Wednesday, October 19, 2005


From deep within the ever-increasing shadow looming from Peter Jackson's King Kong comes this cheerful news from New York Press columnist Jim Knipfel-- Warner Home Video will bestow a high-quality, two-disc, official spiffification upon the original 1933 Merian C. Cooper/Ernest Schoedsack classic King Kong. As Knipfel notes, DVD's and VHS's culled from excessive repetition on Turner Movie Classics and other, far more degraded sources have been available for years-- and if memory serves me correctly, King Kong was among the first Criterion laserdiscs when the format was in its infancy in the late '80s. But it is great news that Warners, second now only to Criterion in quality and reputation as regards its treatment and preservation of its classic film library, will be taking advantage of the spotlight being thrown back on the Eighth Wonder of the World as Jackson's movie is readied for unveiling.

And, of course, others will be pulling out their giant apes to hitch a ride on the Cooper/Schoedsaack/Jackson bandwagon, including a dream DVD pairing of the Toho classics King Kong vs. Godzilla (which was based, believe it or not, on a concept originated by the 1933 Kong's special effects wizard, Willis O'Brien) and King Kong Escapes. Knipfel has the details on this and more in his round-up of giant gorilla DVDs coming your way in November.


Brian Darr said...

As fun as King King Vs. Godzilla is (I saw it for the first time at the Castro a year ago), I'm most excited that Milestone is putting Cooper & Shoedsack's Grass and Chang back into print.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I would assume that there will be DVDs down the road for both-- that's usually the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when it comes to restoring or striking new prints of classic, or relatively obscure titles like these. I hope I'll get a chance to see them-- Chang, in particular, is one that has always held fascination for me.

Thom McGregor said...

Slightly frightening post. I'm starring in a B-movie called "I Married A Movie Geek"! Just kidding. I'm as big a geek as Dennis, but King Kong Vs. Godzilla is just a bit much for me.

Anonymous said...

By way of a coworker who was at a post session working with some rotoscope technician who got to see/work on the new "King Kong," minus effects, according to Mr. Rotoscope, the movie is very good and very scary.

I'm interested. If only I could get my brain around Jack Black in the Robert Armstrong role.

Virgil Hilts

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Yeah, I know the thing about Internet movie geeks who desperately want to be ahead of the curve is to claim that the movie, based on the trailer, doesn't look any good. Well, regardless of what it actually turns out to be, I think the trailer makes it look like a lot of fun. I'm glad to hear Mr. Rotoscope thought it worked really well. Thom McG says "Pagoda"! And I say, forgive me for being a hermit-- The Fog may have escaped both our interest and our window of opportunity-- but I'll be sending an e-mail soon in a lame attempt to catch up!