For some reason, Peter Jackson's "KING KONG" remake didn't achieve the gigantic success it deserved in Christmas '05. It's a shame because Jackson really accomplished proving he could both honor the original and better it in some ways by opening it up with the narrative plot and state-of-the art effects. Jackson's film creates much more of a back-story for the film, and like him or not, Jack Black proves to be outstanding in his role here as a producer that will stop at nothing to make his film. He's hilarious and believable.
The special effects are incredible and much of the film has a sort of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" feel, especially the middle portion set on the mysterious island wherein hostile natives and Kong co-exist. At three hours, the film moves along at a great pace. In fact, our only disappointment is in finding UNIVERSAL chose not to offer the "extended" edition for this HD-DVD release, although it's available on dvd.
UNIVERSAL has provided a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This is a flawless looking HD-DVD! Colors are typically vibrant and stunning. Jackson's attention to detail, as with the "RING" films, is impeccable and on display throughout. The detail and depth behind every scene is wondrous in every frame! Contrast is stunning too. The darkest scenes offer deep, deep blacks and grays.
UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix that further helps make this a leading contender for the best Demonstration Quality HD-DVD so far! Jackson pays great attention to detail in every scene and within the three hour running time, every instance has something going on to impress. Of course the ending Empire State Building sequence stands out, but there are many of equally astonishing, engaging scenes wherein discrete, panning and bass effects create one of the best 360 degree environments that this reviewer has ever experienced!