King Kong (Vintage Edition)
The other big CG sequence that was cut is when the giant bugs start attacking. This scene was actually supposed to be in the original King Kong movie (1933) but was cut for being too scary. In the 2005 version, the purpose of this scene was to kill off some minor characters, give Jamie Bell something to do, and make Baxter look heroic by having him swoop down on a rope shooting giant arachnids with his machine gun. But in the end, it did nothing to move the story forward. We really don’t care if Baxter is a hero or not because his story doesn’t go anywhere from there. Also the bug attack came right after the big Kong vs T-rex battle, so it seemed like an undercard fight right after the main event. Basically, I think WETA wanted to show off their CG skills by having a giant weta bug suck on Adrien Brody’s face.
Overall, King Kong is quite the visual effects achievement and a pretty good movie overall. It’s got a solid cast, dramatic moments, a poetic score, intense action sequences, and a little bit of comedy. I would not have re-edited it if it wasn’t a movie I liked. I have to give Peter Jackson a lot of credit for re-making this classic and for introducing the eigth wonder of the world to a new generation.
– Removed Vaudeville and great depression scenes.
– Trimmed dialogue between minor characters.
– Denham is less slapstick, more serious.
– Less sailing around in circles.
– Removed choppy slow-motion shots.
– Removed voiceover by Hayes.
– Shortened dinosaur stampede scene. No raptors.
– Removed falling rock that hits Kong.
– Deleted attack of the giant bugs.
– Removed CG juggling for Kong, who looked just as unimpressed by it as I was.
– Shortened scene with Kong on ice pond.
– Lots of other minor cuts to improve pacing. In total, over 90 cuts!
+ Converted to black and white. (Oddly enough the DP at one point suggested to PJ that they shoot the film in black-and-white.)
+ Added hair, dust, scratches to simulate old film.
+ Added “Vintage Edition” under the main title, and re-editor credit at the end.
+ Universal logo changes from color to b&w
+ Added chapter markers and annotation info for Quicktime/iTunes/AppleTV.
The most padded version of the hairy thunderer gets a makeover. The film is given the black n white treatment, as well as much needed pruning.
Video - 720 X 480p AVC. This was the mp4 file. Editing is excellent, though the picture is not always solid. Again, this was an SD file and one expects lower quality. Many of the dinosaur scenes still look like garbage. When Ann Driscoll is running head to head with the 'saur it is fake looking. Increasing grain may have smoothed this.
Audio - 82 kbps (variable) AAC, 2 Channel. No subs. Dialogue is discernible.
Narrative - Despite losing a third of the running time, the structure holds together. Pacing still feels sluggish, however
Enjoyment - Yes, I know Gekko cut over an hour. It is still too damn long. And while the editor aimed to focus on the 3 Ds, only Ann Driscoll merits the time. Jack Black is the definition of hammy here, and Adrian Brody sleepwalks his performance. I appreciate that GEKKO wanted to emulate the 30s version, but this does not resemble that. At best, I can say this is watchable, more so if you are a fan of the 2005 Jackson movie.
This was ok. Vintage effects looked good, not overblown. No noticeable editing. Still a bit too bloated. Haters of the 2005 Kong won't like this, but if you like Jackson's movie you'll enjoy this.
July 7, 2010
In this review, when I make references to the “original version” etc of this movie, I mean the 2005 original movie. If I mean the 1933 version, I will state it as such.
I decided to watch this edit because I just didn’t like the original movie that much. Too long, too bloated and a too meandering plot. I wanted to give the movie another go in the form of a fan edit.
I agree with Blackhawk’s review. I liked the idea behind the edit and it is definitely carried off well.
The edit excised all the stuff that irked me about the original, but doesn’t go far enough, for me. I realize, however, I have never liked this movie and edit doesn’t improve my personal opinion about “King Kong”. I’m not faulting Gekko or his edit, but the original movie is just one of those movies that disappoints me, in whatever format/version.
I absolutely loved this edit in B&W and helped improve my dismal opinion of the original.
I noticed the artifacts in this edit as well, and am not sure if this was intentional to create a more old-time B&W movie feel or if is due to the over-compressed video. In the long run, it bothered me. The DVD does have a Gb of used space and could have well serve this edit.
Like a few other edits I have watched from here, it seemed like the “dust” and “scratched” film effects were a bit too overused here. I want them there, but less than presented in this edit.
Again, fans of the original (i.e. the 2005) movie will more than likely appreciate this edit and like it more than I.