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A timeless classic
on July 1, 2007
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.
Two-Disc Special Edition (2006)
For the collector, this included the Production Diaries and several bonus features. A must-have if you love this film and want more background information.
3-Disc Deluxe Extended Edition (2006)
There is no overlap to what is on the 2-disc version, so this was a worthwhile second purchase for me. I enjoyed seeing the deleted scenes. The slightly longer (13 min.) version was intereresting to see. I especially wanted the audio commentary track. No regrets here for having bought both the 2-disc and 3-disc versions, because they each offered different material.