King Kong (3 Disc Deluxe Extended Edition)

King Kong

On DVD: 
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Running Time: 
187 minutes

Special Features: 13 minutes of never-before-seen footage added to the movie / 38 minutes of deleted scenes / Feature commentary with director Peter Jackson / “The Eighth Blunder of the World” bloopers and outtakes /“Re-creating the Eighth Wonder: The Making of King Kong” featurette / “Return to Skull Island” creating Skull Island featurette / “The Present” original short film made by the cast of King Kong / Original computer animated storyboards of Kong’s action sequences / “The Video Galleries” hundreds of pieces of King Kong conceptual artwork / (DVD-ROM) Scripts for the 2005 and 1996 King Kong

I hadn’t actually seen King Kong before this deluxe version came down the pipe so I had to go back and watch the original release to notice the placement of the extra footage. That added 3 hours on to the already numbing 9½ hours that it would take to get through the deluxe edition and all of its content. After a total of about 12½ hours in front of the television my butt was pretty sore but I didn’t care one bit. I just wanted to see more Kong.

As far as the 13 extra minutes of extra content included in the film, I think much of it was left out for a reason. Any additional footage that was more than a few seconds long was mostly filler for the rescue party scenes. The inclusion or building up of scenes like the ceratops attack and the water monster attack may be visually impressive but they also add just a little too much cartoony action, especially when there is already a lengthy stampede sequence that covers the dangers of both of those shorter pieces. Still, the finer points of the feature as a whole easily outweigh any negativity this added action brings. There is a short scene centering on Lumpy mistakenly shooting a creature that is worthwhile and the rest of the material blends in well to the rest of the film.

So the movie is great, that’s not hard to see. This 3-disc collection shines is obviously through its special features. There are approximately 6 hours of additional features and you can watch them all without noticing the time pass. It’s a pleasure to look through all of the production footage and conceptualization animation as well as hear from such an alert and involving cast and crew. The interviews were engaging, the bloopers had some pretty funny material (such as Jack Black’s rifle in the bug fight scene modified to resemble a light saber as a nod to the Star Wars Kid), and the behind-the-scenes material was great. I was entirely interested in every feature, and that practically never happens with me.

The fact that this special deluxe edition retails for about the same price as the other versions should tell you which one to pick up if you don’t already own a copy. The movie is great. The features are great. It’s one of the better collections I’ve come across.

A- (3.81) for the extended movie

A+ (4.31) for the extra features

Review by Baron Aloha