Synopsis: This compelling, original adventure tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.
Review: I missed Kong in theaters, so I was thrilled to learn that I would be receiving a copy of the film to review shortly before it was released to home video. Thankfully Kong: Skull Island not only met my expectations, but exceeded them. I know the Godzilla remake is somewhat divisive. While more people enjoy it than not, G-fanboys had plenty of negative things to say about it. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it filled me with joy when I learned that Warner was rebooting King Kong, and the two franchises would once again meet for a team-up movie. If you were happy with the way Gareth Edwards Godzilla reboot turned out, Kong is probably going to blow your mind.
Skull Island has that quality about it that’s hard to verbalize. With its massive landscape photography, soundtrack, and other factors, as soon as Kong begins, you know you’re in for something pretty big. It looks like an event movie, an epic theatrical exhibition. And it is definitely that. Knowing now that it’s meant to launch an entire franchise of giant monster movies and tie-in movies, I’m so thankful that the first entry in this series was an impressive, extremely well-made movie, with a great story. Easily they could have re-adapted the original King Kong again, removing Kong from his habitat and taking him to New York as basically a carnival sideshow, but this movie took us to the King’s home, and showed us what he can do when he is in his element.
For the purpose of this review, I viewed both the 4K UHD version of the movie, as well as the Blu-ray. Obviously if you have the means to play the format back, the 4K release from WB is the way to go. I’m relatively new to the HDR format. So far I’ve watched the 4K releases of Deadpool, Watchmen, and now Kong. There is a noticeable difference in the clarity in the details of these two different releases of the film, but not so much as to inspire to me to begin replacing titles I own on Blu-ray. Once the price comes down, I’ll begin purchasing these 4K/Blu-ray combo packs over the standard Blu-ray release, but I don’t think the difference in picture quality justifies the extra cost, until that happens. I still enjoyed the chance to compare the two different formats. It gives me a sense of what UHD has to offer, and what could be done with it if it wins the “next gen” format war.
As for the audio on the release, there is both a Dolby Atmos track, as well as DTS-HD MA. If your system is Atmos-ready, this is the way this movie should be seen. The discs come packaged with a decent amount of bonus features. Several moderately extensive featurettes documenting the production of the film, the creation of the special effects, and an examination of the mythology behind the universe this film aims to establish. Also included are deleted scenes, one-on-one interviews, director’s commentary, and more. Warner Bros. 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo release of Kong comes in the sleek black snapcase, and includes a slipcover in its initial run.
The movie is rated PG-13, and is mostly okay for parents to watch with their kids, but there is one F-bomb dropped, so do so at your discretion. My six-year-old son watched with me, and immediately wanted to watch it again. There is some rather graphic violence during the first half of the movie, but nothing that exceeds its rating. Most of the carnage happens off-screen, but several times disturbing things are shown. If your kid was okay with Jurassic World, they should be fine for this. Click here to purchase this combo pack.
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: 4K (2160p)
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1Audio
- English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
- English SDH, French, Spanish
- 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