Kong Skull Island Blu-ray Disc July 18th, 2017

Posted in Blu-ray, Commentary on July 24th, 2017 by Dave

Kong Skull Island Blu-ray

Kong: Skull Island is a new key Blu-ray title released by Warner Home Video on July 18th, 2017.

Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly wrote the screenplay from a story by John Gatins.

The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and is the second film in Legendary’s ‘MonsterVerse’.

The story follows a team of scientists and Vietnam War soldiers who encounter terrifying creatures on an uncharted island.

Kong: Skull Island the Movie

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The film opens in 1944 where two World War II fighter pilots parachute onto an island in the South Pacific after a dogfight.

They engage in close combat, but the fight is interrupted when they are discovered by a massive ape like creature known as Kong.

Fast forward to 1973, as the U.S. is pulling out of Vietnam.

Monarch agent Bill Randa recruits a team for an expedition to map out a previously undiscovered island known as Skull Island.

Their military escort is a Vietnam War helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard.

The group is joined by pacifist and photojournalist Mason Weaver, who believes the expedition is a secret military operation.

Upon arrival at Skull Island the air unit is attacked by Kong, who downs the helicopters, killing a number of the team.

The survivors are scattered across the island, needing to regroup to survive and make it to the pick up point.

While the team largely just wants to get off the island alive, Packard is determined to destroy Kong as pay pack for killing his men.

However on Skull Island, there are many surprises lurking, and Kong may well not be the ultimate enemy.

Kong: Skull Island – My Thoughts

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Kong: Skull Island is a re-imagining of the King Kong narrative, with a number of different goals in mind.

Rather than retell the ‘beauty and the beast’ story line which has dominated Kong movies, a key goal here was to wrap Kong into the Legendary Films ‘MonsterVerse’.

The first film in the series was Godzilla, and while this is not a direct sequel, there were definitely tie-ins at the end that sets the scene for the future.

All in all Kong: Skull Island is a pretty solid entry into the action genre, with a lot of battles between giant beasts, as well as men and beasts.

The movie has used state of the art CGI, with battles involving water and fire, along with the massive creatures.

There is also some attempt at subtext throughout the film, raising the question of who or what is the real enemy.

Visually the movie goes a lot of interesting places, with imaginative compositions and camera placement.

The film rather cleverly walks the line, delivering solid action but retaining the human angle that is often missing from these huge summer movies.

Kong: Skull Island Cast, Crew and Performance

The cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz and Corey Hawkins.

Kong: Skull Island was directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who also directed The Kings of Summer.

The critical response was positive, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 76% and an IMDb score of 6.8/10.

Kong: Skull Island was also a financial success in the cinema, taking in $168.1M at the US box office.

The movie did even better overseas, for an international total over $566 million worldwide against its $185 million budget.

Kong: Skull Island on Blu-ray Disc

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The video on the disc is an AVC 1080p encode at 24 Mbps, and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1.

As you might expect with a modern high budget movie, the image quality on Kong: Skull Island is excellent throughout.

With such a visually strong movie, image quality plays a key role in drawing you in to the story.

I can only imagine that this is an excellent choice for the 4K Ultra HD release of the movie.

Find full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc at the details page for Kong: Skull Island.

The main audio Dolby Atmos object based audio for an immersive sound experience.

Again it is great that Warner includes the Atmos audio on the Blu-ray release of the movie.

The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 39.3 GB used and is coded for All Regions.

Kong Skull Island Blu-ray – The Bonus Features

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The Blu-ray release for Kong: Skull Island features a collection of supplements including ‘making of’ segments, deleted scenes and a commentary.

Creating a King

This is a 2-part exploration of the re-creation of an iconic monster from the history of cinema.

Realizing an Icon – 11:39

The film makers and cast talk about what has come before and what inspires the new look at Kong as a character.

This movie moves away from the ‘beauty and the beast’ story traditionally associated with King Kong.

Summoning a God – 12:47

This segment delves into the technical challenges the film makers faced in realizing the creature.

With the many close-up shots of the giant creature, there needed to be a very high resolution model for Kong.

The detail in the muscle and skin is quite exceptional and this segment is well worth a look.

On Location: Vietnam – 5:38

A key element to the film was shooting on location in Vietnam.

The vistas in the northern area of Vietnam are seldom seen in the western world and are largely untouched by man.

Tom Hiddleston: The Intrepid Traveler – 6:53

Tom Hiddleston takes us on somewhat of a travelogue through the locations used for the movie.

Locations include Hawaii, Australia and of course Vietnam.

Through the Lens: Brie Larson’s Photography – 2:19

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The camera used by Brie Larson’s character was functional and loaded.

Here the director narrates a collection of the pictures Larson took during the shoot.

Monarch Files 2.0: Companion Archive – 7:58

Some background insight into the creatures of the movie in the guise of Monarch instructional films.

Deleted Scenes – 3:45

A few scenes that were removed from the final cut of the movie.

Director’s Commentary

The feature length scene specific commentary with the director offers a lot of insight into his inspirations.

There are a lot of visual homages to movie genres and styles which are revealed by Vogt-Roberts.

While it has occasional pauses, the director has a pretty laid back style that is pleasing to listen to.

This release also includes a DVD Copy for legacy players and an UltraViolet Digital Copy code.

Kong Skull Island Blu-ray – Final Thoughts

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Kong: Skull Island is a strong addition to the Legendary MonsterVerse and the action genre in general.

Warner Home Video has put together a technically excellent Blu-ray release with a solid collection of supplemental features.

The retail price is $35.99, though you can get it at Amazon for $24.99, saving 30%!

Kong Skull Island Blu-ray Extras:

  • Creating a King: A 2-Part exploration of the rebirth and re-creation of an iconic monster.
  • On Location: Vietnam
  • Tom Hiddleston: The Intrepid Traveler – Join the Actor on a Tour of the Film’s Breathtaking Locations
  • Through the Lens: Brie Larson’s Photography
  • Monarch Files 2.0: Companion Archive – Dive deep into the organization and MonsterVerse Mythology
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Director’s Commentary

Kong Skull Island Blu-ray Synopsis:

A washed up monster chaser convinces the U.S. Government to fund a trip to an unexplored island in the South Pacific. Under the guise of geological research, the team travels to “Skull Island”. Upon arrival, the group discover that their mission may be complicated by the wildlife which inhabits the island. The beautiful vistas and deadly creatures create a visually stunning experience that is sure to keep your attention.

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