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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From genius to B-movie madness, loved it.
Some people complain about the packaging, I liked it, there's a bit of thought gone into making a fold out Empire State Building case to hold these 4 discs. It's not particularly sturdy but it's not designed to be left open.
There's enough been written about the original movie over the years, it's been one of my favourite movies for ages, I still love the stop-motion...
Published on 7 Mar. 2011 by I. R. Kerr

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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gypped by the Gorilla
I can't help shake the feeling we're getting the raw end of the deal this side of the Atlantic when it comes to King Kong. Over in the US the original King Kong has been finally released to DVD with a multitude of brand new extras, documentaries, recreated lost sequences - plus it's original sequel (Son of Kong) and belated follow-up from the same...
Published on 2 Dec. 2005 by Leealike


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From genius to B-movie madness, loved it., 7 Mar. 2011
By 
I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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Some people complain about the packaging, I liked it, there's a bit of thought gone into making a fold out Empire State Building case to hold these 4 discs. It's not particularly sturdy but it's not designed to be left open.
There's enough been written about the original movie over the years, it's been one of my favourite movies for ages, I still love the stop-motion effects after all these years. The Kong v Tyrannosaurus scene is a good precursor of the Godzilla movie.
The black and white King Kong disc runs for just under 1hr 36 mins, the colourised version is slightly longer 1hr 40 mins, the scenes where Kong eats his way through the natives looks great in colour, as does the train scene. Years later Godzilla had a similar dislike for that form of transport.
Like a previous reviewer I bought this set mainly for the 2 Toho movies. King Kong vs Godzilla is a classic monster romp with two prehistoric enemies ape & dinosaur return to their stomping ground Japan to battle it out. Godzilla following his natural homing instincts whilst Kong is taken there courtesy of a pharmaceutical company as a marketing gimmick. It is cheesy but it is good fun and the fight between our two titans is unintentionally hilarious, not forgetting Kong fighting a large Octopus as it attacks a village.
King Kong Escapes is a camp classic, international criminal Dr Who is hired by an unnanmed Asian country to help mine Element X from the North Pole. At first using his robot Kong then when that succumbs to the radiation he captures the original Kong. The climactic fight between robot and ape on top of Tokyo Tower is terrific. Female lead Linda Miller was a model living in Japan at the time, she looks great but apparently her voice was dubbed which is odd as it sort of grates after a while. Maybe her own voice would have been better after all?
For the price I paid I have no complaints, this is a great collection, as for comments that it is not complete, it is never touted as the complete Kong collection. Son of Kong would have been a nice addition but I'm more than happy with this gem.
Just one minor niggle, it's odd that the 2 Toho discs are wrongly named, King Kong Escapes has King Kong Vs Godzilla on it and vice versa. Other than that, spot on.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gypped by the Gorilla, 2 Dec. 2005
I can't help shake the feeling we're getting the raw end of the deal this side of the Atlantic when it comes to King Kong. Over in the US the original King Kong has been finally released to DVD with a multitude of brand new extras, documentaries, recreated lost sequences - plus it's original sequel (Son of Kong) and belated follow-up from the same production team (Mighty Joe Young). The spectacular collectors set even includes a reproduction of the original programme from the film's premiere in 1933.
Here in the UK we get a rather shabbily designed box set with two of the fun but practically unrelated 1960s TOHO produced man-in-a-gorilla-suit Kong movies from Japan and - horror of horrors - the colourised version of the original film. We also get a 12 year old documentary which first saw the light of day on the 80th anniversary VHS release.
Yup, bit of a raw deal...
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just wow!, 16 Mar. 2009
By 
R. Jones "rebeld0g" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I'm sure that by now most of you know the story or have seen the film so I'll concentrate this purely on the quality of the Blu-Ray experience. King Kong is a magnificent movie made so much better by this stunning high-def release. The picture quality is breathtaking at times, especially some of the long distance shots across the rich jungle and the city scenes.It's just gorgeous to watch from end to end. The audio is also amazing, every bit as glorious as you want it to be.

The special features are pretty cool, particularly the way they are embedded into the main feature and are accessed by context-sensitive icons that can be switched on or off at will. I didn't notice much new in there, just a new way of watching them really, but it's great to see them again and really brill to see them so cleverly presented.

Oh, and you get both versions of the movie, the original theatre version and the special edition. Both look and sound utterly remarkable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings. Still brilliant!, 20 Jun. 2011
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Amazon Customer (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: King Kong [DVD] (DVD)
I won't compare this to the original as there is no point (they are both good films, of their time) other than to say that (in my opinion) it succeeds as a genuine homage and a modern day telling of the story (the feel of the original is captured well, and it is every bit as action packed and breathtaking as it must have seemed in 1933).

The film itself is simply stunning to watch. Both New York (set in 1933) and Skull Island look astonishing. The streets of a depression-era America are beautifully crafted (everything -- the buildings, the gleaming cars, the atmosphere -- looks crisp and "perfect") and the Island itself looks exactly like you'd imagine one of those old adventure film islands brought up to date in stunning HD colour.

Then there is Kong! Wow, it blows your mind. The creature is so lifelike and captivating that you are left memorised by it. The creatures movement (once again -- after Gollum -- acted by Andy Serkis -- who also stars as one of the ships crew) is so realistic, but especially his expressions. You are left with a real attachment to the ape, a genuine sense of grief and futility at the greed and cruelty of man (when the inevitable climax comes around). There are also many other creatures on the Island -- all perfectly created -- and it is no surprise this walked away with the Oscar for best Visual Effects (it is probably the most sumptuous movie I've ever seen). However...

It's difficult to quite pinpoint what is wrong with the film. I think it is mainly as Jack Black, for me, doesn't cut it as Carl Denham. He is good enough, but not exceptional (unlike the rest of the cast and effects) and doesn't convince as a film director from that era (he is too young!) I'd have preferred to see someone slightly older in the role as he largely comes across as a bumbling comedy twerp, with little presence or control of the situation. He is more like a sidekick than a leading man. Serkis himself would have been a wiser choice, I believe, for this role. The original Denham was older, far more cynical and a much stronger character. I think the film suffers from heaping so much plot and attention on him.

Other than that, I'd say this is close to being perfect. Naomi Watts is fantastic in the Fay Wray role, as is Adrien Brody as her love interest. The beast istself and cinematography are simply astonishing (and any reservations about Black are swiftly pushed aside once the real star of the show emerges). It's a film that manages to both capture the (romantic) essence of adventure movies from that era and succeed as a modern action adventure. All in all (and I haven't removed a star because of Black, such is the strength of the rest of the film) this is a monster of a movie (the ultimate guilty pleasure) and no home should be without one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A monster of a movie!, 16 Sept. 2010
By 
I. R. Barnes "*technobabble*" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Sometimes you are forced to re-evaluate a movie upon second viewing, films that at first you didn't really like and for me Peter Jackson's epic King Kong is one such movie.

I can usually make my mind up about whether I like a film or not upon first viewing, but occasionally one comes along that I'm not quite sure of. I was particularly scathing towards the film due to several contributing factors. One being the fact that it was so long! The film takes an absolute age to get going (something you don't have the patience for when you have a numb backside and no leg room in a cinema!) also I was dealing with the pessimism in my head that it was just another CGI-filled remake of an all-time classic!

However on DVD and Blu-Ray you are given the opportunity to watch a film on your own terms, plus the addition of extra scenes is always intriguing as you are seeing the film how the director intended you to see it (I can't imagine ever watching the Lord of The Ring's trilogy without all that additional footage!).

The classic endearing story of King Kong is just as engaging here as ever and the film is visually stunning, as good as anything in Jackson's Lord of The Rings trilogy. Kong himself is brilliantly realised with another outstanding CGI character performance by Andy 'Gollum' Serkis. Here on Blu-Ray you can appreciate just how impressive the special effects really are. There are also far more creatures and monsters in this film than you first realise, particularly with the additional scenes, making it one big monster movie!

The set-pieces are thrilling from frantic dinosaur stampedes, the terrifying encounter with the natives of Skull Island, a nightmarish giant insect attack, a massive T-Rex smackdown and of course the iconic emotionally charged finale atop the Empire State Building.

The cast however is mixed, Jack Black is terribly miscast, he's perfect for the more light-hearted comedic scenes but when the film turns serious with a darker tone he's out of his depth! Even the reliable Adrien Brody seems wrong for the part somehow! However Naomi Watts' performance is superb and manages to convey a wide range of emotion from fear to genuine affection towards Kong.

It's not a perfect film, it isn't without its flaws, there are a few inconsistencies and plot holes here and there but Jackson manages to strike a balance between being a faithful homage to being a new, updated and expanded version whilst always conveying a deep admiration and respect for the story that influenced him so much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackson's love for the original is evident in almost every frame, 15 April 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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NB: As is Amazon's wont, they've unhelpfully lumped all the reviews for various different editions of this title together - the two-disc DVD theatrical cut, the three-disc extended director's cut and the Bluray featuring both cuts but fewer extras.

Viewed on the small screen, the theatrical cut of Peter Jackson's epic labor of love is a bit more of a problematic experience than it was on the big screen, being at once a mixture of the best and worst of Peter Jackson. His love of and sheer joy in film-making is manifestly obvious right from the delirious opening montage of Depression era New York that gives the background detail a modern audience wouldn't bring into the theatre with them as they did in 1933 with a wonderful visual economy so much of the rest of the film lacks. Unfortunately he then spends a couple of reels detailing the death of Vaudeville and Carl Denham's problems with studio execs. And then a couple of reels on getting under way. And then far too many reels sailing to Skull Island - when Denham promised Ann a long ocean voyage, he wasn't kidding. It's not so much that they're bad scenes (though some are quite weak), more that there's no reason for all of them to be there. Most could have easily been thrown over the side with the rest of the ship's fittings, but instead they tend to bury the more portentous moments under trivia. Indeed, it's interesting to note that a draft of Jackson's aborted attempt to film it in 1998 included none of this section whatever, kicking off with the Venture piercing the fog in search of Skull Island.

But once it literally crashes into Skull Island, the film really takes off - the natives this time really are savage, almost Neolithic, the action scenes well-handled and the pace relentless. Jackson even manages to top several sequences from the original - the Bride of Kong sacrifice, Kong escaping from the Broadway theatre, the Empire State Building finale, here a breathtakingly dizzying piece of filmmaking - as well as throwing in some good additions of his own, such as a truly charming scene on the ice in Central Park or a couple of convincing storm sequences on the perilous shores of Skull Island. There are plenty of fun injokes that don't seem awkwardly forced on the picture either - Denham tries to get Fay Wray for the lead in his picture, but she's making a film for Merian C. Cooper at RKO; the scene they shoot on the boat is one from the 1933 film; Rick Baker, the man inside the suit in 1976, is one of the pilots gunning down Kong; and the interpolation of much of Max Steiner's score offers some nice musical nods even if the "Walla Walla Kong Kong!" lyrics are omitted.

There's more that's good than bad about the film by a long way, but the bad is bad enough to keep this from becoming an all-time classic in its own right

There's some striking miscasting. Much as he looks like Orson Welles in certain shots, Jack Black really isn't up to Carl Denham, a part Oliver Platt or Vincent D'Onfrio could have done in their sleep: too often he looks like he's telling a joke that's fallen flat rather than delivering dramatic dialog, and there's that air of trying too hard that follows him around like a bad smell. Naomi Watts is surprisingly anodyne and not terribly flatteringly photographed (to put it mildly), reminding me why, despite some good work in the past, she often remains so resolutely unmemorable an actress. Kyle Chandler hams it up fairly charmlessly as her nominal leading man, telegraphing the jokes to such a degree that they're more irritating distractions than genuine comic relief. Adrien Brody's unlikely hero fares better despite having nothing much to do in the last act, while the smaller roles fare better, with Thomas Kretschmann's Engelhorn, Evan Parke's Hayes and Jamie Bell's cabin boy all making their mark before being unceremoniously discarded.

But the acting honors easily belong to Andy Serkis' Kong, a triumph not just of CGI (and far more convincing than he appeared in the trailers) but also performance. It's not merely that this Kong is more facially expressive - he's caught the body language perfectly, convincing us that it's a great ape rather than a human being dictating the moves. It makes the same mistake as the 1976 version in having Ann feel empathy with Kong which, while better executed here, lessens the tragedy of Kong - the fact his devotion was unrequited was one of the things that made his last stand so much more touching and pitiful.

Elsewhere, the effects are variable and too often Jackson throws in an FX shot just because he likes the idea - not so much a problem with the beasties but definitely tiresome when we get to yet another CGI shot of the ship at sea. Nor are all of the effects quite state of the art. The problem is the old one with CGI - poor integration of the live action and computer generated footage, both of which all too often seem to be shot at visibly different resolutions (particularly noticeable in the stampede sequence). Yet compared to the two previous remakes, Jackson's genuine love of the material still carries the day and certainly delivers the best of 2005's blockbusters.

Although being too short certainly wasn't one of the problems with the theatrical cut,, surprisingly the extended director's cut really does seem much of an improvement over the theatrical version. The new action scenes - a triceratops attack and an excellent lake sequence with a prehistoric giant fish taking the place of the original's brontosaurus - are superb and the film seems to flow better: even Jack Black's miscasting doesn't seem quite such an obstacle as it did in the previous version. One thing that does become much more apparent is what is missing from the first hour: Kong. Where in the previous versions the shadow and mystery of Kong hung over the voyage from the very beginning, here Kong is not even on the radar until moments before they arrive at the Island. It divorces this section from the film itself, feeling at times more like a 30s programmer or even the padded-out quickly run off sequel to the original, Son of Kong, that spent more time bumming around the Indies than it did on Skull Island. But once it finally reaches its destination it takes off and rarely lets go, with Jackson's love for the original evident in almost every frame. The original Kong is still King, but it's not hard to imagine Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack heartily approving of this remake. Good extras, too.

The theatrical cut and Director's cut are available separately on DVD with plentiful extras unique to each edition, while the Blu-ray release brings both cuts together, but sadly loses nearly all the extras - you just get an audio commentary by Jackson and co-writer Phillippa Boyens, art galleries and picture-in-picture cast and crew interviews.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars King Kong - Far too long!, 30 Sept. 2008
As a great admirer of Jackson's Lord of the Rings, I came to this with high expectation. In the end I wish Jackson had just done a straight remake of the original. The Fay Wray King Kong was perfectly directed - just the right length to sustain the material. Jackson obviously loves the piece but kills it with kindness. The special effects are superb, but there are too many times when he asks us to not only suspend disbelief but take our brains out. I mean, Naomi, having been hurled around by dinasaurs and the ape, can then take to her heels and run like a gazelle. Is this Superwoman? In the end Jackson over-eggs the pudding and the whole thing is a sodden mess.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A LARGER-THAN LIFE MOVIE EXPIERIENCE', 8 Jun. 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This 2005 version has all the benefits of computer enhanced imagery, and is a remake of the famous '1933' 'Fay Wray' classic, of course, there have been a few other attempts in-between.
I did see this one in the cinema when released and bought on 'DVD' when first released.
This 'Blu-ray' version has both the theatrical and extended version on board, the latter being around fifteen fun filled minutes longer.
Many scene sequences were extended and did in my opinion add to the spectacle which is 'King Kong'
The story we by now, know so well, a film crew and actor's along with the ships compliment stumble upon an un-chartered island where they find trible inhabitance living behind a giant wall, beyond which there are creatures from a by-gone age.....and of course....'Kong'
'Ann Darow (Naomi Watts)' becomes trapped behind the giant wall and captured by 'Kong' strangely they form a connection.
Film-maker 'Carl Denhan' (Jack Black) see's an opportunity to make big-bucks from the freak of nature which is 'Kong' cruelly they eventually capture the giant to display back home, which for the Giant Gorilla is unfamiliar ground.
It's a great spectacle with amazing 'Special-Effects'....an age old story line which tells of love and greed..........'Beauty and the Beast'....great Blu-ray title. ( A must buy if you have this format available )
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King Kong on Blu Ray, 28 Dec. 2010
This is my first Blu Ray disc, played with the LG LE475300 (47" Full HD 1080p, LED TV 100Hz) with an LG Blu Ray Network player, via HDMI and using an optical lead via the TV to an older Toshiba DVD 5.1 player and surround system. The level of detail is awesome for the film - it truly is stunning and I believe does high definition justice. There are some scenes where the film crew and captain are out looking for Ann, they are on makeshift tree branches as boats, as they glide on the river the detail is brilliant. Also, scenes where the crew are walking through the jungle and the daylight is coming through, there is realism to the detail, it looks fantastic!! Vivid bright colours, good definition of darks especially on King Kong, so Id give this 5 stars. Although I cant really comment on the sound as I've hooked the film up to a theatre system and its not coming directly through the blu ray player, it still sounds good. Go out and get it!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars King Kong 4 disc collection DVD, 23 Feb. 2012
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I'd never seen the colour version of King Kong so that prompted me to buy this dvd set and personally I thought the colourised version of King Kong looked pretty good, but still prefer the B&W original. The two Japanese Toho Co. films, which to me are completely unrelated productions, never really did it for me, it's just too 60's, too camp and too 'man in a rubber suit'-ish. I must admit though that mecha-kong thing had me in stitches, it was hilarious!!

The stop-motion work from 1933 even now completely amazes me and that (along with Jason & the Argonauts) were the best ground-breaking effects in movies - right up until The Howling/The Thing/The Abyss/Terminator etc. came along in the 80's! Simply Classic classic cinema.
'Son of Kong' should have been included in the set though, a real shame. The fold-out Empire state building packaging is a really nice touch and as long as you don't use it as a frisbee or a door-stop then it will protect the contents. The booklet included is filled with interesting production notes and cast/crew info.
This box-set is worth the price for the original King Kong alone and the rest is really just padding.

The DVD includes:
Subtitles : English SDH
Audio : English 2.0 mono
Extras : 'It was beauty killed the beast' documentary, King Kong(2005) Trailer.
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