WARNER BROS has released one of the most entertaining films of the past year individually in 4K and blu-ray 3D formats. While this entry could've easily been a disaster, under the careful direction of Jordan Vogt-Roberts and together with a great script and great casting, KONG SULL ISLAND is GREAT ENTERTAINMENT!
A gripping prologue hints at the kind of tension and stunning imagery to come. The narrative jumps decades later to 1971 when a team of explorers and a military unit with differing goals are paired together to explore an uncharted island. Of course, along with natives and a giant ape, there are a variety of truly creepy, gigantic creatures. (Think Darabont's The Mist) "KONG SKULL ISLAND" is remarkable in many ways, and while the special effects are often amazing, Vogt-Roberts' skill at creating depth to characters as in his "Kings of Summer" film, goes a long way in making this film accessible to a wider audience than most action films.
John C. Reilly steals virtually every scene he's in and that's not an easy task with co-stars as engaging as Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman. Rarely has an actress held her own in a big action-packed, testosterone-fueled epic as well as Larson manages here. To her credit, she's not resigned to comic relief or a sexual stereotype. She truly emulates a fully-dimensional, intelligent and beautiful woman under-represented in film today. Bravo!
While Jackson's character is the only one seemingly built within a comic-book archetype, nothing in his performance of the film's narrative fails. It's a rousing 118 minute experience and powerful enough to make all viewers happily sit through a poignant, effective end-credit sequence. Don't miss it!
WARNER BROS is thankfully still releasing 3D blu-ray for those fans of the format(it's rarer and rarer to find 4K tvs offering 3D passive or active these days) While most 3D blu-ray releases suffer from a darker image in comparison to the standard non-3D blu-ray, this 3D release offers a stunning image that is just as bright and vibrant as the regular blu-ray! Even in the darkest scenes, there's a staggering amount of detail! Perhaps most surprising is the fact that while the film wasn't filmed in native 3D, this is an example wherein post-processed 3D actually feels right to many scenes. Sure, there are great moments when explosions hurl things out of the screen straight at the viewer, but the overall depth to scene-after-scene is really exciting and opens up the film more than the standard blu-ray in many pleasant ways.
The 4K UltraHD blu-ray release sports HDR10. The detailing in foliage, clothes and much more is a notable improvement over the already impressive standard blu-ray. The design of the film pushes colors to a vibrant extreme of hues and they're flawlessly rendered in 4K. While the standard blu-ray offered an impressive range, it just doesn't come close to what's achieved with HDR10. While contrast is impressive on the standard blu-ray, detail in darker scenes is discernibly improved on the 4K and there's a stunning improvement in brightness as well. As good as the blu-ray 3d image is, if only able to select one format, go with the 4K!
The audio(DTS-HD MA 5.1) offered on the 3D blu-ray is dynamic throughout. A wide range of immersive effects grips the audience from opening credits and in virtually every scene to follow. Dialogue, music and effects are flawlessly balanced. It's really a great mix! That is, however, until one hears the Dolby Atmos offered on the 4K! The Atmos mix opens up the environment in ways that one couldn't even imagine while mesmerized by the DTS-HD 5.1. Bass is fuller, but even more subtle ambient effects are more impressive on the Atmos mix. This Atmos mix makes for an impressive argument for anyone who's been waiting to get out there now and buy a Atmos-receiver!
WARNER BROS has included an audio commentary with the film's director. To be fair, Vogt-Robers offers some insightful info for the die-hard film fans. But, for casual fans, he provides such a passive delivery, it may be too hard for many to sit through.
Two featurettes explore the differences between the variety of Kong films over the years.
Plenty of other short extras are included, with cast-crew interviews and a short deleted scene segment.