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Category:    Home > Reviews > Giant Monster > Action > Horror > Comedy > Kong: Skull Island (2017/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Kong: Skull Island (2017/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Picture: A-/B+ Sound: A Extras: B Film: B

One of the silver screen's oldest and most beloved monsters, King Kong, gets the reboot treatment again, this time starring in an original prequel story - Kong: Skull Island (2017).

Existing in the same world as Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014), the visually striking film is a bit more fun and takes it own route, being the first film in a long time that doesn't recycle the same old Kong story again. It's surprising that Director Peter Jackson wasn't involved in some capacity, however, new director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has a stylistic vision and creates a colorful film that takes place in the 1970s. Featuring the biggest Kong to date, Skull Island is one of the better bigger budgeted Hollywood movies of the year.

Kong: Skull Island stars Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, Thomas Mann, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, John C. Reilly, Corey Hawkins, and John Goodman. The film is produced by Legendary Pictures (Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight Trilogy).

A unique group of scientists, lethal military soldiers, and thrill seekers journey to the mythical Skull Island - a place near seen by human eyes. Home to a wide range of prehistoric and unique creatures, the biggest one of them all - a huge gorilla known as 'Kong' rules the land. Once the team reaches the island, they are met with hostility as they soon must struggle to survive in a world where they don't belong... and no way of getting home.

Kong: Skull Island is presented on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with HDR (high dynamic range 10-bit color), the stunning resolution of 2160p and an original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and is paired with a 1080p Blu-ray copy of the film as well. The colorful film is captured beautifully on 4K and is paired with a lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 track (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 is on both discs as well) that is loud and very detailed and definitely demo disc worthy. The film (which was shot in a combination of film and UHD) has lots of reds and yellows will crushed blacks and some blown out whites, which add to the period in which the film takes place. The visual effects look great on disc as well, which isn't always a guarantee due to the clarity of the image.

A digital UV copy is also included.

Special Features:

Director's Commentary

Creating a King: Realizing an Icon

Creating a King: Summoning a God

Monarch Files 2.0

Tom Hiddleston: The Intrepid Traveler

Through the Lens: Brie Larson's Photography

On Location: Vietnam

Deleted Scenes

Taking a different route than Peter Jackson and Universal's 2005 King Kong (also just being released on the 4K UHD format; we hope Warner has the same plans for the 1933 RKO original) which had a Kong that was more compassionate and a romantic than this new version, I found a lot to like about Skull Island and thought it was way better than its genre-sharing predecessor Jurassic World (2015) in that it wasn't quite as hammy.

There are some great moments here with Samuel L. Jackson's character stylistically seeing Kong cutting down his team through mountains of fire, John C. Reilly's bubbly shipwrecked character that gives the team knowledge, and Kong fighting a sea creature with octopus like tentacles. There are also some great visual throwbacks throughout to earlier incarnations of the character, and an after credits sequence that teases Godzilla 2 (2019), the next film in this 'Monsterverse'.

I'd like to see the 1976 King Kong get some love in 4K Ultra HD or even in a U.S. Blu-ray version (Paramount released that one, reviewed elsewhere on this site, plus a sold-separately CD soundtrack), as currently the film is only available in 1080p in France and Australia (our version). What a shame.

If you a Monster fan and like adventure films like the Jurassic Park series, then you have to see Kong: Skull Island, especially in 4K if you can.

- James Lockhart



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