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"King Kong" (1976) - (French Import) - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:

Taylor Carlson

Studio: StudioCanal
Genre:
Sc-fi
Release Date:
6/17/09
Special Features:

Making of, Deleted Scenes, Trailer

Review:

King Kong is directed by John Guillermin (The Blue Max, The Towering Inferno.) It stars Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin, Jack O'Halloran, Ed Lauter, and John Randolph. The musical score is by John Barry (James Bond series, Zulu) ***

An oil company discovers an island that may potentially be a figurative gold mine for their empire. The crew embarks on the mission, with a stowaway on board, who seems to know something about a mysterious island shrouded in the fog of the island. En route, the crew rescues a woman who had fallen overboard from her native ship, and brings her aboard. Once on the island, the crew discovered primitive natives, as well as Kong, a massive gorilla. While the oil search may have ended in failure, the company's greedy leader decides to capture Kong and bring him back to civilization - resulting in their greatest publicity effort yet. But is bringing a 50 foot tall gorilla back to the civilized world such a good idea? ***

To date, there are 3 versions of King Kong. The classic 1930s film, this 1976 version, and the 2005 version directed by Peter Jackson. Of the 3, this version seems to be the odd man out - the version that time forgot. It is also the one that tends to take the most undeserved negative comments and reviews. ***

No, this version of Kong isn't going to score any big points for originally (despite changing more elements of the story than other versions), but it is still a fun film. The actors here are top-notch, and John Guillermin's direction keeps things interesting throughout, even if the movie runs over 2 hours in length. It is a bit overlong and overblown and times, but I can safely say this movie doesn't deserve half of the negative comments people have given it over the years. ***

With the release of the Peter Jackson Kong film a few years ago, it is definitely worth going back in time and rediscovering this often-forgotten version of the story. It doesn't top the other versions of the movie by any means, but it is still a fun piece of cinema even if it is a bit dated. ---

Image And Sound:

This is a nice upgrade over DVD versions of the movie, and from what I can tell, it is most likely the same version that Universal used on their HD-DVD release of the movie a few years back. The film is a bit soft throughout, and the grain level spikes in a few scenes, but overall this is a nice improvement over SD releases. Detail is improved, and the colors are more vibrant. This isn't the kind of movie that will ever be reference quality, but for what it is, this disc looks pretty good. Is it worth the upgrade from an SD disc? This reviewer says yes. ***

An English master audio track is included on the disc, and while it is definitely a nice upgrade from the tracks on older DVD releases, it does tend to leave a lot to be desired at times. There are some times where it is clear that this track needed more restoration work, however I doubt fans of the movie are going to have any real complaints.

Special Features:

Disappointingly, there aren't a whole lot of features on the disc, and what are included are in PAL format, so I was not able to access them.

Final Words:

With this region-free version of King Kong 76 available, what better time is there than now to rediscover the movie? It has a fine transfer, and can easily be gotten from Internet retailers for a good price. I strongly recommend importing this disc!

 

 
 
 
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