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the ultimate "monster/fantasy" film!,
This review is from: King Kong Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
for me, "monster" films began with 1933's "king kong." a film of this stature and reputation needs no introduction and there isn't much that i can add to what has been written already.
"king kong" isn't strictly-speaking just a "monster" film, it has other facets like fantasy, romance and a touch of eroticism that are all blended into the mix. as a result, we have a masterpeice of a film that was ground-breaking in its day for its stop-motion filming techniques and for creating a motion picture icon in the form of king kong. robert armstrong gives the best performance as carl denham, the similarities between the character and that of merian c. cooper are obvious to see. fay wray and bruce cabot are also effective throughout.
watching this film, i seem to forget how the cast are quite easily upstaged by a character that was only an 18 inch model, that takes centre stage as soon as it makes its grand entrance. i think it is clear to see that the kong character isn't a heartless and cold-blooded killer but is in-depth and almost humane, especially during the climatic scene on top of the empire state building as kong struggles to adapt to his strange and sudden change to his environment.
a classic of a film that only improves with repeated viewing and the effects are just as fascinating to watch now as they must have been back in 1933.
"son of kong" has promise and should have been far better than it is. sadly, the whole thing was rushed into production to capitalize on the success of the original and it shows in the results. the plot is a weak one as there is too much footage taken up with robert armstrong as carl denham struggling to evade new york and the grand jury before the film reaches the main part of the story. the special effects are just as good however and there is much to enjoy but patience is needed in the meantime.
"mighty joe young" is quite good but the effects aren't so convincing this time around and the low budget clearly shows.
regarding the special features that go with this dvd set, the 7 part documentary is brilliant, with every possible angle of the film detailed. the test footage for the abandoned film "creation" offers a brief but interesting glimpse at a project that seems to have played a considerable part in shaping the "king kong" film in its early planning stages.
the first film is the main reason to buy this set without doubt but the other films shouldn't be easily dismissed as they both offer some entertainment value.