I made myself a big bowl full of hot buttered popcorn, got me a Big Gulp and a box of Goobers, sat down in front of my big screen TV and proceeded to watch the Digitally Remastered version of the original 1933 version of ‘KING KONG, The Eighth Wonder of the World’.
Once I realized I had to SKIP the beginning Interlude – the same one used in the original theatrical version in 1933, then I was ready to gleefully peer into the magical world of the mind of Kong’s creator Merion C. Cooper.
It was a real joy to watch, for the first time, the original version without the jumps and starts and crackling sounds throughout the feature.
I was a bit disappointed that the picture clarity was not as sharp as I had hoped it would be, but hell, it was a whole lot better than what I had been watching for the last 50 years. Yeah, I know, I’m old.
Overall, the Jackson crew did a fine job of restoring this time-honored cinematic classic, putting back every scene that had found its way on the cutting room floor over the last 72 years and making a flawlessly perfect movie that was as near as perfect to what the 1933 audience saw as possible.
Now to that infamous “Spider segment” we have always heard so much about. Like I said, I have watched the Kong movie off and on (I have several copies myself on different formats) and the lost spider scenes weren’t on any of them. Also, in that scene where the men are running and end up on a log where Kong quickly dispatches of them, those men, as they are running are constantly looking back as if something was scarring the hell out of them and in hot pursuit after them. I always wondered, even as a small kid just what was it they were running from. Well, Peter Jackson and his marvelous crew has remade that segment, including the famous lost spider segment and have placed it on the DVD in a Bonus Features segment. What they accomplished by putting together old photographs of the sets and lost footage is priceless and finally answers that old question, “What did the 1933 audience see that we have missed all these years?”
Was it worth the wait for a Peter Jackson to come along and invest his money into this restoration and reenactment project? You damn right it was.
The other important feature of this 2-DVD Remastered King Kong is the bonus features about the life and times of Kong’s co-creator Merion C.Cooper. This guy was Carl Denham in spades. In fact, his real life made Denham’s look quite tame. The $25.00 to $35.00 price tag is worth it just to get that part of the story behind the making of King Kong. Should you go out and buy it – You betcha!
On the Uncle Sam Scale of 1 to 5, I give it a whopping 4.