Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The King Kong Collection King Kong /Son of Kong/Mighty Joe Young |
Actors: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Helen Mack
Directors: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper, Peter Jackson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Turner Hm Entertainm Release Date: 11/14/2006 Rating: Nr
A Great Collection
Steven Hedge | Somewhere "East of Eden" | 04/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, this is my 100th review and with my dad's recent passing I thought I would do this one in his honor as these were among his favorite films and whenever they would air on WWOR Channel 9's Million Dollar Movie in New York City where I grew up we would all gather as a family and watch these timeless films. I gave this collection 5 stars as it is worth owning all of them, but each film deserves individual treatment, so here goes:
King Kong (1933) *****: This film still holds up after all these many years. Sure the effects and acting are dated, but they are still very watchable. The film is touching and tragic, but also ruthless and violent. The cleaned up, restored version of this film is rarely shown on network television as it includes some rather violent scenes that were edited out in the theatres because the producers were worried about the violent images and that they may make Kong less sympathetic. For instance, there is a close-up scene of him literally chewing on a native that is surprisingly graphic for 1933 and there is an equally graphic scene in which he is stomping to death numerous natives into the ground. All of these are very believable moments in the film, but I find that they don't make Kong any less sympathetic, but rather clearly show his animalistic side which is believable and acceptable. The new Kong by Peter Jackson also made sure that we see this side of Kong. After all, Kong is an animal, but beauty soothes the savage beast in him, albeit, briefly.
Son of Kong (1933) ***1/2: This film was very hastily made after the success of King Kong, but it is nevertheless impressive. In fact, the final scene of the island being destroyed contains effects that are better than the original film itself. However, the film falls short because the script is faulty. The film is saved by the wonderful effects of Kong's son who is just so adorable and his relationship to the man responsible for his father's demise. It's actually a clever little follow up the the epic of its parent film (pun intended).
Mighty Joe Young (1949) ****: This was a beautifully made film with effects that surpassed any of the Kong films before it. The story is not unlike the other Kong stories in that a gigantic ape is caught and sold to a kind of circus act, however, the ape is already domesticated and has a loyal female owner who will stop at nothing to get "Joe" back were he belongs. The scene in which Joe saves children at a burning orphanage is breathtaking and heartbreaking even by today's standards. FYI: The recent Disney remake with the ever reliable Bill Paxton and the Academy Award Winning Charlize Theron is terrific and worth a renting if not purchase."
Did You Know?
Walt Klonizchii | Fairfield, CA | 06/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the 3 reviewers which preceeded me - the film is excellent, it is restored and digitally remastered - marvelous. But I'm not here to talk about the movies; I came to talk about the bonus disc of the 2-disc King Kong, available in this 3-movie set as well as in the solo 2-disc version. It contains two bonus features: a documentary on the producer/director called "I'm the King! The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper," (57') and "RKO Productions 601: The Making of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World," (159') a 7 part documentary about the making of King Kong. Cooper is a fascinating man, and I wish I'd owned this when my three kids were younger to share with them regarding an American hero. If your tastes go beyond Kong, stop-motion-animation, and Ray Harryhausen (which are all excellent), then enjoy these facts about Cooper:
- was a WWI & II pilot (he and partner Schoedsack were the pilots who shot down Kong)
- was an explorer, adventurer, and documentarian
- was a founding director of Pan American Airways
- became head of production at RKO
- pioneer with David O. Selznick on technicolor (Cooper was at RKO under head Selznick, who later at Selznick studios made Gone With the Wind - according to GWTW featurettes, Selznick burned down the Kong island village gates set for the burning of Atlanta)
- early pioneer of Cinerama (remember How the West Was Won?)
- attached to the Flying Tigers in WWII
- was invited in 1945 to the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri
- calloborated with John Ford and John Wayne (look for the patriotic reason why)
This are fascinating history about the man, his movies, RKO, the film industry, and, oh yeah, let's not forget the big guy himself - Kong.
- Ray Harryhausen joined the Cooper team of Schoedsack, Ruth Rose, O'Brien, John Ford, and Robert Armstrong for the making of Mighty Joe Young (go Ray!)
- Fay Wray made 10 films in 1932 in addition to King Kong, one of which was Cooper's The Most Dangerous Game, sharing the same Kong island sets (often same days of filming).
- Excellent featurettes on Willis O'Brien and stop-motion-animation.
- King Kong score by Max Steiner, who also did, or contributed to, Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, and Cassablanca (jeesh!)
- The lost spider pit scsequence is not O'Brien's footage; it is Peter Jackson's recreation of what he thinks the original "might" have looked like. This is OK for what it is, but don't get your hopes up that they are original.
The bonus features are a fine addition to your Cooper, O'Brien, Fay Wray, and Harryhausen collection."
IT TOOK A WHILE, BUT THEY DID IT RIGHT! KONG NEVER LOOKED SO
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b | TRI STATE AREA | 03/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of stop motion effects and what better example of this process than King Kong! Harryhausen would take over as king of Stop Motion, but without Kong, there would be no Harryhausen! This is one of my favorite movies of all time and the DVD is nothing short of spectacular! Not being old enough to have seen this iconic film in a theater, I was finally able to watch this film in my home theater on a 10 foot screen! As the movie began I was amazed how clear the print was and I noticed little things I had never saw before. This is pretty amazing considering I've seen this film over 100 times. The sound is still mono, but it's clear and it's would be hard to really improve on this. The film holds up amazingly well and is the definitive giant monster movie!
The second disc in loaded with wonderful bonus features including two long and interesting documentaries. I bought the box set which includes the original Mighty Joe Young and Son of Kong on separate disc, which are sold separately for those who only want certain films in this set. All three films are great examples of Stop Motion so it's a great set for fans of this stuff. The set includes the same 2 disc special edition of King Kong and two other classic stop motion films! All the films have been re-mastered and look better than ever!"