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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2014

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"King Kong vs. Godzilla & King Kong Escapes" (Blu-rays) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-apr-2014-Kong

Synopsis

The two biggest monsters of all time battle in the thrilling adventure classic, King Kong vs. Godzilla. When an underhanded pharmaceutical company goes to a remote tropical island to steal King Kong for advertising purposes, they get more than they bargained for. Meanwhile,a submarine crew unleashes reptilian terror when they melt a block of ice and release the ferocious Godzilla from his icy lair. When both meet, destruction occurs! It's King Kong to the rescue when a giant robot threatens to destroy Tokyo in the gripping King Kong Escapes! The action begins when the conniving Dr. Who builds a robot Kong in order to retrieve a highly radioactive Element X for his mysterious benefactor. When the robot proves less than reliable, the devious duo scheme to kidnap the real Kong from his remote island home of Mondo. Interfering with their plans are the heroic trio of U.S. Cmdr. Carl Nelson, Lt. Jiro Nomura, and Kong's current crush, Lt. Susan Miller. It's up to them to outwit the greedy ape-nappers in this sci-fi adventure that takes Kong to unprecedented heights of excitement.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios (Toho)
  • 2014, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 31 mins/1 Hr 36 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 1.0 DTS-HD Master
  • Starring: King Kong & Godzilla
  • Directed by: Ishiro Honda
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Total Destruction!
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

The acting is bad, the picture quality barely acceptable, the sound is mono, Kong looks like a brown version of the abominable snowman from Rudolph, the plots are totally ridiculous, the "dubbing" is out of synch. You would think these 2 flicks are a huge waste of time...and you would be wrong! I love these movies because they remind me of my youth. I saw these in a theater when I was a kid. I loved them then and still enjoy them now. Only with BD, I can see them in all their uproarious glory. This Kong is not like the Peter Jackson version. Far from it! His glass eyes are covered by flickering paper eye-lids. His teeth are as bad as my Drivers Ed instructor from high school. You can see the seams in the back of his matted fur costume. But who cares? These are great movies to watch for the entertainment value alone...and your young kids can watch and marvel at the delightful campy acting and the amazing miniature sets that get demolished and trampled on by these 60 foot tall monsters. These are the "Americanized" versions, so there are a lot of cut scenes from the Japanese version that are replaced with American news commentators that speed things up a bit with the storyline. These old classics are just what you need to round out your otherwise "dull" Oscar worthy movie library. In the end, you'll go through a lot of pop corn and have a blast watching these Saturday afternoon classics. I sure did!

Technical

The picture quality is passable, with Kong Escapes being the better of the two films. Frames occasionally go out of focus, dirt and scratches mare the prints. Stock footage of the UN building and streets of Tokyo are grainy and washed out. Skin tones and colors are generally good, however. The sound is in mono, but actually quite clear and distortion free. In my opinion, all of these flaws just add to the campy charm of the whole movie. When was the last time you had so much fun with a movie compared to one that has too much CGI in its production? Sometimes low tech is King!

Extras

None