Blue-Ray Review: Kong-Skull Island
Warner Brothers 2017
PG13 | 1hrs 58 mins | Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
HD | 1080P | Dolby Atmos
4K | 2160P | HDR10 | Dolby Atmos | Dolby TrueHD7.1 | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Ratings & Reviews
Please see here for my comments on reviewing movies.
My ratings are simple being marked out of a maximum of 5+. My reviews are biased towards the technical production aspects of the film with brief comments about the story line. Extras, sorry, that’s just not my ‘bag’.
Not having 4K or Immersive audio yet, what did the 1080P24 version look like? Excellent, and the sound track was enjoyable.
Technical Review – HD Blu-Ray
This 1080P movie had very good black levels and contrast from the dark night shots to the brighter panoramic views of the islands. Clarity and sharpness was excellent at all times with no hint of grain, nor were there any obvious integration problems with the extensive number of CGI effects. All colors were well saturated, from the native islander’s painted faces to the gentle fluid Aurora Borealis lights. Skins tones were not oversaturated and all colors looked natural and realistic.
The Dolby Atmos track defaults to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 in my system. The audio encode provides the listener with three CODECS, Dolby Atmos, TrueHD 7.1 and DTS-HD Master 5.1. I found the music sound track very engaging, often going back to music from my teenage years. The surrounds were suprinsngly very active during many of the action scenes, being very forward in the mix and almost aggressive in nature. The dialog was clean and clear at all times and stereo imaging was precise. For those who like bass, LFE action was significant throughout much of the movie with some extremely low frequency effects.
Knowing nothing about this film I assumed it would be in the same vein as the last two King Kong movies. Not so. The plot revolves around a government body called Monarch that John Goodman heads up. No super heroes in this film, except maybe Kong himself.
The story is set around John Goodman’s character returning to Skull Island, which is surrounded by a never ending violent storm hiding it from view. Escorted by a convoy of military helicopters, overseen by Samuel Jackson, they fly over the islands, and in a brief battle with Kong all helicopters are destroyed. The survivors eventually regroup, are met by a tribe of friendly, but very quiet individuals, who smile even less, and a surviving pilot who crashed there during the 1st World War (John C. Riley). So starts their mission to trek across the island, bumping into all sorts of vicious creatures, together with Samuel Jackson’s attempt to kill Kong. Their scheduled evacuation is just three days away, will they make it to the northern end of the island for the helicopter pickup?
This surprisingly entertaining movie breaks no new ground, but uses extensive CGI effects to bring Kong and his dreaded enemy to life. CGI realism was very good, bordering on outstanding at times, and it was extremely well integrated with the live action and terrain shots. I am not too sure how much longer we will actually require live actors! Kong is the hero of this movie, with all the A-listers really taking a back seat in many of the action sequences. However, there are plenty of scenes that provided suspenseful moments for the cast and several comedic moments and exchanges between the A-list characters.
Almost a two hour movie, but ignoring the whacky spider, it was engaging, fun and really loud at times, and I was surprised at just how quickly the movie was over. The story isn’t very sophisticated but it’s a fun nights viewing and I am sure leads well into future sequels. Heads up – watch the credits to the very end!
See my other Blu-Ray reviews here. More coming soon.