disc that was nowhere as obvious on the original DVD release?
 
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[FONT= 'arial']I agree with the post #26, with all due respect to Mr. Harris, when projected my vintage 8mm home movie copy of this film at the same size as my HDTV screen, the 8mm film edition has a little less grain than this blu-ray edition... My HDTV is calibrated, by the way. I don't use any of the manufacturer’s preset settings. [/FONT]
 

bigshot

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It looks incredible on my projection system. I've had Kong on every one of its home video releases going all the way back to Criterion number 2, and it's never looked so good. On the screen it looks like film. I hate grain smoothing on old movies. The Universal horrors were ruined by it. No textures left. There is a little bit of noise reduction going on. There is a bit of a video chatter to the grain in motion, but not serious at all. This Kong is the way movies should look on bluray.
 

John Sparks

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I watched it on my 110" screen thru a Epson 9500 on a Panny BD30 and the 2005 DVD upscaled to 1080i thru my HDA1. They both looked beautiful. The BD was a couple clicks

sharper, but if it never came out, the 2005 DVD would be just fine.
 

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When I first watched the BD, I was about as horrified as those guys who got shook off the log when I saw the grain in the scene where The Venture initially approaches the island in that dense fog.


But then I compared that scene to the DVD version and noticed that the BD was much more clearer. I also noticed many other scenes were much clearer than any previous release. For instance, I never noticed the guy running away on crutches before during the sequence when Kong smashes the elevated train tracks until I watched the Blu-Ray. This version is by far the best version of "King Kong" ever released and I'm glad I bought it.
 

jquirk

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Another thing about the Blu-ray ...


The spider on the bottom of the pit can now be seen more clearly. Yeah, the famous spider pit sequence was cut out before the movie was scored and released ... but there has always been a spider on the bottom of the pit, nonetheless. It sits there motionless, hidden away in the shadows, and can be seen in every shot that shows the ravine floor.


Check out this notated screen capture ...


http://tinypic.com/r/fjkdx4/7


And compare it to the actual spider model that was later used in "The Black Scorpion."


http://tinypic.com/r/330vdz9/7


You'll notice they have the same googly eyes.
 

Mike Frezon

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Originally Posted by jquirk


[SIZE= 11px]I just can't stop myself sometimes...[/SIZE]


[SIZE= 11px]Just remember, folks. I really AM only 51 years old...it just seems like I'm older sometimes![/SIZE]
 

jquirk

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Here's an interesting story - an original print of "King Kong" was discovered in an old movie theater in the United Kingdom. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/features/editor-s-picks/ross-is-reeling-at-his-film-find-1.1062182


Maybe finding the missing Kong footage is not outside the realm of possibilities, after all?
 

PRO-630HD

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Interesting, but pretty vague as to what exactly they have. I believe most of the King Kong bluray is comprised of the british dup negative they found. Already two generations away from the original camera negative which is lost and with enough film grain too prove it as each generation away gets grainier and grainier. I am amazed they are letting them put this through the projector if indeed it is a dup negative or better in superior shape than one Warner is using as the basis of it's bluray.
 

Robert Harris

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"Vague" is a kind word for this article, which tells the reader virtually nothing. It mentions "reel," and shows an image of the lucky bloke who found it. However, the "reel" as shown appears to be a 4000' foot, ie. double reel, with almost no film on it.


So...


was there more film on the reel; is there more than a reel; does any of this matter?


As a fine grain master was shipped to London for the original engagements, I would presume that UK prints were struck from a dupe negative, derived from the master. Beyond all of that, what is still missing?


The story that I'm seeing, between the lines, is that a lucky worker didn't set an old theater on fire by using heat or electrical tools near an old roll of nitrate film. I'm not sure that there's any more to it.





RAH
 

jquirk

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Yeah, the story is very vague. Is it the whole movie? Why would Universal allow the theater to run it considering how old the film is? Wouldn't they want it in their possession as soon as humanly possible to examine the condition and determine if it is in better shape than what they have in the vaults now? Also, what if by some crazy quirk of fate it happens to contain scenes that nobody hasn't seen since 1933?
 

TonyD

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Sounds like a thing to promote the theater more then anything else.
 

Nelson Au

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Perhaps the studio has provided a new print or a digital copy for the theater to use, not the newly discovered one.
 

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