After a very, very long boat ride on which a film crew, led by Director Carl Denham (Black), is to shoot a movie starring the beautiful Ann Darrow (Watts), the ship changes course. Its destination: Skull Island. Its purpose: to show the world the last undiscovered territory. But no sooner do they set foot on the island do they discover that the natives are not friendly, and a sacrifice is to be made to the King. Kong, that is...who happens to be a 25-foot gorilla who can defeat any beast who dares to challenge him. But when he meets the lovely Ann Darrow tied to a sacrificial skewer, the monkey's heart melts. And it won't be long before he will have to defend her honor atop the Empire State Building. Based on a story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace. (Suzanne Hodges)
Special features include both the theatrical (187:22) and extended versions (200:07), two U-Control segments: Picture-In-Picture and The Art Galleries, a My Scenes (where you can select your favorite scenes and make a list), and commentary with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens.
The VC-1-encoded 2.35:1 picture quality is a huge improvement over the DVD release and is the same VC-1 transfer that appeared on the HD DVD version. Colors are vibrant but realistic, and contrast is very well rendered. Fleshtones are perfectly accurate throughout, with excellent facial detail. Details are pristinely resolved, with fine textures popping out of the screen with incredible realism. Superb shadow delineation, combined with inky blacks, makes for a very dimensional image. This is one of the best high-definition releases to date. (Danny Richelieu/Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel encoding is a delight, with well-articulated sonics and very impressive dynamic range. Bass is deep, to below 25 Hz and tight, and extension into the upper treble is naturally refined. Surround envelopment is aggressive, with wonderful directionality. Dialogue is nicely recorded, even the ADR-produced segments. The music score is fabulous and recorded with excellent depth and width, as well as surround dimensionality. Instrument timbre is finely resolved as well. Numerous scenes deliver a compelling holosonic® immersion that enhances the reality of being there. The soundtrack is full of low-level sounds and layers of sound that create an extraordinary sense of realism and tension. This is truly an exceptional sound-effects soundtrack that is sure to excite. (Danny Richelieu/Gary Reber)