Kong: Skull Island UltraHD Blu-ray Review

Specs

StudioWarner Brothers
TitleKong: Skull Island
AudioDolby Atmos
Negative FormatsARRIRAW (3.4K)
Digital Intermediate2K
Peak Brightness4000 nits
MPAA RatingPG-13
Length118 Minutes
DirectorJordan Vogt-Roberts
StarsTom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman
Review DateJuly 19, 2017
Price$29.96

Summary: This compelling, original adventure tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers, and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

Movie Review: Unlike the overly long and slow King Kong remake last decade, Kong: Skull Island doesn’t spend hours on setup. From the opening scene, Kong is introduced quickly. The majority of the film is set during the Vietnam War, providing a good background for the characters and a more modern twist than most of the versions of King Kong out there.

For fans of action, Kong: Skull Island delivers and the film itself is well done. Kong is given a good backstory that puts his actions into perspective, while the characters are also given their own. The actions that the characters follow during the film make sense and aren’t just done for no reason at all. If anything the worst thing is that there isn’t enough time and backstory given to some characters. Brie Larson’s photographer is given plenty of story and motivation, and typically acts as a strong female character, but is relegated to the background for lots of the film compared to the men.

Overall Kong: Skull Island strikes a balance between action and character development and comes out as a truly fun film to watch. The stylized look, which is often very showy, suits the film well and Kong comes out as being recommended by us.

Technical Review: While shot at 3.4K resolution, the digital intermediate for Kong is only 2K resolution, so most of the resolution advantage over the Blu-ray is lost. Despite that, the disc looks fantastic. The film is highly stylized, and the rich color palette comes across. HDR is taken full advantage of, from the lightning storm they fly through to visit the island, to explosions and torches.

The image is free from flaws that I can see, with no aliasing or artifacts, and the only issue is the lack of fine resolution on some of the close-up shots. Shadow details at night time are very well done, and the overall image is one that looks superb.

The soundtrack has no such flaws and is just reference class all around. The Atmos channels are heavily used, from putting you inside the earlier mentioned lightning storm to making the battles with Kong and the other monsters on the island happen all around you. Vocals are clear and anchored in the center channel speaker, while sound effects happen all over the room. Kong: Skull Island wins up as a film that is enjoyable to watch, and the audio and video are superb for the entirety of the film.

Special Features: Director’s Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and multiple featurettes.

Review System: 65” Sony A1E OLED, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.

Review Summary

ProductKong: Skull Island UltraHD Blu-ray
ReviewerChris Heinonen
ProsA well-done film that delivers from the outset, great use of HDR and WCG, fantastic audio quality.
ConsOnly a 2K DI means that some fine detail is missing.
SummaryKong: Skull Island is a great retelling of the classic story that starts out fast and never lets up. The image and audio look and sound fantastic, with only the use of a 2K DI keeping it from being truly reference class.
Value4 / 5
Performance5 / 5
Overall4 / 5