King Kong [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres franais)
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King Kong (BD Book)
"Now you see it. You're amazed. You can't believe it. Your eyes open wider. It's horrible, but you can't look away. There's no chance for you. No escape. You're helpless, helpless. There's just one chance, if you can scream. Throw your arms across your eyes and scream, scream for your life!"
And scream Fay Wray does most famously in this monster classic, one of the greatest adventure films of all time, which even in an era of computer-generated wizardry remains a marvel of stop-motion animation. Robert Armstrong stars as famed adventurer Carl Denham, who is leading a "crazy voyage" to a mysterious, uncharted island to photograph "something monstrous ... neither beast nor man." Also aboard is waif Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and Bruce Cabot as big lug John Driscoll, the ship's first mate.
King Kong's first half-hour is steady going, with engagingly corny dialogue ("Some big, hard-boiled egg gets a look at a pretty face and bang, he cracks up and goes sappy") and ominous portent that sets the stage for the horror to come. Once our heroes reach Skull Island, the movie comes to roaring, chest-thumping, T. rex-slamming, snake-throttling, pterodactyl-tearing, native-stomping life. King Kong was ranked by the American Film Institute as among the 50 best films of the century. Kong making his last stand atop the Empire State Building is one of the movies' most indelible and iconic images. And this is the definitive video version: remastered from a pristine archival print, with previously censored scenes of Kong flossing with natives restored. Also restored is the curious scene in which Kong peels poor Fay's clothing like a banana and tickles her fancy. --Donald Liebenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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The disc itself contains a lot of extras including a 7 part Making of..., commentary with Ray Harryhausen and a documentary on Merian C. Cooper. The Blu-ray disc quality for such an old movie varies from grainy to amazingly clear. Its still far superior to the original Steel Box DVD version that was released some years back. Even though its a Blu-ray disc its still shown in its original full frame format of 1.33:1.
There's no doubt about the amount of detail that is revealed with the sharpness of Blu-ray, but as mentioned, sharpness also has a tendency to considerably increase the grain in some scenes. I found the grain to be most noticeable at the beginning and in some of the jungle scenes. Those are the areas of heavy grain that I remember because with the sharpness of the video I became more absorbed in watching the details in the incredible sets and special effects that I forgot about the grain. All in all, even with some of the heavy grain here and there, watching King Kong with all this rich visible detail is like watching it for the first time. Make sure you watch the extra on how they made the jungle scene to really marvel at the inventive technical skill of these incredible special effects artist. And remember this movie was released in 1933!
Things get complicated as you know it is bad luck to bring a woman onboard a freighter. And Ann really stirs them up including the first mate, Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). On top of this she has a large date awaiting her at Skull Island.
I will not tell the rest of the story just incase you are one of the few that has missed the movie. But as you have guessed it includes a big ape named KONG. Not that cheesy thing that is always tussling around in Japanese movies, but a much more convincing Kong that can show great emotion.
You are about to watch the eight wonder of the world.
PUH-LEASE! KING KONG is simply a great story, perfectly directed, with the best animation techniques for its time. While the acting (by humans) is admittedly the weakest link in this film, it has so much else going for it, like suspense, horror, pathos, love, and tragedy. King Kong, the animal, is complex and there are different emotions we experience about him. We don't like him when he gobbles up people or smashes the 2nd Avenue el (an incredible scene!). We admire him for trying to save Fay Wray from the flashbulbs. And we feel incredibly sad when he's killed. Why? I think it's because we see him as a human, at least of having human qualities. But to extend that to some deeper, intellectual level is pointless. It's just an amazing film.
Last comment: The film also has some humor. As a New Yorker, I love the dialogue between the two women at the theater, waiting to see King Kong.
Girl one: "Hey, what's this show about, anyway?"
Girl two: "I don't know. Some big gorilla."
Girl one: (after a clod accidentally steps on her toe): "Aw. Ain't we got enough of them in New Yawk?"
I can't get enough of this classic film.
I am looking forward to the DVD release this year but my 60th anniversary VHS copy is okay for now. It's missing the spider scene and the questionable dialogue and the film source has a bit of artifacts but I find that the transfer to video tape is done a lot better than a lot of my newer movies on VHS.
I find that Fay Wray's acting is probably the best of any actor in this movie and it's a shame her career did not grow beyond this movie. All things considered this creature feature is not one to be missed. Long live Fay Wray!
Most recent customer reviews
A true classic unlike some classics this movie is truely timeless and as a filmmaker the special feature and things were great. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Liam
A great show from a different time. Classic movie making, few films last this long. And those that do stand on their own. Timeless adventure.Published 20 months ago by sdmclean
The Bluray itself is everything I wanted and more. The condition of brand new case I ordered was not. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Tyler
This is a movie that will never be topped. It's just as much a thrill to see as when I saw it fifty years ago.Published on Nov. 5 2010 by Freddie
The basic story is of Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), who makes those cute little animal pictures that are going out of style. Read morePublished on July 2 2006 by Bernie
This is a classic movie that I enjoyed from the first few minutes. Although some consider it to be a mindless destroy-kill movie it is actually a very enjoyable love story with a... Read morePublished on Dec 19 2005 by RICK