Blu Ray Screencaps of King Kong
I consider the original King Kong to be a classic and this remake may improve things as far as effects go but it does not capture the innocent charm of the original film.
The HD DVD theatrical edition had a better image than this blu ray theatrical/extended cut. The reason is simple and it's because the blu ray edition has had minor DNR applied and the grain structure which was already light has been scrubbed even more clean. I first noticed this problem when i viewed King Kong over a year ago.
I came away from my first viewing feeling slightly disappointed, it just was so plain to see that Universal had removed some of the grain and the film look in many scenes just went with it and to me it just did not look great. Good yes but not great and i want great. I decided when doing the movie screencaps for this release to look closer into why i was disappointed last year and with the computer you can clearly see the film grain structure in many scenes has been a little compressed and this is due to DNR processing. I do not understand why Universal cannot encode a 201 minute film on a 50GB disc and leave the grain alone. I also do not understand why Peter Jackson sanctioned this release.
As an example of what is possible with the Blu Ray format let's look at a film like Poltergeist which is on a single layer 25GB disc and has a far more prominent grain structure than this film and looks excellent and film like but Universal for some strange reason cannot encode 100 minutes per layer without removing the grain and making the film far too smooth for my eyes.
I'll say this again but all the studio's should be able to encode at least four hour films and the film's grain structure can be left untouched. Blu Ray capacity and bitrate allows for this and the only reason DNR is applied is to make some people's jobs easier and those people should not be in that job in the first place. Long films such as The Lord Of The Rings extended editions or Lawrence Of Arabia should looks beautiful on Blu Ray and should have their natural grain structure preserved as the capacity of a Blu Ray disc allows this.
I was disappointed by this and i am disappointed with Universal for using DNR on many scenes and robbing us of the film like texture that a light application of grain brings. I will happily watch a film like Zodiac and not complain about grain because it was shot with digital camera's and not shot with 35mm camera's but if the film originally had grain then leave it alone and give us the film with grain in our homes.
Regarding the actual film i do think the bug pit scene was a mistake, the original film was to have had a spider pit sequence which was removed and burned after test screenings as they felt it was too horrific and more importantly it slowed the original film down and i feel this bug pit sequence does not work in this film and the main characters should never have been put in the pit. It felt like Frank Darabont had a hand in that scene especially after watching his awful The Mist and knowing how he was around Peter Jackson while the script was being written.
I enjoyed this remake of King Kong but i still feel the original 1933 version of Kong is superior and despite CGI advances the original Kong is still a better film.
Check out the blu ray screencaps for this film below, you may think it looks superb but i didn't and i felt this film falls into the just good enough category of transfers but it should have looked better if only someone working on it had kept their hands away from the DNR switch. I have read much praise of this release so i'm sure many will disagree with my opinion.
View blu ray screencaps of King Kong below. Click twice for the full HD image.