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King Kong (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2005)

49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Jack Black
  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Universal Music Group
  • Release Date: March 28 2006
  • Run Time: 187 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E97Y6K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,696 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Academy Award® -winning director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) brings his sweeping cinematic vision to King Kong. Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody star in this spectacular film filled with heart-pounding action, terrifying creatures and groundbreaking special effects unlike anything you’ve seen before! Get ready for breathtaking action in this thrilling epic adventure about a legendary gorilla captured on a treacherous island and brought to civilization, where he faces the ultimate fight for survival. Experience the movie that critics are hailing as a “rousing, exciting cinematic adventure!” (Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood)

Experience King Kong as never before in this exclusive 2-Disc Special Edition. See the larger-than-life film, plus, watch three-time Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson take you behind the scenes of this epic adventure. Thrilling, in-depth featurettes reveal the genius behind the creation of this timeless story.

Movies don't come any bigger than Peter Jackson's King Kong, a three-hour remake of the 1933 classic that marries breathtaking visual prowess with a surprising emotional depth. Expanding on the original story of the blonde beauty and the beast who falls for her, Jackson creates a movie spectacle that matches his Lord of the Rings films and even at times evokes their fantasy world while celebrating the glory of '30s Hollywood. Naomi Watts stars as Ann Darrow, a vaudeville actress down on her luck in Depression-era New York until manic filmmaker Carl Denham (a game but miscast Jack Black) entices her with a lead role. Dazzled by the genius of screenwriter Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), Ann boards the tramp steamer S.S. Venture, which she--and most of the wary crew--believes is headed for Singapore. Denham, however, is in search of the mythic Skull Island, hoping to capture its wonders on film and make a fortune. What he didn't count on were some scary natives who find that the comely Darrow looks like prime sacrifice material for a mysterious giant creature....

There's no point in rehashing the entire plot, as every movie aficionado is more than familiar with the trajectory of King Kong; the challenge facing Jackson, his screenwriters, and the phenomenal visual-effects team was to breathe new life into an old, familiar story. To that degree, they achieve what could be best called a qualified success. Though they've assembled a crackerjack supporting cast, including Thomas Kretschmann as the Venture's hard-bitten captain and young Jamie Bell as a plucky crewman, the first third of the movie is rather labored, with too much minute detail given over to sumptuous re-creations of '30s New York and the unexciting initial leg of the Venture's sea voyage. However, once the film finds its way to Skull Island (which bears more than a passing resemblance to LOTR's Mordor), Kong turns into a dazzling movie triumph, by turns terrifying and awe-inspiring. The choreography and execution of the action set pieces--including one involving Kong and a trio of Tyrannosaurus Rexes, as well as another that could be charitably described as a bug-phobic's nightmare--is nothing short of landmark filmmaking, and a certain Mr. Spielberg should watch his back, as Kong trumps most anything that has come before it.

Despite the visual challenges of King Kong, the movie's most difficult hurdle is the budding romance between Ann and her simian soulmate. Happily, this is where Jackson unqualifiedly triumphs, as this unorthodox love story is tenderly and humorously drawn, by turns sympathetic and wondrous. Watts, whose accessibility balances out her almost otherworldly loveliness, works wonders with mere glances, and Andy Serkis, who digitally embodies Kong here much as he did Gollum in the LOTR films, breathes vibrant life into the giant star of the film without ever overplaying any emotions. The final, tragic act of the film, set mostly atop the Empire State Building, is where Kong earns its place in movie history as a work that celebrates both the technical and emotional heights that film can reach. --Mark Englehart

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard Daystrom on July 1 2007
Format: DVD
I grew up loving the early ape films King Kong (1933) and Mighty Joe Young (1949). King Kong is a classic retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story and the original was groundbreaking in its use of special effects. Remaking a classic will always attract harsh critics.

For me, a lover both of classic films and of modern science fiction, I place King Kong (2005) among the best films I have seen in years. In the cinema, this was a true spectacle to behold. The action and CGI special effects were astounding. Peter Jackson took a fairly sparse story and fleshed it out. I appreciated the longer back-story to the characters in New York prior to the sea voyage to Skull Island.

The exposure of themes relating to racism, animal and ecological abuse, and treatment of women was obvious, but not preachy. Despite this being an action film, these themes seemed to me as large as Kong was himself.

Jackson tweaked the storyline a bit and improved on the original. The introduction of the writer (Brody) as love interest instead of the ship captain made more sense and was simply a better story. With the original film, I was quite moved as a kid when Kong died. With this version, I was at least as moved or more as an adult. The relationship with Kong and Ann was portrayed better. I believed that they had made a bond with each other. The moment of Kong's demise is one of the most touching moments I have seen in a film in years.

Finally, James Newton Howard's soundtrack is quite moving, with beautiful, stirring melodies befitting this grand film. Worth listening to in its own right. I would have liked to watch the film with an isolated music score. Unfortunately, this was not included as an option on any edition so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Fleming on Feb. 20 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No matter how many times I watch this movie, I love it every time. I really like Naomi Watts, she gives a most affective performance, her eyes tell the audience everything she's feeling.I also follow Adrien Brody's career. The special affects were simply amazing. The DVD came quickly in the mail, much quicker than I expected, in fact, and it was in excellent condition. His prices were much more than reasonable. I would order from this dealer in the future, certainly.
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Format: DVD
I took a ten-year old boy (family friend - there's nothing sordid about this review!)to see this film in the theatre. I am sure my enjoyment of the film was heightened by his presence, because the thing is custom-made for a 10 year old boy to love, and it was obvious to me that this was a seminal film moment in the kid's life. But aside from that, I have to admit that I quite enjoyed it. Like the LOTR films there were some moments that could have been cut. And there was far too much doey-eyed slo-mo reaction shots (this time from Naomi Watts, instead of Elijah Wood). But all in all, I am flabbergasted at how much depth Jackson was able to give to a film that, essentially, is about a giant monkey climbing the Empire State building. I found it to be a helluva lot of fun. And the sequences atop the Empire State building are (especially on the big screen) spellbinding. I actually felt some vertigo at one point and had to look away. I don't know of any film that's ever had that effect on me.

The extras on this are actually quite monotonous, saving the best stuff for the separately released "Production Diaries".
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By B. Chandler TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 1 2006
Format: DVD
Carl Denham (Jack Black) is soon to be divested of hiss backing due to making too many cute movies and no love interest. Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) is out of work due to poor acting during the time of the great depression. The two cross paths just in time to catch the tramp steamer that will carry them to Singapore (yeah right). We are introduced to the other characters in the steamer that do not have a clue to what their future holds. We hear tales of an uncharted island that has a wall built so long ago that no one knows who built it or why.

Well done by today's standard. They stuck pretty close to the original plotline and even kept some of the key dialog in this version. Some of the characters may have changed vocations, yet the story still floes smoothly. In come ways it is an improvement over the original. However the reason this film is one hour longer than needed to tell the story is all the mindless fluff filler that made it drag on and on and on. Even the action scenes had so much action that you wanted to scream "get on with it" and "let's get going."

Kong himself did not look that proportioned; when he leaped he looked like the Hulk in a fur suit. And poor Ann looked really blurry when she was being swung around. Some parts of her body took time to catch up with the others.

They missed an opportunity in the credits to place the faces of the actors with the names. Fifty years from now all any one will remember is the version with Naomi Watts, whatever she looked like with whoever those other people were.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By RICK on Feb. 22 2006
Format: DVD
This is pure Peter Jackson entertainment, some humour, tons of amazing SFX shots, an amazing story, (Although written by someone else, there are little bits added in.) The only thing I didn't like about this film is the fact that he added in about half an hour at the beggining which, although fun to watch and had good character development, was forgettable and was insignifigant to the story. In a magazine I read a review stating that this movie was only intended to be two hours, at the end Peter [Jackson] saw that it was three hours, and he wondered how he ended up with it. Well, that extra half hour at the beggining might have assisted in it.
OK, so the sotry goes that a young actress, Ann Darrow, is looking for a movie or stage she can act at. So, this movie guy askes her if she'd like to go to Skull Island to shoot a film. So they go to Skull Island (How can anyone go to Skull Island? Isn't the name kinda like a warning to stay away?) and find a band of canibalistic natives that really freak me out and take Ann as a sacrfifice. So, a big gorilla named Kong (Or King Kong) comes and takes her away. The rest mainly consistes of getting Ann back and some totally wicked three way T-Rex fights, giant bugs and a brontosaurs stampede involving raptors, or Baryonix, I cant tell, in the mix.
This movie is going to win an oscar for SFX (five bucks says so.) and may win best film of the year. I just can't say how great this film is! But, if sitting through a three hour film isnt your thing, go look at Zathura or Brokeback Mountain, you'll get a kick out of those. Five stars, Bar none.
If you liked this movie you'd also like: Godzilla: Final Wars, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Alien Quadrilogy, Jarhead, Zathura, Brokeback Mountain, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
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